Steps : London Wembley Arena

Same as last year...

Exactly 70% of this audience are fluffy-pink deely-boppered weeny-poppers. About 20% are benignly smiling mums and dads. And the remaining 10 % are chaps of the same-sex persuasion. Wearing spangly cowboy hats and ironic grins. And everyone is getting on splendidly. Ye gods! Does the Daily Mail know about this?

What would Oscar Wilde have made of[a]Steps[/a], one wonders. It’s like watching an ultra-soft porn movie starring ‘Blue Peter’ presenters. But [a]Steps[/a] have been peddling their ‘Hi-De-Hi'(Ho-De-Ho!) Abba-lite pop-frothery for over five years now, Long enough for them to be flogging a “greatest hits” album, for fuck’s sake. Surely irony comes with a sell-by date? Well apparently not. Ask [a]Kylie Minogue[/a].

The little girls scream dementedly when David Beckham appears on the giant video screens during a pre-gig advert for Sky TV. They scream even louder at Michael Owen. But when the naughty blonde-feather-cut uber-urchin H winks, or pretends to grab a backing singer’s arse, or comments lewdly about what “a lovely bottom” Faye’s got, they go absolutely mental. Hey, do you think H is secretly boning one of the lithesome,long-legged, muscle-tummied [a]Steps[/a]-chicks? Well you wouldn’t put it past him. The rascal!

Support band All-Stars (surely we flushed them down the pop-shitter yonks back?) warm us up by singing (i)Where ever u run an’ where ever u hide/U gotta face it, baby/Things go BUMP! BUMP! BUMP! in the nite!”(/i). And each BUMP is accompanied by a savage pelvic thrust. ie As in FUCKING! D’y’get it ? I’ll bet you do! Fnaar fnaar! etc.

The [a]Steps[/a]

performance is slick and relentlessly entertaining. But somewhat lacking in innovation. H nervously slides down from the ceiling on a harness. Again. Lisa nervously swings out over the audience on a wire-strung sofa. Same as last year. So plenty of bangs for your buck. But it was the same bangs. Which is a bit of a pisser.

All in all we witnessed a well-polished evening of astoundingly ambiguous sexual titillation. One’s only regret is that – given the state of the art video technology available – that the evening didn’t climax with a spectacular ultra-close-up cum-shot. Same as last year. Or did I dream that?

Steven Wells