Posts tagged: Liberty X

Never As Good, Second Time Around

Have you been watching ITV2 on Thursday nights at 9pm. Purely just the fact that Andi (with an ‘i’) Peters narrates this nostalgic trip down musical memory lane from the turn of the century, should be enough for most people. I am of course referring to The Big Reunion. The broadcasters attempt to bring back a selection of pop groups for a reunion concert at The Hammersmith Apollo. Ultimately the draw for me, was Liberty X. I was a big fan of their music, having watched them get rejected on ITV’s The Popstars (for mediocre Hear’Say) to winning a Brit Award and beyond. My second favourite band (based on number of songs I personally like) would be 5ive. I did not like their initial material but towards the later part of their career, before they hung up their microphones, I enjoyed Keep On Moving and Closer To Me. Finally, out of the other bands, it has to be the Honeyz. If they had released more material (or probably just been around longer regardless of line up changes) they would have been my second favourite. As as aside, I was a passing fan of Solid Harmonie (Mariama Goodman left the band to join the Honeyz) around 1998-1999 when they appeared on the Nickelodeon’s comedy series, Renford Rejects.

My dearest wife made the comment, that nostalgia has a way of tricking us into the illusion that it was better back then, than it really was. In homage to this conversation, I have used her exact phrase as the title of this blog post. Dedicated to the UK pop scene at the turn of the twenty first century. Were we truly spoilt as much as this? I am yet to be convinced but I do recall a period in the late nineties and early noughties when there was a different number one single almost every week!

Perhaps I was a little old to be into this cheesy brand of manufactured popular music, first time around. The reality, which I have no problem admitting, is I till love my pop music. No matter how cheesy and lack of credibility that may come across for a man almost thirty two years of age. It is not the only music genre I listen to it but I enjoy it for what it is. I was looking forward to the show most for the concert at the end, but it was great to hear about all the stories from the band members themselves. Unaware at the time what was truly going on, as we were just fed whatever the record label machine was pumping out onto the airwaves and television screens.

It is the Honeyz that I feel the greatest deal of sympathy. Having signed to Def Jam records, they were on the bring of international stardom. For a member of the act to just walk out, would have left me completely devastated. Now I appreciate everyone will have their own reasons and we have to respect everybody’s desire to do what they feel is right at the time they feel it is right. Turning your back on what could have been an extremely successful recording career in the States and beyond, should not be a decision taken at the drop of a hat. Who knows what they would have achieved as potential rivals to Destiny’s Child.

Pure Pop

Boybands only came onto my musical radar in 1999, when Backstreet Boys released I Want It That Way. Since that point, as a young first year college student, I have never looked back. In 2003, I created an album exclusively of boy-band tracks. I have been listened to it again recently due to the fact that Glee in episode sixteen of season four, “Feud” pitted two of the biggest American boy-bands of all time against one another in a sing off come mash-up. Now, let me set you straight, I have tended to strongly dislike the mash-up concept, particular the songs used in Glee. However, on this occasion, the songs surprising do contrast each other well and we had pop perfection performances from Will Schuester and Finn Hudson. My only complaint is that the song is not long enough. After a difficult few episodes, I believe Glee is back to it’s best. I probably have spoken to soon and the show will once again hit the buffers. We catch the show on Sunday mornings while eating breakfast. It is perhaps the perfect pick me up to get you through the remaining hours of the weekend. In our case, we have to complete our weekly food shop at the supermarket as soon as the show finishes.

Monday 16th February 2004

Back in Leicester, after a weekend at home. As always, time at home is extremely hectic, and before I know where I am, the time has drifted by and the East Midlands beckons once more. Another week at Uni begins and with it, the expectation and realisation that this is the final hurdle. A phrase which echoes in my mind, whenever I head to campus. Not long now, I know, as I draw closer to the finish line with every passing day.

Arsenal were in FA Cup action on Sunday lunchtime. I was eagerly anticipating the 5th Round tie. I recall coming back on Saturday 8th March, from Leicester to the catch the last dramatic encounter between the London clubs in this cup competition. If that match had anything to go by, I was in for an entertaining game of football. However, I was disheartened to hear that Henry was out of the game through injury. I knew that this would be a major test for the Gooners. Chelsea, must have thought this was the best opportunity to beat us in four years. The tie was going as scripted, with the Blues scoring towards the end of the first half. I had a feeling though. I had a feeling about our new signing Reyes. He had to deliver at some point and why not the best cup competition in the world. Two amazing goals in the space of five minutes. I would have been happy to go for the reply, but Reyes proved that with time and space he is deadly. What was everyone saying about Arsenal’s over reliance on Henry? I also feel a huge mention of Dennis Bergkamp is necessary. His contribution and vision was inspiring. Admirable to see a player still showing great skill and talent, even at the twilight of their professional career. There were numerous occasions when he split open the Chelsea defence, but unfortunately Arsenal were not able to make the most of the goal scoring opportunity. Not much else to report I am afraid at the moment. Upgrading my hosting this week, so the guest book should be online by Friday or the weekend.

