WITH the real thing on indefinite leave while some members enjoy more successful solo careers than others, Girls 2 Loud are filling the Girls Aloud-shaped void in our lives by bringing their tribute show to Berwick on Saturday, January 29.
While Cheryl and co do their own thing, these five girls will be bringing the fierce five’s biggest hits to The Maltings for a special Ladies Night alongside Dirty Dancing tribute ‘Time Of Your Life’’.
So if your ‘Biology’ isn’t quite up to scratch or you ‘Can’t Speak French’ you’ll ‘Jump’ at the chance to catch the vocals, authentic dance routines and fab costumes of Girls 2 Loud.
Starting a tribute to the nation’s favourite pop fillies was the idea of Hayley Richardson, Girls 2 Loud’s very own Sarah Harding.
She and her bandmates all worked in Flamingo Land’s entertainment team and as huge fans of Girls Aloud they decided to take their admiration to the next level.
Well they do say that imitation is the highest form of flattery after all.
“We were all working at Flamingo Land doing loads of shows together and after giving it some thought we decided to start a tribute,” said Hayley.
“Girls Aloud had always been popular but the year Cheryl first became an ‘X Factor’ judge they suddenly became huge.
“It helped that we were all massive fans of the girls and as a group of five girls the options of who to imperson-ate were quite limited.
“We also wanted a sustainable act and fingers crossed the girls will get back together soon so we’ve got some new material to work on.”
Although so far Girls Aloud have avoided the Baby, Ginger, Posh, Scary and Sporty labels that were bestowed on another famous girlband, they all have their own recognisable personality traits and unique style.
And Hayley, who has performed in Berwick prev-iously with the Leah Bell Rock ‘n’ Roll Show, said it was the same with Girls 2 Loud, although she admitted that there was one girl who everyone wanted to be. “Who became which girl was purely based on looks,” she continued.
“We’ve got three lead vocalists and I have to say I would love to have been Cheryl but I’ve got blonde hair so that was a no-go from the start!
“Fortunately the girl who is our Cheryl, Natalia, is a huge fan so she knows exactly how to do her justice.
“We were quite lucky with the fact that our hair colours matched the girls; the only one of us who needed to do any dyeing was Emma, our Nicola.”
Having had the pleasure of catching Girls Aloud on tour four times myself, I know that the ladies definitely put on a cracking show and Hayley said that all the Girls 2 Loud girls loved trying to re-create the energy and spark that made the real thing such a hot ticket.
She continued: “Our gigs are based on Girls Aloud’s ‘Out of Control’ tour which was amazing and gave us plenty of food for thought. We open up with ‘The Promise’ which was of course a number one and is always a big crowd pleaser. We do all their singles and also their version of James Morrison’s ‘Broken Strings’.
“Without wanting to give too much away, the end of the show is very upbeat and I hope people are also impressed by all the quick costume changes we have to do!”
No strangers to a platinum- selling album, including one greatest hits collection, Girls Aloud certainly serve their tribute acts well when it comes to songs to choose from but Hayley said that there were certain tracks that struck a particular chord with audiences.
“One of my favourites to do is ‘Can’t Speak French’ but I think that’s because of the costumes more than anything - I love the outfits for that one particularly!
“After starting with a bang with ‘The Promise’ we usually do ‘The Loving Kind’, which slows the tempo down a bit, so to get people in the dancing moods again we throw in ‘Biology’ and ‘Love Machine’ - that one particularly always seems to go down really well.”
Since starting up their tribute to the Popstars The Rivals winners, Girls 2 Loud have shared the stage with a number of other tribute acts, including Re-Take That, who raised the roof off The Maltings last year.
This means that the girls have played to predominantly female audiences, and although sometimes unsure of what type of reception they’ll get, Hayley said on the whole, reactions have been very favourable.
“We had a really busy time over Christmas and New Year, doing gigs at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland and various function rooms.
“If we’re on with another act such as Re-Take That we tend to open for them which means it is our job to get the audience in the party mood.
“You tend to get a really specific audience for shows like that and we realised from the start that as a girl band we’d have to work that little bit harder to get the ladies in the audience on side.
“We’re always careful to make sure we don’t wear anything too suggestive that could put people off. But to be honest I think it helps that generally everyone loves a bit of Girls Aloud. There’s at least one song of theirs that people really like; they seem to appeal to men and women of all ages.”
With papers full of stories of bandmate bitching and jealousy between the girls, since releasing their last album as a group, Girls Aloud have arguably become just as famous for their tabloid tales as their music but Hayley said that relations in the Girls 2 Loud camp were most definitely cheery.
“I think it helps that we were all really good mates before we started the band,” she added.
“We’d spend loads of time together doing the shows at Flamingo Land, doing a few shows a day, so it’s not like we were all suddenly thrown together.
“We’re all still the best of friends and there’s definitely no primadonnas in Girls 2 Loud.”
With Cheryl Cole set to move Stateside with Simon Cowell for the American version of ‘The X Factor’, and Kimberley, Nadine, Nicola and Sarah also pursuing solo ventures, it doesn’t look like Girls Aloud will be heading back into the studio anytime in the near future although like many other fans, Hayley and the rest of Girls 2 Loud are hoping a reunion will be on the cards sooner rather than later.
“I really hope the girls come back in the next year or so, they’ve definitely been missed.
“It would be good for them to do just even one more album and a tour so we’ve got some new stuff to work into our shows.
“I definitely don’t think we’ve seen the last of them.”
Girls 2 Loud will be sharing The Maltings stage with the cast of ‘Time of Your Life’, who like them are on the books of the Newcastle-based Dixon Agency.
‘Time of Your Life’ is billed as “the ultimate ‘Dirty Dancing’ tribute’’ and to find out more read ‘In The Limelight’ next week for an interview with two of its stars, Andy and Karen Stead.