After making a small splash (a splosh?) in last weekend's chart with debut single 'Is This Love', Aiden Grimshaw last night performed tracks from his debut album 'Misty Eye' to a packed Proud Galleries in Camden.
The singer made his name on X Factor 2010 and the quirky stage mannerisms are still in place as Grimshaw jerks through his set. An attractive lad, he suffers slightly from Jessie J-face syndrome, his features contorting through each track from his debut album. As the songs finish, his face drops to a smile however, much to the appreciation of the fevered fans packing the front section of this small gig, who are enamoured as much with his good looks as they are his cracking take on dark, electronic pop.
Bouyed slightly by the wonders of alcohol (three pints to calm the nerves, he tells us afterwards), Grimshaw is a massively confident performer - and with good reason. His voice is spectacular, and had he not been pitted against the likes of One Direction, Rebecca Ferguson and Matt Cardle during his reality TV stint, he had all the makings of a talent show winner. However, that he slipped out of the show in ninth place allowed him to disappear and return with a stunning collection of tracks to match his vocal talents.
'Is This Love' sounds heavier and harder live, with more emphasis on the drum and bass elements, with Grimshaw jumping from deep notes to falsetto with ease. His tracks blend the darker elements of electronic dabblers such as Moby and Hurts, with tracks such as 'This Island' and the haunting 'Poacher's Timing' impressing among the seven-track set.
Closing with album standout 'Curtain Call', a goosebump-inducing number drenched in a level of melancholy no healthy 20-year-old should be able to muster, it is fairly evident that Aiden Grimshaw is no mere reality TV cast-off taking a half-hearted crack at the pop world. There is talent here - in both songwriting and vocal skills. Here's hoping the UK record-buying public sit up and take note. We don't want to be filing this alongside Siobhan Donaghy's 'Ghosts' and Nicola Roberts' 'Cinderella's Eyes' album in years to come on the shelf marked 'too bloody intelligent for it's own good'.
Below: Aiden Grimshaw - from X Factor flop to our favourite new popstar of 2012