Everyone knows that the best boybands were made in the nineties and one of the grittiest is on the comeback trail.
In fact, East 17 have been back for a while but have now settled with a new line-up and are heading back to London, thanks to a booking by an Erith man.
James Lewis – who runs the company Celebrity Booker and regularly appears in the Channel 4 show Shop Secrets: Tricks of the Trade – is bringing the band, who have sold 18million records worldwide, to Rise in Leicester Square on Thursday, July 31.
Back in 1995, James appeared in the video to the band’s top ten hit Let it Rain. Nearly 20 years later James and singer Terry Coldwell were reunited on Twitter and James didn’t hesitate to book the gig.
Now a trio, East 17’s original members Terry Coldwell and John Hendy are joined by Robbie Craig, who lent his voice to the Artful Dodger hit Woman Trouble at the turn of the century.
The band’s driving forces – Tony Mortimer and Brian Harvey – are long gone.
Terry told News Shopper: “A lot of bridges were burnt due to other members of the band. We’ve got a new singer – we’re all singing now – but we’ve got a new singer called Robbie Craig.
"We have been gigging six months and we have gone so far already.
“The energy’s right now. I think it’s so important. We’re enjoying ourselves, having a laugh and there isn’t anyone going ‘I’m the leader, I’m the leader, I’m the leader’ and all that rubbish.
“It has always been a problem with East 17. To be fair, me and John didn’t really have a say in anything back in the day because we were just classed as backing vocalists.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Terry said he didn’t keep in touch with his old bandmates.
He said: “Certain things have gone on and I’m too old for all the rubbish. I can’t be bothered with it.”
The new look East 17 have been playing gigs all over Europe and are currently writing a new album.
Terry said: “We’ve already done the first single. It’s amazing. It sounds like a hit all over.”
The singer believes the band can reach their previous heights, which included 18 top 20 singles, but acknowledged the record industry is different today than in the nineties and is grateful for the success of Stay Another Day for keeping them relevant.
He said: “Luckily for East 17, we had the number one Christmas song. That has been a godsend that track. That has kept the dream alive all these years.
“Kids up to the age of 16 or 17, unless their parents are East 17 fans, they don’t really know who we are but they know the Christmas song with the guys in the white coats. They remember the white coats anyway.”
East 17 play Rise nightclub in Leicester Square on July 31 with support from Simon J Bailey and Ashleigh K and Cream from BBC3's Boomtown. Tickets £20 or £30 for VIP, including meet and greet with the band and a champagne reception. Click here for tickets.
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