The pop artist Rex Orange County played two sets at Pryzm in Kingston on 24th March as part of his 2022 tour. The first ran from 7 till 8pm with a later performance at 9.30 to 10.30pm. The tickets dropped on the morning of 15th February on the Banquet Records website and sold out very quickly costing only £11.

Orange County Rex is one of my favourite artists and I really like his pop indie style of music. Although similarly to many other artists performing live his music was much more upbeat when performing live. The atmosphere at the performance was unreal and so lively.

He may not have reached higher than 68 in the UK charts but Rex Orange County, aka Alex O’Connor, has a large fan base of 15-25 year olds. It is online where he has really made his mark. Three of his songs have had nearly half a billion downloads each but accumulated over a stretch of time. The singer songwriter also has a big following in the US having collaborated with the American rapper Tyler the Creator.

So why the name Rex Orange County? 23-year-old Alex grew up in a village on the Hampshire Surry border and went to school in Farnham. One of his music teachers shortened his surname, O’Connor, to OC – which referenced the early 2000s teen TV drama of the same name, based in Orange County California. Rex opened with one of his most popular songs ‘Keep it up’ from his latest album ‘Who Cares?’ which energized with audience with most of them singing along. It is upbeat indie pop at its best. The artist played an 11-song set with both new pieces and tracks from his two previous albums Pony and Apricot Princess.

I talked to 15-year-old Lily who had gone along with a group of 10 of her friends. They had queued outside the venue for two hours in order to a good spot close to the front of the stage and then waited for another hour for the show to start. But Lily said it was worth it, “Rex is one of my favourite artists. I have been waiting to see him for ages, but his lives shows were cancelled during the pandemic. The concert definitely lived up too my expectations and I had the best time”.

As well as Kingston, Rex has also played Los Angeles, New York, Berlin and Amsterdam in this month alone. He is certainly going places in 2022.