NME.COM attends a warm-up show and, despite the band's claim that they're "really nervous", can reveal the show is a lavish spectacle...

S CLUB 7 have admitted that they are “really nervous” about their first ever live tour which kicks off in SHEFFIELD on Saturday (19th May)

Speaking at an exclusive dress rehearsal show yesterday at Birmingham’s NEC the band, who look like they may reclaim the Number One spot this weekend with their chart-topper ‘Don’t Stop Movin”, confessed that while they were looking forward to finally hitting the road, they were “nervous as hell” about playing to such large audiences.

“We’re really, really excited,” enthused Rachel Stevens after the breathless hour-and-a-half extravaganza. “But you can’t help but feel nervous as hell knowing that all these people have come to see you.”

She also admitted that this first dress rehearsal, which was attended by journalists and a handful of lucky S Club fans, was one of the most nerve-racking performances of her life because it was a tougher audience than they usually played too. “It felt a lot different to the normal audience we’re used to ‘cos we knew it was mainly journalists out there looking out for things to go wrong. Luckily I think it went well. The kids seemed to love it.”

“Yeah, we did good,” boasted a beefed-up Paul Cattermole. “Even the snooty journalists were up on tables by the end of it!”

The show which sees the band head off on a colourful musical journey to Hollywood, the beach and a Salsa carnival, features most of the magnificent seven performing their own solo numbers, the highlight of which is newly-coiffured Jon’s surprisingly heart-wrenching version of Michael Jackson‘s ‘She’s Out Of My Life’, which brought the house down.

Fans can also expect to hear all the hits including extended, funked-up re-workings of ‘Don’t Stop Movin”, ‘Two In A Million’, ‘Reach’ and ‘S Club Party’, plus several album tracks and a brand new song called ‘You’, which went down a storm and may appear as a single or B-side.

Once this tour finishes up, the band are planning to begin work on a film in the autumn and then start rehearsing for their Carnival 2002 tour which kicks off at the Dublin Point on January 30th.