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Victory for pop music

LARRY PARNES discovered, groomed and launched a parade of pop idols which set the British music scene alight in an era before The Beatles.

Tommy Steele, Billy Fury, Marty Wilde, Johnny Gentle and Vince Eager proved his theory that a good-looking chap with a good song could be a star.

There have been other pop impresarios since then. Some of them visionary, like Malcolm McLaren (Sex Pistols, Bow Wow Wow, Adam and the Ants, etc), others ruthless, like Don Arden (Small Faces, Amen Corner, The Move, Black Sabbath), and a few well dodgy, like disgraced Jonathan King. And there is, of course, one who seems more loathed than Rupert Murdoch, Simon Cowell.

There's also Louis Walsh.

Pop is his specialist subject. For decades, he has studied and worked with the masters and learned that some pop stars are destined to have a short shelf-life, while others, like his very own Westlife, will run forever.

Few pundits held out little hope for two teenagers from Lucan with big haircuts who burst on to Saturday night television and irritated Cowell with their energy and enthusiasm.


Walsh never made outrageous claims for the Grimes twins other than saying they're nice, hard-working kids who were excellent role models. Larry Parnes would have approved. If he was still around today, I'm sure the pop Svengali would tap an arthritic toe to the 11 tracks on Victory.

Walsh's careful nurturing of Jedward has been text-book. A debut single Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby), as featured on The X Factor, set the pace. A debut album of popular singalong cover versions (Rock DJ, Ghostbusters, etc) consolidated their fanbase.

In their assault on pop's summit, the next stage was a crazy ride in Eurovision with uber-pop extravaganza Lipstick, written by the Deekay production team, formed by former Danish army sergeant Lars Jensen and Martin Larsson.

Louis began working with Jensen's emerging crew a decade ago when he was guiding Samantha Mumba. Since then, Deekay has gone on to stellar success with Sugababes, Blue, JLS and countless others.

Their fingerprints are all over Victory. And they couldn't have a better act than Jedward to work with.


The twins make these songs roar into life, with an exuberance that has been pop's core ingredient ever since Elvis Presley first swivelled his pelvis.

This album is jam-packed with hit singles, catchy choruses, melodic hooks, fun chants and buzzy ringtones. It's the proof all Jedward's loyal and devoted fans will need to thumb their noses at "the haters". Each one will know that Jedward are singing exclusively to them on Your Biggest Fan, a bubbly ode to pop fandom.

Barack Obama's daughters will thrill to My Miss America. And every adoring female fan will hear something of herself in Everyday Superstar.

My reclusive friend Guru Weirdbrain might even be tempted to record a version of POP Rocket, a song worthy of Joey Ramone or Iggy Pop. "Jump on my pop rocket/ It's about to blow/ ... Gonna dance all night/ With the world below."

This is sheer Jedward genius at its very best. HHHHI