Having not seen a girl band live since that trip to B*Witched in the 90’s, (a gift from my mother so I didn’t feel left out and yet I was the only one not singing “C’est la vie” and performing that Irish dance jig) I feel I have every right to be nervous tonight. As I enter the Clyde Auditorium and make my way to my seat (a seat?), I check for the nearest fire exit whilst dodging the cowboy hats, fake eyelashes and light-up bunny ears.
With the girl band giants Girls Aloud somewhere between divorce and reconciliation, The Saturdays take the lead and bring their Headlinestour to town. Regardless of them missing that ginger member tick box I get as comfy as I can for the Sunday night pop sermon. With an audience made-up largely of teens and kids, and me feeling slightly awkward, it should have perhaps been obligatory, if you didn’t have one of your own, to be provided with a child as you entered the building.
That ever-so-catchy, brain poisoning chart hit Barbra Streisand by Duck Sauce starts proceedings with each of The Saturday’s names in place of that innovative lyric, “Barbra Streisand”. Continuing the tease, newspaper headlines emblazoned with each of the girl’s faces on a mammoth screen, warm up the auditorium in a series of high-pitched screams.
Finally, rising from the depths of the stage, The Saturdays are produced like jewelled Barbies, fresh from the box with most recent hitHigher and choreography more impressive than their singing in the up-tempo number. As they tackle the staircase, mandatory for all pop stage setups, it becomes apparent that much like horse racing, you cheer when your favourite takes the lead. I’d say the winner was easily Frankie, perhaps the Cheryl Cole of the group, paralleling her earlier days in the WAG stakes.
Having been together since 2007 and in that time selling over two million records, The Saturdays have handbags full of hits which flow effortlessly into their repertoire. Solo vocals are much stronger than their group harmonies, though these are often sung whilst bounding around the stage, fun being a bigger concern for the vastly preteen audience than tuning.
Crunk-style Puppet from 2010 album, also Headlines, delivers the girls gyrating marionette style after a costume change. Performing between red curtains and attached to ribbons, the punchy, synth-heavy number is executed with the attitude of the instrumental, played live by the backing band lurking in the shadows. Four men armed with an arsenal of weapons to create pop perfection.
Died In Your Eyes brings with it a surprise acoustic guitar accompaniment supplied by band member, Una Healy, a singer/songwriter before her Saturdays fame. Taking a seated position on the stairway the two tier venue is arm-sways a plenty.
Piling in another few costume changes, helium balloons, fake confetti and more pop hits than an hour of Radio1, the five piece end on Ego, waving to adoring fans who would happily revel well past bedtime in the presence of their pop idols.
Promising to be back in December, although nothing new, The Saturdays have all the vital elements of a glossy girl band and provide good clean fun without even breaking a sweat, albeit scantily clad fun. It’s no wonder the Dads loved it…