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Live review: The Nolans: I'm In The Mood Again, The Usher Hall

SPARKS weren't just blazing through the sky last night, they were lighting up the stage at the Usher Hall as the Nolan sisters brought their first joint tour in 25 years to Edinburgh.

While the Nolans have been performing as a group with various family members in the line-up since 1974, only recently did the most commercially popular quartet of the six singing sisters reunite.

And although sisters Anne and Denise have been vociferous in their anger at being snubbed by Coleen, Linda, Bernie and Maureen, the I'm In The Mood Again tour is still very much a family affair.

Not least because ITV's Loose Women host Coleen has brought along her boys as the opening act. And one can see why. Not only are they supremely talented all-rounders, they've also got the sort of mischievous Cockney swagger that would have any mother striving to keep them firmly under the thumb and in her sights. Billed as Shane and Jake, the precocious progeny of Coleen and former EastEnders star Shane Ritchie have inherited the Nolan music gene and the Ritchie gift of the gab, a potent mix that marks them as having the potential to be one of the best warm-up acts around.

Jovially bantering with the audience about the challenges of dealing with a mother who openly chats about making sex tapes live on air and accusations of nepotism because of their role on the tour between songs, the boys held their own magnificently. With well-structured boyband harmonies, the lads made light work of Westlife and Take That classics as well as tackling an outstanding Michael Jackson tribute including Billie Jean and Man in the Mirror.

Stepping up to show the young pretenders how it's done, however, the Nolan sisters arrived on stage in an explosion of light, disco funk and big screen sparkle. Starting their set with a selection of disco songs from their new album, the girls were joined on stage by a five-piece band and seven male dancers. Beginning with I Need A Hero, the male dancers took to the stage in poses reminiscent of a Chippendales calendar, complete with a fire-hose misting the audience, as the ladies sashayed down the large staircase at the centre of the stage.

Moving quickly into It's Raining Men, the dancers proceeded to remove further items of clothing until all that remained were their sequined shorts – the first of many costume changes during the 100-minute concert. Keeping up with the dancers' high energy antics, the Nolans also indulged in numerous outfit changes as the mood shifted throughout the sections of the show from disco diva to casino chic to solo performances and, finally, a selection of their best known hits, including Attention To Me, Crashing Down and Chemistry.

Pausing for breath between highly choreographed songs, the girls chatted to the audience – Coleen and Bernie introducing their band mate husbands, guitarist Ray Fensome and drummer Steve Doneathy.

Ending the show under the light of a massive glitter ball, the sisters sang two final diva anthems, The Voice Within and I Will Survive, before launching into the hit that had brought so many people to see them, I'm In The Mood For Dancing.

It was a tune that left the crowd still humming as they stepped out on to a chilly Lothian Road, the tang of firecrackers and gunpowder hanging thick in the air.

Your Review: 'An amazing show . . a great performance'

Tony Matthews, 49, technical advisor, Royal Mile: "Those young boys weren't half cheeky. If I was their auntie, I'd have taken a belt to them! But they were excellent. The whole show was brilliant. I wasn't so keen on the bit where all the sisters did solos, but the end made up for it."

Diane Rowe, 39, housewife, The Gyle: "Amazing show. I wasn't sure if it was really going to be worth the ticket price but they put on a great performance. I wouldn't be surprised if Coleen's children didn't turn out to be the next Ant and Dec."

Judith Jones, 48, beauty therapist, Willowbrae: "There was a moment in Eternal Flame where I was wondering of they were miming. The rest of it was great, especially the rather attractive male dancers."

 
 
 

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