He hadn’t had the best of fortnights, hitting the headlines for a homophobic slur and a war of words with fellow X Factor finalist Lucy Spraggan, but Friday saw James Arthur make a fairly triumphant homecoming to the north east.
The 2012 X Factor winner topped the bill at Metro Radio Live in Newcastle and there wasn’t a boo to be heard as he made his way through a set which included recent single ‘Nobody Til Somebosy Loves You’ and the million selling ‘Impossible’.
They were noticeable throngs of concert goers leaving mid-set but those who stuck around couldn’t have had much to grumble about as James also made a public apology for his recent behaviour.
An act who certainly had nothing to be sorry for were Arthur’s X Factor predecessors Little Mix, who showed exactly why they took the crown 2011.
Opening with the anthemic ‘Wings’ and ending with the sassy ‘Move’, via a cracking acapella version of ‘How Ya Doin’, the girls were the stars of the show for me.
Running them close for the title were another act from the X Factor stable - Union J. They might not have set the world alight One Direction style but for Jaymi Hensley’s soaring vocals alone they deserve to make it big.
Away from X Factor alumni, there were plenty of other crowd pleasers.
Example made sure the roof was lifted off the Metro Radio Arena from the start, getting the place bouncing to the likes of ‘Changed The Way You Kiss Me’ while The Vamps prompted the first deafening screams of the night.
Lawson could also stake a claim for top of the scream league table as they opened the show’s second half with hits including ‘Juliet’.
One time chart topper Pixie Lott was an unexpected addition to the lineup and whilst not debuting any new material just about showed why she was a big favourite a few years ago.
The gig was a hot ticket for any pop fan.