Will Steps tour Australia?
We have news that Steps will be making an appearance at this year’s Disney Awards ceremony, which is usually held at the London Arena.
Faye appears on the cover of this month’s Sky Magazine where she talks about “Booze, Boob Jobs, Leaving The band (!?) and how she is set for solo stardom (!?!?)”.
You might have voted for our famous Steps II The Stars visitors, well they didn’t win the competition. They thank everyone for your support and for voting them into the final! We also thank you for voting, and we were glad to help them out!
Thanks to Jody for sending in this article from Australia, from a free gay newspaper. It is from last week’s edition:
Getting the Buzz
The problem with pop is that the pop market is notoriously fickle. All too often, bands go from the next big thing to one-hit wonders in the blink of an eye – but not so Steps. CLAIRE, the blonde haired beauty with the gorgeous smile, talks to LOL about their past, their future, those nasty break-up rumours and what she thinks of those mass manufactured Popstar bands.
“People don’t realise that even if you are in a pop group, you get involved with music for a reason,” begins Claire when asked about the credibility of being in a pop band in the early Noughties. “You’ll find that a lot of people that are in pop groups can write, and have probably written for a long time. But usually the project that they’re in was used as a launch pad controlled by someone else and then as the group becomes more successful, they gain more power over what they’re doing. That’s why we’ve had a chance to write on this album when we haven’t before but we’ve all been writing for years.”
The album that she is referring to is their new album Buzz, and although it has been out for a few months now in the UK, looks set for an Australian release sometime this year. Steps have always had a strong relationship with Australia ever since we were the country to give them their first #1 single with 5, 6, 7, 8. Since then, classics like Last Thing On My Mind, Tragedy, One For Sorrow and Say You’ll Be Mine have kept the charts alight with dance step action!
“Buzz is our third album,” says Claire. “We recorded it last year and it’s a bit different for us cause we had a chance to write on this album. Pete did a third of the album, we did a third, and the other third was recorded in Sweden and America.. We got to go around the world and there were a lot of different influences involved. There are some really good tracks on this album and we’re really proud of it.”
But pop has changed now. It seems that pop stars are born as much from television programs now as they are from those notorious auditions where bands are placed together. In a world of Bardot, True Bliss and Hear’say, what kind of competition does this present to an established pop act like Steps? “I think it’s fantastic television,” Claire enthuses. “I think it would be a mistake to have it as a series that happens every year. When that happens, I think it’s almost making a mockery out of the music industry really. Fine, make one group for different countries out of it. But I think the television world are thinking that it’s easy to put together a pop group and they’ll do it every year for ten years, which would completely flood the market. I think it’s great television though, and I think good luck to them.”
One of the hottest rumours in pop at the moment, apart from the whole S Club 7 spliff scandal is that Steps will be breaking up at the end of the year. Artistic differences and a realisation that pop acts con’t last forever were the apparent cited reasons behind the decision. However, Claire paints a very different picture. “It’s all rubbish! I don’t know where it came from and I would be very interested to know who did go to the papers and tell them that. People can say what they like, and the will do, but I feel sorry for the fans. Cause if the fans believe it, then they’re the ones that get hurt at the end of the day and people just don’t think about that. It’s not true. We’re not splitting up. We’ve not discussed it.”
The fans obviously mean a lot to Steps, and in return, they’ve remained extremely loyal to the act. One million ticket sales is an extraordinary feat in anyone’s language for an act that has only been around in the few years that Steps have, and yet they take these statistics with an enormously humble attitude. “It’s amazing and I still can’t believe it to this day. People book concerts for us that they think we can sell out and we’re always really dubious that we’re going to be able to sell it out. It’s crazy!”
“As each year comes along, we sit down and discuss what we want to do this year,” says Claire when the topic of the future of Steps is raised. “It’s all been a bit of a blur from the start really. We had a single, and then another single, and then another single, and then an album; it was like ‘ohh, this was never meant to happen!’ We thought we had a one single deal and that was it. And all of a sudden, we’re on our third album. So, we’re going to do a Greatest Hits album next, which we’ll release at the end of the year, and I think that’s why people think we’re breaking up. And it’s just a thank you to the fans, to say look at what we’ve all achieved together in the last four years. It’s the end of chapter one really.”
Steps have always been rather famous for their covers. In the past, they’ve covered Bananarama (Last Thing On My Mind and Movin’ On), Bee Gees (Tragedy) and Kylie Minogue (Better The Devil You Know). What else is there left to cover? “Some tracks are probably better left alone! There is talk of us doing the Diana Ross song, Chain Reaction. So, you’ll have to wait and see for that one cause I don’t know if it is actually going to happen. But it has been suggested.”
Unsure of when they’ll be stepping on Australian soil again, Claire thinks its likely we’ll see the band early 2002 for a Steps tour. Considering the last time the band were in Australia to perform, it was around the time of their third single release, there are many Steps fans in Australia who think this visit is probably long overdue. But for the time being, it’s time to just enjoy the Buzz.”
So news on a huge UK Tour, which at 40 dates is bound to take in some European Venues and now news of a tour hitting Australia, all seems rather exciting doesn’t it?
Here is some news from Belgium, thanks to Jo for sending it in:
Steps were in Belgium yesterday to record a music show called ‘Hitkracht’ and it will be shown on 14 and 21 April on TV1 at 19.40h (Belgian time). They performed two songs: ‘Stomp’ and ‘ It’s The Way You Make Me Feel’. And Steps will be coming back to the same programme on 17 May for the last recording of the show, so it will be something special! You can already order tickets for that show. And Buzz is already in the Belgian record shops!