Whether it was dancing to their hits at your school discos, putting their music on blast through your Sony Walkman, binge-watching their television series, collecting their magazines, or catching them every weekend on Saturday morning TV, the life of a millennial kid was incomplete without an S Club party.
Debuting in an era where bubblegum pop was at its peak, S Club, formerly S Club 7, quickly found themselves at the forefront of that sound and slotted right in with the likes of Steps, Britney Spears, and the Spice Girls. At the height of their success, S Club released three multiplatinum studio albums, four No. 1 singles, and a total of 11 top 5 hits while simultaneously starring in their own television series and big-screen movie, Seeing Double.
Following their 2014 reunion, S Club are ready to bring the house down with a new arena tour in October. This time, however, they have arrived with new music. Their latest single, the sentimental “These Are The Days,” is the group’s first new material in two decades and pays tribute to band member Paul Cattermole, who died earlier this year on April 6.
In a new interview with Jo O’Meara and Bradley McIntosh, the duo talks about their new single, the upcoming tour, and the “exciting things” they’ve got planned moving forward.
S Club released their first single in 20 years, “These Are The Days” over two weeks ago. How have you felt about the reception of the song?
Bradley: It’s been amazing. The fans have been amazing. The response has been great. I think it’s exactly what I think fans were expecting from us because it sounds very S Clubby. It’s got that S Club feel. It’s very positive.
Jo: It’s definitely got the S Club sort of vibe around it and that whole uplifting, happy, positive messaging there. So yeah, we are very, very happy with it.
I heard it was a song that was written for you years ago that didn’t feel quite right for S Club at the time. Does that mean you’ve gone back and looked at other archived songs?
Jo: This song was written for us 20 years ago. And like you just said, it just wasn’t really the right time for us to do it back then. I think the whole idea that the song was written by Simon Ellis and Cathy Dennis just makes it the most perfect song for us to come back and celebrate our 25 years with because they’ve always been such a massive part of the whole journey. This song sort of like just jumped out immediately. As soon as we heard it, it was like, yes, this is the one, this is the right time to do it. We didn’t even need to hear any other songs, to be honest.
What was the dynamic like when you all got back into the studio together?
Bradley: I thought it was great fun, you know? Being back with the old gang and Simon Ellis who we’ve worked with for many, many years. He’s been the MD on every tour that we’ve done, so it’s just like a family where we were catching up with the old times, talking about old memories and stuff. It was a lot of fun and just very laid back.
Jo: Like Bradley just said, when we got in the studio for the first time again, within a minute it felt like no time had passed because we just all fell straight back into the old jokes and the old banter. It just feels very natural and very normal when we’re all together.
I know you’ve been asked this a lot but are there plans to release any more music sometime soon?
Jo: There are lots of exciting things, isn’t there, Bradley?
Bradley: But honestly, it’s so good because in 2015 we did a tour and that was just a tour. This time around, I think we really are looking into maybe doing a bit more than just a tour.
Jo: I think there’s a lot of things that we wanna do moving forward into 2024, I think new music for sure. We’ve got all sorts of things that we’re looking into and projects that we’re looking at. We’re gonna be doing something with the British Heart Foundation, which is a project that has now become something that’s very close to our hearts. We’re looking forward to jumping on board with them and moving forward.
Bradley: I think right now, obviously the focus is on this tour. We’ve got o lot of work ahead of us and we just wanna put on a really amazing show for the fans. So right now focus on this tour and then we’ll see. Just watch this space and see what comes after.
It must be quite nice knowing that there is a demand as opposed to wondering if there is.
Bradley: You can’t be complacent and just expect that you’re gonna sell out a tour. So it’s always nerve-wracking when you announce the tour, but you obviously hope that people want it. The fans’ receptions has been great. We sold the tickets and people do want it. The people want to see S Club and they want to hear more. So, we’re very proud and very honored that 25 years later we can still do it.
Jo: I think we just feel very lucky and really grateful that the fans are still there and people still wanna see us up there doing what we all love doing the most.
If you could choose to work with any songwriters for the upcoming material, who would you pick?
Bradley: Oh, that’s a good question. That’s a really good question. Who would you pick, Jo?
