BOYS ON TOUR!
Red Handed: So, you’re on tour again, in December.
What can people expect?
Only Men Aloud: We love performing at Christmas
and we’re told by so many people that their
Christmas can officially begin after they have been
to our concert! We hope people will be feeling very
Christmassy after the gig.
RH: What material will you be performing?
OMA: We have put together a great programme,
which will hopefully include everyone’s favourite
Christmas song. We have our very popular version of
O Holy Night, a brand new arrangement of Chestnuts
Roasting on an Open Fire, and a stunning acapella
version of White Christmas. There are some big dance
numbers and routines and some very popular songs
from movies that might well be on at this time of the
year. Hopefully, something for everyone!
RH: You performed Justin Bieber songs in Welsh
earlier this year – how did that happen and will it
become a regular theme?
OMA: We did. We were approached by Justin’s (we’re
good friends now…) management, to see if we could
record a couple of his songs that they could use to
publicise his gig in Cardiff. They asked if one of them
could be in Welsh. We recorded Sorry in English,
and Love Yourself in Welsh. Both worked really well.
It’s become a bit of a favourite thing of ours to take a
well known pop song, and get it arranged for us, in a
slowed down, acoustic way, with lots of harmony and
we hope to do lots more of this in the future.
RH: You must have a few stories from past toursthough, can you tell us one or two?
OMA: We laugh a lot - off stage, and on stage. We’vehad many costume malfunctions. One of us split histrousers open as he was doing a dance routine - he’sactually done this on a few occasions now. We’vehad forgotten shoes, one person had to borrow thecoach driver’s shoes as he only had his trainers with him. One gig we were waiting at the back of the stagewaiting to be called on, when our first track suddenlystarted in the auditorium. Apparently the man doingthe sound had walked past the CD player, and hisrather large belly had pressed the play button! Wehad to run on, and try to work out where we werein the track. Here’s hoping nothing goes wrong thisChristmas Tour!
RH: Are you tucked up in bed soon after the gig or
do you like a bit of a party? Is it Horlicks or Harvey
Wall Bangers in the dressing room?
OMA: We’re quite boring really! We normally have a
party after the last gig of the tour, but whilst we’re on
it, we’re quite sensible. We always want to be at our
best, and our concerts are quite hard work with lots
of singing, so we are usually ready for our beds after a
quiet drink or two.
RH: How about adulation from your fans – does that
ever get a bit out of hand, in a Tom Jones sort of way?
OMA: We really enjoy it. We have a fan club called
the OMAniacs, and they follow us around the world,
wherever we go. We are so grateful for their support.
We occasionally get the odd pair of knickers thrown on
the stage, but to look out and see the audience loving
what you are doing, is something special. We always
love to try to meet the fans after every gig. We will
always do a signing or will spend time at the stage door
with them. Without them, we wouldn’t be doing what
we are doing - so we are always very grateful and love
to meet them.
RH: Do you get on well on tour or do you find it
gets a bit fractious being in each others’ pockets?
OMA: We still get on really well with each other,
and proper friendships have been formed over the
years. We manage to kill time very effectively, usually
coming up with a random game to play, or just
throwing a ball around, or kicking a football. There
are enough different personalities in the group that
if someone is getting a bit big for their boots, or if
someone needs picking up a bit, then there is always
someone there to do that.
RH: What have the highlights been – performing at
the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics must
have been pretty special?
OMA: The Olympics were certainly up there. We sang
at the very moment that the cauldron or flame was
lit in the stadium and we were watched and heard
by around 900 million people on TV around the
world. The view we had of the stadium at that time
was incredible, and will live long with us all. Other
highlights have been touring in the USA, some of the
TV programmes we have made, including a trip to
Mumbai in India earlier this year, and singing at many
sporting events - The Ryder Cup, The Ashes, The Six
Nations and The Champions League Final to name a
RH: Would you like to appear on any TV shows like
Strictly, Celebrity Bake Off or Celebrity Love Island?
OMA: Between us all, I reckon we could go on them
all! There are some good dancers, bakers and even
a single member who I’m sure would love to go on
Love Island! We sang on the Christmas episode of
Strictly Come Dancing a few years ago and it was an
amazing experience. We were singing I’ll be Home for
Christmas, and suddenly the two professional dancers
appeared and danced around the floor to our singing -
a very surreal experience!
RH: It’s close to 10 years, since your breakthrough
on Last Choir Standing. Is it as thrilling now as it was
OMA: It really is still as thrilling. We’re all a bit older
and hopefully a bit wiser, but we all still love the buzz
of performing live - there isn’t much better. We have
had some incredible experiences along the way and
hopefully there will be some more to come. There is
not much better than being on stage, in front of our
adoring fans, and singing with your friends. We still
need to pinch ourselves occasionally!
RH: Any other big plans for the coming year?
OMA: Next year, we celebrate the 10th anniversary
of us winning Last Choir Standing on BBC 1, and
we are planning a UK wide tour and a new album to
commemorate this occasion. We will be looking back
through the last ten years, and performing some of our
favourite songs and routines from over the years.
Only Men Aloud play St David’s Hall on
December 1st. www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk