Tuesday 26th February 2013
Hammersmith Apollo, London
5ive, B*Witched, Honeyz, 911, Atomic Kitten, Liberty X, and new addition Blue are the current line-up for ITV2’s ultimate pop-umentary show The Big Reunion. The bands have reunited and their every step has been followed after years away from the spotlight. Each band has had two weeks of intense rehearsals ready to step back on to the stage to perform in front of thousands of fans.
Tuesday 26th February was the night that they all graced the stage at Hammersmith Apollo for the special concert. If the bands weren’t already nervous enough to be performing for the first time in as long as 12 years, it was also being filmed by ITV2 which is to be broadcast at the end of March. For the fans, years ago it might have been a struggle to save up enough pocket money and convince their parents to let them go to see their favourite act, so tonight it was quite possibly a dream to come true to see all these bands under one roof.
Outside the Apollo excitement filled the air as Scott, Abz, and Sean from 5ive were spotted saying hello and having photographs taken with the fans, as well as other band members from B*Witched and Blue. The cameras were rolling capturing those having a singsong or shouting in excitement with their homemade banners and t-shirts. Inside there was some celebrity spotting to be done as Shane Lynch from Boyzone had come along to support his twin sisters of B*Witched, Keavy and Edele, whilst Keith Lemon was clocked taking a seat at the back in the circle.
Unaware of the format for the evening Andi Peters, who also does the voice over for The Big Reunion, took to the stage in double denim to announce that we were about to be taken back in to a time warp. Without a minute to loose the stage instantly came alive with the sound of drums and double clapping, which could only mean one thing… 5ive – We Will Rock You. They tore open the stage with a medley of their number one hit mixed in with Everybody Get Up. Perhaps one of the most anticipated acts of the night as fans have been taunted with the idea of a new 5th member to replace band mate J, but this was soon put to rest as the band appeared as a 4 piece. In fact the boys were so tight in their performance that it was hardly noticeable that J was missing. This has to be a sure sign that they should continue as a foursome.
Fresh out of Ireland and unnoticeable that it had been 11 years since the girls last performed together, B*Witched slipped straight in with C’est La Vie, complete with double denim and an Irish jig to boot. Following straight on was a band that may be tipping 40 but were still back flipping and body shakin’ like it was the 90’s. 911 were every girls dream back in their heyday, but quite frankly it seems that’s still the case.
To the excitement of every male that had been dragged along by their partner, Liberty X stayed true to their word and took to the stage in their signature outfits – cat suits and canes. Michelle Heaton who recently underwent a double mastectomy highlighted during the documentary that this was the one thing she was most looking forward to.
Blue are the latest band to join The Big Reunion, although to be honest it’s not yet certain why as the boys reunited nearly 3 years ago and performed at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011, so haven’t been away from the lime light as long as the other bands. Either way they are a welcome addition as a fellow band with a string of hits under their belt that will always stand the test of pop music time. Their first song All Rise was an acquired taste as it was performed slightly different but still enough to get the audience counting all the money and free rides. Once their hit with Elton John came around, Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word, it was clear they were back on form and looking very dapper in their boyband-esque outfits, black suits.
The Honeyz opened up their set with their huge ballad Finally Found, and whilst most were preying that they wouldn’t fall over whilst tottering down the steps to the stage, it was clear they were appealing to a select number of fans rather than the audience as a whole. Dropped at the point where they were freshly signed to Def Jam and just about to break through, they’re certainly a band that slipped through the music industries net and deserve a second chance.
If there was to be one person who had everyone’s eyes and ears waiting for them it had to be Kerry Katona. Atomic Kitten are back together as the original line up and probably in the firing line for most press attention. During the evening that came in the form of Kerry Katona exposing a little too much out of her top, but unless you were on the front row you would have only noticed it in the next mornings papers. Breasts aside the girls performed beautifully together and you could tell how much it meant to them. After performing Whole Again tears fell as the song holds a different meaning to each member of the band.
The night was filmed by ITV2 and will be broadcast on March 28th 2013 which will then be followed by release on DVD. Response to this gig was so immense that tickets sold out in 5 minutes flat, so don’t worry if you missed out because an arena tour has now been announced for The Big Reunion.
5ive – We Will Rock You / Everybody Get Up
B*Witched – C’est La Vie
911 – Bodyshakin’
Liberty X – Just A Little
Blue – All Rise
Honeyz – Finally Found
Atomic Kitten – Right Now
5ive – Keep On Movin’
B*Witched – Rollercoaster
Liberty X – Got To Have Your Love
Atomic Kitten – Tide Is Hight
911 – A Little Bit More
Honeyz – Love Of A Lifetime / End Of The Line
Blue – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
B*Witched – Blame It On The Weatherman
911 – More Than A Woman
Honeyz – Won’t Take It Lying Down
Liberty X – Ain’t Nobody
Blue – One Love
5ive – If Ya Gettin’ Down
Atomic Kitten – Whole Again