As well as being a big sports fan, I harbour another obsession. One that has been the subject of much mocking and eye-rolling over the years. My confession?
I am still a little bit in love with S Club 7. Go on, laugh.
I was the perfect age when they first exploded on the scene in 1998. I was six years old, and ripe to be exploited by Simon Fuller and the slick marketing machine surrounding these seven exciting young people.
I was in the perfect position to watch their TV series on CBBC, to learn the lyrics to all their songs, to buy their CDs, to get far too excited at their appearances on Top of the Pops and to generally absorb as much as I could before they unfortunately split up in 2002.
That said, I remember not being the only obsessive at school. In fact, I remember one individual who loved them more than I did. I don’t know what’s happened to him since, but I don’t think he’s covered himself in glory since those heady days of Year 3.
The thing is, I never really grew out of my S Club 7 obsession, even to this day. I was similarly infatuated with Pokémon, but managed to grow out of that by the time I reached secondary school. This, however, clung on and never disappeared.
If you think this sounds a bit tragic and ridiculous, hear me out. I have my reasons.
It’s the songs, with the lyrics filled with hope, of a desire to make things better and a knowledge that they will do just that with a bit of hard work and determination. That, and the fact that their songs are incredibly catchy.
Consider a personal favourite: “Reach”.
Don’t the lyrics “Reach for the stars/Climb every mountain higher/Reach for the stars/Follow your heart’s desire/Reach for the stars/And when that rainbow’s shining over you/That’s when your dreams will all come true” make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? They do it for me.
How about another, “Bring it all Back”? This is a similarly hopeful song with plenty of life lessons. Here’s a snippet, the very first words that they sing:
“Don’t stop, never give up/Hold your head high and reach the top/Let the world see what you have got/Bring it all back to you.”
That’s pretty profound, if you ask me. Basically, if you look beyond the catchy melodies and scratch the surface a little bit, S Club 7’s lyrics contain some really valuable nuggets of life advice for young people.
This isn’t a general rule when it comes to S Club 7 lyrics, however. Consider this from “All in Love is Fair”, an album track from their second album, cunningly titled “7”.
“Get it right, get it right, get it right/Don’t get it wrong.”
Terrible, isn’t it?
However, hidden within their vast collection of brilliant songs I think there’s some great advice, which has endured from when I was very young until now. It might be a little bit tragic, but I think this band still has plenty to offer, even as a 21-year-old graduate. You’re never too old to receive good advice.
So laugh all you want, but personally when I need some encouragement in musical form, I’m more likely to reach for some embarrassing pop music from the 1990s.
After all, there ain’t no party like an S Club party.