Viewing the Wikipedia page for bands that broke up three years after I was born, I have to admit that I barely recognise the names, and if you asked me to name a song from any of their discographies I would be at a loss. So, despite being a huge S Club fan as a child, you can’t blame me for being sceptical about this “freshers’ event”, considering that the incoming freshers weren’t born for the release of classics such as Bring it All Back and S Club Party, and would have been three years old at the time of the band’s split. Were the majority of people there that night going to be completely clueless about the power of Reach?
However, I have to admit that I was completely wrong. The atmosphere in 601 was buzzing as everyone waited eagerly for S Club 3 (which consisted of three of the band’s original members: Jo, Bradley and Tina). And despite the absence of Rachel Stevens, a personal favourite and I’m sure the favourite of many others in the audience, all was forgotten when they came on stage and started to play some of their classics. We heard some of their best – Bring it All Back, S Club Party, Don’t Stop Movin’, Reach, and Never Had a Dream Come True. They clearly chose quality over quantity, playing only a select few songs, but nobody in the audience was complaining- for a throwback night like this, all people were there for was to hear the hits of their childhood, and I think the sense of relief was tangible that we weren’t going to hear any new and unknown music from our favourite noughties band.
The performance value was great, with the tightly choreographed dances along to the poppy music making us feel like we were back watching Top of the Pops (RIP). Bradley was the star of the show, capitalising on his popularity by coming off the stage and interacting with the audience – forget Beatlemania or Bieber Fever, Mcintosh-frenzy was the flavour of 601 for the night, with people fighting to get a touch of his sleeve or take a selfie with him.
The performance itself was followed by a night of noughties music – the DJ clearly stuck with the S club tone, and was right to, as there didn’t seem to be an exodus after the band finished performing, and people continued to dance until the early hours of the morning.
Was the night the pinnacle of music or anything particularly outstanding? No, but countless throwback events at the Union and the Vic have shown that people go mad for noughties music, and Adam Powrie (the new DoEs) has done well to notice this and to make this freshers’ week noughties-centric and extremely popular.
It wasn’t the night for everyone, but particularly for those heading into their final years and feeling a little nostalgic, it’s exactly what a lot of people wanted. This sentiment was summed up by a comment from a fourth-year student when asked for an opinion: “best night of my life, I cried”.
Take that as you will, but S Club 3 came to entertain, and entertain they did.