Monday 23 April 2018

Review: 5 Seconds of Summer have the giddy air of a gang of mates who climbed into a tour bus a few years ago and haven't looked back

5 Seconds of Summer
5 Seconds of Summer
Ed Power

Ed Power

A new era of boy bands is upon us.

5 Seconds of Summer: 3Arena, Dublin

Australian quartet 5 Seconds Of Summer play guitar, disdain synchronized dancing and favour irreverent punk ditties over slurpy 'will you be my girlfriend?' ballads.

Admittedly their hair – a smorgasbord of quiffs and brylcreemed mullets – cleaves to teen pin-up tradition. Otherwise, squint at their 3Arena concert and you could be watching a proper group playing proper songs.

They have a sense of humour too, a quality for which pop purveyors are not always noted. Halfway through this sell-out performance they dusted down an irreverent paean to rubbish Irish weather entitled Friday Dublin Nights and, in a later call-and-response, poked fun at our pronunciation of 'thirty three' (a reliable source of hilarity among that part of the English-speaking world that boycotts the letter 'r').

All told, it's surprising they achieved prominence via the cheerleading of One Direction, who discovered 5 Seconds To Summer while the Sydney chums were struggling on the club circuit back in the antipodes and winning fans one YouTube 'like' at a time.

Then perhaps 1D understood there was little danger of the upstarts stealing their fanbase – while concerts by Harry, Niall and um…the other two have the air of a school jamboree, 5 Seconds of Summer's audience is relatively widely flung, pouting Gen Yers with dyed hair and Chuck Converse runners as numerous as the squealing 12-year olds-you anticipate at this sort of affair.

 In addition to handling their own musical duties – and head-banging harder then you expect –  5 Seconds of Summer have plenty of charisma. This is an important point. Typically pop bands styled as rockers tend to be brattish and mystifyingly pleased with themselves (see Busted, McFly, McBusted etc).

In contrast, 5 Seconds of Summer have the giddy air of a gang of mates who climbed into a tour bus a few years ago and haven't looked back . With their attention-seeking cow-licks and endlessly zingy anthems, they aren't for everyone. But, as disposable pop goes, they tick more boxes than most.

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