Conor Maynard at The O2 Academy, Bournemouth (2/11/12)

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19 year old singer turned heart throb Conor Maynard played the O2 Academy in Bournemouth on Friday 2nd November 2012. A date in which all the Bournemouth based Mayniacs would have had circled in their diaries ever since their parents paid for the tickets. Upon arrival to the venue there were already at least 100 girls queueing in the freezing temperatures hoping to catch a glimpse of the man himself. A few of the (almost psychotic) Mayniacs over heard me telling the security guard that I was waiting for an interview and before I knew it they had rushed over and were already bombarding me with requests. Scared and slightly concerned for Conor’s safety, I went into the venue to chat to him. (Interview coming soon to The Edge).

Sitting in on his soundcheck demonstrated that he is still a normal 19 year old guy. Rapping to some Drake and fooling around with his band mates, it was clear to see that he is just an ordinary teen, enjoying an extraordinary lifestyle. The support acts were dreadfully cringey highlighting the target audience of this gig (I was in fact stood next to a crying 12 year old, lucky me). G23 music played a selection of tween pop and PW rapped whilst flirting with the crowd.  It made me want to vomit when StarBoy Nathan sang ‘Come into my Room’. If he were to take any of the crowd to ‘his room’ he would definitely have a court case on his hands. I was praying for 9pm to hurry up so we could get to the reason everyone turned up.

Conor Maynard opened with my personal favourite from his debut album Contrast, ‘Animal’. To put it colloquially, it is “such a tune!”. Risqué lyrics and a snarling grimace made his performance made his performance rather sexy for a 19 year old. Keeping with the upbeat party vibe he performed ‘Take Off’ bounding around the stage, very much animated. After a brief chat to the crowd he led nicely into his second single ‘Vegas Girl’ pulling out some sweet dance moves whilst every girl in the room swooned. He really has turned into quite the teen heart throb, even a hint of eye contact would send a wave of screams through the crowd. I must admit feeling very ‘fan-girl’ upon receiving a wink during ‘Can’t Say No’.

‘Mary Go Round’ was preceded with an introductory situation, this song in particular being from Conor’s own experiences. Another slow number was next ‘Pictures’, a song penned by Frank Ocean, another of my favourites from Contrast. This led nicely into the acoustic section of the set. Conor and his band took positions on stools and sung a medley of songs including ‘Drowning’ and two covers ‘Starships’ (by Nicki Minaj) and ‘Diamonds’ (by Rihanna). He played another more personal track (one of his favourites) ‘Just in Case’ accompanied by his piano playing skills. It was beautiful and truly demonstrated his credibility as a singer and also a song writer. The second half of the set included more tracks from Contrast including ‘Lift Off’; a track co-wrote with Pharrell Williams. It is even sexier live, it has a Justin Timberlake vibe to it.

Another situation based song followed, all the pre-pubescent girls screaming at Conor in agreement must be fantastic liars, how has a twelve year old experienced the relationship troubles Conor sings of in Glass Girl? Some were even crying! Astonishing! Finishing the main part of the set with ‘Better Than You’ he went off stage briefly before coming back for an encore. He sung his other two singles starting with the song that catapulted him into stardom ‘Can’t Say No’ (fit with obvious flirting with the crowd) and the night ended on his latest single ‘Turn Around’ even minus Ne-Yo it sounded great. I left Bournemouth a more committed Mayniac. Big love for Conor Maynard.

Conor Maynard’s debut album Contrast is out now.

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I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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