Mannered moves, guitar grooves and nostalgic nods. Niall Horan and Liam Payne proceeded to BBC Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend laudatory line up to demonstrate a duo of co existing boyband comrades cultivated into crafted solitary artists, dynamically demonstrating their musical differences and separate singing styles.
On the same spot as his erstwhile ensemble parallel, Liam Payne and Niall Horan has zero social media displays of synergy, dissimilar to the pairs radiant reunion in Indianapolis, Inglewood and London across major music events Jingle Ball and the BRIT Awards. As Payne pondered his hometown football club West Brom’s stance in the Premiere League, a former season ticket holder to the club and self described jinx to the Midlands side Horan was hoisted into a question and answers session with super friend Shawn Mendes. A duology unfolding their unforeseen “Mad friendship” at the American Music Awards and over teasing Twitter talks, elaborating evocative emotions of their camaraderie backstage at The Biggest Weekend.
Whilst Mendes and Horan mulled over a trip down memory lane, Payne performed a plethora of songs over a scarlet red production, edified efficient moves and brightly dynamic vocals that commenced the 7 song long setlist bulked out by One Direction cover ‘History’ the hindmost piece of music before the groups ongoing hiatus, t-shirt gifting chum Charlie Puth’s 2017 radio hit ‘Attention’ and own originals. With the tropical tinged ‘Bedroom Floor’, a Bella Thorne cameo video that vanquished candidly corny lyrics lived on through the 24 year olds ascending falsetto features as Payne proceeds “You said it was over/ But your clothes say different on my bedroom floor”. Prior to Payne’s penultimate setlist conundrum with solo song ‘Strip That Down’ and encouraging the enormous festival filled audience to sing and dance, transitioned to Spanish summer sensation ‘Familiar’ exotic eminence and Liam’s imperfect Latin lulls, the predecessor ‘Strip That Down’ regenerated R&B popping production and a drum machine based rhythm, rendering the Wolverhampton born’s new found choreography and chilled chiming as he shiftlessly sings “I’ve been taking some time/ And I’ve been keeping to myself/ I’ve had my eyes up on the prize/ Ain’t watching anybody else” from the opening verse of Liam Payne’s rudimentary single, soon to be on his to be announced titled September debut solo album.
Welcomed with a Welsh packed hamper of Cymru cakes and wales whisky to facilitate the Irish born individual into the Welsh wonderland, Horan walked onto the Swansea stage with his characteristic Gibson ES-335 in hand to the sounds of southern twangs preluding with latest single ‘On The Loose’, a jealousy filled fate after a female frolicking with the former boybander’s feelings a song significant to the heart clenching rustically mystic figure depicted in the songs artwork serving as a backdrop throughout the slow, smooth and subdued performance inflicted with stripped back instrumentals before breaking into a pop-rock release with underlying harmonious vocal backing from end to end of the pre-chorus which croons “She loves when everybody’s watching/ She knows the way her body moves/ She loves the way they all crawl back when she says/ That she loves nobody else but you/ She’s on the loose”. A totally contrary tone to the timidly tentative solo breakout ballad ‘This Town’ to the brunettes boyband nostalgia, nodded to later in Made In The A.Mmost anticipated release post Malik’s unexpected exit. Horan holds a presence over the ode to the strong willed themed track, with the former fragment vanishing ‘Drag Me Down’ soft reggae saturated sounds and trading them in for something new insisting to the sea of Swansea singers “You’re going to know this one” showcasing a groovy guitar x palpitating drum heavy homage to the One Direction 2015 Spotify streaming record breaking track. Oppose to the set lists previous song ‘This Town’ soft swaying spirit and acoustic authentic folk forward vibrations, resonated to revive a narrative that evokes attachment issues to a former flame that beholds childhood memories “From when we were the children playing in this fair ground” and adult recalls “In the pub that we met he’s got his arms around you” Niall Horan sang solo away from the presence of his brand new back up band, all of whom are set to return in September on The Flicker World Tour continuation.
Watch Niall Horan and Liam Payne’s full set’s at The Biggest Weekend Festival here: