November 2, Eventim Apollo: After a summer of heroic performances at festivals, the band’s defining trio continues to party on their joyous UK tour.
There is never anything simple about Sugababes, a pop group whose line-up and musical changes could turn into an amazing mini-series. Ryan Murphy, are you listening carefully? This sold-out London show begins with a brief technical hitch, which means that Matja Buena, Keisha Buchanan and Siobhan Donaghy — the original and defining line—up – have to restart their opening hit “Push The Button”. — Hi, Mommy! Buchanan says, waving to the crowd to fill in the time. It’s a little awkward, but thankfully it doesn’t set the tone. For the next 80 minutes, the Sugababes perform the harmony-soaked pop nirvana that made Glastonbury such a highlight this summer.
The last time this line-up toured was in 2013, when they were known as Mutya Keisha Siobhan due to not owning the rights to the Sugababes name. Since then they have released just one new song — a brilliant cover version of “Flowers” Sweet Female Attitude – but it doesn’t really matter. Today’s set begins and ends with some of the best British pop songs of the early 2000s, but for the faithful it is artfully woven into several deep cuts. Mutya Keisha Siobhan’s only official single, the stunning, Dev Hines-produced “Flatline”, is greeted as if it was supposed to be a big hit. “Today”, a trip-hop banger created in collaboration with pop alchemist MNEK, is another hit that was supposed to take place, with harmonies so tight that you can hang laundry on them. The latter was intended for the unreleased Mutya Keisha Siobhan album, which was later leaked, which may explain why some fans know the lyrics.
Nevertheless, the lion’s share of today’s audience came to listen to high-quality pop music from their childhood. “Too Lost In You” is a must-have moment on the phone, “Overload” is a bombastic choreography taken straight from the CD:UK era, and “Ugly” turns out to be really quite touching. Although the latter is almost twenty years old, his texts about self-acceptance and positive attitude to the body remain poignant in an era of increasingly violent social networks.
At first, the Sugababes even sing the thunderous “Red Dress” — a generous move, given that not all band members like this song. Perhaps the trio’s vocals are inevitably drowned out tonight by an enthusiastic crowd. But when that’s not the case, their vocal mix remains magical — one of the things that made their 2001 debut album “One Touch” so special.
The concert ends with an exciting trio of chart leaders: non-standard pop music “Round Round”, their lustful mashup on “Freak Like Me” by Adina Howard and the heroically memorable “About You Now”. How many bands can perform with such good tunes? We know that the story of Sugababes does not end there: they are already booking places at festivals for next summer, where this show will be a hit. But whatever happens next, it seems that the original line-up of the band has well and truly restored its legacy.
‘Push The Button’
‘Hole In The Head’
‘Too Lost In You’
‘Love Me Hard’
‘Freak Like Me’
‘About You Now’