THEY were one of the biggest acts to ever come out of Simon Cowell’s The
I joined the boys, some of the nicest guys in the business, backstage at London’s O2 Arena for the final show of their sold-out 15-date arena tour and presumably a last chance for Marvin Humes to fortify himself with a decent meal before he flies this week to Australia for I’m A Celebrity. . . even though he is sworn to secrecy.
The boys delivered a top notch two hour show full of hits, including a hugely popular DJ interlude called ‘DJLS’ which was well received, before launching into their biggest crowd favourites.
Aston Merrygold joked: “We enjoyed incorporating the DJ section into the set this year, Marv and I were there back to back with JB (Gill) and Oritse (Williams) getting the crowd into the mood. It started.
“While we’re DJing, there’s a moment where the other guys are going into the crowd and walking around the arenas, but the further north we got, the more we became very worried about not getting on stage with any clothes on would return as it kept getting louder and louder.”
Marvin added: “And thanks for coining the name ‘DJLS’ last year, Simon, we’ve adopted that.”
The guys who kindly called me from the stage that evening will be returning next summer for a series of outdoor gigs, giving Marvin a chance to relax and unwind after his stay down under.
Oritse stated: “This arena tour was incredible. We didn’t know what to expect after doing a comeback tour just two years ago, but the reception from the fans was great.
“To be honest, we don’t want it to end, but we’re glad we have the opportunity to do it again next summer at a series of outdoor shows.”
Speaking at the final show on Friday, Aston added: “It was really special to invite some of our friends from the industry to surprise the audience.
We brought Fleur East and Max George from The Wanted in Manchester, Olly Murs in London last night and Tinie Tempah tonight.
“These are artists who are personal friends or colleagues that we grew up with in the industry.
“Olly toured with us in the summer of 2010, so bringing him to London all these years later was special.”
Get out of clubs
It was pal Max who proved to be the biggest crowd pleaser of the tour and Marvin revealed: “Bringing Max on stage caused an incredible reaction.
“You could hardly hear the song because of all the screaming. It would definitely be special to have the boys on the road with us when the time was right. It would be so much fun.”
But while the boys still know how to put on a show, they insist this is a far cry from their infamous party boy days, when they were often seen leaving London clubs until the early hours of the morning.
Instead, the backstage area is now filled with the band’s growing families, including nap beds for their children. JB explains: “Tour life isn’t quite the same as it used to be, there were so many kids backstage – in between.” ours, our crew and our team.
“It’s really special to see them enjoying our music and singing all the lyrics to songs we released before they were even born.
“We appreciate it now because in a few years we will undoubtedly no longer be cool with them.”
You’re still cool to me, guys.
BRITNEY Spears has claimed she knew Taylor Swift would become a star before she hit the big time after being introduced to her as a teenager.
The Toxic singer revealed on social media that they first met in 2003 when Britney was on tour – three years before Taylor released her self-titled debut album.
Britney said, “There was a knock, and then (my friend) said, ‘I have a girl named Taylor who wants to come in and sing for you.'” I was like, “Of course!”
“She sings a beautiful song with her guitar. I thought, “Wow, wow, she’s incredible!” We took a photo and she became the most famous pop woman of our generation.
“She’s stunning! Girl crush.”
Glamorous time, baby
MODEL Hailey Beiber led the glamorous new arrivals in a strapless black dress at the Baby2Baby gala in Los Angeles over the weekend.
Other stars of the event included models Alessandra Ambrosio, Chrissy Teigen and Heidi Klum, filmmaker Olivia Wilde and actresses Jessica Alba, Zoe Saldana, Salma Hayek and Kirsten Dunst.
Snoop Dogg appeared and Gwyneth Paltrow was also there – but not as a celebrity guest.
She helped cater the event to benefit children in poverty through her company Goop Kitchen and was seen serving oysters to guests.
This is the last thing I want to eat on a night out.
But it’s better than your regular wheatgrass shots, I think.
Raye left it out
RAYE believes being rejected in Friday’s Grammy nominations made her even more motivated.
The Escapism hitmaker wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “Just to let you know I’m not upset at all, I’m hungry and grateful.”
“The Grammys honor the best that music has to offer, and I have barely scratched the surface of what I can give musically.”
Lor of the hand
LOREEN proved her ability to deliver an impressive performance when she won the Eurovision Song Contest for the second time in May.
But the Swede’s talent for putting on a supernatural show has to be seen live to be believed.
Her vocal tone is second to none and makes the hits Tattoo and Euphoria sound superior to the recordings.
And she contorted her body and waved her long nails in such a special way, as if she had been rehearsing for weeks.
While she was moving in a cloud of smoke, she began to lose audiences on some of her lesser-known songs, and most fans were keen to see her on her big singles rather than other album tracks.
But her presence and an acoustic version of new single “Is It Love” won over the sold-out venue.
And with more music on the way and a new team behind her, Loreen should get even better.
Sugas flavored by MNEK
SUGABABES were used to topping the charts when they originally appeared in the late ’90s and ’00s, and are now teaming up with one of pop music’s most successful men to return with more hits.
I can reveal that bandmates Mutya Buena, Keisha Buchanan and Siobhan Donaghy were in the studio with writer and producer MNEK.
He has written hits for Dua Lipa, Beyonce and Little Mix and also topped the singles charts himself in 2020 with Joel Corry’s Head & Heart.
A music insider said of Sugababes: “We hope they can develop music that really helps re-establish their position in pop.”
The trio, who reunited last year, will play their final gig of 2023 at North London club Drumsheds on December 2, joining Shygirl and Eliza Rose at the top of the bill.
Jack and Dua take on the Beatles
JACK Harlow and Dua Lipa battle the Beatles to secure this week’s No.1 single.
The Fab Four topped the charts on Friday with their latest single “Now And Then” and are poised to spend a second week at the top.
But just 2,000 sales separate the top three, with Jack coming in at number 2 last night with his new song ‘Lovin’ On Me’.
Dua debuted at number three with her song Houdini, the lead single from her as-yet-untitled third album, due out next year.
American singer Noah Kahan, who is on a sell-out UK tour this week, has reached a new peak at number 7 with Stick Season.
But he could also have another song in the top 20 by Friday, as his song Northern Attitude is at No. 14.