As fans of ITV’s The X Factor, Superbreak ladies Catherine, Linzi and Ellen were very excited to see the live tour at the O2 Arena in London. Read on to find out what they made of the show…
1. What event did you go to see and why?
Linzi: The X Factor Live Tour as a friend really wanted to see it.
Catherine: I have been a frequent viewer of the X Factor for the past decade and whilst the show has gained some critics over the years, it’s fair to say the final acts featured in The X Factor Live concert can certainly belt out a tune and offer great family viewing. I enjoy seeing artists perform before they reach the dizzy heights of fame – how ‘One Direction’ have changed!
Ellen: We went to The O2 Arena to watch The X Factor Live Tour on Saturday 22nd March as we were interested in seeing how the contestants would perform in front of a large audience.
2. What did you think of the performance? Did it live up to expectations?
Linzi: The performances was good and better than I expected as I’ve not watched the TV programme leading up to the tour.
Catherine: In advance I knew what the performance would entail – a mix of repeated cover songs from TV programme. Admittedly the singing abilities were mixed but I loved the power of Tamera Foster’s and winner; Sam Bailey’s voice. Rough Copy added a little fun to proceedings with an enjoyable cover of Destiny’s Child’s ‘Survivor’.
The show ran smoothly, and with the added value of acts moving to the centre of the arena, everyone got a good view. It would be wrong to compare stage presence with the likes of seasoned performers that regularly entertain crowds at the O2. Each X Factor contestant spoke to the audience for a short while, describing their story and decisions to cover various songs each week. I would predict ‘Tamera Foster’ could have a particularly strong music career. At 17, she has a lot of work ahead of her as her lack of confidence was clear in-between the sets. As few of the acts now have now been signed to record labels, let’s see what the future holds…
Ellen: Abbi Alton was the highlight for me, she sung her songs with such conviction and you could hear a pin drop when she was on stage. I loved her version of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Want To Dance With Somebody’ – she is a very talented musician.
3. Was this your first visit to The O2? What did you make of the facilities?
Linzi: No, I’ve been many times before and always find the facilities really good.
Catherine: I’m certainly an O2 Arena addict, having been 5 times within 4 months and bringing various friends and family along with me to each event. The facilities are great. You could easily make a day out of a trip to the O2 venue as there’s also a cinema and plenty of eateries to choose from.
Ellen: The O2 Arena is large in size and I was impressed by the wide range of seating and standing options available.
4. Did you enjoy a meal or drinks out before the event? If so would you recommend the places?
Linzi: I always tend to eat in the VIP area at The O2 Arena as it always has lovely food.
Catherine: I went to restaurant called ‘Jimmy’s World’, offering an all you can eat buffet service of foods from around the globe. The quality of the food was surprisingly really good, and I would say it’s on a par or even better than the popular branded chains such as Frankie and Benny’s; also available at the O2. At £16pp it was also terrific value.
Ellen: The arena concourse has many restaurants, however we decided to go to Wagamamas, which is just outside The O2 Arena, mainly because the prices were cheaper.
5. Which hotel did you stay in and what did you think of it? How far was the distance to The O2?
Linzi: I stayed in the Travelodge Covent Garden as it is affordable and great location for the centre. Easily accessible via the tube with just one change at Green Park.
Catherine: I chose my hotel based on its location. On this occasion I stayed in the South Kensington area, close to attractions on my London visit wish list. The 4* Hotel Xenia is the newest boutique hotel in London; having opened March 2014. I couldn’t fault it – exquisite breakfast, quirky decor, great finishing touches and value for money in comparison to other 4* luxury hotels in London. Walking a short way and taking the tube, it was 45 minutes from the O2 Arena.
6. How did you get to The O2? How did you find travelling around London?
Linzi: Travelling around London and to The O2 is easy using the tube.
Catherine: The tube lines from Hotel Xenia were easy to follow and just one line change was require; the Piccadilly to the Jubilee line. I had a straightforward journey across London, escaping from the hustle and bustle. I luckily avoided the bottleneck of crowds when exiting the arena after the show… a huge amount of people exited the O2 Arena before the encore, so the queues were flowed well and I endured a limited waiting time when back on the underground. It’s reassuring to know that you can book a hotel close to all the action in central London and have no hassle getting back there after an evening performance.
Ellen: We went on the underground from King’s Cross to London Bridge and changed to get the connection to North Greenwich, where The O2 Arena is.
7. How does The O2 compare to other venues?
Linzi: The O2 is a superior venue to others I have been to which include Manchester MEN and Sheffield Arena. The facilities are better and overall aesthetically more pleasing.
Catherine: The O2 Arena London has more entertainment facilities than any other venue I’ve experienced. It comes complete with an ‘entertainment avenue’ with dining to suit everyone’s tastes and appetites. The hospitality staff are always on hand and the venue is well signposted – it couldn’t be easier to find when exiting North Greenwich underground.
8. Have any other events caught your eye this year?
Linzi: Lots…Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Lee Evans.
Catherine: I will be going to the magnificent Cirque du Soleil in June – a little birthday treat! It will be interesting to see how a dance and acrobatics act compares to singing sensations.
Ellen: In July, my friend and I are off to see Monty Python. We cannot wait!
Did you see The X Factor Live Tour this year? Or perhaps you’ve seen another music event at the O2 Arena in London? Let us know using the comments box below.