Boyzine – celebrating the forgotten boy bands of the 90s

June 7, 2009

We are E-Male

Filed under: Uncategorized — by teengirlhearts @ 2:45 pm

I had been planning to write about Blue since their reunion is taking place as I write at the Emirates Stadium – a mere stone’s throw from Boyzine HQ – but there was another boy band crying out for inclusion on these pages. By 1998 it was no longer enough to just put together 4 fairly attractive boys and 1 unattractive or slightly overweight boy in their late teens, take them out of their old sportswear and put them in expensive sportswear and give them a cover version to sing. By 1998 boy bands needed a gimmick.

E-Male didn’t stop with one gimmick. They had two. They were advanced capitalism at work. They attempted to cash in on the internet which was inexplicably popular despite the fact social networking websites which allow people to follow in embarrassing detail the lives of people they once met at a party 4 years ago did not yet exist. And they matched that with a totally unrelated gimmick. Rollerskates.

There was no rollerskating fad in 1998. Inline skating, then as now, was popular with really stupid people but E-Male, despite their cutting edge modernity, kept it old school on quad skates. The seeming inexplicability of performing on rollerskates began to make sense when it was revealed that they had all appeared in Starlight Express, “the world’s only musical performed entirely on rollerskates”. Having a musical performed on rollerskates was a huge leap forward for musical theatre and we can only be grateful someone thought to extend this to pop music.

In their, tragically, only video, E-Male leap over desktop computers on their rollerskates, singing “check us out at our e-male address”, desperately trying to make the internet sexy by wearing midriff exposing tops, revealing torso and hoping viewers would forget that a lot more than torso was only a click away on the world wide web, as people referred to it then.

The gimmickry extended to names and E-Male were known as E-Mense, E-Zee, E-Nigma, E-Lusive and E-Go, which as they explain in this interview represent “aspects of the male”, since E-Male apparently stood for “Everything Male”. If nothing else, you’ve got to respect the brutal honesty about the masculine psyche demonstrated by these names (I’m hoping that E-Mense was a tongue in cheek reference to male “size obsession”).

The band obviously had a website, sadly lost to time, on which E-go (“the thinker of the band”) said “I wish that scientists realised that what they do is not anywhere near as important as the achievements of nature.” That’s right, that was “the thinker of the band” speaking. Still, it takes a certain kind of intelligence to be able to do backflips on rollerskates!

The band’s second single unfortunately not only never appeared but any footage of them performing it on The Freddie Starr Show also appears to be lost to the ages. However, even if it never reappears, I will never, ever forget the image of E-Male, parallel to the ground, performing pelvic thrusts on rollerskates.

I believe some of E-Male have gone on to bigger and better roles in Starlight Express and I hope they aren’t too embarrassed by their bizarre foray into popular music even though their boast “we just/can’t fail” may have proved a little bit optimistic.

Thanks to Pop! Year Zero for the website quote.

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