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.