Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Girls Aloud: They cranked it up, and there was no real let-up

Girls aloud concert
SECC Glasgow
Girls aloud concert SECC Glasgow
Derry teenagers Siopha Gallagher, Lisa Kelly, Meghan Chambers and Caiomhe Toland, first in the queue for the Girls Aloud concert tickets which went on sale this morning at the Millennium Forum in Derry. 15-07-06.
Northern Ireland- 7th December 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. JLS, Girls Aloud and Mrs Brown tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster in Belfast City Centre. People pictured queuing up for the tickets. Left to right. Patricia Roach and Amy McCord.
Northern Ireland- 7th December 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. JLS, Girls Aloud and Mrs Brown tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster in Belfast City Centre. People pictured queuing up for the tickets.
ULSTER pop princess Nadine Coyle/Girls Aloud.
Northern Ireland- 7th December 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. JLS, Girls Aloud and Mrs Brown tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster in Belfast City Centre. People pictured queuing up for the tickets. Left to right. Amy McCord, Chloe Ashe, Rachael Hawthorne and Patricia Roach.
Northern Ireland- 7th December 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. JLS, Girls Aloud and Mrs Brown tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster in Belfast City Centre. People pictured queuing up for the tickets.
Northern Ireland- 7th December 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. JLS, Girls Aloud and Mrs Brown tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster in Belfast City Centre. People pictured queuing up for the tickets. Victoria Haveron.
Where did you get the idea for those? Girls Aloud took to the stage in basque dress that appeared to have taken inspiration from BeyoncÈ
File photo dated 16/09/07 of Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole.Sunday February 17, 2008. Ashley Cole has scored another own goal - his wife Cheryl has been declared one of the world's sexiest women. The popularity of the Girls Aloud beauty has soared following revelations that her England football star husband cheated on her. Thousands of male fans have voted for the 24-year-old heartbroken pop star in a poll to name the world's 100 Sexiest Women. She was seventh in the FHM survey last year but is hovering around the top five now.
Nadine Coyle. Singer. Girls Aloud
DUBLIN, IRELAND - JANUARY 28: Pop band Girls Aloud Play Spirit nightclub to celebrate the 10th anniversary of 98fm radio station, Dublin, Ireland January 28 2004.
13.03.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Girls Aloud Fans outside the Odyssey Arena, Belfast yesterday before the concert. Gail Martin with her daughters, Kerry (9) and Holly (8)
Northern Ireland- 7th December 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. JLS, Girls Aloud and Mrs Brown tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster in Belfast City Centre. People pictured queuing up for the tickets.
Girls Aloud comeback...File photo dated 18/02/2009 of Girls Aloud, who have confirmed their comeback four years after the chart-topping girl-band released their last album. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 9, 2012. The group - who celebrate their 10th anniversary next month - put a countdown clock on their website, marking nine days until Friday October 19. See PA story SHOWBIZ Aloud. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire...E
13.03.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Girls Aloud Fans outside the Odyssey Arena, Belfast yesterday before the concert. Gail Martin with her daughters, Kerry (9) and Holly (8)
LONDON - JULY 23: Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud performs on stage at the second annual "Big Gay Out", Europe's biggest Gay music festival, at Finsbury Park on July 23, 2005 in London, England.
13.03.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Girls Aloud Fans outside the Odyssey Arena, Belfast yesterday before the concert. Caolan Kearns, Ceven Fox and Paula Hardy
Girls Aloud performs on stage during the BRIT Awards, at Earls Court, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 18, 2009. See PA story SHOWBIZ Brits. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Girls Aloud fan Jade Fleming (7) from Derry pictured before leaving to see her favourite band in Belfast's Odyssey Areana last night. (tuesday). Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 28.4.09
Girls Aloud arrive at the Music Industry Trusts' Award 2008 at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane in central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday 3rd November 2008. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
GIRLS ALOUD - NADINE COYLE
13.03.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Girls Aloud Fans outside the Odyssey Arena, Belfast yesterday before the concert. Megan O'Kane and Emily Johnson
