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Review: Sugababes, Newcastle City Hall

IT seems like only yesterday since the not-so saccharine Sugababes burst on to the music scene.

IT seems like only yesterday since the not-so saccharine Sugababes burst on to the music scene.

Now almost eight years into their career and the trio have weathered line-up changes and a changing pop landscape to outlast the limited shelf life that usually befalls most girl groups.

And my, haven’t they grown.

Their sellout visit to the City Hall as part of a 30-date tour proved the Sugababes have evolved from being the hardest girls in the pop play- ground to a polished and mature group.

Never known for their taxing choreography, Heidi, Keisha and Amelle relied on three doppelganger dancers while they concentrated on the singing.

And with a stable of hits most groups would kill for, it was definitely a wise choice. They played safe with a set that included their best-known tracks instead of churning out songs from their latest album Change.

Highlights included openers Hole in the Head and In the Middle, and Gary Numan-inspired number-one hit Freak Like Me got the enthusiastic audience on their feet.

Latest single Denial slotted in neatly alongside better-known songs, and the more intimate venue was a perfect stage to showcase the group’s vocal prowess.

Down-tempo ballads Stronger and Caught in a Moment displayed a confident shift from moody pop princesses to sassy Supremes-style harmony.

The girls shimmied their way across the stage and seemed to relish the chance to show they had more to offer than just a few radio-friendly tunes.

The glo-stick waving younger fans were treated to an array of costume changes – I stopped counting at eight– while a cover of the En Vogue classic Don’t Let Go kept the older audience members happy.

Feel-good chart-toppers Push the Button and About You Now topped off a perfect performance that gave the crowd a slice of pop at its very best.

Minus the high-octane dance routines of course.

 

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