When S Club 7 announced they were reforming after a 12-year absence, there were doubts the group – now well into their 30s – really could bring it all back.
But Geordie fans attending the second leg of the group’s reunion tour were quickly on their feet and didn’t stop movin’ for the rest of the night.
The choice of Bring the House Down as an opener was underwhelming but when S Club Party followed, the Arena was soon reminded that there still ain’t no party like an S Club Party.
It’s easy to forget that, in their pomp at the turn of the millennium, S Club 7 clocked up four UK No 1 singles and 10 million album sales worldwide.
And as the group worked their way through an impressive set-list of long forgotten classics, the crowd was gleefully transported back to carefree adolescence.
Despite the nostalgia fest, Bradley freshened things up with a cover of Bruno Mars’ Up Town Funk and tracks were peppered with pulsating beats and pyrotechnic wizardry throughout.
Most of the routines were crisp while the vocals were little altered from the days when S Club 7 CDs were flying off HMV’s shelves.
A low point came in the middle when each of the group performed a solo segment, slowing an excited frenzy that until then had been steadily building.
But this was perhaps a welcome lull for the band – and your two reviewers – who are not as sprightly as they were back in the days of the high school disco.
The crowd was revived by an energetic rendition of Bring It All Back, setting up the venue for a euphoric, hit-fuelled finale – and when Reach followed, fans were sent into raptures.
Smartphones duly swayed when those famous white outfits were dusted down for an emotional performance of Never Have A Dream Come True.
An exuberant closing performance of Don’t Stop Movin’ provided a fittingly feelgood ending and, as nostalgic fans spilled out onto the Toon singing S Club classics, you could be forgiven for forgetting the past 15 years had ever happened.
Nick Martin and Andy Jehring