Gallery: Fans turn out in force to see boy band JLS take the stage at Chantry Park, Ipswich

THEY were given a heroes welcome as they took the stage at Chantry Park, Ipswich, tonight and the JLS boys ensured they repaid their loyal fans by giving a performance worthy of the reception.

Ironically these boys were only the runners up of the fifth series of X Factor but they have gone on to be one of the shows biggest ever success stories - out shining many of the previous winners, and those subsequent champions.

I first saw the quartet perform in 2010 and confess to being completely unprepared for the strength of feeling from their young fans who literally adore them.

As if that was not bamboozling enough, the reaction of the mums who had taken their offspring along was another shock. Far from being there as mere chaperones, these women were screaming louder than their daughters, mesmerised by the cheeky lads on stage.

This time around I was ready for the sight of thousands of girls streaming through the gates proudly wearing JLS T-shirts, carrying banners with declarations of undying love scrawled across them and the infamous JLS symbol inked on their cheeks. The only surprise was the number of dads dragged along this time around.

Excitement built as the support acts performed. Cover Drive rounded off their set with Twilight, letting the crowd start the song off. Their energy had an instant effect, getting us all ready for Little Mix’s entrance.

It may well have been the Little Mix show, the band were born to perform live and seemed to be having as much fun as us.

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As threatening clouds loomed overhead, we waited in anticipation for the main event, praying the rain would hold off. Finally JLS came onto The Club Is Alive and the rain was forgotten.

Aston, JB, Oritse and Marvin love playing up to the crowd, and this is what really made the show. They flashed their finely-toned bodies, teasing their audience and bounced off the excitement of the adoring girls who had crammed themselves in at the front, desperately trying to get an inch closer to the stage and the stars that they had saved their pocket money to see.

The boys have a repertoire of catchy songs which you cannot help joining in with, although I left the dance routines to the younger fans who had clearly been doing their homework and were able to mimic the boys’ moves.

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