Thomas Haworth braves crowds of screaming teens (and their mums) as XFactor finalist Olly Murs hits the stage at Westonbirt.

DESPITE what one might think of the X Factor – epically superficial, monstrously contrived, hellishly tedious – it does undoubtedly have a few positives. One of which was strutting his stuff at Westonbirt on Friday night.

Olly Murs, who finished as a runner-up in the talent contest’s 2009 series, leapt onto the stage in a garish, blouse-like white and black spotted shirt and immediately whipped the audience into a screaming frenzy.

It was a beautiful night for such a spectacle, and support act Louisa Johnson had done a fine job in entertaining the crowd before Olly made his dutiful appearance.

He dived straight into his 2016 hit You Don’t Know Love and the adoring fans, made up of young and old in roughly equal measure, were beside themselves, as were we, Adver_Stephen and I.

The entire night was a fun-filled spectacular from a showman who certainly knows how to illicit emotional cries from weak-kneed females (and, again, Adver_Stephen and I) with a neat combination of laddish humour and sensitive balladry.

Chart-toppers such as Heart Skips a Beat and Dance With Me Tonight all made an appearance alongside a medley that paid tribute to everyone from Luther Vandross to Justin Timberlake. His performance with Louisa Johnson, in which the pair sang their newly-released single Unpredictable, was a lovely touch that showed two artists working off each other effortlessly.

An arm-waving rendition of Years & Years made for a fitting finale, and an excuse for the younger ones to switch on the torch light on their phones and turn the space above our heads into a streaming pebbledash of light.

Murs’s vocals were strong all night and the music and visuals were of superb quality. It was a brilliant performance at a gorgeous venue on a beautiful night.

Considering the inevitable anonymity that befalls all but the luckiest of X Factor contestants, 32-year-old Murs has done rather well for himself. And based on Friday’s performance, it’s not at all hard to see why.