S Club 7 is hardly a name that rings with street cred. And I was only aged seven to 11 when they were around before.
Still, I got caught up in the excitement when they made a comeback on Children In Need in November and when my mum asked if I fancied going to the tour, who was I to say no? After all, I was even a member of the fan club back in the day, and a keen viewer of Miami 7, LA 7 and Seeing Double.
So there we were at The O2 on Sunday May 17, surrounded by mostly other girls in their 20s, the odd gay guy or boyfriend and of course some random anomalies – I saw a man I would put at about 70 walking around on his own with a Reach foam finger. And it went down an absolute storm with everyone.
The set, usually accompanied by particularly intense strobe lighting, neon and six dancers who at times made the stage feel more like S Club Mob, featured all the hits and more and it was undeniably a delight to see all seven members together again and visibly enjoying themselves as much as the audience.
From the more niche but fun and upbeat Bring The House Down straight into the beloved S Club Party, this party did indeed start strong.
Many had feared Jo’s vocals would not be up to scratch for the tour – she was forced to promise she would improve after some dodgy notes on the Children In Need performance – but in fact she led the show with poise and not a bum note in sight. And no, not because she was miming.
Sandwiched in the centre of the show were individual numbers or duets, which generally kept the fun going while making each song even more of a novelty and surprise. Tina had the weakest vocals but showed off her smooth dance moves on Stronger, and Jon and Jo’s due on polar opposite Hello Friend confirmed the pair as the group’s heavyweights – and the fact Jon was mostly criminally under-used.
Rachel’s medley of solo singles Some Girls and Sweet Dreams My LA Ex showcased her unique individual success with a ribboned choreography throwback to the latter’s music video, and Paul’s slow acoustic version of Reach was an inspired and touching idea – and the second full-group version was later the crowd-go-crazy highlight of the night.
Then Bradley was once again the member oozing cool, jumping between the DJ decks, compere duties and joining in with the dance crew, and although Hannah’s solo number Straight Up was the weakest link, she was great elsewhere.
After more ballads – Never Had A Dream Come True, Goodbye – and party anthems – Viva La Fiesta, Bring It All Back, Don’t Stop Movin’ – the group was rightly triumphant and it was sweet how genuinely grateful they were for this second chance.
Say what you like about S Club 7 and this nostalgia pop, they know how to put on a bouncy and fun arena show that hits all the right notes.