Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Niall's Solo Navel-Gazing Ballads Make 1D Fans Weak at the Knees

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Niall's Solo Navel-Gazing Ballads Make 1D Fans Weak at the Knees

Article excerpt

Byline: Alistair Foster'showbiz news and gossip

REVIEW NIALL HORAN O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire RICK PEARSON NIALL HORAN was never the heartthrob in One Direction but you wouldn't know it from the volume of screaming that greets his arrival on the Shepherd's Bush Empire stage.

Indeed, many of these fans have been camping overnight outside the venue, all in the hope of securing the best possible view of the Irishman.

In fairness, Horan's single Slow Hands is arguably the best moment of any of the 1D boys' solo careers. A sexy, strutting R'n'B song, it confounds expectations of what the unassuming Horan's solo album, Flicker, might be like when it's released next month.

On the basis of last night's show -- a preview of the new album alongside some 1D favourites -- that song is something of an anomaly. Most of the set saw the 23-year-old in acoustic mode, backed by a five-piece band, plucking his way through a series of navel-gazing ballads.

Sometimes, as on This Town, these are very fine navel-gazing ballads indeed. …

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