Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ll know that B*Witched will tour Australia in February.
It’s a momentous occasion; it’s the first time ever the ’90s Irish pop favourites have toured Australia. And they’ll be bringing Atomic Kitten, East 17 and S Club 3 down under for the ride.
To celebrate the tour and to find out what we might expect, we jump on the phone for an interview with the group’s Edele Lynch, who tells us just how long it’s been since we’ve seen them on Terra Australis.
Oh my gosh, too many years. I don’t think we’ve been there since… I think it was ’98. It was either ’98 or early ’99. It’s been a long time.
So that was right at the start!?
Yeah. It was right at the start of our success. And even that that point, we didn’t get the chance to play. I think we might have played one gig if I correctly remember and I know that the music was an absolute disaster, whatever happened. So we haven’t joyously played for you guys over there and we’re dying to come over.
So do we have ‘The Big Reunion’ to thank for all of this…?
Do you know what? 100%. Without ‘The Big Reunion’, I don’t think we’d be back together, to be honest. It just came at the right time. They were asking for about nine months before the actual show came off and it just seemed like the right time for everybody else nine months later and we’ve been together and gigging since then.
Was there a certain trepidation going into a show like that?
I think there was a relative amount of naivety attached to it. We’d never really done reality TV, so we didn’t really know what to expect of ‘The Big Reunion’. I don’t think anybody really expected it to be what it was and there was really something about that first series where everybody was just really honest and really open and there were a lot of heart-felt stories and situations going on. I don’t think we probably signed up for that necessarily… it just all unfolded as it came really.
It must have been difficult to have the ups and downs of the band and the ghosts of the past played out in public like that?
The weirdest thing for me with ‘The Big Reunion’ was that at the time, when we were at the peak of B*Witched in the late ‘90s, we genuinely actually did just get on really well. We always got on well, we were always the greatest of friends. And the biggest thing wrong at the time was that we just didn’t have enough time to socialise with each other. So we got to a point where there was no time to understand how everyone else felt.
So even when we got back together on the show, I think it was through our time off and our time away from the band that everybody reassessed maybe what some of the times actually was like for some of the members in ’98 and ’99. Some of the issues that we were speaking about would never have been spoken about in the day and weren’t very apparent. I think it was just in the time off that they came to light.
Do you feel that the experience has made you stronger or tighter as an outfit?
I feel not necessarily stronger as a band, but I feel like it’s just brought our strengths back together. I think the time that we had apart really should probably have never happened. Because we have something together… whether we’re on stage or not, we just have something together as four individuals. We’ve got massive amounts of love for each other and we have a huge connection that affects us in a really positive way and it does others as well when we’re together.
Just back TO ‘The Big Reunion’ for a moment, Atomic Kitten were on that series as well, as were Liberty X… So Liberty X’s Michelle is replacing Atomic Kitten’s Liz McClarnon on this tour, because she’s afraid of flying, apparently?
Yeah, apparently so. So that replacement probably wouldn’t have happened either without ‘The Big Reunion’. I believe they’ve been out there recently, haven’t they?
Yes, they popped up at a charity gig and nobody knew anything about it until such time as it had happened. And then all of a sudden your tour’s coming up and everyone’s quite excited about it. Have you been surprised by the level of the reaction so far?
We’re so excited about it. It’s been a really nice reaction. Social media has been really great about it. I just can’t wait now to get out there and see it all unfold. Obviously we’re on the other side of the world, so we can’t actually feel it first hand. We’re just watching it unfold on social media an talking to you guys on the phone. It’s going to be great. It will be great. There are so many hits on the stage. It is a no brainer to come and see the show and have an absolute blast, because that’s all it is. It’s so much fun.
What do you think it is about these pop nostalgia tours that everyone seemingly loves?
Firstly, there are so many hits on one stage. You can’t actually deny that… you’ve got so many bands on the stage and all it is is hit after hit after hit from the beginning of the show to the end. And then secondly, everybody likes to revisit their childhood a bit, don’t they? And that’s all it is really. You go along, you let yourself go and just be free in the moment. It’s just enjoyable really.
Have you noticed that your audiences are made up up a lot of young mums all going back into their ‘90s selves and having a big night of it?
100%. That was a bit unusual when we first did ‘The Big Reunion’. We didn’t really think about the audience changing as well. So when we first came out on stage and the room was full of adults, we thought, ‘Wha…? Where are all the children!?’. Then it dawned on us that these were all the children.
But it’s great. And it’s really mad, because a lot of people bring their children too. And the kids have a great time. Our kind of music is just so easy and so free. It’s such good feeling music that the kids love it as well. Basically if we’ve got adult fans now who have children, their children are generally fans as well and I can understand why.
Who are you most looking forward to sharing the stage with?
My girls. That’s really bad, isn’t it? Do you know what? I think we’re all just going to have fun being on tour together. We haven’t shared the stage with East 17 at any point, so I’m looking forward to seeing the lads.
And what can we expect from a B*Witched live performance… Obviously the catalogue of hits…?
Anything from your ‘Champagne Or Guinness’ EP?
