The Big Reunion (concerts)

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The Big Reunion
The Big Reunion arena tour promo.jpg
Promotional image for the tour
Tour by The Big Reunion
Start date 26 February 2013 (2013-02-26)
End date present
Legs 1
Shows 24 in the UK
1 in Ireland
25 total

The Big Reunion is a series of concerts featuring British pop groups who were big names in the UK pop music scene in the late 1990s and early 2000s, reunited for the ITV2 reality-documentary series The Big Reunion (apart from Blue, who had already been reunited since 2011), a show which follows them meeting again for the first time in a decade and rehearsing ahead of their comeback performance.

The first series featured Five, 911, Atomic Kitten, B*Witched, Blue, Honeyz and Liberty X. Although the bands were initially only to perform a single concert at London's Hammersmith Apollo on 26 February 2013, high demand for tickets and the popularity of the series led to a full arena tour being announced. The arena tour consisted of 16 shows that took place during May 2013, although Blue only performed at four of these shows due to their own tour commitments. A "Big Pop Party" and a "Christmas party tour" were later announced as well. The Big Pop Party consisted of three gigs in separate months and the Christmas Party featured seven gigs in December.

The second series features 3T, A1, Damage, Eternal, Girl Thing, and a supergroup called 5th Story, which consists of Kenzie from Blazin' Squad, Dane Bowers from Another Level, and former soloists Adam Rickitt, Kavana and Gareth Gates. The bands from series 2 performed their gig at the Hammersmith Apollo on 21 February 2014.[1] On 20 March, it was announced that the boy bands from both series (Five, 911, Blue, A1, 3T, Damage and 5th Story) would go on The Big Reunion Boyband Tour in October 2014.[2]

Background[edit]

Series 1 (2013)[edit]

On 18 October 2012, it was announced that pop groups Five, 911, Atomic Kitten, B*Witched, Honeyz and Liberty X—who were big names in the UK pop music scene in the mid-to-late 1990s and early 2000s—would be reuniting for an ITV2 documentary series and a comeback performance at some point in 2013.[3][4]

On 21 February 2013, it was revealed that a seventh band, Blue, would be joining The Big Reunion gig as well.[5] When asked why they chose to join The Big Reunion, Blue said: "Phil Mount, the Big Reunion '​s producer, has always been a long time supporter of the band, giving us our first TV break, he really wanted us to be surprise special guests announced half way through the series and to perform on the Hammersmith Apollo show. This sounded like a lot of fun, giving us the perfect chance to perform together again in the UK for our fans and reconnect with the other acts, many of whom friends of ours and started out around the same time as us. For us the 'Big Reunion' is a great chance for all of us bands to come together for one BIG party on Tuesday night!"[6]

The bands were originally only supposed to perform a one-off concert at London's Hammersmith Apollo on 26 February 2013, but when the entire show sold out in under five minutes shortly after the premiere of the first episode on 31 January 2013, rumours circulated that the show may become a full arena tour around the UK.[7] On 11 February, it was confirmed that, following high ticket demands and the popularity of The Big Reunion, a full 12-date UK tour would be taking place from 3–12 May 2013.[8] On 14 February shows were added in Dublin and Belfast, bringing the tour to a total of 14 shows.[9] Blue will only be taking part in four of the 14 shows due to headlining their own arena tour.[10]

On 27 March 2013, it was announced that the bands would perform a mini Christmas tour in December 2013.[11] Five, Atomic Kitten, B*Witched, 911, Honeyz and Liberty X will all be taking part, but Blue will not as they will be headlining their own comeback tour.[12] Three additional shows were announced on 23 April 2013.[13]

Series 2 (2014)[edit]

Due to massive ratings success, a second series was commissioned.[14] Groups were rumoured to be reuniting for series 2 included Big Brovaz, Hear'Say, S Club 7, Busted, Mis-Teeq, East 17, All Saints, Eternal, A1, Cleopatra and Another Level.[15][16] S Club 7 were reportedly in talks to reform for their own rival show to The Big Reunion.[17] During an interview on ITV Breakfast programme Lorraine in February 2013, Myleene Klass said in regards to Hear'Say reuniting, "I just can't imagine it. What are we going to do - sing 'Pure and Simple' on loop? It was nice and it was a great time in our lives, and where it was at that time is just perfect."[18] It was also reported that Eternal could reform without Louise Redknapp, who initially walked away from the group in 1995.[19]

