Tina Barrett Answers Burning Questions (S Club, S Club Juniors, Suka, Gangster Love)

In promotion for her newest single ‘Private Dance Instructor’ available now, former S Club member hit on some burning topics that have been personally bothering me over the last several years!! Lets dig in!!

NME: Who brought S Club 7’s ‘Reach’ as her luxury item on the 2020 series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!?
Tina: “Oh, Giovanna [Fletcher, author and blogger].”

NME: Correct
Tina: “I watched and enjoyed that. I’ve been asked to go into the jungle before, but I’m scared of everything so I’ve always said no. I’d be awful on it and the definitely the one viewers would pick on! Not good!”

NME: Who’s been the unexpected person who’s turned out to be a S Club 7 fan?
Tina: “When I met Lindsay Lohan, she was the biggest fan. She said: ‘I love the show. Me and my sister always watch it’. I was really shocked!”

NME: Which chart-topping Kylie Minogue single was originally offered to S Club 7?
Tina: “Hmm – it was one of her big ones. ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’?”

NME: Correct
Tina: “That was a total guess, but I remember we all thought at the time: ‘That would have been so cool’. But I don’t think we’d have looked as iconic as Kylie. We’d have probably done a rainbow-styled version. You know what we were like in S Club – we liked our individual colours. Looking back at some of our outfits, I’m convinced our stylists hated me!”

NME: Name all of S Club’s code names in S Club’s 2003 film Seeing Double.
Tina: “Wow, that’s a tough one! (Laughs) I remember Jo [O’Meara]’s was Tough Sirloin because I found it hysterical, but I can’t remember the others. What were they?

NME: WRONG. Jo’s was indeed Tough Sirloin (Previously Essex Terrier). The rest were: Bird Dog (Jon Lee), Hedge Pig (Hannah Spearritt), Big Pants (Bradley McIntosh), Mr Black (You), and The Shopper (Rachel Stevens).
Tina: “I wouldn’t have had a clue! I’m sure Bradley was happy with Big Pants! (Laughs) As for Mr. Black, what girl doesn’t want to be called Mr.!? Thanks guys! We shot the movie in Barcelona and it felt like an extension of the TV show. We had a real laugh because we had lookalikes of people like Elton John wandering around, because our film was about cloning celebrities – if you haven’t seen it! I remember the George Michael lookalike complained a lot because nothing was good enough for him, so we’d be like: ‘Who does he think he is? George Michael? Oh wait!’”

NME: The movie was filmed when you were in your late twenties. Did anybody at the time feel they’d outgrown its kiddie tone?
Tina: “For sure! We were at a point where we were like: OK, we’re not in our late teens and early twenties anymore, so it would be nice to do something more gritty. But when the formula’s established and working, it’s difficult to do something new. If we were to do it again, we’d definitely do something more grown-up.”

NME: Is another S Club film or TV series a possibility, then?
Tina: ““I think so. Because the show is still being watched and the fans still enjoy it and it’s part of their childhood, and other TV shows from the time have successfully come back, so it would be nice to reunite for a one-off special.”

NME: Which Killing Eve character used to sing S Club 7 on the toilet?
Tina: “Hold on, I’ve seen this! Erm… it wasn’t Villanelle?”

NME: WRONG. It was Kenneth “Kenny” Stowton.
Tina: “I was thinking him, but then I went for Villanelle – but she’d probably sing Metallica on the toilet! Something darker than S Club. When I saw it, I just thought ‘,Wow’ – it was so unexpected and a real honour to be name-checked. My other favourite S Club reference is when it was covered at the working men’s club on Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, because I’m a real fan of his.”

What was the name of original S Club member Paul Cattermole’s “nu-metal band” that he left the group to set up in 2002?
Tina: “Skua.”

NME: Correct
Tina: “Yay! I do take notice of everyone in the band – and that’s not an easy name to remember! (Laughs) I went to see them play live with Hannah and it was cool to see Paul in his element because he’s a real metalhead.”

When Paul left in 2002 did it feel like the beginning of the end – did you start making contingency plans?
Tina: “Yeah. you can never know how it’s going to go when someone leaves, but it definitely changed the dynamic. Even though on paper, you might think it would be better – because there’s less people and bands are usually less than seven members – but it didn’t feel right. We went on for a year or so after, but we missed Paul.”

NME: Did anyone else in the band want to experiment with non-pop styles?
“Well, we actually did do a little bit of experimenting. We recorded a song called – don’t laugh! – ‘Gangster Love’, which was a garage track (Laughs). I know! Don’t worry – it wasn’t gangsta rap, with us all going ‘Brap brap brap!’. Anyway, it didn’t get released – ‘Gangster Love’ by S Club 7 would be too much irony.”

NME: The promotional copies of which indie band’s 2000 greatest hits collection contains a thank you to S Club 7?
Tina: “Was it Scouting For Girls?”

NME: WRONG. It was Ash’s ‘Intergalactic Sonic 7″s’. According to frontman Tim Wheeler, “For a while we were doing TV shows that they were always on. They had the image of being a clean-living kids’ band, but there was a couple of partiers amongst them!”
Tina: “Oh yeah, let me tell you – you don’t have a clue! (Laughs) We can out-party the best of them. Don’t let those silver tinfoil outfits fool you! Anyway, I’m shocked about Ash – wow, that’s cool.”

