“Five bad boys with the power to rock you” was the battle cry of 5ive, the UK’s naughty band of the noughties. The headline-grabbing pop stars were known for their offstage antics as much as their catchy hit songs and the teenage fans couldn’t get enough until they self-destructed in 2001.
“You know what? We were just being lads,” explains band member Scott Robinson.
“The difference between 5ive and other bands is that [they] were being told if they were being loud and rowdy not to show it to the cameras. We were told ‘Just do what you like.’”
Now, like so many other of their contemporaries, Robinson, Ritchie Neville, Sean Conlon and Abz Love have put past troubles aside to reunite. Albeit with an altered moniker (now known as simply Five) and one less member as Jason ‘J’ Brown controversially refused to return.
“At the end of the day, we wanted him back,” says Robinson.
“I was annoyed because I thought that maybe it wouldn’t happen without him, but it has.”
Robinson says the guys aren’t just jumping on the reunion bandwagon for the hell of it, “I wanted to come back for all the right reasons really, to end it properly this time and to enjoy it more because I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have before.”
The singer, who was easily recognisable by his trademark spikey hairdo, has always been the driving force behind getting the gang back together – a process that he started once before in 2006.
“Oh we don’t talk about that,” he chuckles.
“It was a joke. It was never going to work because everyone’s heads weren’t in it.”
This time around the guys are older and wiser, making sure they do everything on “their terms” to avoid being overworked.
“I think the record company should take a lot on the chin for the break up, because we could have continued for a lot longer had they not worked us like dogs,” says Robinson.
The boys briefly considered a name change and recruiting a new member to replace Brown.
“J is the only person that could make this band complete again. We do feel complete though,” says Robinson.
On the name change he continues, “It’s more than a number, it’s a name. It’s just a little bit rubbish that we’re called Five and there are four of us [but] everyone has embraced us.”
Five are bringing their greatest hits down under and Robinson says it would be arrogant of them to bring out new music straight away.
“There is no new stuff and the reason is simple really; I think everyone is in a nostalgic mood. Everyone wants to remember what they were doing in ’99 or 2000 and so do we,” he says.
“Fans want to be singing along with arms in the air and remembering all the tracks. Just give ‘em the hits, that’s exactly what we’re doing.” (LL)
Nov 1, Enmore Theatre, 118-132 Enmore Rd, Newtown, $65-184, 9550 3666, enmoretheatre.com.au