Ed Sheeran - Tue 10 Jan 2012, HMV Picture House, Edinburgh (3 stars)

Ed Sheeran, Tue 10 Jan, HMV Picture House, Edinburgh

Unlikely chart-topping teen idol performs angsty ballads

‘I have some news,’ Ed Sheeran casually mentions amidst the screaming adoration, after a nice loop-pedal driven cover of 'Wayfaring Stranger'.

‘My album’s just gone triple platinum’. (More screams). Quite impressive, really, for the unlikely teen idol who has been beavering away at self-promotion and relentless gigging, independently releasing two albums and a handful of EPs before finally snowballing into the mainstream with his major label release, +, flying to No.1 in the album charts last September, selling more than 100,000 copies in the first week.

It’s not surprising, then, that the queue of excitable minors outside the HMV Picture House pretty much stretches out onto the horizon. Inside, on stage, behind the thicket of iPhone mini-screens wavering unsteadily above the crowd, Sheeran hardly looks older than the majority of his fans. But this is where he succeeds. Singalong ballads like ‘Drunk’ and ‘U.N.I.’ are duly sung along to by the following that he’s accumulated who clearly relate to the angsty young-love themes and pop-cultural references.

You just can’t help feeling that his talent for cheeky, rapid, hip-hop inflected rhyming that won the support of the hard-edged grime scene and his knack for acoustic simplicity are lost somewhere out on the big glittering stage.

Ed Sheeran - Drunk

Ed Sheeran

Folky rapping singer-songwriter on the block, mooning over girls and stuff, such as on his multi-million selling album Divide featuring hit song Shape of You.

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