I don’t know! We’ve not really discussed what it will be yet. So because it’s a ‘90s nostalgia tour, I’m not so sure we will visit ‘Champagne Or Guinness’ right now. However, if we do, there are a couple of tracks on there that would actually go down just as well as a lot of our old hits. It’ll still be a good night if we throw one or two new songs in there.
You should always try and throw one or two new songs in there… Try and get sales of the latest stuff up a bit.
Oh good. Well I like to hear you say that. It is always nice to hear what other people think, because sometimes we think ‘do people only want to hear what we did or are they happy enough to hear the new stuff?’. There’s some good songs on the new EP, so there are some good ones to play. We play them all the time over here.
Just to have you guys on the stage will be exciting enough for most people, I reckon. Yes, they’ll be there to hear the hits, but you can always slide in one or two newer songs. Are you working on any more new music at the moment?
There is literally talk of a new album, yes. We’ve just started the conversation actually, so I think we’re going to make something in the new year.
Yay! It’s very exciting! Because we haven’t made anything for a couple of years. You know, it goes so quickly. You don’t realise how the time passes. Somebody said to me this morning, ‘oh you had your EP in 2013’. And I thought, ‘was it really that long ago? We really DO need some new stuff’. Considering we’ve been together all this time, we really do need some new material. But we’re excited about getting back into the studio. It’s time.
Is it difficult to decide what kind of music you want to make as a band now? Or where you fit?
No. Do you know, it’s not, because we’re not really under the pressure we were years ago. We felt that pressure years ago, but now it’s just all about getting in and being creative and just seeing what comes naturally, to be honest. That’s it, really. That’s what we’ve always done in writing. We never have a specific plan before we sit down. We just write what feels right at the time.
What kind of genre will B*Witched 2017 fit into?
That I cannot disclose just yet.
But you have an idea though, yes?
Yeah, we do. Yeah. We have an idea. We have a fair idea of where it’s going.
Back to the live shows again… do you have a favourite song to perform?
Do you know what? I have no idea why, but it’s ‘Jesse Hold On’. I have no idea why. ‘Jesse Hold On’ and ‘Blame It On The Weatherman’. I love ‘Blame It On The Weatherman’ because you just get lost in the song. It’s just an incredible song.
Crowd reaction would still be pretty strong for ‘Jesse Hold On’ too, wouldn’t it?
Yeah, definitely. But it’s nothing to do with crowd reaction for me, because the obvious crowd reaction – the biggest one – is always for ‘C’est La Vie’. Everybody just goes absolutely mental and it’s good to see them all Irish dancing. And to be honest, there’s no point in us actually singing ‘C’est La Vie’, because generally they’re singing it a lot louder than we are anyway. Even with the whole sound system and all. But I don’t know why ‘Jesse’… It’s just… I have no idea why I like it, but I do.
And given it has been so long since you were last in Australia, what are you most looking forward to doing away from the shows? Do you get much time off?
There’s a little bit of time off in Sydney, I think. There appears to be a couple of days and I’m not sure… there might be a couple of days somewhere else. There’s not enough time off. I’m not happy about that. The last time we were in Australia, we didn’t have the joy of seeing too much of it either, but I’ve said to myself that the tour’s only a few weeks long, so even if I don’t have time, I’m just going to get up an extra couple of hours earlier than when I have to leave and I’m going to look around even if it’s in dark and I have to bring a big torch with me.
Well you’ll have to be getting back to the kids quickly after the shows, no doubt. So they’ll be making sure your heart consistently pangs for home.
Yes, they will. I was actually considering bringing them with me, but just with the schedule the way it is, it doesn’t make any sense to fly them 24 hours to be dragged around. So I’ll have to plan coming back to Australia in the next few years just to do a tour ourselves on holiday.
Just to close off, we guess the question needs to be asked… Can we be assured of just a little bit of riverdancing on the stage?
Of course you can! Of course! Can you imagine if we came and didn’t do it? It’d be terribly insulting. When we did ‘The Big Reunion’, apparently what everybody was waiting for out of every band that played, was whether we were going to do our double denim and Irish dancing.
So there’ll be double denim as well?
I don’t know the answer to that question yet! How upset would you be if I said ‘no’?
We’re totally fine with double denim. But is it coming back?
How offended would you be if I said, ‘yes’?
No offence taken in any way, shape or form!
Is double denim coming back? It kind of never really goes away, does it? It’s not necessarily the height of fashion at times, but it never really goes away. I don’t know if we’ll be doing it. We sometimes do and we sometimes don’t, so it depends on how we’re feeling, I guess.
Catch B*Witched performing live, with Atomic Kitten, East 17 and S Club 3 across Australian in February next year;
February 08 : Adelaide (Thebarton Theatre)
February 09 : Melbourne (Festival Hall)
February 10 : Melbourne (170 Russell)
February 11 : Sydney (Luna Park Big Top)
February 12 : Sydney (Luna Park Big Top)
February 14 : Newcastle (NEX Wests City)
February 15 : Hobart (Wrest Point Entertainment Centre)
February 17 : Gold Coast (Jupiter’s Theatre)
February 18 : Brisbane (Eatons Hill Hotel)