Girls@Play were a British five-piece girl group, consisting of Vicky Dowdall, Lisa-Jay White, Rita Simons, Lynsey Shaw and Shelley Nash. They were signed to GSM Records and produced by Stock & Aitken (Mike Stock and Matt Aitken).
Each member of the band had a different character that they played in their music videos. Dowdall played a cowgirl, White an executive, Simons a mechanic, Shaw a New York City traffic cop and Nash a pilot. This gimmick led to Girls@Play being described as the female version of Village People.
The group released two singles; "Airhead" on 12 February 2001 a cover version of "Respectable", originally by Mel and Kim, on 1 October 2001. "Airhead" reached number 18 in the UK Singles Chart on 18 February 2001, while "Respectable" reached number 29 on 7 October 2001. They also supported Hear'Say and Steps on their arena tours in 2000/2001.
The announcement of Girls@Play's disbanding was made on 18 November 2001.
In January 2014, it was announced that the band's management are currently in talks to reform the band. They are also in discussion to reunite the band for the second series of The Big Reunion, however, this is yet to be confirmed, however this was confirmed as a rumour and the band have never materised since. Rita Simons has hinted the band may reunite in the future. In March 2016 it was announced that the band are currently in talks in reforming, but nothing has been confirmed.
Info on members
Victoria "Vicky" Dowdall (born 23 January 1979 Gateshead, Tyne and Wear)
Vicky Dowdall grew up in Heworth, York and studied at Reavley Theatre School in Gateshead. In 1999 she was one of three session singers recruited by Pete Waterman to sing on a remake of "That's What Love Can Do" credited to Toutes Les Filles. Upon Girls@play's dissolution Dowdall joined her schoolfriend Camilla Romestrand to form a Pop duo originally known as Neway and subsequently as Honeytrap, Honeybeat, and in 2003 - taking a more Rock music focus - Purple Patch. Eventually Dowdall moved into artist management founding VDM Management based in London.
Shelley Nash (born 13 January 1978)
A professional singer from age 11, Shelley Nash would form Friday with Nash and Simons upon Girls@Play's disbanding. Nash would subsequently earn a BMus Honors Degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2005 and focus her career on classical music.
Lynsey Shaw (born 15 June 1980) Loughborough Leics.)
Lynsey Shaw studied fashion in Loughborough and London before electing to make her longstanding enjoyment of singing the focus of her career. Subsequent to Girls@Play disbanding Shaw took part in the 2002 televised auditions to replace Kym Marsh in Hear'Say being eliminated in second place. Shaw made a 2010 move to Los Angeles where she runs a boutique record label Big Finish Records and is set to release her debut solo album soon.
Rita Simons (born 10 March 1977, in Whipps Cross, London)
Upon Girls@play's disbanding Simons joined Nash and White to form Friday, then in 2002 joined a new girl group named Charli. In 2002 Simons ended her singing career to focus on acting and since 2007 has portrayed the character Roxy Mitchell on the BBC soap opera EastEnders.
Lisa Jane "Lisa-Jay" White (born 23 May 1979)
After joining Simons and Nash to form the group Friday upon Girls@Play's disbanding, Lisa-Jay White has evidently retired from performing.
- "Brand New Car"
- "NME review". NME.com. 20 November 2000. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
- "Girls at Play", Music Moz. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
- "Rita Simons on The Paul O Grady Show - 8 05 2009". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
- "Airhead" (which was originally recorded in 1999 when the act were a duo, then re-recorded as a trio), Music Moz. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
- "Girls@Play", Mobius' Music Home Page. Retrieved 2007-05-28.