Another year, another Big Reunion concert, this time the Boy Band Tour. I went to see this at Newcastle Arena with some friends and we had a great time, although sadly the venue was not full.
It was great to see 911, Blue and 5ive again (although 5ive are sadly now down to “3hree”) – 911 in particular were great, and I can’t believe Jimmy and Spike can still handle those dance moves. I was particularly excited about seeing A1, who were not in the last tour. ‘Same Old Brand New You’ is a BRILLIANT pop song and my friend and I have been humming it for a year solid, so it was great to finally see it live.
I wasn’t too bothered about Damage or 3T – the guys seemed lovely and they can certainly sing, but I didn’t recognise any of their songs (except for Damage’s final track) and they were all dull ballads in any case. 5th Story, on the other hand, were a treat – a “supergroup” made up of solo singers and band members, all of who were one- or two-hit wonders and who were brought together for the second series of BR. Kenzie from Blazin’ Squad, Dane Bowers from Another Level, Gareth Gates of Pop Idol fame, singer Kavana, and teen heartthrob Adam Rickitt made up the quintet – the group’s rendition of former Corrie star Adam Rickitt’s hit ‘I Breathe Again’ was a particular highlight. The gig ended with all of the bands coming on stage to sing Gates’ hit, a cover of ‘Spirit in the Sky’, which I always thought was an odd choice (British pop star singing about Jesus?!) but it proved a cheering finish.
I watched the Big Reunion show on TV and loved it – it really took me back to those 90s/early 00s days of cheesy pop music when I was a teenager. When the tour was announced, my friends and I snapped up tickets for the Newcastle show on Sunday 5 May, and I’ve been excited about it for months.
We had really good seats, pretty near the front. Seven bands were involved – 5ive, B*Witched, 911, Blue, Liberty X, Honeyz and Atomic Kitten. Apart from B*Witched, I wasn’t a major fan of any of these bands at the time – I didn’t own any CDs or go to any concerts – but over time I’ve come to realise that they all made some brilliant pop music.
First on stage were 5ive, sadly minus original member J, who didn’t want to take part. The rest of the band made up for his absence, however, belting out ‘We Will Rock You’ with gusto and following with ‘Everybody Get Up’.
B*Witched were up next. Now in my early teens I completely loved them, and in fact my first ever concert, here in Newcastle Arena back when it was named the Telewest Arena, was a B*Witched show. I didn’t double-denim it this time, but I loved singing along to ‘C’est La Vie’ and the follow-up ‘Rollercoaster’.
Up next were 911, who launched into ‘Party People’ and got the crowd screaming straight away. It was good to see that the passage of time hasn’t stopped Lee, Spike and Jimmy from being able to execute impressive dance moves including a couple of backflips. During ‘A Little Bit More’ the band got everyone to light up their phones and wave them in the air – the result was actually quite beautiful.
The Honeyz slowed things down with their most famous song, ‘Finally Found’. I was actually surprised to find out just how many hits they had, as I had always thought of them as one-hit wonders. When they sang ‘End of the Line’ I was reminded that I used to love this song and I had it on a mix tape!
Atomic Kitten bounced on to the stage next, singing their hit ‘ Right Now’. I felt sorry for poor Kerry as she’d been put into what looked like a boiler suit while Tash and Liz were wearing pretty skirts. The band sounded really good though.
Liberty X came on next, performing ‘Thinking It Over’. Some of the bands on this tour are planning to release new material and embark on their own tours, but Liberty X announced that they were going to break up for good after the Big Reunion tour finishes. This is a shame as they did a really good job.
Finally, Blue took to the stage to perform their hit ‘All Rise’. Blue were a little after my time – they were popular when I was in the sixth form – but I do like several of their songs and I enjoyed their performance. They finished off with a powerful rendition of ‘Breathe Easy’.
After an interval – during which I purchased a B*Witched mug from the merchandise stand – the bands took to the stage again, this time in a different order. The Honeyz sang their hit ‘Take It Lying Down’ which I really like, while 911 performed ‘Bodyshakin” and ‘More Than a Woman’. Blue sang ‘Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word’ while B*Witched came out with umbrellas for the brilliant ‘Blame It On the Weatherman’.
Liberty X pleased the crowd with ‘Just A Little’ while 5ive got everyone singing along to ‘Keep On Movin”. Finally, Atomic Kitten performed ‘Whole Again’, before everyone got back on stage at the end.
It was a brilliant night – would it be wrong of me to go to one of the Christmas shows too?!