My first experience at The Old Firestation in Bournemouth was met with a mix of expectations. Having really enjoyed Aiden’s Grimshaw’s debut album Misty Eye I was automatically excited to hear the songs being played live, however there was always that ounce of doubt in my mind as to whether his appearance on the X Factor two years ago would affect his performances on his first headline tour. The intimate venue meant that fans were inches away from the star, which to their delight, was very fortunate, and made for a very personal experience at the gig. Aiden’s demographic was glaringly obvious as the room was filled with girls no older than 15, often accompanied by their mums (who were clearly enjoying the show just as much.)
I interviewed the man himself before the gig and despite previous TV fame he was extremely grounded and friendly, appreciating me as a journalist and welcoming the questions (I steered clear of contrived X-Factor related questions, to his pleasure). The support act was young singer/songwriter Seye. It was simply him and an electric guitar, his vocals captured the crowd as he was met by the screams of many a teenage girl. He played a short set to warm up the crowd before the main act, Aiden Grimshaw. Those of you who have listened to Misty Eye will understand that the album is moody to say the least, however I do not say this in a negative way whatsoever. Transference to the live setting meant the songs gained that extra ounce of emotion from the singer song-writer; enhanced by the fact that he explained the inspiration for the songs between songs, stealing the hearts of many along the way as he claimed ‘she still didn’t call [him]back’.
I found it hilarious as the mum’s sat at the back would yell X-Factor related jibes such as “You’re better than One Direction”, Aiden would respond with an awkward tug of the collar and a nervous laugh. The singer has worked hard to move away from the TV show and I believe he should be taken seriously as a credible male solo artist, with exceptional talent. He played the album in order explaining that this is how it should be heard, making it more a journey than a collection of tracks. Both of his singles ‘Is This Love’ and ‘Curtain Call’ were particularly impressive and sounded much better live. Even tracks with the simple message of being yourself (‘Be Myself’) didn’t seem contrived or forced, it was a simple, great song. For all those cynics out there that refuse anything that comes from reality TV should give Aiden Grimshaw the time of day, he really does have something fresh and unique to bring to the table.[fbvideo id=10151072483369013]