We assess the acts playing this year’s poptastic Capital FM’s Jingle Bell Ball this weekend.
There can only be one star crowning the tree, and Taylor Swift is surely 2014’s pop angel. As the leader of a new, emerging rat pack of homely, relatable and decidedly anti-risqué performers like Lorde, Ellie Goulding and Ed Sheeran, Swift’s fame has become simply staggering of late. Her new album ‘1989’ sold a million copies in its first week, she’s created an undying affinity with a generation of teenagers and her two cats have their own Twitter presence. Fakers gonna fake fake fake fake fake, but you can’t argue with that level of stardom.
He’s managed to take a debut album about unrequited love for another man and truly shove it down mainstream America’s throats. Simply everybody loves the 22-year old, and his heroic year just keeps getting better. He’s recently been heavily rumoured to be singing the new Bond theme, so if he walks on stage in a tight spotlight, turns, and points a pistol at the crowd, we’ll know he’s got the gig.
You have to admire the staggering cojones on Mr Sheeran, who recently announced he’ll be playing two nights at Wembley Stadium next year, armed with just his trusty tiny guitar and looping pedal. It may sound underwhelming on paper – like a great warrior such as Attila the Hun sending himself into battle armed with a spatula – but like him or not, Ed really knows what he’s doing. Expect squeals and swoons as he performs on Sunday’s bill.
Another man whose shown a colossal amount of bravery recently is effortless bounce master and pop crooner Fuse ODG. In an impassioned article entitled ‘Why I had to turn down Band Aid’, the London-born, Ghana-raised singer explained with gusto why he had doubts about the recent recording, and how he’d told Bob Geldof that the negativity latent in the lyrics were ‘offensive’. If you ask us, Fuse’s own songs, such as recent hit ‘T.I.N.A’ (which stands for This Is New Africa), are a thousand-times more relevant, and should go down a storm at the ball this week.
And then there were three. After Jason Orange’s departure and Robbie Williams’s decision to take up midwifery, Take That has streamlined to Owen, Donald and Barlow. At an average age of 43, are they taking time to paint the shed and get stuck into next year’s tax returns? Hardly. There’s a new LP on the way, plus an arena tour in 2015 too.
We love a good celebrity dynasty – whether it be The Osbournes or The Smiths (Will’s kids, not the band). Make way for another in the form of Jake Roche – singer with pop chancers Rixton. Roche is the son of ‘EastEnders’ Shane Ritchie and ‘Loose Women’ host Coleen Nolan, plus he’s dating one of Little Mix, so hopefully the line of celebrity succession might one day carry on through to another generation.
Capital FM’s Jingle Bell Ball is at The O2 on Sat December 6 and Sunday December 7.
Take a look at the best gigs in London this week here.