NIALL HORAN // SEC ARMADILLO, GLASGOW

FORMER ONE DIRECTION STAR NIALL HORAN BRINGS HIS FLICKER WORLD TOUR TO GLASGOW'S SEC ARMADILLO FOR TWO SOLD OUT SHOWS

NIALL HORAN PERFORMING AT GLASGOW'S SEC ARMADILLO - 19.03.2018
PICTURE BY: CALUM BUCHAN PHOTOGRAPHY

★★★★★

Kicking off the show was Scotland’s own Lewis Capaldi with a 5 song set, which he introduced by saying “I sing sad songs.”

While very different from the support acts Niall Horan would have had in his One Direction days, it was easy to see why Lewis was selected to support both of Niall’s Glasgow dates. Lewis’ voice is powerful and manages to reach every corner of the Armadillo, not an easy feat for a young lad from Bathgate, on stage with just a keyboard player for company.

Then comes American singer-songwriter Julia Michaels, who is bursting with energy as she emerges to screams from the audience. Julia’s mix of her own music and music she has written for the likes of Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber got the audience well-prepared for the main event, culminating in Issues, Julia’s biggest hit to date.

The Flicker World Tour is so very different from anything Niall was involved with in his boyband days, but it is a breath of fresh air. Long gone are the flashy sets, cheesy pop songs and arenas and stadiums. Niall stands in jeans and a t-shirt on a nearly bare stage, only inhabited by his band and various instruments. Only without an instrument for one song (the smash-hit Slow Hands) Niall is able to showcase his talent as an artist, rather than simply a singer, playing various guitars and even dabbling at a bit of piano.

From songs from his album, to a Bruce Springsteen cover, to a couple of One Direction throwbacks, Niall’s setlist had it all. While Niall’s voice was never considered one of the strongest within One Direction, his pitch-perfect performance would put those cynics to shame.

Between songs, it was clear that Niall knows exactly how to get his fans excited. His continued attempts at a Scottish accent, his thanks to everyone for coming to the show and for taking his album to heart and even a hint of a desire to move to Scotland elicited screams from the mainly female crowd.

In a rare moment of near-peace, Niall encouraged the audience to put away their phones as he performed his album’s title track, a song which he professed is his favourite off the record. It was a rare moment of complete harmony between Niall and the audience, without the barrier of a phone in the way.

Niall being on stage at the Armadillo felt much more intimate than the likes of the SSE Hydro, which worked perfectly with the music from his 2017 album Flicker, which has a much more folky feel and seems much more personal to Niall. The intimate feel of the venue married well with the music and allowed Niall to connect more with the audience, which is not easy when that audience is screaming after every word you say.

Let me tell you, you’ve not heard anything until you’ve heard the screams of One Direction fans seeing their favourite band (or even one member) on stage in front of them.

NIALL HORAN'S TOUR CONTINUES:

REVIEW BY: RACHEL WATSON
PHOTOS BY: CALUM BUCHAN PHOTOGRAPHY