The last time 5ive met The Maker, they were about to release their first single. "We'd really like it to be a hit," they told us. And it was! In fact, as we meet again. They're Number Two in Australia, Number 10 in America, and are, it has to be said, "pretty made up" about it all. none of which counts for shit in The Maker's star-studded Darts League, a championship where only pub talents count. No prancing around in formation here, thank you very much.
So, Rich, are you good at darts?
"Er, not really."
"Anyway," Scott decides, "I want Matthew Marsden to win the league. We like Matthew. [Nods of agreement] He's a dude."
"Also," reasons J, the old man of 5ive, "we're not old men. We don't play darts."
The proof of the pop pudding, as we all know, is in the darting. There are minor band disagreements regarding dart allocation (eventually all except little Sean are allowed two darts) and in three minutes it's all over. Owing largely to the talents of Scott and Abs, 5ive have stormed into fifth place on the leader board, with a score of 169!
"We were actually trying not to beat Matthew Marsden," Scott explains.
But if he was Number One in the charts, and you had a single out, wouldn't you want to knock him off?
"Well, yeah... we'd like to be at Number One," Richard has misunderstood my question regarding the fresh-faced Mr Marsden, but I allow him to continue. "We're still at the beginning, and maybe we'll get a Number One with this, maybe we won't. If not, we'll just plug away."
"If 'Everybody Get Up' goes to the top, that'll be where 5ive really starts," Sean adds.
Perhaps this is the point to acknowledge that "Everybody Get Up" has "Number One" written all over it (while All Saints' "Bootie Call", released on the same day, is simply covered in number twos), with samples of Joan Jett's "I Love Rock'N'Roll", a rabble-rousing chorus, and a fantastic dance routine - hurrah! the video features the feisty 5ivesome causing havoc in an examination hall. Does this mark a new wave of pop anarchy?
"Yeaaah! Anarchy!" Rich squeals excitedly.
"Personally," reasons J, "I wouldn't say it was total anarchy."
Scott puts things in perspective:
"Basically, when it comes to dance routines, the other songs have been fairly strict. But with this single we can just run around the stage punching and kicking..."
Sid Vicious would have been proud. What does Joan Jett think of it all?
"Well," begins Scott, "I was speaking to him yesterday, and..."
Oh dear. J is dumbfounded.
"Him?! [Pulls 'good grief' expression] I'm sure we'll find out what she thinks once it's released."
And is she likely to be impressed with the line 'Ain't got no manners cos I eat with my fingers? Surely there are more ill-mannered things you can do than eat without cutlery?
"Yeah," sighs J, "but you can't say that to 15-year-old girls, can you? I mean 'Ain't got no manners cos I get my tackle out and swing it around the room' doesn't really have any place in a pop song. 'Aint got no manners cos I bit your panties off with my teeth.' Ummm..."
As J drifts into deep thought, Janet Jackson's "Together Again" slips onto the jukebox for the fourth time in half an hour.
Rich: "Bottle the bastard!"
J: "Richard, I think slashing somebody with a broken bottle is a little strong over a Janet Jackson jukebox selection. [Pause] But if it goes on again, I'll frigging break them... [Band falls about]"
Wahey! Darts, lewd comments, fighting: 5ive truly are the kings of pub entertainment. Come on, Boyzone, if you think you're hard enough.