It is going to be a big week as B*Witched, Atomic Kitten, S Club 3, East 17 and Liberty X start their Australian tour. Liberty X first two singles Thinking It Over and Doin’ It launched them to fame, Thinking It Over went to number 5 and Doin’ It peaked at number 14. Their third single, Just a Little took the band straight to the top of the UK charts, next single Got to Have Your Love peaked at number two. A while back Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles spoke to Jessica Taylor but now we had the chance to talk to Kelli Young about the come back and life on the road again.
Are you excited about this tour and getting back to Australia?
Yes! I can’t wait actually… It is kind of strange to imagine it here in London it is freezing cold, frosty on the ground and the Liberty X girls haven’t done a show for quite a while so it is weird imagining being in Australia, travelling around and doing shows every night. We are hoping to get a bit of party time in as well as working very hard obviously.
It must be a great feeling getting out there and playing shows with Liberty X again playing the songs that mean so much to so many people?
It really does and we only got out to Australia once at the height of it all. It is a lovely feeling and interesting that fifteen years after having a number one out there it is amazing thinking we’re coming back and playing again. I feel very privileged and it is something that we don’t take for granted.
Are you fascinated by the idea that what essentially is old is new again?
I don’t think it is that hard to believe because there were so many good acts back then. Just because people grow up doesn’t mean they don’t listen to music. Music should transcend time shouldn’t it? The good stuff will always be relevant and sound fresh, I think that is what makes a hit record that whenever it would be released it would be a hit whether that’s the eighties, nineties, norties or now. I don’t think it is that hard to believe that the good stuff stands the test of time.
Was that a tough period when Liberty X came to an end and then The Big Reunion TV show came about?
I don’t think it was that tough when we decided to call it a day in 2007. It came to its natural end for us and we had been on the road for six years non-stop and we were really tired. I was eighteen when I started in the band and twenty six when it finished. I dedicated my youth to it and we all thought we needed to live a little bit and have some time off. We didn’t think it would be a permanent end but at that time it felt right.
The Big Reunion, however, which was in 2013 was a really tough decision to make to reform because we all had children and got in to the swing of regular life and left it all behind. To come out of a band you have to almost reintegrate in to society which is a really strange thing. We all had essentially done that and we kind of felt weird getting back together and perhaps having our profiles raised again and getting back on that treadmill again of being in a pop band playing gigs.
It turned out to be the best decision we ever made. We had a fantastic time and had a lot more fun the second time round doing The Big Reunion. I’m hoping to recreate that now in Australia because we don’t have the pressure of promoting something through releasing new music. It’s the old stuff that has a nostalgia factor which people come out to see because they like the band, all the songs and all the bands that are on the show who are all there to have a good time. It should be fun!
When Liberty X stopped was it hard working out what you were going to do next?
Yeah, it was really difficult to be honest because I did a lot of my growing up as a band and when you are in a band it really is like a marriage to the other members of the group. You share everything, share all your intimate private moments and knew each other’s partners and families, shared bank accounts, we had to really had to trust each other and it was like going through a divorce or a messy break up when we did call it a day. I think you have to discover yourself, who you are and think about what you might want to do with the rest of your life. It was a really big deal for me personally.
There were no radical thoughts of being let’s say an accountant?
I have done a lot of things since and tried my hand at lots of different things but the first thing I did when we broke up was have a year off and that was amazing. I travelled, relaxed, ate and slept which was wonderful. I didn’t have time to do any of those things or me time when I was in the group, which is fine, but I needed that gap year which I didn’t have when I was younger. I went to college and did some training, tried my hand at different things and had kids.
Being a mum would definitely be the best job of all…
Definitely the hardest! The most rewarding but the hardest job to!
How do you juggle being a mum, going on tour and all your other commitments?
Just like any mum, I think all mums out there are doing it now as there are so many working mums just trying to spread themselves thinly and do the best they can. I think I’m just doing that. I’m lucky my husband works in the music industry to and really gets it. We are able to work around each other and give each other time to prioritise each other’s careers. Our families are really understanding and help out.
What do you remember about The Big Reunion? Were you nervous or anxious?
Initially we declined and said we didn’t want to do it. We were really worried about getting back together and coming back in to the public eye. What we didn’t know was what the producers wanted, how they were going to portray the band and whether it was going to be a positive thing or a negative thing. We all had very young children and I had recently given birth to twins, I don’t if you remember but we used to wear all the really slinky outfits, bikinis, cat suits made of rubber and I didn’t feel like that person. I didn’t really feel like myself and a lot of women would relate to that after having kids. It was a big decision to do the show but it was the best decision ever, we had such a good time. It was like going to your class reunion and seeing everyone you used to go to school with. We really made the most of it, did two tours off the back of the show.
Was it hard remembering the dance moves and getting the coordination back?
We ended up having a new choreographer to bring it up to date and maybe not bounce around quite as much as we used to. It is was good that it was adapted how we were being a little bit older and more sophisticated but bad in that we had to learn everything from scratch. It was really weird because even though at the time we hadn’t the dance moves for five or six years you still kind of remember bits. It is hard to unlearn it and learn new stuff because you have this muscle memory as we’ve done it so many times.
Beyond Australia what is the plan for Liberty X?
We don’t have any immediate plans to do new music although we have been approached about it so it is always on the table. There is always talk about it but it has never felt like the right time to do it. We have taken bookings for gigs after the Australian tour but we are all kind of relaxed about it because we have busy lives any way and lots of things going on. It will be a case of watch this space and see how it plays out.
B*Witched, Atomic Kitten, S Club 3, East 17 – 2017 Australian Tour Dates:
Tuesday 7th February – Perth – Metro City
Wednesday 8th February – Adelaide – Thebarton Theatre
Thursday 9th February – Melbourne – Festival Hall
Friday 10th February – Melbourne – 170 Russell – SOLD OUT
Saturday 11th February – Sydney – Big Top
Sunday 12th February – Sydney – Big Top
Tuesday 14th February – Newcastle – NEX Wests City
Wednesday 15th February – Hobart – Wrest Point
Friday 17th February – Gold Coast – Jupiters Theatre
Saturday 18th February – Brisbane – Eatons Hill