The X Factor magic, the influence of Simon Cowell's hit music-talent TV show that helped push recorded-music sales in the United Kingdom, appears to have enchanted U.K. live music as well, according to the 2011 ranking of Britain's Hardest Working Bands.
Compiled by U.K. collecting society PRS for Music and based on the number of U.K. performances in venue types during the year, the X Factor Live tour (featuring the winners), boy band JLS and singer-songwriter Olly Murs, two former X Factor U.K. finalists, topped the ranking.
In terms of individual acts, X Factor alumni JLS and Murs, who participated in the fifth and sixth editions of the reality-TV show respectively, performed 29 live shows each in the 'major venues' category. This focuses on arenas with capacities of 6,000 spectators or more.
Ironically, neither actually won their respect competitions on TV.
JLS came second place in the 2008 X Factor series but their self-titled debut album (Epic Records) went straight to No. 1, according to the Official Charts Company. They have since won the 2010 BRIT Awards, the U.K. equivalent of the Grammy Awards, for Best British Breakthrough and Best British Single ("Beat Again") and won two MOBO Awards.
Their U.K. 4th Dimensions Tour, which starts March 14, 2012, at Liverpool's Echo Arena and ends April 28 at the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, supports their third studio album "Jukebox," which was released in November.
Murs, the runner-up in the 2009 X Factor series and currently signed to Epic Records and Cowell's Syco, released his second and most recent studio album "In Case You Didn't Know" in November. It entered the chart at No. 1, according to the Official Charts Company.
His current U.K. tour kicks off on Feb. 1 at the Motorpoint Arena, in the Welsh capital Cardiff, and finishes Feb. 28 at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The winner of Britain's Hardest Working Band in the festival category was Skinny Lister, a five-piece folk act. Topping the concert venues category (capacity of between 2,000 and 5,000) were The Merseybeats, the veteran band from The Beatles' hometown Liverpool. And Limehouse Lizzy, a Thin Lizzy tribute band, won the tribute acts category.
PRS for Music, which compiles the annual Britain's Hardest Working Bands by venue type, licenses music by its composer and publisher members for live performances.
But it remains to be seen how long the X Factor magic lasts. This year's winners, Little Mix, the first time a band has won the contest, recorded the lowest first-week music sales in the show's history and the lowest final-audience numbers for the ITV1 show.
The Britain's Hardest Working Bands Ranking
Most Performances - major venues
Most Performances at festivals
Dry The River
Most Performances at concert venues
Chas 'n' Dave
The Blues Band
Most Performed tribute acts
Bon Jovi Experience
The British Pink Floyd Show
The ELO Experience
Whole Lotta Red
Rumours of Fleetwood Mac
The Counterfeit Stones