Music review: Little Mix play the weird hits
Pop : Little Mix, 3Arena, Dublin
Almost exactly 20 years after the Spice Girls blazed a trail for girl power in 1996, the biggest-selling girlband on the planet are conquering the world with their own version of female self-empowerment. Before the curtain rises for the sold-out Dublin instalment of the Get Weird world tour, an introductory video features a snippet of Beyoncé's great modern pop question, "Who runs the world? Girls!"
Jade, Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jesy appear crouched down casting spells like a pop version of the famous witches scene in Macbeth. They fly through the air to ear-piercing screams and launch into Grown. As pop shows go, this is a surprisingly bold opener.
There are some slightly dark, subtle gothic undertones throughout, such as performing DNA in the middle of a mysterious forest. This is countered by some genius pop moments, such as their dancers appearing with giant rabbit heads during OMG. The moment is made all the more surreal by so many tweenage fans bobbing along wearing luminous bunny ears.
Little Mix deliver a string of anthems, but just enough twisted beats to set them apart from the rest of the pop pack and establish themselves as an intriguing and innovative force in pop culture.
There appears to be some substance to their Get Weird ideals beyond conceptual window dressing. They explain it is all about embracing your inner weirdness, being yourself and building self-confidence, which is a refreshingly positive message to offer to a young audience, and considerably more advanced than the somewhat vague 90s notion of girl power.
Perrie proclaims her love for Ireland, revealing she loves brown bread ice cream and busking pop sensations Keywest. An anthemic medley including snippets of Beyonce's Crazy in Love has every pair of bunny ears in the auditorium bouncing. Their calling-card hit Black Magic concludes a sassy and surprisingly sophisticated set.
For four girls plucked from the conveyor belt that is The X Factor, their hits are proper pop tunes rather than the usual auto-tuned rubbish.
Who knows how long they'll be steam-rolling through the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, but it looks like it will be a lot of fun while it lasts.