Aston to visit Aunt Josephine's house in Dunmurry
for a `nice roast' dinner with his bandmates
by STACEY HEANEY
Ulster Star reporter Stacey Heaney pictured with JLS at the Kings Hall this week.
Pupils from St Colmans, Lambeg with JLS at the King's Hall.
JLS singer Aston Merrygold has said he plans to catch up with his family in Dunmurry when he returns 'home' to Belfast for the band's huge summer show at the King's Hall.
25,000 fans will throng to the King's Hall when JLS play an outdoor gig at the complex on June 25, and the band paid a visit to the site this week when they hosted a press conference ahead of their biggest shows to date.
Aston, whose grandparents Kathleen and Jim Chambers and his mum Siobhan Merrygold are from Dunmurry, says he'll be going home to his Aunt Josephine's house for a "nice roast" dinner with his bandmates Marvin Humes, Jonathan 'JB' Gill and Oritse Williams when he returns to the area.
Speaking about the band's rise to fame following their time on the X Factor just over two years ago, Aston said it was "incredible" to be playing such a big show in Belfast.
"Obviously we've done a fair few gigs here over the past couple of years we've been releasing music and I think it definitely feels like home," he said. "Even before the band I was coming here and to have the boys come here now and see family, see friends and have reached a stage where we're playing a venue that's going to hold 25,000 people is incredible. It just gets bigger and bigger for us, so we're just too happy to be coming back to Belfast and playing a gig that size."
Aston said that Belfast keeps welcoming the band "with open arms".
Bandmate Marvin Humes added: "It goes without saying that Belfast, other than doing a hometown gig in London, or Peterborough for Aston, definitely feels like home and the reception we've got from the first time we've come here when we left the X Factor was just absolutely insane. Every single time we've come to Belfast it's probably the craziest place in the whole of the UK and we love it."
The band, the most successful group ever on the X Factor, have stormed the charts since the show finished, with four number one singles, a number one debut album, with their follow-up album 'Outta This World' already certified platinum, as well as winning two Brit Awards, four MOBO Awards and now setting out on their own stadium tour.
Fans flocked to the King's Hall on Monday as they waited to catch a glimpse of the band ahead of the press conference, whilst some lucky pupils from St. Colman's Primary School in Derriaghy attended the conference, getting autographs and photos taken with the group.
Fresh from four sell-out shows at the Odyssey Arena in January, JLS will return this summer with support from 0lly Murs, and they have promised fans some "surprises" for the show.
Oritse Williams said: "With a JLS concert you never know what will happen.
Obviously we're going to be playing all the songs that our fans want to hear but we're going to throw in a few special things as well. There might be a special number and a few other tricks that we're going to stop the show with so it's going to be quite cool." The guys showed off their acting skills last Friday night when they performed several sketches for Comic Relief, including one featuring former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, as well as Sir Paul McCartney, George Michael, Keira Knightley and Justin Bieber.
Asked about the collaboration with Gordon Brown, JB Gill said he was a "fantastic guy", whilst Marvin added that the band would like to branch out into acting, with their first 3D movie set for release in June.
Marvin said: "It's a mixture of our arena tour that was shot at the 02 in January and then there's lots of everyday footage about being on the road and stuff that our fans will never have seen. It's a side to us they have never seen before. This is very fly on the wall stuff."
Sending a special message to local fans, Aston concluded: "Thank you so much for supporting us over the last three years, it's been incredible."
Extra tickets for the gig are on general release today (Friday). Tickets are available from all Ticketmaster outlets nationwide, via the credit card booking line on 0844 277 4455, online at www.ticketmaster.ie or the Odyssey Arena Box Office on 9073 9074.