Steps return for 2017 with a huge UK arena tour, plus a brand-new single and album, marking their twentieth anniversary.
Their new album, Tears On The Dancefloor, marks the band’s first full album of original material since 2000.
I met band members Claire Richards, Lee Latchford-Evans and Lisa Scott-Lee to find out how they were feeling about their comeback, and the prospect of going out on tour. Oh, and there is no need for panic; Steps have not downsized to a threesome so soon after their big announcement; Ian “H” Watkins and Faye Tozer were being interviewed separately in another room to share the promo workload.
In support of the new album, Steps are heading out on the Party On The Dancefloor tour this November and December. The run kicks off in Belfast on November 12th and hits twenty two arenas across the UK and Ireland including stops at London’s The SSE Arena, Wembley and The O2.
If you were watching their most recent Sky Living fly-on-the-wall documentary, Steps: On The Road Again, you’d be forgiven for believing this fivesome faced too many hurdles to enable a permanent comeback, yet alone an album of new material. Family life, location and a difference in priorities meant that Claire, H, Lee, Lisa and Faye’s future as a pop band seemed uncertain.
Fast forward another five years, a fourth album Light Up The World, a six-date Christmas tour, and their 20th anniversary since the band got together, and reuniting seems like a natural process.
Steps have scored fourteen consecutive top 5 singles, sold over 20 million records and reached Number One with three albums and two singles. They are BRIT award winning and hold the record for the most consecutive sold-out nights at Wembley. Yet despite their achievements, they’ve had a good share of criticism from pop snobs. Haters gonna hate.
“People always think they can really take the mickey out of us,” Claire says.
Refreshingly, even some of the harshest critics have been won over by Tears On The Dancefloor, which has been produced by top pop dance team The Alias, who have remixed artists such as Ellie Goulding, Little Mix, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez.
“Lee says he keeps waiting for the bad reviews because it’s all been too nice, Claire laughs. “We’ve been waiting for the sting in the tail.”
“In the past, there have been reviews of us, and there is always a twist at the end, which was written to make that writer seem cool again,” Lee says.
“It’s almost like they couldn’t admit to actually liking us. Nowadays with the way the industry has changed, there is a lot more openness out there. I think people now feel that they can say that they like us and it’s not going to offend anyone, and it’s all welcomed.”
Watch the interview with Steps below.
● An uncut version of the interview will be available to download on The Phil Marriott Podcast on Friday 5th May.