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S Club's Tina Barrett talks us through touring with 5ive and her favourite noughties memory


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If you were alive through the early noughties, there's a high chance you know all the words to at least one S Club 7 song.

And not even necessarily because you like it - but just because there's no escaping tracks like 'Don't Stop Movin'' and 'Bring It All Back' today, never mind in 2002. 

Despite splitting in 2003, there's still an obsession (especially within student culture) surrounding the feel good pop group that epitomise the millennium music scene. University club nights are dedicated to them, radio DJ’s throw them into playlists in a moment of nostalgic madness, and they still have 1.3 million monthly Spotify streamers. 

Now whittled down to what could be called 'S Club 3' (but is referred to as S Club Party), original band members Jo O'Meara, Bradley McIntosh and Tina Barrett are teaming up with other nineties/noughties boy band 5ive for the Ultimate Pop Reunion Tour. The groups initially met back in the nineties as a result of the Miami 7 television show, which only aired for one season in 1999. Both bands are now older, wiser and have obtained 'icon' status, they're bringing fans back together for an S Club Party, creating a space for fans to lose themselves in nineties nostalgia and lap up the feel-good cheese.

“We never toured with anyone when we were S Club 7, so it feels good to share the stage with a band like 5ive," explains Tina, ahead of the shows that kick off this week.

The tour stops through cities such as Sheffield and Cardiff, which the bands have played before in the early noughties but on a much bigger scale, performing to arenas and stadiums. This tour sees them put on a show at intimate venues such as Reading's Sub 89 and Southampton's Engine Rooms - a truly personal experience for the pop fan. "Arenas have much more production," Tina states as she begins to compare the experience of performing to thousands of people to just a few hundred. "Smaller venues provide things that you miss on the bigger stages... intimacy and interaction." She says she loves the "crowd and their reaction, everyone gets so excited!"

Their shows have admittedly less production than what an S Club show would've churned out at the beginning of the millennium, but they promise more interaction between crowd and stage, the possibility of some special guests, the very same dance routines and a lot of chatting between tracks to pursue their purpose of bringing back the hits. Their single 'Reach' is perhaps the climax of their set list, being their most successful hit (it's still played outside of Popworld), but Tina is always surprised at how well the audience know their first ever single, 'Bring It All Back'. "Hearing people singing back to you is the best feeling”, one that she never forgets. 

However, don't be expecting the same nineties outfits to be making an appearance - an avid follower of fashion, Tina says what they wear on stage are based around glitz and glamour - despite nineties chic being up and down the high street at the moment, chokers and all.

This isn't just nostalgic for the fans though - but also for Tina and her fellow bandmates Bradley and Jo, who get to relive their youth in a way. With such a huge career in a relatively short space of time, its difficult for Tina to try and highlight a particular favourite memory from their initial time in the spotlight: "Gosh, we did so much!”

After a few minutes deliberation, she finally settles on the moment that feels the most special to her. "It was one of our days off in LA," she begins, "and we got to meet Annie Lennox in her dressing room! Jack Nicholson was there, and it was just Annie sat in her dressing room. It was wild." She recalls the best gossip was always spilt in the dressing room atmosphere, which were often set out like mini hotels - candles, flowers, towels, riders. Tina wholeheartedly laughs about feeling "spoiled" in this era.

As she reveals they have shows booked for the next year, which she plans to juggle alongside bringing up her one year old son )and continuing to watch him excitedly point out 'mummy' in their old music videos) it really feels like S Club are 'bringing it all back' for a huge S Club Party, here to stay and continuing to reach for the stars through 2018.

S Club & 5ive's 'Ultimate Pop Reunion Tour' starts tonight. Buy tickets here
May 17th, Sub 89, Reading
May 18th, Plug, Sheffield
May 19th, SWX, Bristol
May 25th, Tramshed, Cardiff
May 26th, Engine Rooms, Southampton

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