REUNITED 5IVE OFFER ADVICE TO ONE DIRECTION
Daily Star - 2nd April 2013
THEY sold more than 20million records and in the 90s were Britain’s biggest pop group.
Now Simon Cowell’s original boyband 5ive are back and have some advice for today’s pop puppets One Direction.
It can all end very quickly, they declare almost in unison.
“Don’t get carried away with your own hype or you will lose your marbles,” is their guidance for Harry Styles and Co.
Like 1D, 5ive were brought together as teenagers by the music mogul and went on to have phenomenal success around the world.
But it all turned sour when the band sensationally imploded in 2001 at the height of their career.
Ritchie Neville reveals: “We were a train wreck and acted like utter delinquents. We were top of the charts but we couldn’t go on. We literally quit when we were number one.”
And they have regretted it ever since.
But thanks to smash hit ITV2 show The Big Reunion the bad boys of pop are back – and reckon they are stronger than ever without bandmate J Brown.
In their sights now? Simon’s new superstars One Direction.
And to prove they’re serious, they have even copied the look. Dressing up as their 2013 counterparts, Sean Conlon, 31, and Ritchie, Scott Robinson and Abz Love, all 33, laugh their way through our 1D-inspired wardrobe.
Brightly coloured chinos, slim-fitted jackets, braces and bowties are strewn everywhere as the lads plan with horror who will wear what. While Scott heads straight for cougar-loving Harry’s look, Abz is less keen to take on the style of Zayn Malik, 20.
Sean, who after joining the band aged 16 struggled the most to cope with the pressures of fame, says of 1D: “They are just kids at the end of the day.
“It would be easy for them lose their marbles. It totally messes with your head.”
Scott agrees. “There will be people blowing smoke up their arse all day long telling them they are amazing,” he says.
“If you believe in your own hype you will turn into a monster.”
Ritchie adds: “When Abz joined the band he wouldn’t ever touch a fag, a drink or drugs. That soon changed.”
With 19-year-old Harry attracting attention for his endless celebrity girlfriends and falling out of clubs on the arm of celeb pals including Nick Grimshaw, 29, Rihanna, 25, James Corden, 34, and Cara Delevingne, 20, aren’t the boys just a bit envious?
Scott insists that he is not. “You might get the penthouse in London and have parties every night, but as soon as it’s gone you won’t see those people for dust,” he says.
“I would say to remember who you are, who your mates were before. The hangers-on don’t matter.
“Now I’m back on telly my phone has been ringing non-stop. But I’m not interested because they weren’t there back then when I needed them.”
Sean adds: “1D must have so many people dictating what they should say and do. They should express themselves now or they will really regret it.”
The 5ive lads were put together as an act in 1997 as the brainchild of pop supremo Simon, 53, who was on the look-out for a new super-group to rule the world after Take That split.
Their mix of bad-boy pop and hip-hop rock gave them five phenomenal years when they just kept winning Brit Awards, having No1 hits and selling out tours worldwide.
They fell apart after band members Sean and then Scott refused to carry on with the group’s gruelling work schedule and even crazier behind-the-scenes antics.
But back for ITV2’s The Big Reunion, the lads have joined Atomic Kitten, Liberty X, 911, Blue, Honeyz and B*witched to get together again after years of little communication, for a series of sell-out concerts.
Ritchie explains: “Boybands had a tendency back then to try to portray themselves as virgins and all saintly and squeaky clean. They would never admit to getting pissed.
“We flipped that on its head and would admit to getting drunk and shagging. We literally went wild.
“It was so easy to go down the wrong path. If you aren’t strong-willed you will believe that all these people around you love you. They don’t.”
This was a chilling lesson for Abz, who after the band split lost all his money to drink and drugs. He lost his final £250,000 that was tied up in his house after turning to a rogue agent.
He reveals: “I trusted him. He was someone in the darkness when there was no-one else around. I lost everything after the band split. I was ready to die.”
Sean adds: “We all took it for granted at some point. Massively so. My mum used to give me £5 a week as a kid and I would buy a bottle of White Lightning and a pack of 10 cigarettes.
“But when I got in the band I suddenly got loads of money very quickly and for a council-estate kid it was crazy.
“Perhaps looking back you can say we should have saved more but at the time I didn’t know any different and thought it would always be there. It wasn’t. But you never, ever know when the pipe will get cut. So save your dosh, kids!”
Ritchie says: “There are a lot of sharks in the music industry who will try to rip you off. We were all literally schoolkids who went straight into the band and into the lions’ den.”
Scott has some fond memories, despite the difficulties. “Those are your coming-of-age years and we were spending them doing world tours,” he says. “It wasn’t all bad. We had a hell of a lot of fun too.”
Ritchie adds: “We won Brit awards, MTV Awards, Smash Hits Awards, Best Video awards, Best Pop awards. It’s beautiful that now we get a second chance at our dream. We are enjoying it but also being real and honest about what happens.”
But with J, now 36, missing after pulling out of the reunion at the last minute, do they think they can recreate their success second time around?
Abz thinks so. “J wished us well but said he didn’t want to be famous any more,” he recalls. “A new fifth member wouldn’t have worked. We really feel like a band now and like we can smash it. Who knows what the future holds?”
The Big Reunion Live 2013 DVD is out now from Amazon.co.uk. For more info on the show visit itv.com/thebigreunion