It seems like only yesterday that ‘The Promise’ was seducing us across the airwaves or ‘Something Kinda Ooh’ pulsating in the local dingy cocktail bar. Even though much of the crowd have come armed with glowsticks and some are dancing around handbags like it’s 1999, there’s something odd about a band so recent doing a reunion tour and the half-empty arena seems to back this up. But of course, for the fans, this tour is a Big Deal. It’s a chance to hear all the favourites – ‘Jump’, ‘Sexy! No, No, No’, ‘Untouchable’ and more – in the flesh, performed by five of the most recognisable women in Britain. One. Last. Time. Seeing the most famous girl band of recent years raised above our heads on a precarious looking platform, gyrating with a super-bendy dance troupe and getting us to hold up our smartphones (the new lighters, it seems) so they look like fairy lights from the stage are all essential ingredients of the show.
On stage, everything we know about Girls Aloud is confirmed. Vocally, Nadine nails it and carries the rest. In terms of star power, there’s only Cheryl and the locals unleash piercing screams every time their Geordie princess graces the big screen. And Nicola, whose solo career cemented her as the one to watch, looks like she’s thinking about her dinner. But on stage, they gel so effortlessly it’s often hard to pick one from the other and it’s like watching a well-oiled machine at work. A machine loaded with glitter, sequins, feathers and impossibly catchy hits, of course.
Even with the Victoria’s Secret-style costumes, catwalk show interlude, laser beams and Cheryl’s dimples, it all comes down to the choons. Exploding with ‘Sound of the Underground’ (what else?) the Ten Reunion is a diehard GA fan’s wet dream. Even with the occasional mishap or missed lyric, the show is as slick and as jammed with hits as you’d expect. The fact remains that Girls Aloud have churned out some of the best and most memorable pop music of the last decade and if songs like ‘Love Machine’ don’t set your pulse racing, you don’t know you’re alive. Less famous tracks like ‘The Show’ and the underrated ‘Biology’ got a chance to shine and a rendition of ‘Call Me Maybe’ ramped the fun factor up an extra notch. Predictably, it’s all wrapped up in a giant glittering bow with an encore of ‘The Promise’, but there is no better way to salute a chart topping career than with glam gowns and an addictive chorus, is there?