Monday 18 November 2019

Review: Jedward

Grand Canal Theatre

Ed Power

THE Jedward Juggernaut is becoming unstoppable. Pop's scariest haircuts will shortly represent Ireland in the Eurovision. The current issue of the UK 'Gay Times' promises a photo-shoot of the twins "as you've never see them before" (with their mouths shut, presumably).

Over-excitable British journalists have compared them to Damon Albarn's Gorillaz as an example of a novelty act with legs.

Amid the glossy magazine spreads and commercial endorsements that saw them earn an estimated €3m last year, it is easy to forget the Grimes started as 'X Factor' anti-heroes, notorious for their supposedly awful singing and shameless camera-hogging.

Eighteen months later and their nemesis Simon Cowell would surely have his neck-high chinos in a twist at the reception they receive at a sold-out Grand Canal Theatre, where pre-teens pumped on sweets and crisps shriek their lungs out and wave banners that say things like 'Jepic'.

The biggest surprise is that, as singers, they aren't nearly as hopeless as often portrayed.

Nobody will mistake the stiff-quiffed pair for burning bright talents, but, whether tackling Lady GaGa's 'Born This Way' or a medley of early Michael Jackson hits, the indignities they heap on the material aren't nearly as awful as you might expect.

That said, the lack of whizz-bang production values is hard to overlook.

Performing the 'Ghost Busters' theme on last year's 'X Factor' tour they soared around the O2 on high-wires. Tonight, with sometime mentor Louis Walsh watching, they must make do with aiming empty water-pistols at the crowd and mugging along with their High School Musical-esque backing dancers.

Had they followed post X-Factor convention, Jedward would by now be opening provincial supermarkets and miming in dingy nightclubs. Instead they have ripped up the rule book and are writing their own script.

Their greatest talent may be raising the blood pressure of the otherwise even-tempered. But they also have a rare knack for keeping themselves in the limelight. In an industry as fickle as pop, the ability to hang around when your allotted 15 seconds has expired isn't to be underestimated.

Irish Independent

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