It’s been well over a full decade since Life Got Cold, and Nadine Coyle, Kimberley Walsh, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Cheryl Tweedy Cole Fernandez-Versini Payne Just Cheryl Girls Aloud abruptly announced their time had come to an end after wrapping up the Ten Tour, resulting in the word “TwitLonger” causing trauma for years to come.
We then tragically lost our beloved Sarah in 2021, permanently altering the band forever.
After the girls rallied together for some beautiful tributes and meaningful charity work to honor her legacy in 2022, the group began to reach back into the archives, beginning all the way at the start with their “Sound of the Underground” vinyl, with proceeds going to The Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal.
At the beginning of 2023, Girls Aloud and Polydor/Fascination Records announced what they referred to as “the first in a series of exciting reissues” of the band’s studio albums, beginning with their 2003 debut. And ever since, they’ve been digitalizing each and every single, including all the bonus content and remixes that had yet to See The Day on streaming.
Fast forward to this past week, and a rather jarring front page exclusive from The Sun (to be taken with every grain of salt available): “Girls Again.”
“THEY’RE BACK! Iconic girl band to make huge comeback after a decade and have secretly reunited to film video ahead of new album & tour,” the tabloid claimed, along with reports of a sighting of the members wearing “Wonder Woman-style costumes and capes” for a video shoot.
It feels way too good to be true – and no doubt, some part of it must be – but it also aligns with various rumblings among pop nerds about rumored live gigs in 2024, including speculation that the troupe would headline Mighty Hoopla 2024. (The festival actually just shut down those reports days before.) That same Sun report then prompted speculation that the Girls will be doing Glastonbury Festival 2024, and basically, chaos has since ensued among the community.
Whatever might be planned, the Almighty Aloud are evidently unprepared to confirm or deny at this time – but they would like to continue Rolling Back the Rivers in Time with their reissues.
What Will the Neighbours Say?, their sophomore record, turns 20 in 2024, and the record’s electrifying lead single, “The Show,” is the first to get the digital love as of Friday (November 10).
“Ready to see The Show like you’ve never seen it before? 👀 The music video is now remastered in 4K on the Girls Aloud YouTube!” the official account proclaimed, seemingly hinting at something while saying nothing.
“Nobody sees The Show, until my heart says so ❤️,” they added, “The Show single EP out now.” (Conveniently, the lyrics of their classic smash are only too perfect for teasing the are they-or-aren’t they questions.)
The EP includes the Gravitas, Flip & Fill and Tony Lamezma remixes, but also the previously unavailable Bang Bang Klub mixes – and “The After Show,” a delightful Q&A. (“I go quite geek-ish” – Cheryl.)
While the Girls remain quiet (for now) amid all the comeback reports, it feels like the right time to recognize a stone cold classic from the vaults, produced by the dream Xenomania / Brian Higgins team that would go on to define the Aloud Sound for years to come.
While “Sound of the Underground” was a masterful, bold and unexpected first step for a reality TV-bred pop group, “The Show” genuinely feels like the moment the group locked in and honed what would become their signature sound. It’s got all the trappings of an Aloud anthem, including an audacious attitude, unconventional song structure and nonsense-genius lyrics aplenty. (“Shoulda known, shoulda cared, shoulda hung around the kitchen in my underwear acting like a lady” alone should have won them the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.)
That gritty, synth-y opening is instantly iconic. Even the brilliant single art and music video felt like a proper reintroduction, showcasing each member by name – and proving that they’re better off as mega pop stars than salon staffers. (Curls Allowed, just brilliant.) And, given that “The Show” is one of the first clips I ever saw of the Aloud, it was only too easy to fall head-over-spike heels and skin tight jeans in love.
So, while we wait for an official announcement – perhaps a redeeming Twitlonger, let’s reclaim it! – let’s gather in the kitchen in our underwear once more and celebrate the kick-off of a year of well-deserved What Will The Neighbours Say? appreciation.
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