10 minutes with X Factor’s Stereo Kicks

From Louis Walsh impressions to tips from Ed Sheeran to why their fans are just so important, here’s what Stereo Kicks had to say ahead of tonight’s performance...


Backstage at The X Factor, getting all eight of Stereo Kicks in one place at the same time proves quite difficult. From rehearsals to interviews to wardrobe, there’s plenty to be done. But, with poor James trying to eat his lunch, I was lucky to grab six members of this super group – James, Jake, Charlie, Tom, Barclay and Reece-  for a chat. 


You’ve got to be switched on to keep up with this band; quick wit, jokes, exaggerated versions of events and excitement fly between them. As they prepare to face another double elimination here’s what they had to say on everything from Disney songs to Ed Sheeran to pranks in the contestants’ house…

On whether mentor Louis Walsh actually does know all of their names:

“He genuinely does. I don’t know why, but he got all confused and flustered and went red last week. He genuinely does know our names,” says James. 

On Louis as the ninth member of the band:

“He’d love to be in the band. ‘Eight boys, me, let’s do’,” they laugh with a faultless impression of the music manager. 

On their fans:

“It’s unbelievable. It’s overwhelming the amount of support we’ve got. We never expected fans to be this dedicated,” says Jake.

“They’re the reason we’re still here,” adds Barclay. “We can perform as well as we want, but if they don’t vote for us, we’re not going to be here.” 

On that stage interruption by Lee Nelson:

“I’m surprised Charlie, mid-song, didn’t ask him for a selfie,” the band laugh, with James admitting there’s a picture floating around where he looks like “thunder” while Charlie actually looks delighted to see him on stage. 

On whether we’ll see more dancing from them:

“It was fun, but I think it obviously depends on what week we’re on. I don’t think we could dance around doing an Elton John song,” Jake sensibly points out.

“A bit of interpretive dance..?” James jokes. 

On choosing who sings which parts of the vocals:

“We have to give it to the people that are best suited to the part, the part which best suits their voice,” says Charlie.

“We’ve learnt to accept that certain people sound better doing certain parts of different songs,” says Jake, joking, “How many times can I say certain in one sentence?”

On wanting to perform with Ed Sheeran:

“[Meeting him] was probably, for me, one of my best X Factor moments,” says Jake. 

“Jake interrupted his sound check. He ran past his body guards,” the band reveal, teasing (with an obvious exaggeration of the truth) “You hugged him! Picked him up by the waist…”

On Ed Sheeran’s tips:

“Yeah, he said give up. Get away from me. Eight’s not going to work,” they all chuckle. A stand-up career clearly there to fall back on.

On the theme they’d like to have on the show:

“Disney week! Barclay would love a High School Musical week.”

“Yeah, we should do that the week that we want to get kicked out. So never,” adds Tom. 

On being in the house:

“There’s a lot of shoe stealing going on. Everyone keeps hiding each other’s shoes.”

And on tonight’s performance of Elton John’s Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me:

“We know that there’s a double elimination and it’s got to that point now where everyone’s amazing. We’re confident with how we’re singing.”


The X Factor continues tonight and tomorrow at 8:00pm on ITV