Reliving that 1990s feel with 911

Members of English boyband 911 (from left) Jimmy Constable, Lee Brennan and Spike Dawbarn.
Members of English boyband 911 (from left) Jimmy Constable, Lee Brennan and Spike Dawbarn.PHOTO: MODE ENTERTAINMENT

English boyband 911 will perform here in a concert with two other 1990s acts - English boyband 5ive and pop group S Club

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At the height of their success in the 1990s, English boyband 911 sold millions of albums, scored several British top 10 singles and enjoyed great popularity in South-east Asia.

Then a punishing schedule caused the band - comprising Lee Brennan, Jimmy Constable and Spike Dawbarn - to fall apart and eventually split in 2000.

The trio reunited in 2012 for reality documentary series The Big Reunion, which features former bands reuniting and rehearsing for a comeback performance.

Next month, 911 will perform here in a concert that will also feature two of the 1990s' hottest acts - fellow English boyband 5ive and English pop group S Club (formerly known as S Club 7).

All three acts are known for their head bop-inducing numbers and energetic dance moves.

911 last played here in an ensemble concert 20 years ago.

  • BOOK IT / I LOVE 90S

  • WHERE: The Star Theatre, 04-01 The Star Performing Arts Centre, 1 Vista Exchange Green

    WHEN: March 10, 8pm

    ADMISSION: $98, $118, $138 and $178 (VIP) from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg). Each VIP ticket-holder will be entitled to an exclusive meet-and-greet session and a group photo opportunity with 911 and S Club after the concert.

One version of their 1999 song, Private Number, was a duet with home-grown actress Fann Wong, which appeared on her 1999 album, Missing You.

The band started in 1995.

Constable and Dawbarn, now 46 and 43, were dancers who worked together on a late-night music show and decided to form their own group.

Brennan, a fan of the two, was recruited into the group.

The trio's debut album in 1997, The Journey - featuring hits such as Don't Make Me Wait, The Day We Find Love and their signature song Bodyshakin' - rocketed them to success.

They had another two studio albums - Moving On (1998) and There It Is (1999) - which hit the top 20 on the UK Albums Chart.

Then trouble brewed.

Reports say Constable became an alcoholic, Dawbarn hated being recognised and Brennan became increasingly insecure about his looks.

After they split, Dawbarn set up a dance academy while Brennan, now 44, acted in pantomimes and worked as a portrait photographer.

Constable married Claire Constable, who formerly worked in the office of Irish boyband Boyzone, who were also successful in the 1990s.

After their 2012 reunion, 911 performed in a sold-out comeback concert in London in the following year that also featured other acts.

They also took part in a British arena tour with other former pop groups which were featured on The Big Reunion, such as Atomic Kitten and Liberty X.

Ahead of their gig here, Constable spoke to The Straits Times in an e-mail interview.

1 Do you still consider yourself a boyband?

As we are a lot older now, I would say we are a man band. A bit like Take That, I suppose.

2 The last time you guys were in Singapore was in 1998, for the Hello! concert at the National Stadium. Have any of you visited Singapore since?

The Hello! concert on our last visit was amazing. I have been back to Singapore a few times and I really love the place.

It is always very clean with amazing culture. Hopefully, I will visit many more times as it is a beautiful place.

3 In 1999, the band released the song Private Number, a duet with Singaporean actress Fann Wong. Will you be performing this song for the upcoming concert and will Fann perform as a special guest?

Fann was great on our track and, hopefully, she enjoyed the experience too.

We have not planned to sing with her, but if she would like to, we would be very happy to.

4 How is the band's music different compared with the 1990s?

Music moves on in many ways and, hopefully, we have moved with the times and created a more mature sound while keeping our pop sound.

5 At the height of your fame, you guys were swamped everywhere you went, living in hotels and constantly flying around. How do you feel about fame now and is it something you want again?

It was a crazy time back in the 1990s, we could not go anywhere without the police and army escorting us.

We have always been very grateful for our fans and how they made things so big for us. Fame is part of our job, but as you get older, you realise that priorities change, especially when you have a family.

We have become older and wiser, and more appreciative of one another.

6 Now that the band are back together, how will you do things differently to avoid the troubles and stresses that led to the break-up in 2000?

We now realise that we are together as a band and without one another, we cannot do it. So that makes us understand one another more.

We plan to go on and tour and perform for as long as we can and for as long as fans would like us to.

7 Are you fans of the other two bands - 5ive and S Club - that you will be performing with?

We have a great relationship with the other bands, we have known one another for many years and become friends. We also spent a lot of time together during The Big Reunion tour.

8 How would you like to be remembered?

I would like to be remembered as hardworking, honest and enjoyable to be around.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 19, 2018, with the headline 'Reliving that 1990s feel with 911'. Print Edition | Subscribe