We knew it was coming, but it doesn’t hurt any less.
Following their final performance on the Ten Tour tonight in Liverpool, Girls Aloud called the shots with a short, to-the-point message left on their official Twitter account late this evening.
And just like that–after 11 years and a whole lotta history–the Aloud are officially over.
This weekend, I went to London for the first time ever — all in the name of Girls Aloud.
I don’t think I’ve ever ‘properly’ explained my Aloud fandom, so it makes sense to do so now.
My obsession with the group started around 2005 or so, when I was prowling one of the now defunct Britney forums and came across a thread celebrating the video for “The Show” and touting them as the new Spice Girls. At first, I was unimpressed. No one beats Spice, I thought to myself. But then I kept on watching.
I quickly fell in love with what’s become the signature Aloud sound, carefully constructed by their longtime collaborators, Xenomania: The endlessly catchy hooks, mile-a-minute rhythms, the cheeky, nonsensical references to bad behavio(u)r, disco dancing, deadlines, diets and hanging ’round the kitchen in one’s underwear.
I lived for their photo shoots, full of stilettos and fierce poses. I devoured the documentaries and behind-the-scenes clips, as well as their individual runs on Popstars: The Rivals. I fell in love with their individual personalities–baby Nicola, boozy Sarah (at the time), ‘street’ Cheryl (at the time), lovable Kimba and the true diva (forever and always), Queen Nadine. As the music evolved, I only fell harder: Biology”–perhaps their most game-changing, sonically challenging record ever–was the revelation to turn me into a hardcore stan.
Girls Aloud became my unofficial gateway drug to all of Xenomania’s productions, and to a greater extent, all the music that I now love: From Kylie and Dannii Minogue to Annie to Rachel Stevens to Alexis Strum (remember her?) and beyond. The group isn’t just one of the primary catalysts that forever sparked my love for British pop music, but the major reason for some of my best friendships with my similarly Brit pop-minded friends in America–including several people who journeyed overseas with me.
Basically, if you know what Tangled Up is, you can sit with us.
When Girls Aloud announced their hiatus in 2009 and life got cold (REFERENCE), I took a vow that I would fly across the world just to see them if they ever reunited for another tour in my lifetime. And so, when the Ten Tour was announced late last year, that flight was officially booked.
As I boarded the flight to London on Thursday night, I knew as soon as I stepped onto the plane that my head wouldn’t touch a pillow until the next night after the concert. (And sure enough, I was right.) I didn’t bother investing in a map, or even, say, figuring out the currency system where I was heading. Why bother? I was too busy listening to “Untouchable” on repeat, preparing to see the Almighty Aloud in the flesh.
I did, roughly, ten billion things in the 48 hours I had to stay in London. (And yes, I realize it was an insanely short trip. I didn’t have a choice.) Here’s, more or less, what happened.
Well, hello. Welcome to 2013!
Did you have a good New Year’s Eve celebration? What do you mean, when? It was last night, you mess. Do you really not remember it at all? No? That’s fine. Me either. Just remember to delete those photos on your phone.
Now, tell me: What’s a better, more appropriate way to ring in the new year than with–say it with me–something new?
Last night on The Graham Norton Show, the Almighty Aloud–or as Norton rightly referred to them using their proper title, “the best-selling British girl group of the century”–performed their classic single, “Love Machine.”
It was, as we in the industry like to say, quite literally everything.
“Beautiful ‘Cause You Love Me” is, arguably, the worst song that Girls Aloud has ever recorded. Well, maybe not ever. Yes. It is. Girls Aloud doesn’t make bad music. This is just so not Aloud–it’s mind-bogglingly mediocre! It’s clearly just a Messy Little Raindrops castoff that Chezza decided to impose upon the band for her own sick pleasure.
All that being said, the video’s a BEAUT!