Boyzine – celebrating the forgotten boy bands of the 90s

June 28, 2008

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Filed under: Uncategorized — by teengirlhearts @ 2:45 pm
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NO SWEAT!

Remember North and South? The boy band with their own tv series? And members from both the north and the south of England. They held out the promise of destroying the north south divide of boy band music in 90s England, where you could be a fan of Take That (north) or a fan of East 17 (south) but not both. North and South also reversed the traditional boy band tradition of “the unattractive member” by having only one attractive member. You would have thought that the unattractive girls who learn early to settle and claim to fancy the specially designated unattractive member (Danny from New Kids on the Block, Howard from Take That when he had dreads…) would have flocked to them but it didn’t quite happen and they broke up after only 3 singles.

No Sweat, the tv series of the band, had a first series set in Brighton in which the boys form a band in order to escape their drab lives (going to school, being bullied, not even a hand job from the girls at school, and one of them has a really annoying mother). They then attract girls but only the wrong kind (not slutty enough?) and have to hide from them a lot. What believability the first series had was altogether abandoned in the second in a move reminiscent of latter day Scooby Doo when they started having real ghosts, in that they started having real ghosts. Yes, why not introduce the supernatural into your failing boy band drama? In the second series North and South tour the country in a van which actually has a house inside (predating Harry Potter), have a glam rock manager and have to hide from a goth girl a lot. The BBC are keeping both series under wraps (no DVD) and the second did so badly their album, Allsorts, was never released. As ever I’d love to hear from you if you have a copy, because the few songs they did appeal were a great mix of guitars, singalong choruses and boy band tricks – like proto-Busted or McFly.

Little was heard from any of the members until the 6th series of American Idol when a now 28 year old Tom Lowe appeared and fessed up to his UK 90s past in North and South. He made it to Hollywood with (what else?) a Luther Vandross ballad but no further. His parents, however, will no doubt be pleased that he has an education to fall back on since he graduated from Harvard, no less. The official geeky member of North and South (the one in glasses) is probably a nuclear physicist by now.

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