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Review: Olly Murs makes fans’ hearts skip a beat at Thetford Forest Live concert

PUBLISHED: 12:57 01 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:57 01 July 2017

Olly Murs performed at Forest Live 2017 at Thetford High Lodge. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

Olly Murs performed at Forest Live 2017 at Thetford High Lodge. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

Blanc Photography 2013

“My uncle and aunt come to Thetford Forest all time with their bikes and they keep saying to me ‘Come to Thetford! Bring your bike!’ So I’m doing this gig, instead…”

Olly Murs headlined Forest Live 2017 at Thetford High Lodge. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWEROlly Murs headlined Forest Live 2017 at Thetford High Lodge. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

After a huge video screen counted down his arrival at High Lodge in Thetford, Olly Murs exploded on to the stage in the middle of the forest with enough charm to talk every single bird down out of the trees.

It’s been eight years since Olly first graced our front rooms on The X Factor and you have to hand it to him, the boy’s come a long way.

Amid the pines and in front of an audience that spanned the generations – Murs has the same appeal that allows Robbie Williams to be loved by kids as much as grandparents – he rattled through a set list that didn’t fail to delight.

With four number one albums in a row, Mr Murs has a back catalogue that practically everyone would be able to hum along to unless they’ve spent the last few years living under a rock: You Don’t Know Love, Wrapped Up, Grow Up, Heart Skips a Beat, Kiss Me, Dear Darlin’, Troublemaker and my favourite, Up.

X Factor winner Louisa Johnson supported Olly Murs at Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWERX Factor winner Louisa Johnson supported Olly Murs at Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

• Review: Elbow at Forest Live were ‘magnificent’

Other songs were blended with older hits: Back Around with What’s Love Got to Do With It and there was a 10 minute monster mash-up of tunes to reflect the audience demographic: That’s The Way I Like it/Never Too Much/She’s Got That Vibe/Can’t Stop the Feeling – Olly knows how to whip up a crowd.

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In between the dance floor fillers, the Essex-born entertainer utterly charmed his audience, throwing in a few Simon Cowell references and making play of the fact that he’s been single for two years.

“So I’m looking for love in Thetford tonight…” he said, “are there any single ladies out there? Are there any ladies with husbands at home who are single for the length of the show…?”

The audience of mainly Mur(s)maids went crazy. Ending with Dance with Me Tonight and Kiss Me, it was a polished, professional and magical night under the stars with a true star.

* Thursday saw indie band Elbow take to the stage, tonight 1980s legend Rick Astley performs and tomorrow Cambridge’s Clean Bandit will end a week of music.

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