B*witched are back for the Big Re­union. Plus: Lit­tle Green Cars and Sav­ages talk to The Ticket,

Both­ered and be­wil­dered? In fact they are quite the op­po­site, B*witched mem­bers Edele Lynch and Sinéad O’Car­roll as­sure Lau­ren Mur­phy, as the 1990s pop pop­pets pre­pare for their Big Re­union

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‘A ll the time,” Edele Lynch says, rolling her eyes as she set­tles her­self on the sofa with a cup of her­bal tea. “It’s mostly ‘ Oh-oh­hhh!’, or ‘I fight like me da’, or some­times ‘What are ya like?’. All. The. Time.”

“It’s true,” con­curs her band­mate Sinéad O’Car­roll. “Even in the taxi on the way over here, we had to cor­rect the driver. He was say­ing ‘Na na na na’, in­stead of ‘Oh-ohhh!’. We’ll be hav­ing it shouted at us by taxi driv­ers when we’re 70.’”

At this point in their lives, the mem­bers of B*witched are re­signed to be­ing stalked by the spec­tre of their de­but sin­gle, C’est la Vie, still ir­ri­tat­ingly catchy 15 years af­ter its re­lease. They may have had four num­ber one UK sin­gles, a de­but that went plat­inum on both sides of the At­lantic and US tours with the likes of N’Sync, but it’s just as well that they’ve made peace with that first song – be­cause now they’re go­ing to be hear­ing those chirpy catch­phrases even more reg­u­larly than usual.

It’s all down to The Big Re­union, the ITV2 doc­u­men­tary se­ries that per­suaded a num­ber of 1990s pop acts (5ive, 911, Honeyz, Atomic Kit­ten and Lib­erty X were also fea­tured) to bury their var­i­ous hatch­ets and rekin­dle their pop magic. The doc­u­men­taries were so pop­u­lar that the planned one-off con­cert at the end of the se­ries soon turned into a tour, which Blue have also joined. To­day, half of B*witched are sit­ting in Dublin’s Gib­son Ho­tel, in the shadow of the O2, where next week they’ll play their first Ir­ish gig in more than 10 years .

“When we were first ap­proached by the pro­duc­ers, I was like, ‘No way’,” says Lynch, the like­able lead singer with the bonecrush­ing hand­shake and the no-non­sense de­meanour. “I just thought ‘I have a daugh­ter in school, and it’s re­al­ity TV’. . . you just don’t know how it’s go­ing to be edited. And when peo­ple have an opin­ion of you, that goes into the school­yard. My lit­tle sis­ter got a hard time with me be­ing in B*witched and Shane be­ing in Boy­zone when she was still at school, so I didn’t know if I wanted that, or not. But my mind was changed when they started talk­ing about do­ing it with­out me. I thought, ‘Well, I’m go­ing to get the same amount of at­ten­tion not be­ing there, ’cos I was the lead singer’, so in the end I just said ‘fine, I’ll do it’. They bul­lied me!”

“I was dif­fer­ent; to be hon­est, I said yes straight away,” ad­mits O’Car­roll. “I wasn’t too keen about the whole ‘re­al­ity TV’ as­pect of it, but I thought more about what could come out of it. I was will­ing to take the risk to see if we could do a tour.”

The risk proved worth­while when the show was a hit, yet get­ting back to­gether af­ter a 10-year split also meant re-tread­ing rocky ground. Sony dropped the group just as they were pre­par­ing to record their third al­bum, and O’Car­roll’s sub­se­quent de­ci­sion to leave the group (Lynch de­scribed it as “like my wife leav­ing me”) spelled the end. The pair stopped talk­ing al­to­gether sev­eral years later – un­til this process brought them back to­gether.

To­day, there’s no sign of a di­vi­sion as the pair chat­ter like bo­som bud­dies and sub­con­sciously touch each other as they ref­er­ence their es­trange­ment.

“It was so stupid,” says Lynch, shak­ing her head. “I al­ways thought that it needed to be talked through to un­der­stand what ac­tu­ally hap­pened, to fix it prop­erly, but ac­tu­ally, what we needed was just to be in each other’s space and un­der­stand what a new chem­istry and new re­la­tion­ship this was. We didn’t need to talk about any­thing, re­ally. With­out The Big Re

union, we wouldn’t have had the op­por­tu­nity to do that, be­cause we’d fallen out. But it’s been re­ally good. I’m de­lighted that we’ve done it for that rea­son alone.”

