|Origin||Carlisle, Cumbria, England|
|Years active||1995–2000, 2012–present|
911 (pronounced "nine one one") are an English boy band consisting of Lee Brennan, Jimmy Constable and Simon "Spike" Dawbarn. They were formed in 1992 and released their debut single "Night to Remember" in May 1996. This was followed by their debut album The Journey in March 1997, which was certified Gold by the BPI in November 1997. 911 released two more silver-certified albums, Moving On and There It Is, in 1998 and 1999, respectively. There It Is also produced their only UK number-one single, a cover of "A Little Bit More", which topped the UK Singles Chart in 1999.
Reformed and touring UK 2014.
In their five years together, 911 scored ten UK top 10 singles, over 10 million record sales around the world and were particularly popular in Malaysia, where their first two albums went to number one, before announcing their split in early 2000.
In October 2012, it was announced that 911 would again reunite for the ITV2 reality-documentary series The Big Reunion, along with Atomic Kitten, Liberty X, B*Witched, Five and Honeyz in January 2013. Due to the highly positive reception, the group will also be headlining their own UK tour in 2014 - The Illuminate: The Hits and More Tour. Their comeback album Illuminate: The Hits and More was released on 8 September 2013, along with their comeback single "2 Hearts 1 Love".
1992-95: Formation and early success
911 formed when Jimmy Constable met Simon "Spike" Dawbarn whilst working as a dancer on the show The Hit Man and Her. In 1992, having seen the success that former dancer Jason Orange had with Take That, Constable and Dawbarn decided to put a band together. They later found Lee Brennan, who was a fan of them and the show, and the trio started touring up and down the UK. After they became popular, they independently released two singles which both made the UK top 40, "Night to Remember" and "Love Sensation". Following this, a major label bidding war ensued and 911 were eventually signed up by Virgin Records. 911's song "Love Sensation" was also featured in the 1997 film Casper: A Spirited Beginning, and was their only chart hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number three.
They had their first top 10 hit in 1996 with "Don't Make Me Wait", which reached number 10. Nine more successive UK top 10 hits followed including "Bodyshakin'", which became their signature song; "Private Number" and the UK chart-topper "A Little Bit More".
During this time, 911 released three studio albums, The Journey (1997), Moving On (1998), There It Is (1999), all of which hit the top 20 on the UK Albums Chart. However, after a gruelling schedule the band began to fall apart with Constable descending into alcoholism (on one occasion appearing on SMTV Live drunk), Dawbarn began to suffer agoraphobia and Brennan, being the pin-up and lead singer of the band, began to feel more and more insecure about his image and looks. After a greatest hits album at the end of 1999, Dawbarn and Brennan told Constable in February 2000 that they wanted to split up. On The Big Reunion, Dawbarn said: "We knew we'd reached our peak and we were kind of that little decline and we thought, 'It's best getting out at the top.'" Constable was also told by the other two that he would be the one to break the news of their break-up live on Chris Moyles' Radio 1 show. In a 2005 interview with The Guardian, Constable: "I didn't have any time to get my head around it. I had a lump in my throat saying it, then we came out of Radio 1 and the other two guys went to the pub. I got in my car and took off and I never saw them for two years."
2005–2011: Solo projects and occasional reunions
In 2005, 911 reformed to participate in the ITV singing contest, Hit Me, Baby, One More Time. They later went on a nightclub tour of the UK and Ireland, performing their most popular hits, and have also performed at a number of nightclub and university events, and they entertained the crowd prior to the Bradford Bulls clash with Leeds Rhinos on 23 May 2008.
In 2006, Constable took part in the MTV series Totally Boyband, which followed ex-members of boy bands forming into a new band, called Upper Street. Their first (and only) single charted at number 35 in the UK Singles Chart, and the band later disbanded, with the whole project deemed a commercial disaster. On 28 August 2007, Constable also appeared in BBC Two game show Identity, where he was billed as an 'ex-boyband member'.
