When it comes to the 90’s I think of visors, double denim, Fubu, blonde tips, girl groups, boy bands, dance breakdowns and the pop music that defined a generation.
Last Friday night, 170 Russell was taken over by nostalgic 90’s fever – when the likes of Liberty X, East 17, S Club, Atomic Kitten and B*Witched transported us back to our youth and proved to the world a human beings ability to retain all the lyrics to ‘Bring It All Back.’ Every. Single. One.
The night kicked off with my housemate decking herself out in stripes, denim, green glitter eyelids and the baby bunton hairstyle – two hair buns tied so tightly to her crown she might have fooled Luke Sywalker (RIP Carrie Fisher). Unfortunately, she exhausted all her glitter supply before I got home so I had to go glitter-less.
Yet when we arrived, the room was packed. The demographic being very much late 20’s female and gay men, I had the feeling that 170 Russell was going to get a beat down of dance moves – because you know that every person in that room either had one of East 17’s famous beanies, or the hard copy single to ‘Reach for the Stars.’
Liberty X were neither here nor there, the three remaining female members sang ‘Just a Little’ to a huge reception, with the applause only being surpassed by a cover of Chaka Khans ‘Aint’ Nobody’ to finish the set.
East 17 were up next and ‘House of Love’ and ‘It’s Alright’ got all those born in the year of ’85 raging. Interesting to note that the woman sitting next to me, who was English by the way, told me “It’s not East 17, they are all total imposters.” Strong opinions on the base that there were only 2/4 original members on the bill. Yet she had an English accent, and the bands were mostly from England, so I figured she must be on the money – right?
S Club 7, I mean S Club 3, in fact I mean S Club 2 (given Jo O’Meara fell ill in New Zealand and couldn’t partake) were actually really good. Considering there were only 2 voices to fill the songs of 7, they had great energy and managed to get the crowd riled up from a somewhat demure start. Tina was doing her dance and Bradley gave a swing – I hope all of you loyal S Club fans got that reference. For both of them being in their late 30’s they were still as effervescent as ever. With the string of bangers ‘Bring it All Back,’ ‘S Club Party,’ ‘Don’t Stop Movin,’ ‘Reach,’ and ‘Two in the Middle,’ they were very much the highlight of the night.
Shoutout: To the girl who went on stage to sing Jo’s parts but didn’t know any of the lyrics, forcing her to lip-sync with such precision that Rupaul would have been proud.
Atomic Kitten followed S Club and although they did their best, the ladies did struggle to maintain the energy. I loved Atomic Kitten growing up, as I thought their sandy blonde locks were relatable, they were all about mateship, love and covering so many songs their compilation albums sounded like ‘Top of the Pops – 80’s Edition’. The favourites didn’t disappoint, ‘The Tide is High’ had all the arms waving romantically in the air and ‘Whole Again’ managed to get the entire audience singing back at them with gusto and memories of their first love. The latter actually being one of the best performances of the night.
“Looking back to when we first met, I cannot escape and I cannot forget, baby you’re the one, you’ll still turn me on – you can make me whole again.” – don’t pretend like you don’t know the words…
Now it comes to B*Witched – the headline act, the unbelievable Irish girl group that took the world by storm with billions of fans in the 90’s.
I almost want to stay reserved on the subject and not give a comment, as the group kind of tortured the crowd. Not on purpose by any means, however when you are on a reunion tour of 90’s pop groups you have to keep the crowd entertained and unfortunately B*Witched took this opportunity to sing a string of new songs that nobody knew the words to. There was one woman situated in front of me who at every opportunity cat called “C’est La Vie!” and again “F**king C’est La Vie!” – She was rather entertaining really. Lead, Edele Lynch, even had to turn around at one point and inform her directly that they will indeed be playing ‘C’est La Vie.’ The girls were great singers still and had tight formation on their dance numbers. They clearly take their craft very seriously, given the new album set to be released this year. However the string of tracks that no one knew killed the energy of the room and while ‘C’est La Vie’ was indeed played at the end with a big bang and a huge reaction – it might have been too little too late.
Overall the night was nostalgic and incredibly entertaining for that reason – I always find the time to check out these events where they bill artists from the 90’s or early 00’s as it’s not just about the music or the band, it’s also about the memories and the moments they remind you of.
Yep, incredibly corny I know. Whatever, I’m a 90’s kid.