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Girls Aloud, Interview, Tour ♦ November 22, 2023

I am standing in a stranger’s living room in the nether end of north London. It’s 11am, but the blinds have been drawn to a close, which makes me feel as though I might have been smuggled into a safe house. There are bouclé armchairs and elaborate chandeliers and there are fat wedges of lemon bobbing about in my glass. I could have predicted these boutique tastes would belong to someone who works in pop music, and I could have predicted the specific artists under his management: Goldfrapp and Jessie Ware and The Scissor Sisters. That is because there is a pile of artfully arranged disco balls at my feet, but also because I’m listening to Girls Aloud gossiping from the other side of the wall. I then hear a scramble of high heels clacking through the hall, as Nicola Roberts leads Kimberley Walsh, Cheryl Tweedy and Nadine Coyle into this plush set-up. “Right,” she says. “Where shall we all sit?”

And so: it is official. The most successful girl band of the Noughties – who garnered more than five million in album sales, a record-breaking run of 20 consecutive top 10 singles, four number ones and a Brit Award – will be reuniting for an arena tour in the summer of 2024. “I swear to God, I cannot for the life of me remember how we even came to this decision,” says Nadine. “I just remember diaries being sent through and thinking, ‘Oh well, here we are!’ Suddenly I’m getting all these emails about flying around the roof of the O2 again.” She sounds genuinely flabbergasted. It has, after all, been 10 years since Girls Aloud last gave an interview and 20 years since their first appearance on Pop Stars: The Rivals. “Just don’t call it a comeback,” Cheryl adds, with a laugh. “I see it more as a celebration of a milestone. And listen: it’s gonna be unreal. And it’s gonna be the nostalgia of your life.”

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