In 2008, 911 took part in Living's Pop Goes the Band; where they came together to get back to their boy band ways, resulting in a live performance of "Bodyshakin'". Their episode was broadcast on 23 March 2009. On 15 October 2009, Dawbarn appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks's identity parade round; Phill Jupitus's team failed to pick him out.
On 7 April 2011, Constable and Dawbarn appeared as special guests in the "Cover Story Round" of the ITV2 panel show Celebrity Juice. Constable mentioned that 911 would be doing a gig in Dawbarn's home town of Warrington to commemorate their 15th anniversay. When asked by host Keith Lemon if they were reforming properly, Constable stated "Depends if anybody turns up to the gig!". They then taught Lemon the dance routine to "Bodyshakin'".
2012–present: The Big Reunion, touring and Illuminate
911 reunited in 2012, along with Atomic Kitten, Liberty X, B*Witched, Five and Honeyz, for the ITV2 documentary series The Big Reunion, a show which would feature the bands reuniting for the first time in several years and undergoing two weeks of intense rehearsals ahead of a comeback performance some time in 2013. The show began airing on 31 January 2013, and the second episode, which aired on 7 February, featured Lee, Jimmy and Spike talking about their time together and the difficulties that came with being in a band.
The six bands performing a sold-out comeback concert at London's Hammersmith Apollo on 26 February 2013. However, following the high demand for tickets for the gig and The Big Reunion pulling in record ratings for ITV2, it was announced that a UK arena tour would be taking place from 3–14 May 2013. Two more dates were later added for 16 and 17 May, taking the tour total to 14 shows. Due to the arena tour quickly selling out as well, it was announced that the bands from the show will also be going on a mini-Christmas party tour in December 2013.
On 6 March, 911 made an appearance on Daybreak, where they announced that they had recorded a more up-to-date version of "Bodyshakin'" and were also planning to release new material. On 28 March, they appeared on This Morning and confirmed that they would definitely be releasing and new album and touring in 2014. Brennan said: "We're doing a new album, we're going to be touring ourselves next year, so we've got lots of things to look forward to. Bring it on!". During The Big Reunion arena tour, it was announced that the band's new album would be called Illuminate. On 3 August, Brennan tweeted that the album, Illuminate: The Hits and More, would be released on 8 September 2013 alongside their comeback single "Two Hearts One Love". During another appearance on This Morning on 5 August, 911 spoke about their music comeback and also performed "Two Hearts One Love".
- 1997: The Journey
- 1998: Moving On
- 1999: There It Is
- 2000: The Greatest Hits and a Little Bit More
- 2013: Illuminate... (The Hits and More)
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 395. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- ITV Television, The Big Reunion. 911 interviewed, March 2013
- Lynksey, Dorian (10 May 2005). "Jimmy Constable: Boybands ruined my life". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Lytollis, Roger (30 September 2006). "Luv-Lee couple!". Cumberland News. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- "Lee Brennan eager to reconcile with ex Lindsay Armaou". Daily Express (Northern & Shell). 8 February 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- "911: Can Carlisle lad Lee Brennan's pop band recapture their former glory?". News and Star (CN Group). 23 March 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- Wright, Jade (1 April 2011). "911's Jimmy Constable tells Jade Wright how proud he is to be from Liverpool". Liverpool Echo (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- "Atomic Kitten get mew start". The Sun (News UK). 10 January 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- Nissam, Mayer (11 February 2013). "5ive, Atomic Kitten, B*Witched, Liberty X, 911 for Big Reunion arena tour". Digital Spy (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- "The Big Re-Union announces show at The O2 and Odyssey Arena". Goldenplec. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
- Corner, Lewis (27 March 2013). "5ive, B*Witched, Atomic Kitten for 'Big Reunion' Christmas Party tour". Digital Spy (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- "Daybreak - 911 Interview (2013)". YouTube.
- Heath, Olivia (28 March 2013). "Big Reunion's 911 announce future music plans!". Reveal. Nat Mags. Retrieved 7 May 2013.