Express & Star

JLS perform like they've never been away as they bring the house down in Birmingham

Everybody is utterly in love with JLS - the boyband brought the house down at Resorts World Arena last night.

Last updated
The stars snapped this selfie at Resorts World Arena on Saturday night. Credit: Marvin Humes

They haven’t performed live for eight years, but it was like Aston, Marvin, JB and Oritse had never been away.

The Birmingham arena was packed out for the Beat Again Tour on Saturday night - the excitement was tangible.

People were overjoyed to be back watching live music after the Covid pandemic forced entertainment venues to close their doors for more than a year.

And when the boys burst onto the stage in a haze of smoke and bright lights, the screams were deafening. This is what we’d been waiting for.

The Club Is Alive, a hit from 2010's album Outta This World, kicked off the night, and Aston Merrygold couldn’t wait another second to send fans mental with his signature back flip.

They were the JLS we all remembered, with the wonderfully cheesy, matching dance moves, and those cheeky, charming grins.

Marvin Humes called out the the cheering crowd: “I can’t tell you how good it feels to be back on stage with my brothers after eight years.”

JLS - short for Jack the Lad Swing - was originally formed in 2007 by Oritsé Williams and consists of Williams, Aston Merrygold, Marvin Humes, and JB Gill.

Originally called UFO, they then went on to become runners-up on the fifth series of The X Factor on ITV, losing out on the winning spot to Alexandra Burke.

Their first two singles Beat Again and Everybody in Love both soared to number one in the UK Singles Chart.

In May 2013, after seven years together, JLS announced that they would go their separate ways.

But in February 2020, to the delight of fans, they announced a reunion, with the Beat Again Tour due to start in November 2020.

Sadly, Covid meant it was postponed to June 2021 – but the live shows were finally able to go ahead this month.

Do You Feel What I Feel, One Shot, and Take A Chance On Me, were also included in the night's playlist.

Aston shouted: “Birmingham, we’re back!" His voice was met by deafening roars from the crowd.

"So I take it by that scream we’re already having a good time? Fellas I’m not being funny but this is going to be a lot of fun

"This is Saturday night in Birmingham. Save the voices, there’s going to be a lot of singing going on tonight."

Eyes Wide Shut from album Outta This World followed, and then came Day One, which Humes dedicated to the fans that had "been with us from the start".

The lads made reference to the fact they hadn't toured for eight years – with Gill joking: "My hips don't move like they used to."

The foursome kept number one single Beat Again close to the end of the show, leaving fans clamouring for more. There was one song they still hadn't played – and we all knew which one.

Gill said: "Birmingham, you've left us speechless. You've been very special. We've been through a journey tonight."

He announced the band has a new studio album, called 2.0, which is due to be released on December 3.

JLS returned to the stage after a deafening encore plea from fans, first performing emotional track Proud, dedicated to their families.

And the close the show, Humes said: "We started this in 2007 and it's 2021 and we're still on the stage. We have so much love and respect for every single one of you. You've made our dreams come true. We love you."

Aston added, teasing the crowds: "Now if you've ever been to a JLS show there's just one song, that gets everyone's hands in the air..."

Everybody in Love from album JLS was the song to finish the night in true style, with multi-coloured confetti cannons blasting onto the audience in a dazzling grand finale.

JLS were supported by Cassa Jackson, who warmed up the audience with tune Love's A Losing Battle and her new track I Don't Like It When You Talk About Her. The singer glittered on stage in pink trousers and a sparkly black vest.

Cassa Jackson

The music star had drawn in a large crowd of JLS fans, and called out to them: "Hey guys, JLS are on soon, let's give them a huge cheer so they can hear backstage."

She first revealed in August she would be supporting the band, writing on her Instagram account: "This is not a drill! Excited to announce that I’m gonna be supporting @jlsofficial on their #beatagain UK tour this October! 28 shows, including four nights at the O2- This is such a dream come true."

It's been eight years since JLS toured live together, and it was just Outta This World seeing them back together on stage.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.