13.03.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Girls Aloud Fans outside the Odyssey Arena, Belfast yesterday before the concert. (Julie Stevenson with her daughters (L-R) Sophie (13), Lucy (10) and Karissa (19)
13.03.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Girls Aloud Fans outside the Odyssey Arena, Belfast yesterday before the concert. Maria White, Michael Burns, Nicola White and Tina Burns
13.03.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Girls Aloud Fans outside the Odyssey Arena, Belfast yesterday before the concert. Tessa Mochrie from Essex, Sophie Eego from London, Melissa Chadwick from Leeds, Sarah McDowell and Saoirse Weir
Cheryl Cole
13.03.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Girls Aloud Fans outside the Odyssey Arena, Belfast yesterday before the concert. Mark O'Reilly and Jim McGowan
13.03.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Girls Aloud Fans outside the Odyssey Arena, Belfast yesterday before the concert. Tracey Connor and Courtney Watterson
13.03.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Girls Aloud Fans outside the Odyssey Arena, Belfast yesterday before the concert. Rachel Dawson
13.03.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Girls Aloud Fans outside the Odyssey Arena, Belfast yesterday before the concert.
13.03.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Girls Aloud Fans outside the Odyssey Arena, Belfast yesterday before the concert.
Sunday Life Features Cheryl Cole Girls Aloud
Aoife Donnelly, Georgia Mackin, Fionnghuala Donnelly, and Aife McManus going to see Girls Aloud in the Odyssey, Belfast. Pic by Ian Magill. 29/4/09.
Strictly Come Dancing 2012...Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing - TX: 17/11/2012 - Episode: Episode 8 (No. Episode 8) - Embargoed for publication until: 18/11/2012 - Picture Shows: ** RESULTS SHOW ** THIS IMAGE IS STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 20:00, SUNDAY NOVEMBER 18TH, 2012 Performing their single 'Something New', Girls Aloud - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy...hig
Rachel Campbell, Deidre Campbell, Maura Lyttle and Ellen Validay going to see Girls Aloud in the Odyssey, Belfast. Pic by Ian Magill. 29/4/09.
Northern Ireland- 7th December 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. JLS, Girls Aloud and Mrs Brown tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster in Belfast City Centre. People pictured queuing up for the tickets. Left to right. Chloe Ashe and Rachael Hawthorne.
Lingerie firm signs up Girls Aloud star...Handout from Ultimo of Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding, who has been unveiled as the new face of Ultimo lingerie, created by Glasgow-based entrepreneur Michelle Mone. PRESS ASSOCIATION photo. Issue date: Wednesday November 8, 2006. Harding is wearing a black "frontless body" from the range, price £45. Former Ultimo models include Rachel Hunter and Helena Christensen. See PA story SHOWBIZ Ultimo. Photo credit should read: Ultimo/PA. ...A
Undated handout image showing Girls Aloud who are backing an anti bullying campaign and it's associated range of t-shirts, backed by high street fashion retailer, mkone, London..
Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud performs at Big Gay Out, the biggest gay festival in Europe, held at Finsbury Park in north London, Saturday 23 July 2005.
Jingle Bell Ball - London...Nadine Coyle from Girls Aloud on stage at the Jingle Bell Ball presented by Capital FM at the O2 Arena, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday December 9, 2012. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire...E
LONDON - JULY 23: Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud performs on stage at the second annual "Big Gay Out", Europe's biggest Gay music festival, at Finsbury Park on July 23, 2005 in London, England.
Jingle Bell Ball - London...Kimberley Walsh from Girls Aloud on stage at the Jingle Bell Ball presented by Capital FM at the O2 Arena, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday December 9, 2012. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire...E
Undated handout image showing Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding, modelling Ultimo's brand new Autumn Winter 2007 lingerie collection, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture issue date: Tuesday 31 October 2007. The collection is available online at www.ultimo.co.uk and from Debenhams Stores Nationwide. Photo credit should read: Ultimo.co.uk/PA Wire
Girls Aloud
28.04.09. Picture by David Fitzgerald. Girls Aloud playing at the Odyssey Arena Belfast last night. The fans queue up outside to get in
Sunday Life Features Girls Aloud
Pop group Girls Aloud in concert at the Carling Apollo in Hammersmith, west London, Saturday May 28, 2005.
Pop band "Girls Aloud"

The return of Girls Aloud to the stage can't have taken many people by surprise.