Lynch’s twin sis­ter Keavy also strug­gled with de­pres­sion to­wards the end of the band’s life­span, but she has re­cu­per­ated and is now train­ing to be a coun­sel­lor her­self, re­vived pop ca­reer aside.

There’s no get­ting away from the fact, how­ever, that B*witched’s im­age was one of care­free bub­blegum pop, a ‘dou­ble denim’ dress code and youth­ful fun. The Lynch twins were 19 when the group formed; to­day, the el­dest mem­ber, O’Car­roll, is about to turn 40.

“We’re not young any­more? Is that what you’re say­ing?” jokes Lynch. “But it was weird singing those songs again, yeah. I think even in the ’90s line up on The Big Re­union, our songs are the youngest, by far, and we’re prob­a­bly the band whose im­age fits our songs the least, now; the oth­ers can still get away with it. Apart from Blame it on the Weath­er­man; you could ac­tu­ally re-record that and re­lease it now. Not that the oth­ers aren’t good, but you kind of need a 17-year-old singing them. It’s as well that we still look young, be­cause if we didn’t, I don’t know what we’d have done. Some­times you get th­ese pop re­u­nions, and it’s 30 years later and they just look ridicu­lous. We get away with it. Some­how.”

“It is hard, though,” ad­mits O’Car­roll. “Es­pe­cially C’est la Vie – be­cause we’re do­ing all the rou­tines now in heels, and we’re try­ing to not be as bouncy, try­ing to be a bit cool. But then again, we were never cool . . .”

Af­ter the split, O’Car­roll kept her hand in show­biz by open­ing up a stage school for chil­dren, while Lind­say Ar­maou has dab­bled in mu­sic and act­ing. Lynch and her sis­ter Keavy formed an­other band, Bar­barel­las, but their 2011 al­bum didn’t quite take off. Lynch also spent time writ­ing with the Xeno­ma­nia team, an ex­pe­ri­ence she de­scribes as “amaz­ing, but ex­haust­ing”. Work­ing with such world-class pop song­writ­ers may yet stand to her if B*witched de­cide to record new ma­te­rial, some­thing they are se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing.

“We’re def­i­nitely gonna go into the stu­dio and see what hap­pens,” says Lynch. “We were al­ways think­ing that we can’t pick up where we

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“It is hard, though, be­cause we’re do­ing all the rou­tines now in heels, and we’re try­ing to not be as bouncy, try­ing to be a bit cool”

left off; it’s gotta be a new thing, so we’ve gotta get in the stu­dio and see if the chem­istry works. But it’d be silly not to, af­ter do­ing all of this work and gelling to­gether again. We’re worlds away from where we were, so I’d imag­ine lyri­cally, it’s go­ing to be com­pletely dif­fer­ent. This time around, when we say ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours’, we might ac­tu­ally mean it.”

Given their che­quered ex­pe­ri­ence as pop stars, what would they do dif­fer­ently if they could do it all again?

“I’d prob­a­bly try to en­joy it more,” says Lynch. “I spent a lot of time in bed, pre­par­ing for the next day – but so much so, that we ac­tu­ally missed a lot of the ex­tras that went with it. We were al­ways good at our job and al­ways en­joyed it be­cause of that, but in an­other way, it was all about work. And when we got to the end of it, we thought ‘Oh shit – we never so­cialised, not even with each other.’ We had no time for our friend­ship. I’ve been to Paris so many times, and I’ve never seen the Eiffel Tower. It’s ter­ri­ble.”

“We didn’t ac­tu­ally stop to savour it,” agrees O’Car­roll, reach­ing for a choco­late chip cookie to dip in her tea.

“We’re go­ing on tour next week – you should be or­der­ing salad!” ex­claims Lynch in mock-hor­ror.

“Ah, you have to live,” says O’Car­roll, laugh­ing. C’est la vie, in­deed.

The Big Re­union takes place at The O2, Dublin, on Thurs­day, May 16th

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