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Monday 23 October 2017

POP 'N' HIGH HEELS WITH UNA'S GANG

THE SATURDAYS

How do you solve a problem like the Saturdays? You don't. You just let them get on with it. If the British and Irish girl band wants to cram a flashy arena show into theatres, so be it. If it's in their best interests to hire topless male dancers carrying lightsabers, work away.

You already know what we're going to say. We've been here many times before, in fact. Judging by sales of the girls' recent compilation package, and the low chart placement of its flimsy lead single, we might not be here again. So let's just get it out of the way: they're no Girls Aloud. God love them, they try. Especially Una Foden (the Irish one).

"Are you ready to make this Wednesday night a Saturday night?" asks Una. Oh, all right then. Seven years in, and the Saturdays' greatest hits tour comes equipped with an aeroplane theme. A fireman theme. A nightclub theme. Lots and lots of themes.

"It sounds like a football match in here," says Frankie Bridge (currently double jobbing with a gig on Strictly Come Dan cing). Una informs her of Italia '90. Because that's what you get at a Saturdays gig - ole chants and plenty of oggy oggy oggy. They encourage it.

RAPPORT The biggest surprise of the evening? Well, the Saturdays can actually sing. They've got a good rapport too. Sure, the show is so overly-choreographed and personality-free that it sometimes feels as though Una, Frankie, Rochelle, Mollie and Vanessa are supporting players at their own gig (this could easily be a festive girls' night out sort of deal where the music is entirely incidental).

They are, however, a spirited ensemble. Pushing at parody, mind (Gentleman is dedicated to all the single ladies "still looking for Mr Right"), but spirited, nonetheless.

The Saturdays' pop 'n' high heels repertoire always was lacking in the hook department (they've only ever topped the charts once), but there's still some fun to be had. If it's a bag of glossy, electro-coated pop bangers you're after, then the likes of Up and Ego should do the trick. Okay, fair enough, that Depeche Mode cover (Just Can't Get Enough) is pretty fabulous

There is no live band, though Una (currently expecting her second child) and Mollie do play acoustic guitars and the dancers carry marching drums (bless).

Clearly, the Saturdays get a kick out of this pop life.

You have to wonder if those wide-eyed expressions have more to do with desperation (everyone knows they're on their way out) or passion, but even if they always were dancing in the shadows of a far superior group, Una and her gang at least gave it a proper go.

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