 

Following the relative failure of certain members' solo careers, and with the likes of the Saturdays and Little Mix cleaning up in their four-year absence, the temptation to reclaim their place in the pop hierarchy must have been too great for the 2000s' top girl group to ignore.

These days, it may be more like Women Aloud, but Cheryl Cole, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh still look stunning as they totter into their 30s.

And last night's sold-out Odyssey Arena show – to be followed by a second tonight – proves there's still a massive audience for the band's arch brand of supercharged electronic pop.

The English-Irish act's comeback tour has been hung on a decade-spanning best-of collection, entitled Ten (definitely not to be confused with the Stranglers or Pearl Jam albums of the same name).

"Ten years," remarked resident Northern Ireland member Coyle, expressing mock astonishment in her unaffected Londonderry accent.

"What is that all about?"

What it was all about was a career-charting, crowd-pleasing set list that delivered hit after hit after hit.

Admirably, the reunited Girls Aloud went for broke, giving the party-ready throng of twenty-something females, excitable teenagers, gay couples and the odd ironic hipster exactly what they had come for, in neat, near-chronological order.

The high-end presentation began with the girls descending from the Odyssey roof on a shiny metal platform that bore their logo, singing their debut – and still brilliantly catchy – single Sound of the Underground.

Second single No Good Advice came next, keeping the pulsating rhythms and synchronised dance moves going.

"I'm a wee bit nervous," giggled the ever-pouting Coyle, somewhat unconvincingly, as dry ice poured on to the stage for the ballad Life Got Cold, a rare lowish-key moment.

Wake Me Up and a cover of the Pointer Sisters' Jump cranked things back up again, and from that point, there was no real let-up for nearly the next two hours.

Love Machine, Can't Speak French, Something Kinda Oooh and the rest of the outfit's back catalogue sounded superb, regaling the arena with a wash of synths, disco drumbeats and anthemic choruses.

Indeed, the only thing stripped-down about the show was the number of notes the singers hit.

From Coyle's caterwaul to Roberts' warble, none of the vocals was anything to write home about, but at least they were performed live and at least they had character.

Speaking of 'character', the quintet are almost a living cartoon at this point, and Cole – who headlined the same venue on her solo tour last year – seems to remain the fans' favourite.

In fact, the only person who got a bigger cheer than the diminutive ex-X Factor judge last night was a well-toned male dancer who whipped off his T-shirt.

Production-wise – and apart from an unusual moment when the ladies emerged sporting Native American head-dresses and angel wings – costume changes took a back seat to pyrotechnics, lights, dancers, video screens playing nostalgic scenes from the past decade and the now obligatory journey over the heads of the crowd on a hydraulic platform to a secondary podium in the centre of the arena.

"What's the craic?" asked Coyle once they got there, adding with an incongruously responsible air for an arena pop concert: "Has everybody – over 18 – got a drink in their hand?"

Perhaps the Derry star, who mentioned that she had several friends and family members in the crowd, was on her best behaviour.

Token new songs On the Metro and the cheekily monikered Something New might not signal a second decade of massive chart success but, despite the comparatively subdued reception, they were as accomplished as anything else on offer.

The evening ended on a wildly camp rendition of The Promise, the girls modelling sparkly red dresses, backed by a dozen or so male and female dancers in top hats and bow ties, with confetti falling from the ceiling.

Even if they don't make it to another 10 years, Girls Aloud certainly made a lasting impression on their Belfast fan base last night.

ANDREW JOHNSTON

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