Can you believe it’s been 10 years since G4 came second on the first ever series of The X Factor? No we can’t either. The classical quartet released three albums following their appearance on the show before announcing that they were splitting up in 2007. At the time they cited growing tensions within the band as the reason for going their separate ways. Now 7 years on, three of the original members of G4 are back together – Jonathan Ansell, Mike Christie and Ben Thapa – with new member Nick Ashby replacing Matt Stiff who did not want to be part of the group’s one night only reunion tour.
Last night the group took to the stage at the Barbican for their first show in 7 years and as it turns out the first show of many to come following the recent announcement of a 2015 UK tour. The packed crowd at last night’s Barbican was buzzing before G4 even took to the stage and once they did the crowd erupted into endless cheers and clapping. Within seconds it felt like the group had never been away and the audience was hungrier than ever for the quartet.
The setlist for the evening was a combination of favourites from their back catalogue and covers of modern pop songs. It’s the formula that served them well on The X Factor and continues to work well for them 10 years on. One of the highlights came in the show’s second half when the group performed a medley of modern hits that included All About That Bass, Happy, Just The Way You Are, Somone Like You, Let It Go and Firework.
Elsewhere in the set G4 got the crowd going with Los Toreadors, brought the house down with an emotive rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone, and harked back to their X Factor days with a performance of My Way. Other highlights included The Circle of Life, O Sole Mio and a mash-up of Danny Boy and You Raise Me Up.
Several times throughout the show G4 were backed by community choir Funky Voices, who also performed their own soft rock medley, and classical singer Charlotte Jaconelli (previously of Jonathan & Charlotte) who performed on her own and alongside G4. She contributed to one of the night’s most rousing moments which saw G4 mash-up One Day More and On My Own from Les Miserables.
Fans who were worried about the group being joined by new member Nick Ashby quickly had their fears put to one side. Ashby, like Stiff, is a Bass and his voice effortlessly blended with the other three members of the group. He had plenty of moments to shine too as he sung solo and he fitted into the group perfectly. The entire group were flawless vocally with Jonathan Ansell in particular hitting some impressively high notes and the group as a whole in perfect harmony producing a rich sound throughout the show.
The night came to a close with You’re The Voice and Nessun Dorma which were a fitting end to an impressive show. The entire audience was on their feet and singing along as the group bid farewell and looked genuinely overwhelmed with the reaction they received all night.
Judging from the reaction the crowd gave last night, the stage is set for G4 to mount a full-on comeback if they choose to. We wouldn’t be surprised if a new album appears at some point over the course of 2015 and based on the clear demand that there is for the group, they will be foolish not to give their fans what they want. Last night they proved they still have the power and talent to win over an audience and they reminded us why they are one of the best-loved acts to have come from The X Factor.