When A Great Big World introduce their song This Is The New Year late on in the set, their pianist Ian expresses surprise at how they were picked up out of nowhere to feature on Glee. It doesn't come as a surprise having watched the them play live - they are a living, breathing Glee club. The similarities are uncanny; their empowering soft rock that bounces between Chicago and ELO, their irrepressible enthusiasm for singing and harmonies, and the fact they're in their late twenties playing teenagers.
But even with that level of cynicism, I was won over by the band. Their childlike joy in being in London for the first time, in playing to a half-full but fully appreciative venue, was - for want of a better word - infectious. They were challenged to write the gayest song possible by a website, which Chad (pictured) went to explain not un-defensively... but Ian fired back quick as a shot "it was really easy". It helps that Chad is pretty easy on the eye (though he's even hotter with his 2011 beard) and their whole stage presence is so easy and charming, there isn't a bad vibe in sight. They make ABBA look like Joy Division.
They threw themselves into charming the crowd, and did one song on ukulele and tambourine right in the middle of the audience. Somehow, I don't think they'll be able to pull such a stunt, or play the 100 Club anytime soon. It's not just the backing behind them (their US success is phenomenal - look at them in the back row!), as their Christina Aguilera duet Say Something is released on Sunday. 40 million youtube hits says it will do pretty well. It's their unabashed, unfiltered sense of fun that will make mums, teens and gays alike go weak at the knees (the savviest of each market had a representative at the show), which makes their break-through song strange, given it is so depressing. The only momentarily bleak moments in the show were Chad and Ian's solos - each one met with rapturous, misty-eyed applause. So you might as well get used to this song:
(you'll be blubbing like a 4 year old gone viral before you know it)