L-R Kimba, Cheryl, Nicola, Nadine, Sarah
I remember so clearly the first time I heard their name. I was sitting outside the music shop where I worked with my co-worker and friend. We were drinking pre-shift Starbucks together in the morning sunshine. Reality TV show ‘Pop Stars – the Rivals’ was really popular back in 2002, but I hadn’t seen much of it since we didn’t have a TV in the dive I lived in at the time. Two bands would be created after the audition process – a girl band and a boy band. The two would battle it out in the UK pop charts to get to number one.
“The girl band is going to be called Girls Aloud – like out loud,” my coworker explained to me.
I winced. “That is such a terrible name for a band!”
“Yes, but the boy band’s name is worse… One True Voice!”
So, I hated the name Girls Aloud, but when I saw them, I thought they were so cool! They had tons of attitude, and their first song ‘Sound of the Underground’ wasn’t like the pop music around at the time. It was really fresh sounding. And their second single was even better! It had the lyrics -“Everybody’s talking like i’m crazy – dangerous and lazy girl with no soul.”
A great song, but the outfits in the video are pretty awful. They seem to be a waste of Baco… the foil.
No Good Advice
Their next album was brilliant. They had a love of fun, fast pop songs with non sensical lyrics which were fun along to. One of my favourites being “Should have known, should have cared, should have hung around the kitchen in my underwear, acting like a lady!” from their hit ‘The Show.’
Fast forward a few years and I’m in McDonalds in Oxford. I hardly ever go to this particular fast food outlet, but I’m so glad I went in the summer of 2005! With my Happy Meal, I got a little plastic music player which played Biology by Girls Aloud. I hadn’t heard it before. It didn’t sound like anything I’d heard before. It’s the most distorted, fractured, exciting pop song I know. I loved it so much I remember my best friend and neighbour used to come over to my house and we’d dance around to it. I still know the dance!
It starts off kind of boring but give it a chance. I love the video and the pink prom dresses but Kimba did not suit dark hair! I’m glad she has the ombre blonde/ brown hair she is rocking right now.
Then their next album was also amazing – full of even more fun and fast pop. One of my favourite Girls Aloud songs, ‘Sexy! No no no…’ is on the Tangled Up album. But my favourite was ‘I Can’t Speak French’. When I first heard the song I thought it was kind of boring, but it totally grew on me. The outfits in the video are stunning. Cheryl was going through a lot of heartbreak during the time of filming during this video but you wouldn’t think that for a second when watching it. Cheryl is so tough.
Can’t Speak French
Plus, the B-Side to the single is Je Ne Parle Pas Francais where they sing the song in French! Badass!
Their next huge hit was The Promise which was going to be their last while they went their separate ways. I went to see them live in London for their final (for now) tour and it was amazing. They looked beautiful. Everyone in the o2 arena was so happy and the whole evening was full of sheer joy and music. The Promise will always make me think of the Northern soap Coronation Street. Julie had a crush on Jason, the local builder, before they found out they were related. She had a crush on him so bad. She sang The Promise to him in the local pub while Jason squirmed with discomfort. I’ll never forget it!
Anyway, after THREE LONG YEARS (Where Nicola released an incredible solo album called Cinderella’s Eyes which I have probably told you over and over how much I love!) the girls got back together!
I loved how they were wearing matching outfits in the video. Like a girl gang! This song is full of SASS.
Last night I went to see Girls Aloud at the o2 in London. There was a great atmosphere once again. There were little girls with their mums, dancing around in pure joy. I saw a girl with pink hair, and I saw a girl with false eyelashes, long blonde hair extensions and sparkling sequined leggings. When the girls came onstage, the whole place went wild. It was so exciting to be part of something so joyful.
Kimba told the audience “Cheryl didn’t want me to tell you guys this,” she addressed us, like she was telling a close friend, not thousands of people packed into the arena. I love Kimba! You can totally imagine being best friends with her! Anyway, “Cheryl has the flu. She is feeling so ill. But she didn’t want to not be here tonight.”
“I wouldn’t miss this for the world!” Cheryl shouted, and we all screamed our thanks. Cheryl is such a star.
I thought about how so many people in the arena have so much love for Girls Aloud. I think it’s because they’re not only hot but they’re real. We saw them go from wannabes on a TV reality show (or not, if you didn’t have a TV at the time!) to full blown pop stars. We remember Kimba and Cheryl climbing Kilimanjaro for charity, and Cheryl getting malaria, and then being a judge on TV favourite The X Factor (of which I’ve only seen one series – I never saw Cheryl on the show! I saw it when Tulisa was a judge for some reason).
But most of all we love them because they make the most life affirming, fun, happy music in the world. The kind of music that makes you want to dance your head off like a dickhead and not care if someone is watching you.