The return of several British boybands have recently captured the attention of the public once again. Groups such as JLS, The Wanted, McFly and Westlife have returned to music, but why now? It may be that the effect of lockdown have made these bands reminisce the presence of the crowd and being onstage, or simply that lockdown has re-inspired these stars to return, for the sole purpose of their interest in music. Elliana Murillo explores this further.
Band member of JLS Ortise Williams mentioned in a Zoom interview with The Sun: “We’ve signed to BMG and when that flame was reignited for making new music, nothing could stop it.” The concept of making “new music” can be seen as quite ironic, as JLS’s newly released single Eternal Love is deemed to sound similar to the music they were putting out before their split. It is as though the band have not changed at all, as they still have what it takes to stir a crowd. As a result, a positive reaction was gained by viewers or listeners, with fans commenting under their new music video on YouTube that the song reminds them very much of their teen years.
Despite an eight year break, a strong fan base still remains. The opportunity for this band to perform on stage again had arisen, with their upcoming Beat Again reunion tour. Although cancellations in 2020 forced the band to postpone this tour, it has been ensured that the tour will go ahead in order to not disappoint the public who have waited long enough to see the iconic band live. Twitter user and JLS fan @weareJLS_xo, who had already attended one of the concerts in Glasgow, tweeted: “From a little girl to a 25 year old woman, forever JLS”. This shows not only to be nostalgic, but that the timeless relationship that the band shares and portrays is what has kept fans attached.
The relevancy of other British boybands is still prominent today with the help of social media. This has been a useful tool for bands to make public announcements, regain connection with fans (globally), and increase the social platforms of these celebrities. The Wanted, for example, made their announcement of reuniting on Instagram. The timing of this return has been widely anticipated, especially since the reason for a comeback was for a different intention in mind.
Rather, the band gathered together primarily for band member Tom Parker, who desired the support of his fellow band members, to stage a concert in order to raise funds towards cancer research. This led to The Wanted performing their first gig in seven years at Royal Albert Hall in aid of Stand Up to Cancer in September. After the highly successful, emotional performance, along with the audience chanting their well-known hits, it has been reported that the band are yet to release a new album ‘Most Wanted: The Greatest Hits’ in mid November 2021, featuring some of their worldwide pop masterpieces like Glad You Came and All Time Low. It is evident that the timing of this return has been anticipated, and in some ways have uplifted the eyes and ears of music fans after seeing the boys together. A Tik Tok clip from the night had the boys embracing one another after Parker breaks down, recognising the bond and potential of the band.
I have found that the comeback of these boybands has led to songs, with titles like Starlight by Westlife and Happiness by McFly, that share a similar theme of hope and optimism
Lately, I have found that the comeback of these boybands has led to songs, with titles like Starlight by Westlife and Happiness by McFly, that share a similar theme of hope and optimism. This may be in retrospect of the past year, encouraging artists to produce songs where anyone can turn to music, their music and let the songs or lyrics relate to the individual. Pop-rock band McFly, or late 90s band Westlife, have also been a huge part of the traditional British pop culture history. These bands over the past few decades continue to maintain a strong resonance with people, regardless of the different age groups or music taste.
Whilst the music industry has seen a gradual split of great bands, such as Take That, One Direction, and even Little Mix, it could be seen as appropriate timing for these old-time bands to make their return. With a majority of people growing up alongside these bands, listeners are able to recall memories and associate this with some of the band’s biggest tunes. Lockdown has created a sense of nostalgia within the public, and the longing for people to come together again can be found through music that is familiar to all.
In-article image courtesy of @thewantedmusic via instagram.com. No changes made to these images.
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