Saturday, 22 October 2011
The big Steps reunion
10 years ago, Steps ended in a bitter tale of emotional turmoil and arguments over who should or should not have had the lead vocal. I was 9 and knew nothing more than the band who's official annual I had read from cover to cover at least 25 times was to be no more. I was devastated. So when I heard, earlier this year, that Steps were set to reunite through the medium of a melodramatic, 4-part, Sky Living documentary I could hardly contain myself.
At the beginning of the series we were transported back to the late 90's and reminded of Steps' success as well as the behind-the-scenes angst that would eventually lead to 'H' and Claire's decision to leave the band. Finally, at the end of the episode, the band mates were reunited in an awkward, entirely filmed, definitely-not-edited-to-create-discomfort, dinner that they had agreed to take part in. It was bloody brilliant television. What made it so compelling was how unforgiving and out rightly angry most of the members were with the 'Robbies' of the band, 'H' and Claire.
The impression I got was that Claire, particularly, was bullied by the other two girls because she was the better singer (and so got more solos) and would rather stay in with a book than go out partying with Lisa and Faye (I'm so with you Claire). The tension, when the girls had their first couple of meetings together, could have been cut with a rolling pin it was so taught. Claire has yet to say sorry for leaving the band, the sorry Lisa and Faye had clearly been so desperately waiting for the past 10 years, and I respect her all the more for it.
Lisa traditionally was my favourite 'Step'. Watching now, I am ashamed of myself. She is, to use the technical term, a right bitch. She is quite plainly bitter about having the weakest voice in the band (see their This Morning performance for conclusive evidence) and feels the need to in some way rectify this by being as bolshy as possible. It's just a bit embarrassing when she demands more vocals, as if no one has gotten around to telling her that she's rubbish. She was hot when she was twenty though, I'll give her that.
Claire seems lovely, down to earth and a little bit uncomfortable with the idea of being famous again. Lee also seems lovely. He gets the least vocal time of anyone in the band - Steps songs being predominantly female-vocals based - and this is obviously a cause of upset for him. He doesn't react in the way Lisa did though. He's far more reserved and sensitive about the issue, endearing himself immensely to the viewers. I fancied 'H' went I was 9. I wanted him and Lisa to get married and have babies and preferably I would have liked to have been Lisa. Oh, the gift of hindsight - I wouldn't have wasted my time on a gay man and mean lady that's for sure. 'H' is still as lovable as he ever was though. Faye? Well Faye is actually a really good singer. I never knew that.
It's great that Steps are back. If there is anything the charts need right now it's some cheesy, 90's style, happy, fluffy, teeny pop songs. But all I really want is some more fly on the wall documentaries following them. Like, every night please.