Wednesday, 20 May 2015

There ain't no party like an S Club Party! Throwback to yesteryear.

Hey everyone,

Apologies that I haven't posted anything this week - I've not felt too great after the fun weekend. My sleep pattern has been a bit all over and I just feel "off" - but I've been productive while charging my batteries. I've been creating a few picture collages from some of the 500+ photos that I took at the concert on Friday night! Anyway, without further ado, here's the S Club blog post - Enjoy!

Today's post is yet another concert write up (with pictures and videos included). It's officially my last 'unopened' Christmas present from Dan. My friend, Laura, contacted me as soon as she heard that S Club 7 were doing a reunion tour and she was straight on the phone as soon as the tickets were released to book us our seats at CaptialFM Arena, Nottingham.

It was November last year that the hype flared up again... This group, a 7 piece sickly sweet pop group consisting of 4 girls and 3 boys. 'Back in the day' (that makes me sound like my parents) they were the dream team of teeny bopper cool kids that had all the moves (including back flips). They had their own TV shows, music that covered everything from a ballad to a disco tune and they had the story lines to match. Basically they were a group that seemed to just explode and then all of a sudden 13 years ago it all came to an end. They vanished and although pretty much every single disco you would ever attend, any "cheese" night at a club or "pop party" would be the only thing left to remind us that S Club 7 once existed... Until Children in Need 2014 (CIN is a televised charity event that raises money for children with a wide range of needs in the UK. Some of the children that I used to work with in school directly benefited from money that was raised by the charity so I have seen the money go to great work first hand)! Thirteen years since they were last together, the group agreed to perform for the charity that was so close to their hearts in their hay day. They remain the only group to have released two singles for the cause and what was lovely to see was that they were still raising money for CIN on their recent tour! - Troopers!

Anyway, Laura came up to Nottinghamshire from Cambridge. I was having a really "slow" day... last week was a real struggle for me and although I had prepared myself the best that I could by doing little bits of housework each day and accepting the help when it was offered, I still found Friday a struggle... I had to take pain killers regularly to keep on top of pain which wasn't ideal but sometimes it's just got to be done. I had a shower and did my hair as soon as I got up and then pottered around for a little while. My sister came round to help me too so that was a bonus. I resorted to cooking the trusty faithful pasta bake again for tea! Laura liked the last one that I did and it's not something I have to spend ages slaving over the cooker preparing and making so it was a win for me too!

Due to me being on a slow one, we set off later for the tram than when we set off for the Olly Murs concert. (Read my blog about that concert here). Somehow we managed to get to the arena earlier than the last time we visited, quite a lot earlier, but it gave us a good opportunity to get a drink and merchandise before the doors opened. We were second in our queue to go through but it's typical that we would end up in the line with the ticket reader that didn't work! Neither did the back up one! Once through, we had a rather long wait for the support artist to come on stage. Our seats were incredible! we were in the upper tier but only just above the stage level and we had a really good view! As we were there with so much time to spare, it gave me and Laura a good opportunity to sit and have a natter, a bit like the old uni days but in a huge arena instead of our freezing, grotty student house!

I didn't realise how quickly the arena filled with the hustle and bustle of the audience. We were all excitedly awaiting the return of the group with their dance routines that pretty much every girl aimed to perfect in their bedroom once upon a time. Do they still do the routines? After some time, enough time for the arena to fill (and I mean I did not see one empty seat), a rather unassuming chap walked on stage. The crowd let out a little cheer expecting him to be a techie sorting out the decks that were positioned on stage. After a bit of tweaking and listening to the headphones, the lights dimmed, there was a brief silence and the crowd went up a gear! The "techie" was part of the support act! He was a DJ and in an instant Laura and I went from being in the middle of a conversation into a fit of hysterics! It was only hours before the concert that I was saying "it's not like I'm going to a rave"! I suddenly found myself sat there in Nottingham arena, watching this man "mix tracks" and "lay beats" (is that what it's called?). At one point I looked at Laura and said "what have you brought me to?!" - This wasn't to say he was bad - please do not think that. He was extremely entertaining but it was more the fact that this is the second concert I have been to since being diagnosed with a brain condition. My clubbing days were abruptly ended just over three years ago and yet I was sat at a teeny bopper concert with a full on rave happening in front of my eyes! Brilliant! It certainly put a smile on my face and I laughed the whole way through! I didn't catch his name but he stayed on stage when this (from a distance) Justin Beiber look alike walked on stage. Again, not dressed in anything that I would have expected given the "big up" that he received from the DJ. "The hottest support act from New York City". I don't mean to stereotype or make assumptions but after such a loud, full-on, crazy "rave" (I can only describe it as a rave - and I felt like the granny attending... no, even a granny would have had a tipple and joined in) I did not expect to see this baby faced, blonde haired, "youth" (reference to the local lingo here).
AJ Lehrman and "The DJ".

