THEY’VE inspired a major divide between fan and foe, beat more established acts to represent the country and have left shaking respected journalists renowned for tackling serious issues and major players.
But there’s no denying that when Jedward put on a show, they put on a show and there’s certainly an audience for it.
Some 1,400 turned out on Saturday night for the local stint of the duo’s Bad Behaviour tour.
Some had been waiting since early morning to catch a glimpse of their quiffed heroes and in the 30 minutes before the gig the queue had meandered its way around the car park.
Those in line were entertained by the brothers’ songs which wafted from cars searching for a parking spot while mobile merchandise units were laden with cardboard headbands, T-shirts and other trinkets. Adult banter focused on ear plugs while ‘tween’ and teen chatted animatedly about what was to come.
Once inside the excitement was palpable and that only increased when support act Elle D took to the stage. With her two dancers they strutted and warbled through three numbers, whipping up the crowd even more.
As a Jedward video played onstage, only the very eagle-eyed up the front noticed a steel case being rolled in on either side of the stage. Both were brought behind what looked like oversized lampshades but which were soon revealed to hold a dancing twin. Jedward were very much in the house and the screams that greeted them could have lifted the roof.
The set list went from a Jackson 5 medley to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. All of the expected songs were in play, including their take on Blink 182’s All The Small Things while the Ghostbusters theme tune was accompanied by fully functioning water guns.
As the chords of Lipstick struck up it marked the cue for a number of people to get to a designated point for a special meet and greet. About 30 of us were taken to a private room to spend some time with the boys, who signed anything laid before them, posed and took photos. It was all about the fans for the two and their devotion to them was hugely evident. Tour manager Liam McKenna, whom I’d interviewed years before as one part of Six, had his work cut out for him keeping the brothers behind a table as they reached out and climbed over to hug and chat with their young visitors.
A short time later and back onstage Michael Jackson’s Bad, They Don’t Care About Us and Busted’s Year 3000 all proved popular as flickering wands, foam fingers and both laminated and homemade posters were held high. The infatuation even led to some flinging T-shirts and even trainers on stage with the same gusto of the knicker-flinging set at a Tom Jones concert.
But still they wanted more and when the gig came to an apparent end the chant of Jedward soon became intermingled with bolts from the lads’ debut single Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby), which teased those gathered by cutting out a few times before the two lept back onstage to perform the number, followed by a second rendition of their Eurovision entry Lipstick.
The most striking thing of the whole night was the energy which the twins brought to the event. Despite their perceived goofy persona, their dedication to their act and the level of hard work is evident. But it’s even more surprising given their hectic schedule. Having gigged in Cork the night before, they had to travel to Lisburn then back to Kilkenny for this latest session, yet their time both on and off the stage was constant movement.
The all-singing, all-dancing routine was interspersed with a running race, jumps off stage and one-handed cartwheels. And it was a routine that may even have changed the minds of many of the originally bemused-looking older attendees.