On 27 December 2013, ITV announced that the six bands taking part in the show's second series would be A1, Eternal, Damage, 3T, Girl Thing and a supergroup called 5th Story, comprising Blazin' Squad's Kenzie, Another Level's Dane Bowers, and former soloists Gareth Gates, Adam Rickitt, and Kavana.[20] As previously reported, Eternal reunited for the show as a three-piece as Redknapp chose not to take part in their reunion.[21] Additionally, Damage's lead singer Coreé Richards and A1's Paul Marazzi chose not to take part either,[22][23] although Richards did appear on the show to talk about the band and meet with his bandmates one last time.[22]

Another Level were on the verge of signing up for the show, but Bowers' ex-bandmate and Wayne Williams has since announced that he will not take part. In an interview with MTV UK, he said: "I decided not to participate in The Big Reunion because it wouldn't feel right to me...I'm in a totally different space in my life and I don't feel any need to look back."[24] Another ex-bandmate Mark Baron, who now works for Alan Sugar's company Amsprop, had been forced to pull out due to Sugar not allowing him time off work. Bowers told the Daily Star, "Another Level were supposed to do it but then Mark said he couldn't because of work. He's married to Alan Sugar's daughter and works for him. You don't say no to Alan Sugar. I was a bit annoyed because he pulled out right at the end. Surely he would have known earlier. But his loss is my gain."[25]

On 26 January 2014, it was announced that series 2 would begin airing on ITV2 on 6 February 2014.[26]

Bands[edit]

Series 1[edit]

Series 2[edit]

Broadcast and recordings[edit]

The original Hammersmith Apollo show in February was recorded and parts of the concert, as well as backstage footage, aired on ITV2 on 28 March 2013 as The Big Reunion finale.[27] The full concert was also released on DVD on 1 April 2013.[28]

Setlist[edit]

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
Series 1[30]
26 February 2013 London England Hammersmith Apollo
Arena tour[31][32]
3 May 2013 Sheffield England Motorpoint Arena Sheffield
4 May 2013 Manchester Manchester Arena
5 May 2013 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
6 May 2013 Aberdeen Scotland Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre
7 May 2013 Glasgow Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre
8 May 2013 Liverpool England Echo Arena Liverpool
9 May 2013 Nottingham Capital FM Arena
10 May 2013 Bournemouth Bournemouth International Centre
11 May 2013 Cardiff Wales Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
12 May 2013 Birmingham England LG Arena
13 May 2013 Brighton Brighton Centre
14 May 2013 London The O2 Arena
16 May 2013 Dublin Ireland The O2
17 May 2013 Belfast Northern Ireland Odyssey Arena
Misc performances[33][34][35]
28 June 2013[A] Newmarket England Newmarket Racecourse
18 August 2013 York Castle Howard
7 December 2013[B] Minehead Butlins Minehead
Christmas Party Tour[11][13]
11 December 2013 Nottingham England Capital FM Arena
12 December 2013 Birmingham LG Arena
13 December 2013 Sheffield Motorpoint Arena Sheffield
14 December 2013[C] London The O2 Arena
15 December 2013[D] Manchester Manchester Arena
Series 2
21 February 2014 London England Hammersmith Apollo
Notes
A Five, Blue, and Liberty X only. Part of Newmarket Nights' "Big Pop Party"
B Blue will not be performing. Part of Butlin's "Back Together" music weekend.
C Matinee and evening concerts

Reception[edit]

Almost 4,000 people attended the sold-out show at the Hammersmith Apollo on 26 February, for which tickets sold out almost immediately after going on sale. The entire 14-date arena tour quickly sold out as well.

