Friday 31 October 2014

Claire O'Mahony: Why the reunion is something kinda ooooh

Published 19/10/2012 | 14:56

Cheryl Cole, Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle, Kimberley Walsh and Sarah Harding at a press conference in London to announce that they will reunite for a tour next year.
Cheryl Cole of girl band Girls Aloud at a press conference at the Corinthian Hotel in London to announce the band will reunite for a tour next year. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 19, 2012. See PA story SHOWBIZ GirlsAloud. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire

Here come the girls, ten years on

If you can remember Popstars: The Rivals and the formation of Girls Aloud, the news of their reunion tour and the fact that they’ve been a group for ten years is likely to make you feel very old.

That such fresh face poppets are all heading towards 30 (Sarah Harding and Kimberley Walsh are in fact 30) and have been through wringer including divorce, career highs and lows and rehab seems incredible. But this is indeed the case.

Having seen so many pop bands get back together – Talk That, NSynch and, um, Steps – it’s not like anyone will be terribly surprised at the reunion of Girls Aloud but at the same time it’s nice. What is interesting about the band is that they were the first group to dispel the notion that all manufactured pop bands were bad things – and very few people will argue with the fact that Sound of the Underground is one of the best pop tunes ever. Even the Guardian admitted this was the case with critic Alexis Petridis conceding: “It proved a first: it was a reality pop record that didn't make you want to do physical harm to everyone involved in its manufacture."

The five also threw out the notion that anybody who is a member of a manufactured band is necessarily a malleable puppet, minus any opinion.

Over the last ten years, it’s been interesting to follow the trials and tribulations, as well as the successes of the Girls Aloud members, as they followed very different paths.

There’s Cheryl Cole, who went from being up in court for attacking cloakroom attendants to become the nations’s sweetheart on X Factor, via a humiliating divorce from her footballer husband Ashley Cole.

Renowned reveller Sarah Harding has finally hung up her party boots following a stint in rehab last year.

Kimberley Walsh has reinvented herself as a stage star, playing Princess Fiona in the West End production of Shrek, as well as appearing on strictly.

Meanwhile Nicola Roberts has favoured fashion instead of music, and brought out her own make-up line. And who’d have thunk that somone who started out wearing lycra and belly tops is now hailed for her daring, cutting edge dress sense.

Wee Nadine, who upped sticks and moved to LA where she owned a couple of bars, has now reconciled with her bandmates following a certain froideur between her and them.

They never had the same kind of cultural significance in the same way that the Spice Girls had with girl power but Girls Aloud were always a fun, fresh breath of musical fresh air. And if this time around, they bring with them anything as insanely catchyand feelgood as Sound of the Underground or even Something Kind of Ooooh, this reunion can only be a great thing. And for that we say, welcome back Girls.

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