GAY

STILL THE CHAMPION! MANS ZELMERLOW LIVE

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Nearly two years on from his big victory at Eurovision, Mans Zelmerlow proves he is still riding high from his epic win!

When a lot of my friends asked me who I was seeing in concert, I explain “Mans Zelmerlow”, the response is always the same “who”? It always takes a further five minutes to explain who this guy is. Of course when I say he won Eurovision 2015 with Heroes, suddenly the penny drops. Heroes was such an epic song for Mans which skyrocketed him to superstardom. I am a long fan of Swedish pop artists ever since I first saw camp pop royalty Alcazar belt out Crying at the Discotheque, so every year I would watch the Melodifestivalen in Sweden. Unlike us in the UK Sweden take the Eurovision song contest very seriously, using Melodifestivalen as its own song contest where 25 or so acts compete and the winner becomes the Swedish entry to Eurovision. It was here I first saw Mans singing Heroes, it was the also the time odds on him winning were high so my £50 bet turned into a £500 win 🙂

As a package he is the perfect pop star mould, he is extremely good looking and not afraid to shed the clothes for a good cause. But he is also an amazing live singer, he doesn’t need to rely on cheesy dance routines or have half naked dancers all over him. But the dance routines were there in the beginning, and I’m glad he’s ditched those as they weren’t amazing.

Winning Eurovision could either be a curse or a blessing for some people who had won, they would have a great year of being the Eurovision winner then nothing, apart from being wheeled out every year for Eurovision. But for the clever ones the exposure could be used to catapult you super stardom. If the artist has any great charisma or staying power, they can create themselves into international artist. Something Mans has done in his stride. Releasing his following album Perfectly Damaged which I loved, he was probably the first male artist I have really got into since Darren Hayes. Unlike most Eurovision songs, Mans Zelmerlow was quite cool his music was more rock/pop, unlike the glam gay pop of most Eurovision entries.

Two years ago me and Elaine went to see Mans perform his first UK show at Heaven in London, it was amazing to watch because I didn’t quite released how big his back catalogue was. After the gig I had a great time listening to his old hits like Brother O Brother, Cara Mia and Hope And Glory. And now me and Elaine were heading back to London to see him again.

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Mans Zelmerlow has recently released his follow up album Chameleon, and he was on tour to promote it. I wont lie but I couldn’t connect to Chameleon like I did with Perfectly Damaged, Glorious was a great single and one of favourites. Its the same when I listened to his back catalogue, bare in mind Chameleon was his 7th studio album so there is a lot to look back at. But I think anyone would say when they have that magical album that represented a point of their life, its hard to feel the same about other albums that artist has done. So don’t get me wrong Chameleon is a good album, but Perfectly Damaged was a perfect album.

The venue was the O2 Islington on a nice Thursday evening, me and Elaine both finished work that day early to travel up. Great thing about Elaine is she is a great organiser, so everything was planned to a T. I had never been to O2 Islington before, so I didn’t know what to expect. Both of us were starving so we didn’t see the support act and decided instead to have dinner, but when we headed into the venue I loved at how intimate it was. Gays and women were the primary audience for this gig, look at me and Elaine.

The lights went down and the music began for Should Of Gone Home and out he came. The one thing Mans Zelmerlow oozes is pure sex appeal, he’s hot and projects that through his singing. As the set went on Mans performed songs from Perfectly Damaged and Chameleon, with a nod to his beginnings with Brother O Brother. The only thing I was disappointed with is that he didn’t sing Cara Mira, dam you Mans! But I get it, like most tours there are only so many of the old hits you can do to keep the set more about your current music. So I forgive you Mans.

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One of the best songs of the night for me and surprisingly for Elaine as well was Hearts Collide. For many years I used to think if ever I get married my first dance song would be Savage Garden’s Crash and Burn, I had such a affinity with the lyrics of this song that until now, no other song had affected me in a such a way. Until I listened to Hearts Collide from his Perfectly Damaged album.  I was so over the moon when suddenly Mans started to sing it.

The atmosphere in the room suddenly changed and I had shivers down my spine. It was at this moment that Elaine turned to me and said “right I’m dumping pilot guy, that is real passion on stage and that’s what I need!” Hooray for Elaine, it took a Swedish hunk in tight jeans singing a love song for her to realise what she needed. But fuck off Elaine this is my love song x.

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The show was really good, and seeing him sing Heroes again brought home that this guy isn’t just a Eurovision winner, but now a big European artist. I really hope to see Mans in the UK again, he is like a hidden secret, so this was a perfect gig, small intimate and connected with everyone in the room. If you haven’t already I really recommend you listen to Perfectly Damaged and Chameleon, as well going through his over Eurovision hits and previously albums. Mans is here to stay and in my mind makes him still the champion!

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SETLIST

  1. Should of gone home
  2. Whislteblower
  3. Fire in the rain
  4. Live while we’re alive
  5. Hanging on to nothing
  6. Brother O Brother
  7. Wrong decision
  8. Hearts Collide
  9. Parallels
  10. Burning Stars
  11. The Core of you
  12. Castle on the hill – Ed Sheeran Cover
  13. Happyland
  14. Glorious
  15. Heroes
  16. Beautiful Lie

DARREN GOODWIN

 

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