S Club in Leeds 3/11/08

“I'm feeling so erratic. You're holding me down, I'm set to automatic, so loud”

While this may sound like the thought process of a sex attack victim, it is in fact a line from Gangsta Love, a song by S Club 7, the latest nineties pop pricks to lash themselves to the underside of the reunion bandwagon. But only three of them. The rest have better things to do. The unholy trinity are currently on a tour which began in Oldham at the Tokyo Nightclub and which will end in the Shangri-la that is Butlins, Bognor Regis.

They were brought to Leeds by the easily pleased eejits behind Happy Mondays, the wacky guys responsible for recent “performances” by the Venga Boys, Max and OB from Hollyoaks and the most desperate one out of 5ive.

So what of the syphilitic curs who thought themselves above the triumphant return to the mainstream? What the hell do they think they’re playing at? Rachel Stevens is quite fit and she did make poverty history so we’ll let her off, but what of the other scumbags? What’s their excuse?

Hannah (Emma Bunton’s special needs sister) was in ‘Snow! The Musical’. One show managed to pull in an audience of two people. Apparently she’s doing acting now. Tina (the other fit one) shagged Ross from Friends and Jon (Nazi wank fantasy) couldn’t even manage that.

But enough of the fools who spat in the face of this bejewelled opportunity. What of the chosen few, those gods among men, who made it to the Happy Mondays stage? What obstacles did they overcome on the long and arduous path to their glorious comeback?

Bradley (token black guy) first had to overcome the obstacle of having no discernable talent. Then he did that MTV show with Dane Bowers, a New Kid on the Block and one of the pikeys from 911, culminating in a number 35 single. Fine work. Since then he seems to have spent most of his time in the gym (possibly with Craig David. The two may well be lovers).

Jo (the man-faced one who did all the singing) had a bit of a go at a solo career. Her album Relentless (released by Sanctuary records, home of Megadeth) peaked at number 47 in the hit parade. Then she went on Celebrity Big Brother. Whoops.

I personally do not believe words can ever fully do justice to this colossally important time in the history of the world. It would be as futile as attempting to explain what it felt like when Diana died to Shamu the whale using only wax crayons and a small pot of Vaseline.

However, if anyone can linguistically convey the complex feelings of a nation, it is Isabel from Buckinghamshire, surely one of the finest minds of our generation.

“I cannot believe the arrogance shown by Jo. I am not keen on Jade, but hold my hat out to her for at least admitting she was wrong and apologising which cannot be said for this lady. Jo and Danielle said the worse comments whilst in the house, they should have tried to stop Jade while she was arguing with Shilpa, instead they seemed to enjoy the spectacle, giggling like little schoolgirls.”

How incredibly perspicacious. I too put my hat out to Jade and entirely agree that if anyone deserves punishing, it is little schoolgirls.

Little did Simon Fuller know when he assembled the mighty Club that he had clasped a viper to his bosom. That viper was a man. A man with the dark and brooding soul of a truly visionary artist. A man who would let his heart decide. Paul Cattermole.

It was Paul who snatched the 7 from S Club when he announced his decision to return to his “rock roots” in 2002. His artistic integrity was compromised by the Club and he returned to his band Skua (such delightful wordplay) to fulfil his vision and make the music he had always held deep within his very essence, music with “a Limp Bizkit vibe”.

Alas there was more hardship for our troubled hero to endure. Skua came to nothing and Paul was left to fester in an existential chrysalis, before erupting triumphantly as the lead singer and songwriter of Charlie Bullitt. Sadly, no one cared, and Paul soon left the group.

Since then he has been working on solo material. His EP You Make Me Happy (so simple yet so profound) contains the kind of songs Busted would reject for being “a fetid heap of the worst kind of shite”.

S Club are truly back on top. The show was a triumph. A glorious fusion of music, lyrics, dance and Bradley occasionally saying “uh huh yeah”, for that is what black people do.

But what of the audience, those privileged few who will one day tell their grandchildren of this momentous evening?

Stylus was full to the brim with excited morons, the sort of people who write ‘lol’, who will leave a room if a song they don’t know is playing and who are petrified by any trace of idiosyncrasy. These are people who go to clubs then spend more time taking photos to prove how fun they are and what a great time they had than they do actually experiencing anything.

People who can barely function in a social setting without being good and drunk, lest anyone notice the gaping chasm they have in place of a personality.

People who think ‘celebrity’ is a valid and worthwhile aspiration.

People who go to 90s and cheese nights swaddled in the protective cloak of irony, when in fact they can barely mask their terror at having to face life after childhood.

People who may as well just crawl back into the womb and vanish, for no one that bland can ever be truly missed.

This is the face of the lowest common denominator, where the stench of mediocrity can at times be overwhelming.

OMG I’m totally kidding you guys! ROFL! It was awesomeness! xoxo

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