NME: Which TV show did S Club walk out of in 2003?
Tina: “That clip gets played every year on those Worst Moments of TV shows. (Laughs) It’s not Not the Nine O’Clock News?”

NME: WRONG. It was Liquid News. When presenter Claudia Winkelman asked about an alleged discrepancy between what S Club earned and what they personally were paid, a PR hauled them off set.
Tina: “The funniest thing was me and Rachel were still in make-up because there were so many of us to get ready and we were running late, so the others went up and we were going to join them. As we’re sat there getting our make-up done, everyone comes back and we went: ‘That was quick!’. And they said: ‘Oh they’ve just pulled us off set’ (Laughs). Then obviously the next day it was everywhere. It was crazy.”

NME: Do you feel personally that you earned a fair amount for your time in S Club?
Tina: “I mean, like a lot of bands, we were very young and obviously when you get these opportunities you take them, We did OK and it was a long time ago, and we’re all OK financially – so that’s it, really.”

NME: Paul recently claimed that dating fellow member Hannah was written into his contract. Did you have anything bizarre in your contract?
Tina: “I saw that! Honestly, I don’t know anything about that so can’t comment. I was allowed to date whoever I wanted (laughs).”

NME: Which Manchester band shared a rehearsal space with your younger spin-off band S Club Juniors and mistook them for (in the words of their frontman) “kids from a special needs school who were hanging around the studio for the day because there was free food”?
Tina: “Was it Oasis?”

NME: Correct
Tina: “I remember meeting Liam Gallagher at Top of the Pops when we played it with Oasis, and he told me he liked us. He was hanging out backstage about to go on and went: ‘Hey, S Club are really good. My kids love it’.”

NME: When S Club Juniors (later S Club 8) came along, did you feel like you were being replaced?

Tina: (Laughing) “Yeah, we were being taken to the knackers yard! ‘I’m offended!’ (Laughs) With the S Club Juniors, it was part of an X Factor-style competition where we’d judge and choose the members. Their prize was performing on a tour with us at Wembley Arena, then people were like, ‘Oh, they’re pretty good!’ and they got a record deal and suddenly a mini S Club had formed. They were very young and we got a bit of controversy, but they were very well looked after with a chaperone. In the back of our mind, maybe we did feel we were being replaced, but they’re great guys and two of them – Frankie [Bridge] and Rochelle [Humes] – ended up in The Saturdays, which shows we could identify talent.”

NME: You started out in an early incarnation of noughties girl group Mis-teeq. What is the name of their 2001 debut album?
Tina: “’Scandalous’?’”

NME: WRONG. It’s ‘Lickin’ on Both Sides‘.
Tina: “OK, sorry! I was working so hard in S Club and we weren’t allowed to listen to other music. It was written in the contract! Especially Mis-teeq – in case they asked me back (laughs). I’m joking. Honestly though, the girls in Mis-teeq are like sisters to me. Before I got the S Club audition, I was with them at the beginning when there was no record deal, and we’d meet up at dance classes to learn choreographed routines and come up with songs and lyrics. It was at a very early creative stage.”

You’ve just released a new single ‘Private Dance Instructor.’ What inspired it?
Tina: “It’s influenced by Flashdance, one of my favourite films, and it features rap artist Ali Vegas, who’s unbelievable. The idea is you can put it on and work off the mince pies like that – you won’ t be disappointed! (Laughs) There’s an album coming as well.”

NME: Time for the S Club individual member knowledge round! For a full point, you need to answer all of these three questions correctly. Which horror film franchise did Hannah get set on fire in?
Tina: “Chucky?”

NME: CORRECT. She flexes her acting chops in Seed of Chucky, the 2004 installment of the Child’s Play series, and ends up being set ablaze by a murderous doll and falling to her death over a balcony.
Tina: “I hate all horror films, but I watched it for Hannah and she was really good. I was so proud she was in a Hollywood film.”

NME: How much did Paul’s Brit award reportedly sell for?
“I heard about this. It’s up there. Was it about £60,000?”

NME: CORRECT. It was £65,000.
Tina: “The real deal! I’ve got two Brit Awards pride and place on a shelf about my TV – then I don’t know what happened to our 2001 Record of the Year award for ‘Don’t Stop Movin’’. [Band Svengali] Simon Fuller probably has it in his loo!”

NME: Post-S Club, what single was Rachel Stevens’ only Number One?
Tina: “’Sweet Dreams My LA Ex’?”

NME: WRONG. She reached Number One in 2004 as part of Band Aid 20’s re-recording of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’
Tina: “Damn! That was a trick question!”

NME: Will there be another S Club reunion?
Tina: “Yeah, it’s been nearly 20 years since S Club came onto the screens and the charts, so it would be great if we did another one. With our last reunion in 2014, we weren’t sure how people would react to us coming back, but the tour sold out. There was talk of doing an album at that time, but it never happened because some of the guys had contracts straight after. If we were to reunite, we’d do an album as well, which I think would be a more grown-up sound, but it would definitely have the same S Club energy. It would be upset, with a current sound, but still on planet pop.”

NME: You should dig out ‘Gangster Love’ as the comeback single…
Tina: “I’m starting the petition now to put out ‘Gangster Love’!”

Private Dance Instructor is available now on all streaming services
and ‘Gangsta Love’ by S Club is available on their fourth studio album ‘Seeing Double’

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