Words: Thomas Stichbury
When Little Mix strutted onto the stage and then perched themselves atop four waiting stools, I panicked slightly that they’d taken advice from Westlife for the next chapter of their music career. But my fears were quickly assuaged. At no point did they dramatically rise from their seats in unison for that all-important key change.
Lashings of sass, cool choreography and honeyed harmonies were the order of the evening instead as Jade, Jesy, Leigh-Anne and Perrie stepped out at EartH (please note that this is the correct hipster spelling) in Dalston, East London on Tuesday night (November 13) for their intimate Apple Music gig: A performance met with such deafening screams from dedicated Mixers that my eardrums are still shaking.
Looking the business in ‘mega power biatch’ outfits, Attitude's December issue cover stars treated fans to a short, but oh-so-sweet set made up of past hits and veritable bops from their upcoming fifth album, LM5 (out Friday), which Jesy revealed was potentially going to be called 'Wine and Make-up Wipes'. Hmmm, sounds more like a shopping list to us.
Putting the drama of the split from their Syco record label behind them – no more tea was spilled on the subject – X Factor’s finest exports let the music do all the talking as they proved why they are the biggest and best pop band on the planet, kicking things off with crowd-pleasing chart-topper 'Shout Out To My Ex'.
Moving onto 'Only You' (their recent collab with Cheat Codes), emotions ran high when Jade suddenly started crying. Choking back tears, she struggled to make it through the song, but the crowd chipped in, singing along, and afterwards her bandmates pulled her into a tight hug. Jade later joked that she needed “tissues for her issues”. Hope you’re okay, babez.
That bond – no fake friendship here – was clear to see as the girls joked and jostled with each other in-between rousing renditions of newbie tracks 'Told You So', 'The Cure' and club-ready 'Joan of Arc' (“I don’t want your cash, I put my own rock on my hand,” Jesy purrs), built for grinding and slut-dropping.
Backed by a live band and string quartet, the foursome delivered more pop perfection with faves 'Black Magic' and 'Touch', before wrapping proceedings with new single-cum-Nicki Minaj/Cardi B beef track 'Woman Like Me' and a surprise performance of future smash 'Strip', a fab, female empowerment, embrace-your-flaws anthem, with special guest US rapper Sharaya J.
The only disappointment of the night came when Jade teased that she was going to perform a death drop and then didn’t. Grrr...
Apple Music Presents: Little Mix, Live From London – including a Q&A with the band conducted by Beats 1 DJ Julie Adenuga – is available to stream here.
Read the full interview with Little Mix in the December issue of Attitude, which comes with four special collectible covers and alternate cover featuring Will & Grace's Sean Hayes.