Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Coming full circle

Well this is a first - a band reunion taking place while the band still actually exists. Except that this time, the reunion will involve the original line-up rather than the three increasingly random artistes who comprise the band's current line-up.

The Sugababes have rarely been out of the news recently, with more fall-outs, fights and fake kidnappings than an omnibus edition of Hollyoaks. Events finally reached a head four weeks ago when Keisha Buchanan, the final founding member of the group was unceremoniously dumped by the record label and replaced by Jade Ewen.

Fans were quick to argue that with all three members replaced, the band (as it was originally conceived) no longer existed. And although they would continue to support the girls, it was felt that they really ought to rename the group.

Writing in The Guardian, Johnny Dee argued that it's simply a case of 'one lineup change too many' and that the band is now a laughing stock, especially since its signature sound of smart, soulful pop has now been replaced with a soulless electronic R&B sound bearing no resemblance to the band's original brilliance.

Someone's obviously been listening to the fan chatter, since it seems that Mutya Buena is now keen to turn back the clock and reform the Sugababes. Having patched up her differences with original band-member Siobhan Donaghy recently, Mutya believes that the band could be big again, and that this time they'll be mature enough to handle the pressures of fame without turning on each other.

To some, the idea of two competing Sugababes acts may sound like the most exciting thing to happen in pop music since Benny and Bjorn encouraged their band leader to dress as Napoleon. To others, it may feel more like a temporal paradox waiting to happen, like Marty McFly encountering his future self in Back To The Future Part Two. Let's not forget, it has happened before - and things got pretty ugly.

Although I wouldn't normally invoke the name of David Van Day unless I was attempting to open a hellmouth, it's worth remembering that the world once found itself faced with the prospect of not one, but two versions of Bucks Fizz. Ever the opportunist, the tight-faced egomaniac established an anti-Fizz that to compete with Bobby G's more authentic incarnation of the group. Long-winded legal wrangles aside, holiday camps up and down the country were suddenly beseiged by over-bleached middle-aged performers whipping each other's clothes off, like Gloria Hunniford performing a strip-tease.

By the time Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan get their house in order, it's likely that the world will have moved on. Nonetheless, there's every likelihood that David Van Day will be waiting in the wings with a nose-ring and a weave, ready to unveil his own unique take on Britain's favourite girl band.

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