Who is he? Well, I don't really know? I traced back his name from one of the images that was on the screen while he was singing - it was of his instagram account @aj_lehrman. I then discovered that this boy (and yes he is just a boy) is 16 years old! Look at those photos that I took and tell me that he looks like a 16 year old! Nu uh girlfriend (I was genuinely shocked at his age)! Once I discovered this I thought, "ah, is he one of those Disney stars?" You see, being the age that I am and not having any diddy people means that my Disney channel days aren't as frequent as they used to be. I really wouldn't know any of the hit shows or what kids watch... even my younger brothers-in-law have moved on from that interest now *sigh*. They've entered the girlfriend stage so I literally am well out of the loop! Anyway, Nope. There's nothing about that either... just nothing, other than links to his social media and even there the bio is limited to age and occupation: singer/songwriter. Despite him being an unknown (at least to me), he did a good job. I imagine it's difficult when you don't really have a fan base to lean on and no-one really knows your songs to sing back to you but he handled the crowd well, he interacted and definitely came across much, much older than his years! (Now I really do sound like my parents).

After a short break the atmosphere seemed to have got a current running through it... there was such an adrenaline fuelled tension as the lights went out and everyone literally shifted to the edges of their seat while the intro music played and the dancers came out... oh, I wont ruin it for you... here you go, I got it recorded...

The crowd was crazy! I couldn't see anyone near me sitting down, it was like I was being carried on this S Club wave of fun and adrenaline. I was able to avoid the dancing thanks to using the camera. I mean, I would have loved to dance but I just couldn't face the issues that I had faced after the Olly gig so I behaved myself and just stood and filmed and snapped away.

There was full on glitter, energetic dance routines and disco lights from the very start! - Everything you would associate with the S Club of yesteryear! I was certainly not disappointed. I had taken a sneaky peek online at the odd picture of this tour *slaps wrist* before going to see the concert... I caved in to the suspense and eagerness inside. It was fuelled becuase I had read some mixed reviews! I stayed away from YouTube though because I really didn't want to ruin it for myself - for me it was like that christmas eve effect when you really want to feel the wrapping paper, not open it, just to have a little guess what goodness might be underneath the sheets of decorative paper... This was my christmas pressie after all, remember - I just wanted to have a little looksie before getting the show! I retricted my viewing time to 30 minutes so I didn't really have time to soak much in. It was just a scan look! I can actaully only remember seeing the black and white costumes! I loved them with my first look but after being at the concert... I'm really not so in love with them... they're not very "s club-esque" as I remember the vibrant youthful group but, on stage they worked... they were very "street" but a couple of them were a little "naff" and I really wouldn't have agreed to wearing them at all! personal preference! The staging and lighting on the other hand.... FAB, FAB, FAB! Glitter stairs that lit up, lifts that brought the group from under the stage up through the floor onto the "top stage", lights that pierced through fog screens, pyrotechnics. Ah, they had the works! Pop til you flippin' drop let me tell you! It was as if they had never gone - they had it all!

The combat costume felt more like I was back in the late 90's - early 00s. I remember nagging and nagging for some black street dance trousers - the kind that had those extra tassle strips of fabric so whenever you spun, they looked like helicopter rotors. Ha! Oh, to be a kid again! I would definately bring those back (opposed to wearing a skirt over trousers). Did anyone else do that? What other crazy fashions were there in the 90s into the new millenium?

During the "combat dress" part of the show, Tina, Paul and Hannah took the oportunity to "work the stage" doing their solo pieces. For Tina, it was a chance to show off some pretty cool dance moves (I personally enjoyed the choreography more than the singing). It's clear to see that she's a natural dancer! As for my comment regarding the singing. She is obviously not the strongest singer but that's fine. It wouldn't pay to have a group full of power houses would it?

Tina instigated the reunion. She did her solo first.

Paul's solo was kind of moving in a way. He left the group in the early 2000's to rejoin his nu-rock band that was formed during his school days. He performed a acoustic version of "Reach For The Stars" which not only showcased his voice brilliantly but showed how versatile he is as a performer. I think he genuinely gets moved by the crowd joining in and singing back to him. This was my favourite solo of them all (which probably wont surprise you if you read the Olly blog after I announced what acoustic music does to me - HA). Anyone that plays an instrument and can make an old song their own is a winner in my book! I wish I had recorded it in all honesty! I have just had a look on YouTube and I have found a video of the performance. 

Credit: Tashan Hall, YouTube.

So, Paul then went on to introduce Hannah (who happens to be his ex girlfriend). It all seemed a little "school concert" like to be brutally honest with each of the performers introducing the next but I didn't mind it... I had been rewound a good few years so being at school on this occasion didn't bother me *wink*.

Hannah's solo ("Straight up" originally by Paula Abdul) was yet another one that didn't overly thrill me (I'm convinced she was miming) but still, the choreography was a treat! And really, let's let them off for the odd one or two spots of miming (controversial) because to say that they never used to sing live, they have had a break for so, so long and yet they are up and doing it all again (with the majority of the concert sung live) I think that's pretty good going! I'd rather leave having been entertained with the odd spot of miming than think crikey that wasn't on point and it be the talking point for the whole evening... 'nuff said!

Here's Hannah...

