Friday, May 30, 2008

The Battle of the Boybands

There was something mildly disturbing about the picture of Boyzone on the front of ‘The Mirror’ this week. The one-time heart- throbs - who nowadays wouldn’t look out of place on a building site, with their jeans sagging and a chipped mug of tea in their hands - have recreated the famous final scene from ‘The Full Monty’ in preparation for their reunion tour.
But despite their toned abs and plethora of tough-man tattoos they just look a little, well, desperate. I’m not a big fan of these boy band reunion tours - especially when you can’t help but feel they are only in it for the money and they don’t actually like each other anymore.
This is like the Spice Girls all over again - only without the high end production values and glitzy costumes. Now I wasn’t opposed to Boyzone back in the day. I wouldn’t have classed myself as a fan - but they didn’t really offend me.
Some of their songs were quite good, I suppose. “No Matter What” was a decent enough tune but if I’m honest I had to use the powers of Google to remember their other hits - especially the ones that weren’t covers. But they were never really a serious musical ensemble.
I just saw them as a bit of craic - the Tesco Value version of Take That.
Ronan Keating has done well for himself but his voice always sounds a little strained to me. Sad as it may be to admit I much prefer the vocal tunings of Westlife. At least they look the part as well. There’s not a member of the Westlife team who looks like they would be better suited to pouring tarmac on a country road.
Of course there are hundreds of one time Boyzone fans who have crowded to the Odyssey to see them back on stage - even if they are older, wrinklier and smacking just that little bit more of needing the money. So while I sit here being rather freaked out by Ronan Keating’s six pack, which has the look of the airbrush about it, I suppose I shouldn’t judge. Because the sad truth is if the boy band of my youth were to reform and come to the Odyssey, I’d be there quicker than you could Bros jump off a high platform and shout “ooooarrrrh” in a ‘Drop the Boy’ style.
In my formative years it was the Goss brothers - most notably Matt - who was the object of my affection. I was obsessed in a 13 year old stalkery kind of style. I wrote letter after letter to ‘Going Live’ declaring my affection and sent Valentine’s Cards to the Bros fan club.
I had floor to ceiling poster coverage of the boys and had every single, tape and video on the market. Not to mention I loved to dress in my faded ripped jeans, white t-shirt and red and white bandana. Yes, I was a geek. But if you are going to fall in love for the first time, there is no safer way to do it than to fall for the singer in a band. You know all the time that you are never really going to marry them and live happily ever after. Sure you might daydream that they will pick you out of the crowd at one of their concerts and - being so overwhelmed by your dedication to them - decide there and then they want you for their wife; but you know it won’t ever really happen.
Nonetheless you get to fall for them - to play out your love affair - safe that you will never truly get hurt. Until the band breaks up, that is. And then you feel as if you might actually combust with pain. I remember the day Bros broke up very clearly - just as I remember how I cried hysterically (and rather over-dramatically) all over my bed.
I pleaded with my dad to take me see my best friend who was equally as bereft. I felt almost as if we should have been holding some kind of wake. I was all set for making the egg and onion sarnies and brewing an urn of tea. Now all that happened a very, very long time ago. And I know from using the power of Google again that both the brothers’ Goss are no longer in their prime. Matt has gone a bit bald - and more than a little pretentious - while Luke now prefers to spend his time acting.
But still I know if there was a chance to relive the heydey of my teenage years screaming like a good ‘un and singing cheesy 80s pop at the top of my lungs I would do it in a heartbeat. You simply can’t beat a good dose of nostalgia.
However I’d like to think that if the Bros boys reformed they would do it with a little dignity. There’s no need to be stripping off and flashing their pecs. Just sing the songs and bring us back to those more innocent days. There’s nothing innocent about standing greased up like a turkey at Christmas with nothing more than a hat covering your lad.
And surely what it is all about the music - remembering how you danced at the schoool disco to “I Owe You Nothing” or insisted on singing the Bros lyrics to “Silent Night” when everyone else was singing the traditional words. So Boyzone take note - sometimes less is more - except when it comes to clothes.


Anonymous said...

Heh too funny!
I loved Adam Ant with a passion - have you seen what he looks like now?!
All my life though I have truly loved Neil Diamond and I will marry him when he grows up ;o)

Evie said...

What ever happened to poor oul Craig?

Claire said...

Well doesn't everyone ask that?

Keris said...

Bros were talking about reforming this year, since it's their 20th anniversary. (How can that be?) I'll let you know if I hear anything.

As for Craig - he's a music industry bigwig and last I heard he was dating Cat Deeley. The boy's done good!

(Oh and Matt's last album was actually really good, Claire. Honest.)

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