The Scotsman

Audience straps in for Girls’ 100-minute ride

- Girls Aloud Hydro, Glasgow JJJJJ Fiona Shepherd

For ten years in the Noughties, Girls Aloud ruled the charts with a pop catalogue which was the envy of their peers, bursting with personalit­y, quirky hooks, audacious handbrake turns and more ideas per song than many artists could manage across an entire album.

The Girls Aloud Tour was a celebratio­n of their imperial decade. Despite their claims during the Beyonce strut of Something New that “we girls gonna run this”, there is no new material (merchandis­e, that’s another matter…), simply an opportunit­y to revel in their bravura tunes as well as to pay tribute to their bandmate Sarah Harding, who died in 2021.

Five have become four – Nadine, Nicola, Kimberley and Cheryl, who elicited the loudest screams from the fans but took her place as an equal partner in this raucously entertaini­ng show which began with the quartet undulating in wind machine overload during the elegant Untouchabl­e.

Like the Girls, it was best to strap in for the ride over the next 100 minutes, to luxuriate in the showgirl chic of The Show, accompanie­d by a ten-strong troupe of male dancers, the slap-and-tickle of Love Machine, which deserves its idiosyncra­tic place in the pop pantheon for its use of the word “negligee” alone, and the multi-part riot of Biology.

Girls Aloud were never

Girls Aloud celebrate their imperial Noughties decade

big on harmonics but made a great unison blend, as heard on the sultry swing of History. That history had to include Harding, whose image and voice were featured throughout the show. How she would have loved performing Wake My Up astride a motorbike high above the crowd or tapping into the rebel rock energy of a thundering No Good Advice.

There was further pop elevation when the group re-emerged looking like towering toilet roll holders for the supreme Sexy! No No No… while their gilded encore of The Promise highlighte­d Harding’s best known solo before they glided offstage, job done once more.

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