By Kirsty Fraser
It’s back. Last night marked the return of The Big Reunion. Now on its 2nd series, last year’s shows brought together Five, B*Witched, Atomic Kitten, 911 and more. Let’s not forget the sob stories, bust-ups, and major runs in’s with alcohol and drugs. The show was a great success for the bands who took part and culminated in a massive arena tour which saw the acts all getting the chance to play in venues they hadn’t set foot in since their glory days.
The murky underside of the music industry was revealed as bands regaled us with stories of being dropped by labels without any notice, internal bust ups and general chat about what it’s really like to have such an intense level of fame for a short period of time – turns out it never ends well.
This year the show returns – Andi Peter’s hilarious voice overs are also back – with 6 new/old bands, if you get what I mean. Eternal, A1, 3T and 5th Story – a weird hybrid of former boy band and solo acts consisting of Dane Bowers, Gareth Gates, Adam Rickitt, Kenzie from Blazin’ Squad and Kavana – have all yet to air their dirty laundry in public. Last night’s show did however give us some insight into what’s to come.
Here’s our best moments:
Early hilarity came when Andi Peters described 5th story as: ‘a breath-taking new pop entity’ – we don’t quite know yet if he meant we were going to be left feeling winded or a Titanic moment was coming but I have a sneaking suspicion that ‘breath-taking’ in this context won’t involve Leonardo DiCaprio. Gareth Gates gave us early insight into his 15 minutes of fame by saying : ‘I enjoyed everything that was thrown at me.’ and then going on to remark: ‘Myself and Dane share a mutual friend’. We always knew Jordan was a little bit of a man-eater but surely we didn’t need to know her tactics for finding a mate.
The second bout of hilarity ensued when Adam Rickitt – one time Coronation Street lothario – told the world what we already knew. Turns out his time in the fickle world of pop was: ‘so gay!’ We didn’t need you to tell us that Adam, the video to Breathe Again, with you writhing around naked, was a dead giveaway.
The main focus of the show was on the rise and fall of urban chart stars Damage. They had success in the late 90s with a string of top 20 songs before the usual story of excess, drugs and bust-ups came into play. One of their biggest songs, a cover of Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight brought more witty one liners from voice over extraordinaire Andi Peter when he described the hardships that came after the success of the song as: ‘Less Eric Clapton, more wrecked and clapped out’. Touché Andi.
Then of course there was Girl Thing. An entity unto themselves. We’re not quite sure why they’ve been given a second stab at pop super-stardom as their first attempt didn’t really launch out of the gates. Whilst Damage’s story covered a good five years, – the standard boy band lifespan – Girl Thing could only focus on their brief encounter with fame – two singles and an almost opportunity at being big in Australia. They spent most of the show telling us they hated each other and the comparison to the Spice Girls that critics at the time heaped upon them. Which would have been fine if they weren’t also telling us that their first music video was a carbon copy of Wannabe. All this while Jodi Albert – youngest of the group , now a Westlife wife – was screeching to the camera: ‘we was not famous!’ Yeah we know love, funnily enough we don’t think you’re going to be after this either.
Tune into The Big Reunion on ITV2 next week and tweet us your highlights @scotcampus!