Jo: Ed Sheeran’s not bad. He’s a very good songwriter.
Bradley: I could just say something wacky and someone you’d least expect. Imagine Snoop Dogg and S Club [laugh]. That would be crazy. It wouldn’t really work but erm…
Jo: Stranger things have happened.
Bradley: Calvin Harris is another good shout.
Following the death of Paul, you re-named the tour “Good Times” because that was a song he loved and a song he was going to perform. Does that mean there are going to be a solo segment again on this tour?
Jo: No, there’s not gonna be. This show is purely just all S Club songs. So I think where we done the solo songs before, those slots are gonna be filled now because we put it out there to the fans for them to get involved and pick songs from the albums. There’ll be a lot of new stuff that people haven’t heard before and stuff that’s gonna be new for us as well because we’ve not done it before. I think we’re just making this show all about S Club, it’s all about nostalgia and all about just having a really good time.
I want to request “Everybody Wants You” and “Summertime Feeling.”
Bradley: “Summertime Feeling” is another good one.
Jo: We’re really lucky. We’ve got such a massive back catalog, so it’s just trying to squeeze them all into a two-hour show.
Bradley: “Everybody Wants You” just reminds me of when we were on a plane when we were on the TV show.
I always remember it for being in an episode of Lizzie McGuire.
Bradley: It was in Lizzie McGuire?! I never knew that!
I think that’s something that people forget about S Club, you were an international success. Are there plans in the near future to venture out and perform overseas?
Jo: You never know. I think it’s all gonna come down to if people want it. I’m sure if people wanna see us and there’s enough demand for it, then most definitely. That would be something that would be really interested in doing. We all love traveling, and we all love performing, so we’d be daft to not do it. So we will see, watch this space. We never toured anywhere apart from the UK the first time around so it’s an exciting prospect.
Were there any songs that didn’t become singles that you wish did?
Bradley: “All In Love Is Fair” is a favorite. Also, “Who Do You Think You Are?”
Do you still own all the outfits and memorabilia from back in the day?
Bradley: Do you know what? We’ve been in the office today funny enough and I was actually gonna ask if we could see it. There are some of the outfits knocking about there. It’d be interesting to see if you put ’em on and they fit.
Jo: I thought they were long gone, but they’ve actually got every single outfit that we did. We’ve got them all. I’ll be getting them back as soon as I find out where they are.
A lot of fans wanna know if there are any plans to do any 25th-anniversary reissues of the first few albums. I know that you put out Sunshine on Vinyl last year. Are there plans to do more of that when it’s the 25th anniversary?
Jo: There’s a lot of room for all different things and ideas and the fans have been so good at sort of like telling us what they want.
Bradley: I think everyone really likes these vinyls. We should really get on that and do some more with the vinyl, I think.
There has been a lot of talk as well about the TV series being put out on streaming. Is that another thing that you are working on?
Jo: Again, it is just one of those things. See, the thing is with S Club we’ve done so much with the TVs and music and movies and documentaries and things, so who knows? I hope so because I think it would be really nice for like a younger generation to see them because I think they’ve still got a place and I still think people enjoy seeing them.
There was something floating around about it being put on ITVX but it seems to be fake.
Bradley: I saw that floating around. Someone sent a screenshot and it looked really legitimate.
Jo: I’m not sure how much truth there is in that. I’ve tried to look for it to see if it was on there, but it’s not definitely not on there. But you never know, I think in the future it could be very possible.
What is something you miss about the industry from back in the day that is no longer a thing now?
Jo: Brad, I was gonna say it. I dunno why it’s not a thing anymore. I think technology and the internet and the whole thing is so different now, but I like the old days. I like when the kids used to go to Woolworths and buy their little single and their Pick N Mix and they’d go home and watch CD:UK and SMTV. Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, and just all the old ‘90s stuff.
And lastly, what songs are you most looking forward to performing on tour?
Bradley: We can’t give you give away too much, but obviously we’re doing some album tracks that we’ve never done on tour before. I’m looking forward to doing some stuff that we’ve never done.
Jo: I was gonna say that, but apart from doing the new ones that no one’s heard before, I’m looking forward to “Reach.” There’s something about watching an arena all doing it, it gives you the best feeling in the world.