Wednesday , 22 May 2019

Review: 90’s nostalgia as Big Reunion Boyband hits Scotland

Blue will thrill crowds in Glasgow and Aberdeen this month
Blue at The Big Reunion Boyband Tour

Imagine all your 90’s boyband idols in one venue, but you’re no longer a teenager and you’re old enough to drink! That wasn’t a dream for thousands of music fans as The Big Reunion Boyband Tour rolled into Glasgow and Aberdeen this week.

The hit ITV show has brought back those popular acts of yester-year that we all remember, like Atomic Kitten, Liberty X and Eternal, for another round in the fame spotlight. This time, its was all about the testosterone as 7 of the UK’s biggest man-bands brought back some hits we love (and some we dont) at The Hydro and the AECC.

Tour hits Glasgow & Aberdeen
Tour hits Glasgow & Aberdeen

With a line-up that boasts A1, 911, 3T, Five, Blue and Damage, as well as newly formed 5th Story (the band put together X Factor-style with solo artists Gareth Gates, Dane Bowers, Adam Rickitt, Kavana and Kenzie) the show was set for a long run through some of their most memorable hits.

Opening the show, A1 fans were given a treat as the boys launched into Take On Me, playing in Glasgow for the first time in 13 years. The crowd seemed to enjoy the look back at their youth through the hits, many of them being teenagers at the time, although it did seem slightly strange when lots of middle-aged women with a pair of flashing horns on their heads were screaming at a stage full of older sweating singers. The younger lads sitting near me seemed only interested in Duncan and Lee from Blue, so they were in for a wait.

With well-known songs like We Will Rock You and If Ya Gettin’ Down, it was Five who had the crowd screaming and stomping, bringing the Hydro roar to life. With 2 original members missing after J and Abz refused to relive the rollercoaster of touring life, it seemed less of a reunion to me and more like those who needed it most.

The predominantly female audience were given a treat, though, as 3T were one of the only groups who have retained their original line-up, alongwith 911. Both groups gave the fans what they were after, with 3T’s Anything and I Need You slowing things down, adding a poignant collage of the boys with their iconic uncle, Michael Jackson, which fans loved.

5th Story fitties including Kenzie, Adam Rickitt and Kenzie on Tour
5th Story fitties including Kenzie, Adam Rickitt and Kenzie on Tour

Throughout the night, it did seem like the small number of men who were in the audience were there for one or two main reasons – drinks holder or videographer, as their wives or girlfriends partied like they were 15 again.

Arguably the most popular band of the night, Blue, had to struggle on as a 3-piece at The Hydro, with singer Simon Webbe absent due to his appearance on BBC Strictly Come Dancing. Fans werent disappointed though, as tour producers whisked out another 90’s face, Bradley from S Club 7. The Blue boys gave a very strong performance throughout the night and certainly still seem to have that chemistry that seemed lacking in some of the other groups.

As the hits continued at some pace, as if they were on some kind of teenage conveyer belt, the show reached its conclusion with the stuttering star of Pop Idol, Gareth Gates, giving us a fine closing with Spirit In The Sky.

The night was certainly a hit with die-hard fans, although not enough of them in Glasgow to fill The Hydro, and all the bands seemed to be having a great time re-living their younger, more popular days in the spotlight once more. I’m not certain this format has much steam left, but I’m sure fans had a pretty good night.

Imagine all your 90's boyband idols in one venue, but you're no longer a teenager and you're old enough to drink! That wasn't a dream for thousands of music fans as The Big Reunion Boyband Tour rolled into Glasgow and…

Review Overview

Overall Score

A hit with die-hard fans

A hit with die-hard fans, despite the format

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About Stuart Duffy

Stuart Duffy
Stuart is a Glasgow-based journalist covering LGBTI issues and has been published in ScotsGay Magazine, Gay Star News, Pink News as well as numerous local publications over the past 18 years. Brought up in his hometown of Cowdenbeath in Fife, he has studied Radio Broadcasting and Event Management and has worked with leading businesses such as BSkyB and most recently Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. He has a keen interest in politics, current affairs and entertainment and when he's not writing Stuart is usually found in the City shops with his partner and young daughter.

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