FIVE STARS. Blueprint’s first gig left their fans caught up in poptastic glory, says CLEMMIE HAIN-COLE.
Tuesday 19th November
Five Stars *****
It’s Tuesday night at the ADC Theatre, and a roomful of would-be Cindiesers are waiting for the show to begin. We chant. We stamp our feet. We scream. The tension is killing us. And then, at last, the curtain goes up and through the endless fog of smoke, the spotlight lands on a line of five red bar stools behind five microphones.
Oh yes my friends, Blueprint, Cambridge’s very own Westlife/McFly/insert-your-favourite-boyband-here has arrived. Prepare yourselves for mass hysteria, knicker throwing and the rebirth of a generation of boy band fanatics. But get in line girls, there’s a disorderly queue that starts behind the hundred or so frenzied fans that saw the birth of something amazing last night.
I’d like to be able to say that from the very first number, I was overwhelmed by the band’s beautiful harmonies and powerful solos ringing out through the audience. But I can’t, as throughout the show the boys were in very real danger of being completely drowned out by the non-stop shrieks and screams of their besotted fans.
What I can whole-heartedly and unashamedly say is that they gave us the ultimate boy band experience, and one of the best nights of my Cambridge life so far. From the moment they came on, dressed in the standard boy band black tie with alternating oh-so tight t-shirt/open-necked shirt/tank top, and gave us a cheeky smile that surely made every girl in the room feel all melty inside. They had us eating out of the palms of their hands. Or, as one girl put it midway through a tear-provoking performance of ‘Flying without Wings’, “TAKE ME NOW!” And thanks to some sharp choreography by Ellie Awford, they swayed, clicked and sashayed their way through a classic collection of boy band hits; taking their musical inspiration from their founding fathers Take That, Boyzone and Backstreet Boys.
But if you managed to peer through the clouds of smoke and strained to hear amongst the screaming fans, Blueprint were far more then just some of Cambridge’s buffest boys doing a boy band karaoke set. Admittedly, there were a few forgotten dance moves and a few patches of sketchy harmonising, but I will have nothing bad said about these boys. Without sounding like an X-factor judge who doesn’t want to be harsh about a contestant, every song was fantastic entertainment, both in terms of music and general stage presence.
Highlights included their second number, Jackson 5’s I Want You Back, complete with those infamous MJ high notes and moves that the Prince of Pop himself would have been proud of. Later on, Uptown Girl, performed with a bevy of beautiful backing dancers (oh yes, they went all out), had the audience on their feet and singing along at a perhaps inappropriate volume. By the time the finale came around, just after the boys had taken the somewhat risky move of moving into the audience (one fifth of the band was trapped in the audience as a manic fan clutching blueprint knickers clung on for a photo), the atmosphere was electric.
Not since my unforgettable Girls Aloud experience of 2006 have I been part of an audience so thoroughly caught up in the poptastic glory of a band, that I have been left clamouring for more. As their last Backstreet Boys number drew to a close, and the lights went down on the underwear-strewn stage, we were left in no doubt that Blueprint’s back, alright.