dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Steps Banterview: You'll Be Sorry (When You Realize The Trash You're Missin')

It's been just over two years since D'luv and his trusty sidekick in all things pop Moogaboo sat down for a proper Banterview. But with Steps reuniting for a successful UK TV show, a chart-topping greatest hits collection and sold-out tour, the music trash-talkers felt it was time to get back to business and have a proper chat. Pull up a chair, cue up "One For Sorrow" and have a read below!

D'LUV: For the record, I feel so rusty at doing Banterviews — which is probably how Steps feel these days about pop in general.

MOOGABOO: Or how Steps feel about getting out of the beds of cash and actually having to work again. And, wait — are they younger than us? Eff them.

D: I think a few of them are our age. They always seemed so much younger when they were out back in the day. Well, except for H.

M: Yeah, Steps always did seem younger, until S Club 7 came along and made them look like pensioners.

 D: Christ, S Club 7. Think of all the Steps knockoffs in the ensuing years after 1998: S Club 8, Scooch, Hear'Say, Liberty X...

M: Hopefully Sky Living ponies up cash for a Scooch reunion show.

D: So, if I recall correctly, the first time I heard Steps was when you got the import singles for "Last Thing On My Mind" in Summer '98 — my last year of living in Pennsylvania. I was hooked.

M: Oh right. I think I traded Laura Branigan's Touch CD with someone online for the two-part "Last Thing On My Mind" single — with poster!

D: The poster! God, you could really get away with murder if you were in a pop group in the '90s, no? Especially in Europe. America was never cool enough to have two-part singles complete with poster containing dance instructions.

M: Totally. And America would never have allowed there to be a Lolly, who was great in a trainwreck-disaster kind of way, but also was maybe a 40-year-old in little girls' clothing. Hmmmm. I'm surprised Pete Waterman wasn't involved.

D: I read some interview the other day with Lisa Scott-Lee and Lee Latchford Evans from Steps, and the writer mysteriously mentioned at the end that "there's no Pete Waterman" this time around. I wonder if that was a stipulation before any of them came on board for the documentary? He's been surprisingly quiet over the past month.

M: Probably. His absence is a little eerie, though. Watching the reunion show, I half expect him to pop up in a window in the background, or slide down a wall wearing a cat burglar outfit.

D: Or a nightie, while sliding down the bannister doing the "Tragedy" dance.

M: Now, there's an idea for a reality show. Remember that Christmas you bought me all those Steps singles?

D: Yes! It was Christmas 1999. I had moved to L.A. by that point, and was visiting the Virgin Megastore on a weekly basis, and basically keeping them in business — not to mention sinking myself into debt — with my credit card. I think "Better Best Forgotten" was out by the time I moved to California, and from that point on, I bought every single on import, and picked up the ones prior to that I'd missed. Do you still have that Smash Hits I bought and mailed to you in Summer '99, with the puffy Steps keychain? It tied in with the single release for "Love's Got A Hold On My Heart".

M: Yes, of course! It's around here somewhere. It was an H keychain, I believe. And I always wondered if the debt consolidation people made you admit the reason for your application was "buying Steps singles in triplicate, to give to friends". That's such a sweet reason for going broke! 

D: Speaking of being broke — and I know this sounds shallow —I think I speak for all pop music fans when I say that I kind of which Lee had gotten so down at some point in the last decade after Steps broke up that he'd turned to porn. Maybe they'll project images of him nailing wannabe pop tartlets as the background movies during the reunion tour? 

M: Yeah, right. Don't get your hopes up, babe. This is Steps, not NKOTBSB. Here's the deal — you're going to see them live, right? Merely use your charms to get backstage and sign up for one of Lee's "personal training" sessions.

D: Wait, that's a good idea.

M: Can I just say, I'm glad Faye hasn't gone back to her helmet-bouffant of dreads.

D: Her hair in the "Heartbeat" video is iconic. She looks like she should have a word balloon above her head that says, "Hi, I just got weave-raped by the '90s!"

M: I shouldn't hate. It was a brave fashion choice, even if it did make her look like a soccer mom with a white afghan piled on her head. Meanwhile, "Heartbeat" was so good! I admit, I didn't always give Steps a second listen. But, now that they've touched the part of my heart cordoned off for trashy, combative reality shows — i.e. 85% of it — I've realized how wonderful they were.

D: "Heartbeat" truly is a classic. I hope that if they forge on with new music, they divide things equally. Perfect scenario: H becomes their stylist, the three girls handle the singing and Lee just does naked things on stage for two hours with fans who buy the VIP package. But in all seriousness, the Metro-produced "Turn Around", which Lee co-wrote, is one of the highlights on Steps' final album Buzz. The other highlight being the album track "Paradise Lost", which pays homage to (read: rips off) the beat from "The Sign" by Ace Of Base.

Steps — "Paradise Lost"

M: Let's just hope they take Faye's advice and pick up with new music where they left off, doing "edgy" (her word) dance pop like "Deeper Shade of Blue". Okay, so that song is only edgy if you compare it to something by Fast Food Rockers. But it wasn't cheese, per se, and it had the same cool beat as Todd Terry's Everything But the Girl productions.

D: Well, good news for Steps: #InThe90s is trending on Twitter. But bad news for everyone who was around in the '90s for Steps' first go at success: suprise — you're old!

M: I just hope this reunion doesn't mean they'll all be giving up their successful solo careers.

D: Ah, yes - what ever will Swansea Pride do without Faye next summer? Maybe the blonde from SuperSister is available to replace her?

* UK Chart: Steps' Ultimate Collection Is #1
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 1
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 2
* Watch Steps Reunion: Episode 3  
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 4  
* Watch Steps' Ultimate Tour Trailer 
* Steps Perform On This Morning
* Steps Announce Ultimate Tour (UK)
* Steps "Dancing Queen": Listen

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  • At 1:44 PM, Blogger Todd said…

    Awwww... Banterview is back. Delightful.

    "Hi, I just got weave-raped by the '90s!"

    I forgot how horrible/amazing the Heartbeat video is. I get a little turned on when Latch manhandles the little person.

  • At 10:33 AM, Blogger D'luv said…

    How about when Lee and H both get the phallic red balloons shoved in their mouths by Lisa at the end?

  • At 12:24 PM, Blogger Joshua said…

    Oh Faye... her hair looks like one of those cat clawing toys, but made of badly bleached cable-knit. But look at her now - the most beautiful Housewife of them all!

    This whole Steps thing is so exciting. I wish I could go see them in concierto!


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