The Saturdays - SECC, Glasgow, Tue 13 Dec
Polished pop performance that felt lacking in soul
With Little Mix winning this year’s X-Factor, you would think the positively elderly Saturdays (average age: 24) would be showing signs of abject desperation not to lose their crown as the current biggest UK girl group not in semi-retirement. But no … this was an all-singing, all-dancing piece of staged pop ephemera that put in plenty of effort for the quintet’s particularly youthful fans, but made no effort to connect with an older audience – bar putting Frankie Sandford in a procession of ever-shorter outfits.
All the usual arena tropes were here, including a neon-streaked cheerleader dance routine during ‘Faster’, a rendition of ‘Ego’ delivered from a revolving podium in the middle of the crowd, a guest appearance (Travie McCoy on the big screen during ‘The Way You Watch Me’) and a couple of god-awful ballads like ‘Issues’. ‘Up’ and a cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ were camp club affairs, and a version of ‘Winter Wonderland’ radiated just the right amount of seasonal good cheer. Yet barring Una Healy’s obvious happiness – and bravery — at performing while heavily pregnant, their between-song chatter was particularly soulless and rehearsed, a fitting reflection of a show that was all about the spectacle and not at all about making an emotional connection.