Sunday, April 21, 2013

Boybands are for life, not just for the Big Reunion

Happily, ITV have confirmed that this year's sleeper hit The Big Reunion will be returning for a second series.

A friend of mine and unlikely fan of the Big Reunion hit the nail on the head when he explained its irresistible appeal as 'combining the classic against-the-odds story arc of a Rocky film, with a soundtrack of forgotten 90s pop'.

Like an ageing Hollywood boxer/cop/bank robber who is "getting too old for this shit", one by one we meet exiled pop stars who, after a decade in the wilderness and against their better judgement, are persuaded to come out of their comfy retirement and return to their former life for One. Last. Job.

Battling their broken egos in search of closure and vindication, can they still cut it in this youth-obsessed music business, or have their fans simply moved on? Silly question; this motley crew, including 5ive, 911, Atomic Kitten and Blue amongst others, were welcomed back by millions of nostalgic viewers with open arms, and the tour sold out before you can say 'Five bad boys with the power to rock you'.

The concept made for a surprisingly emotional rollercoaster. There were tears. There were memories (or a lack thereof, in Abs' case, who "doesn't remember anythin' man"). There was laughter. And, oh my, there were TUNES.

We also learned a lot - Rich from 5ive has adopted a charming Australian accent. Spike from 911 "wasn't called Spike for no reason" and his pint-sized bandmate Lee is still heartbroken from an ill-fated marriage to Lindsay from B*Witched (who knew?). And, as it turns out, nearly everybody was wasted on SMTV Live.

But the show can only be as poptastic as its line-up. Apparently, the obvious candidates All Saints and Eternal have just given the producers a big fat 'no' to appearing in the second series. And in what we can only assume must be the desperate act of a panicked TV exec under pressure to confirm at least one name, ITV have reportedly signed Big Brovaz of dubious 'Favourite Things' fame.

Step in The London Escapist, speculative casting consultant and Saviour of the Big Reunion. As a child of the '90s and incurable pop fanatic, I've taken the liberty of putting together this fantasy line up for series two. Have I forgotten anyone?


ITV need at least one of the Big Guns to join season two, and Busted would be the ultimate coup, with high drama guaranteeed after a famously bitter 'bust' up.  Charlie Simpson, or 'Judas' as he is no doubt known to many girls my age, left Busted in 2005 in search of a credible music career that didn't involve the lyrics "I messed my pants, when we flew over France". He has always said that he would never, ever, ever get back together with Busted. Like, ever. And even if he could be persuaded, could Matt and James ever forgive him for nipping their careers in the bud?  Watch this space.


Dane Bowers. Enough said.


OK, so it's debatable whether Darren Hayes and, er, the other one would provide any dramatic value to the Big Reunion. Indeed, I have literally no idea when, how or why Savage Garden split. But this one's all about the music. If you ever cried to Truly Madly Deeply or believed the lyrics to Affirmation were a mantra for life,  you'll know what I'm talking about.


Rumour has it there's at least one US group in the mix for the next season. Assuming it's not The Great N'Sync, there is a clear second choice: O-Town, whose biggest hit was a creepy but catchy song about wet dreams. Liquid Dreams was so wrong... but so right.


Poor A1. After the camp extravaganza of Summertime of Our Lives and the a few unexpected number one hits, they were riding high. But all record company execs know it's the beginning of the end when  boybands decide to chop off their glossy curtains and go 'indie'. A1 experimented with guitars on their last album - and were never to be seen again. In my humble opinion, this era was responsible for some of their finer, lesser-known material ('Caught in the Middle' was emotional). But the label bigwigs clearly disagreed and A1 slipped out of the limelight quietly somewhere around the early noughties. Seems like they're ripe for a comeback...


Oh I went there. Now surely pushing 30, the ludicrously named Kenzie, Krazy, Melo D, Reepa, Spike-E, Slutty D and poor old 'Freek' would fill the 'bad boy' gap left by 5ive in the Big Reunion. Imagine, if you will, the whole gang together again, serenading you with their heartfelt ode to a certain sexual act, Flip Reverse It. Those Big Reunion Tour tickets would sell themselves... probably.


I suppose I should pick some girlbands - particularly if we want to see any budding romances on the show. But with All Saints and Eternal out of the picture, and the Spice Girls already having reunited twice, we might be scraping the barrel. Alicia's Attic could be fun or, even better, could we just form a supergroup out of Billie Piper, Samantha Mumba and Jamelia...?

So there you have it; a veritable dream team of pop nostalgia. Of course, we're far more likely to be saddled with the likes of Northern Line, Cleopatra, One True Voice, Hear'Say and Big Brovas. But, as the wise S Club 7 once said: reach for the stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment