If it’s ever been thought that Peter Andre is no longer relevant, the message has clearly not been passed on to his fans. They turned out in full force, almost packing out Plymouth Pavillions. But despite this extensive support base, the former reality-TV star, and nominal musician failed to deliver on the hype, putting on a cover-heavy concert and leaving us bitterly disappointed.
The name Peter Andre summons up one song, and one song alone. ‘Mysterious Girl’. It was what everyone had come to see, from the elderly couple who refused to stand throughout the performance, to the group of sassy middle-aged women in glittery cowboy hats, and Andre really didn’t make the most of it.
I was hoping he’d play it twice. After all, his back catalogue isn’t the broadest and his set was supposed to last an hour. How much else could he play?
To start with, it seemed like he had more material than I originally thought. He came on stage to a fairly anonymous pop number. Classic Peter. You didn’t need to recognise the song. The occasional pelvic thrust interspersed with his Class-A Dad dancing was enough to send the arena into hysterics, almost raising the squealing over-40s out of their chairs, with the pure sexuality he apparently exuded.
To be fair, we were enjoying it too. His fast paced 90s pop gets the crowd going at Cheesy Tuesdays, and even more so in an arena venue. Transfixed by his glitzy diamante belt and the pure cheese of each poptastic throwback, we were loving it. Loving it too much apparently, as we were told to sit back down, as we were “the only people standing up in the arena.” Refraining from the youthful tendency of standing at a gig, we remained convinced Andre would make this a great night.
It all started to go downhill once he started talking to the audience. He was keen to let us know how much music he had produced over the years, explaining that he’d released ten albums in his career. The same thought hit everyone in the arena: What was on these albums? ‘Mysterious Girl’ and… But Andre was enthusiastic. This is where that back catalogue can be showcased, he assured us. This was why he did live shows, so we could hear all of his songs in their full glory.
We settled down, ready for the great material he had promised. But no, Peter didn’t play his back catalogue in full – far from it. A weird medley of a few of his favourites was all we were to get, bringing us up to the half-way mark of his set. Half an hour left and he’d already burned through ‘Insania’ and any other just about recognisable tracks. What else could he do?
I was feeling positive that peter could still make this a great show
After one of the most unconvincing “spontaneous” pieces of audience participation, from one member of the crowd who just happened to know the entire dance routine, Andre’s pantomime changed up a gear as he announced the Swing section. This was what I had come to see. Andre’s 2015 release Come Fly with Me complete with a rebrand of ‘Mysterious Girl’, has become a firm favourite of mine. His swing renditions of Frank Sinatra’s finest are enjoyable, and with a strong brass section on stage, I was feeling positive that Peter could still make this a great show.
After donning a ‘Sinatra-esque’ hat, the piano started up with those oh-so-familiar notes. The rat-pack style jazz with just a touch of late 90s reggae-pop. The excitement was palpable as the saxophone seemed to be gearing up to play that most beloved chorus. It was building up to the brass explosion which starts Andre’s modern day masterpiece: ‘Mysterious Swing’.
“No we’re not going to play that version.” Andre said to the horrified gasps of hundreds of middle-aged women. My jaw had dropped. He couldn’t do this, tempt us in, get our hopes up and then dash them so cruelly. But he did. The rest of his Sinatra set felt sour after such a let-down, and Peter failed to win me over with the rest of the gig.
After skipping the only original song on his latest album, the concert descended into a full-blown cover show. He switched wildly from James Brown and Michael Jackson, to the Weekend and Justin Bieber. Like watching very good karaoke, it was fine, but not something you’d pay to see. I felt cheated, I had come to see an artist, not a tribute act. As he left the stage a final spotlight remained lit, whilst Andre’s voice reverberated around the room. “Did I forget to play something?” Yes, Peter, hell yes, you did.
Finally we were given what we had come to see. ‘Mysterious Girl’, in its full beach themed finery. Everyone was standing now, but even here, Andre didn’t feel sure enough of his own material, momentarily mixing in a bit of Bob Marley to break-up his one true claim to fame.
I left feeling let down. Andre’s show felt as fake as his perma-tan. He’s undeniably a one-hit wonder, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have put on a good gig. He may only have one song, but he should have milked it for all it was worth – it’s what we wanted. Cheap covers are all well and good, but when some people in the audience had paid over £80 for a ticket, they aren’t so cheap, and the show ends up being something of a let-down.