2011 and 2012 a year for reunions; in fact British pop acts from the 90's have been putting past disputes to rest and burying the hatchet in something other than each other's backs.
The Spice Girls were the highest profile reunion with a tour that sold out around the globe and a performance that fans and punters will never forget and let's face it they do forget, they'll have nothing but pictures to remind them since someone didn't arrange to have the tour recorded for the fans to take home on Blu-ray or DVD.
However another 90's pop act aren't going to let their management make stupid mistakes like that when it comes to merchandising!
STEPS are back and Lee Latchford Evans, Claire Richards, Lisa Scott-Lee, Faye Tozer and Ian 'H' Watkins are all on stage doing what they did best, singing, dancing, laughing and having a good time. Performing to a sell out crowd at the O2 Arena in London.
In the 90's, I was the outcast, the geek. I had a small circle of friends but none knew of my dirty little secret. Between listening to the likes of angsty Alanis Morissette, Green Day, No Doubt and Nirvana I had a spot in my heart for happy go lucky pop. The sort of music that could drive anyone to dance or explain away the littlest heart aches in simplistic ballads. Yes.... I loved the Spice Girls, I loved Steps, I Loved B*Witched and a shed load more pop acts that ruled the charts in the 90's.
When pop had a little integrity and everyone wore clothes and sang of summer love and winter heartbreaks... instead of today where you have the likes of Rihanna singing about a man not being good enough if he doesn't have a stick big to fill the empty void that is her gaping vagina!
Well ummm that was unexpected, here have a musical interlude to cheer you up!
Steps The Ultimate Tour does something not many artists in their position do today. You'll be hard pressed to get a live vocal out of a star like Britney Spears when you're spending your money to see her in concert but here Steps sing the majority of their vocals live whilst kicking out some knackering dance moves which would put even the healthiest athlete to the test even if they don't have to sing.
The hits are all here; Tragedy, 5678, Better Best Forgotten, One For Sorrow, Dancing Queen, Better the Devil you know and a whole host more. Some do suffer from click tracks but the spirit and vibe that made STEPS a success is intact.
In fact having grown up on this lot it was pretty hard to suppress a smile throughout as we cut to now fully grown men and women letting go and dancing along to the moves they danced once upon a time. The party has started again and STEPS are back on top.
They even revived the old 'solo' section where Lee dared to Move Like Jagger and although he's no Adam Levine he still has abs that could grate cheese, H tackled "Don't Stop believing". Faye despite not having the strongest vocals in the world made "One Night Only" work in her favour, Lisa burst in to one of her solo efforts which only a handful of people bought originally and then came Claire Richards.
Claire used to be the power house of STEPS and although she's not the lithe young thing she used to be, it's great to see that she wasn't bullied in to losing weight for the tour because this feisty talent proved she could keep up with her peers and still drive the group crazy when it came to proving what true vocal talent is.
When Claire began her solo, I just pictured the other four back stage foaming at the mouth, the old hatchets being sharpened in preparation for the next group split. Claire is an amazing talent and it's clear to see when her solo came to an end that she was moved by the reception the crowd gave her and what a reception it was. Claire was always the main talent in STEPS and after their demise her commercial value died in a one time record with fellow band member H, her talent was never truly utilised or 'exploited' in the year that followed the split and as a result she was deprived of the solo success she deserved.
This tour in that moment captured on DVD and Blu-ray proved that this was a lot more to her than money in the bank.
A long awaited injection of happy go lucky pop bursting with vitality takes to the stage once again as STEPS really do know how to party and now Universal are bringing that party into your home on DVD and Blu-ray. It's a fun concert bursting with feel good pop that could make the darkest of skies brighten.
Take a chance with STEPS The Ultimate Tour if you love your pop camp, happy and over the top... it's also good for a work out too!
I'm going to leave you now with Steps, Cleopatra, B*Witched, Tina Cousins and Dr Who's Assistant Billie Piper... some of the happiest Pop personalities of the UK in the 90's giving a fitting tribute to ABBA.