There have only been a few times in my life where I’ve questioned how I got there. Last Monday at The Lemon Grove, as one half of X Factor runner ups Reggie N Bollie handed me his microphone to to sing a line of an LMFAO song, I had one of those moments. The Ghanaian good-time-guys took to the stage for a disappointingly short set to kick off the 2016 Freshers’ Week, but thankfully the length was the only downside to their performance.
Reggie N Bollie, a duo consisting of old friends Reggie Zippy and Bollie Babyface, stole the hearts of X-factor fans after their appearance on the show last year. Originally pinned as a ‘joke act’, following in the strange footsteps of Jedward and Wagner, many wrote them off due to their lack of any real singing ability. A few shows down the line, however, people started to take notice, listening to mentor Cheryl Fernandez Versini’s consistent reassurances that Reggie N Bollie were stars. Where their singing fell short, their overall stage presence certainly made up for it. Originally from Ghana, Reggie N Bollie bring a Ghanaian remix to classic pop songs, doing a surprisingly good job at revitalising them. If you don’t believe me, watch their X-factor performance of One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful, sung to the music of OMI’s Cheerleader. They are pure pop excitement, complete with bouncy dance moves and unfailing smiles.
They brought the One Direction mash-up, and more, to The Lemmy’s stage for the first night of Freshers’ Week. As the night was beach-themed, the small dance floor was awash with inflatable palm trees and parrots, as well as freshers embracing the dress code with Hawaiian shirts under the complimentary lais and sunglasses. After a three hour DJ set, Reggie N Bollie literally bounded onto the stage, to an enthusiastic response from party-goers.
Having only released one original song thus far, the setlist was mostly covers and mash-ups, some of which came from their X Factor days. While it would be easy to assume that they would butcher songs like One Dance and It Wasn’t Me, the opposite is true. There is something truly infectious about their energy, and they - or at least the X Factor producers - know how to twist a song to suit their style.
All in all, this was one of the stranger gigs I’ve been to. While the set was short, it was actually a lot of fun, thanks to the fact that everyone knew every song. In fact, the only song people weren’t sure about seemed to be Reggie N Bollie’s single New Girl. Thankfully, the lyrics to that are simple enough that you’ve learnt it by chorus three. If you’re a die-hard music fan with little time for novelty acts, then this gig wouldn’t have been for you. If, like me, however, you love pop music and appreciate being told when to jump and when to wave your arms, Reggie N Bollie are for you. After I’d looked past the questionable harmonies and uncomfortable gyrating they were doing on stage, I had a lot of fun.