Five: London Wembley Arena

They appear on stage, as the informative and entertaining tour programme quite rightly states, like the five bikers of the pop apocalypse...

Good things come in fives. But enough about tonight's headliners' private lives, ho ho. Anyway, to commemorate the five best pop acts on stage tonight, here they are! Oh yes indeedy.

Supersister - They bang their way through 'Coffee' as if it was going out of style but, of course, disco will always be in style. As will leather catsuits. And quite right too.

Minxsters - They do a cover of The Cure's 'In Between Days' in the style of Buffalo G / Daphne & Celeste! It's very odd.

Skandal - They do a cover of Kenny Loggins' 'Footloose' in the style of Five / Point Break! It's frankly bizarre! This is performed in cowboy hats. 'Champagne Highway', one of the most peculiarly-titled songs of 2000, is a corker.

Boom! - They don't do any covers at all because their own stuff is quite good enough thank you very much! They jump on each other's backs!

Five - Obviously. They appear on stage, as the informative and entertaining tour programme quite rightly states, like the five bikers of the pop apocalypse, and burst into an album track. Alternative!

The next hour and twenty minutes throw up songs old and not-that-new (they have, as they claim in the altered lyrics to 'Serious', "another album coming through", yet there's not much evidence tonight), 'Matrix'-style techno rainfall all over the backdrops for 'Invincible', and the cameras zoom in on Scott's damaged eye, filling Wembley Arena with an enormous image of a bloody scabby wound. And - hey! - Celine Dion isn't even on the bill!

The show sometimes threatens to drag slightly - there aren't any of the elaborate set-pieces you'd associate with Steps, who played here only days ago - but with the spectacle the five boys (or old men, as Scott accuses J of being at one point) create by themselves is just enough. 'We Will Rock You', a song that only makes sense at the start of a gig but which simply has to be an encore, closes the show with loads of fire (not crappy sparkler type of fire and most certainly not girlie ticker tape, but proper big petrol kind of fire) bursting around from all over the place and Five are gone, while a huge banner drops and engulfs the stage with the message 'Until next time...'

Hopefully, next time, Five will be bringing along some new material to accompany some of the best pop songs of the past four years.

Peter Robinson

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