The arena tour has received highly positive reviews from critics. Denise Evans gave the show in Manchester on 4 May, four out of five stars. "It was like watching a Smash Hits Poll Winners Party of old or an episode of Top of the Pops, which ultimately is exactly what the majority people singing and dancing along in the arena wanted. A bit of nostalgia.", she said.[36] After attending the show in Nottingham on 10 May, Jayne Garfitt of thisisnottingham.com said "When it comes to revisiting the bands of your childhood the experience tends to tread a thin line between legendary and tragic. But that was not the case with the Big Reunion Tour. From the minute 5ive stepped on stage to the opening bars of Queen's We Will Rock You, the atmosphere at the Capital FM Arena was electric. They might all be older and wiser but there is no doubt that these bands still have what it takes – slick dance moves, catchy lyrics and a great big sense of fun. Brilliant."[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Big Reunion concert sees Jodi Albert reunite with Girl Thing alongside Eternal, 5th Story and Damage". Daily Mail (DMG Media). 22 February 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Wightman, Catriona (20 March 2014). "The Big Reunion: Boybands join forces for nationwide tour". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Goodacre, Kate (18 October 2012). "Atomic Kitten, 5ive, B*Witched, 911, more to reunite for ITV2 show". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Lazarus, Susanna (18 October 2012). "Atomic Kitten, 5ive and B*Witched to reform for ITV2’s The Big Reunion". Radio Times. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Blue Join Reality Show The Big Reunion". MTV UK. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Blue to join ITV's Big Reunion". musicnews.com. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Daniels, Colin (3 February 2013). "'Big Reunion' UK arena tour in the works". Digital Spy (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Cuffe, Aidan (14 February 2013). "The Big Re-Union announces show at The O2 and Odyssey Arena". Goldenplec. Retrieved 3 March 2013. /
  10. ^ "Blue Snub 'The Big Reunion' Tour". Huffington Post UK. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "5ive, B*Witched, Atomic Kitten for 'Big Reunion' Christmas Party tour". Digital Spy. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "5ive, B*Witched, Atomic Kitten for 'Big Reunion' Christmas Party tour". Digital Spy. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Miller, Adam (23 April 2013). "'Big Reunion' Add More Christmas Tour Dates To B*Witched, Atomic Kitten & 5ive Shows". entertainmentwise.com. Retrieved 23 April 2013. /
  14. ^ Eames, Tom (1 May 2013). "'The Big Reunion' renewed by ITV2, East 17 and A1 involved?". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  15. ^ Payne, Will (1 May 2013). "Bigger Reunion: Hit ITV2 show gets new series". The Sun (News UK). Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "'The Big Reunion' series 2: Big Brovaz in talks to star". The Huffington Post (AOL). 5 April 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "S Club 7 ‘to reform for TV show to rival The Big Reunion’". Metro (DMG Media). 30 May 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  18. ^ Armitage, Hugh (19 February 2014). "Myleene Klass on 'Big Reunion': 'Hear'Say make them sound like Disney'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  19. ^ Walker, Danny (26 September 2013). "Louise Redknapp 'won't be joining rest of Eternal on The Big Reunion'". Daily Mirror (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  20. ^ Wightman, Catriona (27 December 2013). "Eternal, A1 and a supergroup: Big Reunion series two lineup unveiled". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  21. ^ Eames, Tom (27 January 2014). "The Big Reunion's Eternal: Louise Redknapp wished us good luck". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  22. ^ a b Rigler, Natasha (28 January 2014). "Ex-Damage star Coreé Richards on Big Reunion: "Untrue things are hurtful"". Reveal (Nat Mags). Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  23. ^ Lynn, Connolly (27 January 2014). "The Big Reunion 2014: A1 band members "still aren’t over" tragic deaths of four fans at their gig". Unreality TV. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  24. ^ "Another Level's Wayne Turns Down 'The Big Reunion'". MTV UK. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  25. ^ Ingham, James (26 January 2014). "Lord Alan Sugar an obstruction to The Big Reunion". Daily Star (Northern & Shell). Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  26. ^ Yaqoob, Janine (26 January 2014). "Another Level Big Reunion comeback thwarted - by Apprentice boss Sir Alan Sugar". Daily Mirror (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  27. ^ "'Big Reunion' stars return to the stage at Hammersmith Apollo". Digital Spy. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  28. ^ "The Big Reunion Live 2013 - DVD". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  29. ^ "The Big Reunion Live Show: All the details, set list and after-party gossip!". Heat. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  30. ^ "'Big Reunion' stars return to the stage at Hammersmith Apollo - pictures". Daily Mail. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  31. ^ "The Big Reunion arena tour announced with 5ive and 911". BBC. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  32. ^ "The Big Reunion Concert Tour: Dublin and Belfast Irish Dates Added". The Daily Update. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  33. ^ "‘BIG POP PARTY’ ON ADNAMS NEWMARKET NIGHT". newmarketracecourse.co.uk. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  34. ^ "Noughties Pop Fest". castlehoward.co.uk. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  35. ^ "Back Together". bigweekends.com. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  36. ^ Evans, Denise (6 May 2013). "Review: Reunited in pop nostalgia". Manchester Evening News. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  37. ^ Garfitt, Jayne (10 May 2013). "Review: The Big Reunion, Capital FM Arena". thisisnottingham.com. Nottingham Post. Retrieved 11 May 2013.