After Hannah, we were treated to a 'treacle sponge' duet from Jo and Jon. No, that wasn't the title of the song! I mean, it was warm, and comforting and something to turn to when you're just in one of those moods... get me now? They sang "Hello Friend" which pretty much took me right back to their "Viva S Club" days. Hearing the two of them sing in harmony together was like sweet treacle an so warm! Special!

Jo Introduced Bradley ('Uncle B' as her son calls him apparently). He built the tempo back up and goodness me he was a treat! Ok, the S clubbers are roughly *there's nothing rough about them* the same age as me but they still move like they're 18! Bradley threw some shapes, did his trademark spin AND sang live! Man, he's got it! He also showed off some of his DJ-ing skills too - Package: Gold!

Rachel was the last of the group to perform in the solo slots. I think it's safe to say that she got the loudest cheer. Everyone was pretty much expecting her to come up with some of the hits from her solo career and she did just that! A not too long, not too short (aka perfect) medley of her most popular tracks along with the incredible dance routines. Now, I had strict orders to take lots of photos of Rachel... I have a husband at home who saw her "live" the first time round when she had gone solo. She was his favourite member from the group all those years back (along with the heaven knows how many other adolescent boys)! With this in mind, I thought I would get a nice picture for him as I was there.... well, there's no "bad" picture of Rachel! Honestly, she really, really is that stunning - even after the gruelling work out of a two hour show! Needless to say, there were smiles when he saw the images! - girl done good me thinks!

After the completion of the solos, the group re-united (again) and took to the stage for the fiesta segment of the show. They donned the bright, 90s pop style costumes that I could imagine them wearing right back in their hay day. Fish net crop tops, hot pants, tank tops (hello muscles on Jon) and jumpers tied around the waist! This is really the S Club Party!

Are you ready for S club does modern day? Here they are bringing it right up to date singing their cover of Uptown Funk!

The minute they left the stage, the arena floor started to rumble from the sound of feet stamping, people banging the walls and shouting out for an en-core. Honestly it was like being at a football match after the most important cup goal had just been scored (I imagine) it went absolutely wild in there. I genuinely couldn't hear Laura who was crammed up next to me.... the girl at the other side of me had one of those sounds that is just ear piercing - especially when she was screaming for more but I still loved it - every single moment of it!

I filmed their entire encore (minus the deafening shouts and roars in between songs.)

First up: Their iconic charity single "Never Had A Dream..."

They ended just as they started with yet another hit - "Don't Stop Movin'". I can't quite believe how energetic they all were... they had a lot of fierce moves packed into this show and while ever there was a beat, they were jumping around and pulling all the moves right until the drop of those lifts at the end... take a look for yourself (please ignore the fact it has no thumbnail - I've contacted the techies at YouTube and I'm waiting for them to sort it out for me)....

They definately saved the best pyrotechnics until last! Confetti cannons and golden sparkly rain falling - magical!
In Conclusion, whilst sat in bed "recovering" from yet another super fabulous and special weekend with one of my favourite girls. I can confirm. There really...

I hope you've enjoyed travelling back in musical time with me.
Please share any of your concert blogs or fun throwback memories!
**please respect that these images are my own, I took them and I have taken the time to turn them into the collages that they are in on the blog. If you wish to use any of the images or videos from here, please seek my permission before doing so. You can contact me on twitter: @hangoldendaff or by leaving me a message on here. I'm working on a better solution at the moment. Thanks in advance.**
Love and hugs


  1. My first concert was Phatfish at Revive at Soul Survivor. I was 16 (mum rang me with my GCSE results while I was on the bus on the way). That was a little mad. Kerry and I were down the front right in the middle and when they played Heavenbound the place went nuts!
    My first non-Christian festival concert was Status Quo at Alton Towers. The company my dad works for hired out the park to celebrate 25 years of service or something like that they had M People and Status Quo play in the afternoon/evening. It was soo good! I've seen Quo twice actually.

    I was a massive S Club fan. I believe that Jon's birthday is like two days before mine lol. Hannah appeared in Primeval for a bit but other than that and Rachel's solo career they all pretty much disappeared.

  2. Status Quo - I love me a bit of them! hehe.
    I honestly don't remember my first concert. I know that I went to the Radio 1 festival on the beach in Devon when I was young and we also went to a few local festivals that had some music artists perform but they weren't concerts like the ones we see today. Oh, I also went to pop world in Birmingham on a school trip just after we started secondary school. I cant remember all of the artists that I saw but it was a huge exhibition at the NEC. It was a great day where we got to "interview" pop stars and read auto cue, be on camera and watch some live filming for the Disney Channel. In the evening there was a concert in one of the halls and one of the members of a boy band (point break - do you remember them?) jumped off stage to grab my balloon but he hadn't realised it was tied around my plaited pigtail lol (oops) I have got photos somewhere. I'll have to dig them out.

    As for S Club. I was also a fan. We used to jump off the sofas (dont tell Mum and Dad) and do the big 's' in the sky lol. Jon went onto the west end as a leading male and set up "Reach Entertainment" Paul went into his Rock phase and I honestly don't know what Jo did after they split.

    lovely comment, thank you.xx