I am breaking with the tradition of my website. Usually, I do mention a site, a webmaster and praise their creative ability. However on this occasion, I’m going
to go once step further and dedicate this blog entry to my dear friend, Kristy. For the rest of the events as they unfold will have a special meaning, only for
her. I hadn’t driven my car since Christmas and was looking forward to getting behind the wheel again. In anticipation for this, I burnt myself an Audio CD for the
first time, since Christmas. There were so many songs that I had been listening to excessively on WinAmp, but creating a track listing wasn’t too difficult. I need to take you back, take you back to the days of my placement. I mention on Wednesday 23rd April, that I had created yet another MP3 CD for the car. This particular collection was called ‘Pure Pop’. Now, I am sure that you are the same as me, when you are listening to a new album. You go straight for the songs that you know and love. Those that have been released as singles and had the most radio play. Very much, like a kid in sweet shop. You go for your favourite sweets, always. After a time, you begin to actually listen to the other tracks on the album. On one occasion, I recall vividly taking such a decision with this MP3 CD. I was going to start at track one, and let the CD cycle through all the tracks. The day I did
this, I was on the M1, heading back from Bedford, after yet another eventful day at work. But work was far from my mind and my thoughts were far from the road ahead. I already had a good collection of favourite songs on this album, beyond the well known singles. I thought there were no more I needed to hear. I was
far from right. As track six faded away, and the noise of the motorway traffic became apparent to me once more, I felt something strange. The feeling was that
of a distant memory. The song started, and music filled my car once more. The arrangement was breathtakingly perfect, every note timed with such grace and poise. Then the vocals began. There was only one person I thought of when I was listening to the song, those feelings came rushing back. “You say you’re sorry for the things That you’ve done To my life”, struck such a cord with me. I know that my time on placement was the best time for me professionally, where I took major leaps and bounds as a person. However, personally, it was the worse phase of my life in recent years, particularly the second half of 2002. Everyone knows that I am a fan of pure pop, and this was pure pop at it’s best. Simple, yet dramatic music that moves the soul. I had been listening to the song again, in recent weeks, not really sure why. The song is still as magnificent as ever, but those feelings, I felt in April are alien to me now. On Saturday, I headed to Bedford and there was only one song I
wanted to hear on my stereo. As I headed onto the motorway, the track came on. While driving my thoughts again drifted, but further afield than before. Across
the Channel to the Netherlands, to Rotterdam, where Kristy lives. I recalled with great accuracy the MSN conversation I had with her, in early January. I had
asked her what songs I should listen. She recommend the aforementioned track. I listened to it again, and the memories came flooding back. I asked if the
song had a video on the band’s DVD album. I was disappointed to hear, that it did not. But then Kristy told me that they performed the song live and the footage
included my favourite member, pumping the air in celebration during the minor bridge in the song. I tried to picture this and smiled. The power of music. Never to be underestimated. The band are of course, Liberty X and the song is, “Everyday”, from their debut album, “Thinking It Over”.

Wednesday 3rd December 2003

December already, I just do not know where the time has gone. I can remember just like yesterday, being on placement, working the long 7am to 7pm working week and covering over 600 miles in the course of those five days. Although I do, smile, with some relief that I no longer have to adjure such a working life. I look back and feel that perhaps I did not make the most of time then. I am not sure if that is what I mean. I should have made more of my time, on placement. It was an opportunity, it was an experience, a chance, a break. A break from University and a opportunity to realize that 12 months in industry can indeed be fun. I agree that my intentions were, just the same, at the beginning. But was I to know, the harsh card of fate I would be dealt by the man upstairs? If I was, I surely underestimated his power and the affect that the events of early August would have on the rest of my year. We did our best, to contain the situation and forever, whenever possible, not allow the views of others, particularly those whom we held close to our hearts to change the direction of journey. I know, perhaps at times, we drifted off the righteous path, but then we did what we thought was best, taking into consideration what others had said to us. Maybe that was my mistake. No, no, not my mistake. It was theirs. They made their choices, they took their decisions and sent those text messages. Little care, for how cold, they would leave someone, in the winter’s night. Only a few miles away, but in my mind’s eye, they were lost forever, and I wouldn’t be letting them in ever again.

Some people don’t deserve a second chance, and of course there are those that do. One More Chance at love, now that is a tall order. Given time, perhaps, maybe we do build up our expectations far too high, and then when we finally are discover. It is far from what we expected and at times, we are let down. This is indeed a jut another case of human nature. My friends, even I felt into this trap of emotion, recently. I too, built something up, beyond any reality and pushed my expectations far beyond the needs of the situation. How did I feel? I made the feelings worse? I pushed my emotions too far, and the other party could sense this. For, you do not act alone in such situations. That time has passed now and reality has brought some control. I think there is plenty of time for decisions to be made. For a change, I’m not going to be making a single decision and destiny shall be far from my hands. It feels a bit more interesting that way.

I mentioned Michelle Heaton Online but I did not give enough praise and mention of the author. Kristy, has her own site, and has recently revamped the site (with some careful words of encouragement from her friends). The site, follows on very much from same design layout of MHOL, but is based around Katie Holmes, of Dawson’s Creek fame. My favourite part of the site? Well the blog of course. But the other outstanding feature is the motto of the site. Take directly from my favourite (& Kristy’s as well I think!) Liberty X song, “Holding On For You”. The opening line, “Trust Is All It Takes…” The instant I hear that song, I’m taken back to first full week of November in 2002, and listening to the song on BBC Radio 1, on my drive home from work. To read more, check my Blog Archive, from Saturday 9th November. We look forward to reading how Kristy’s story develops and if she ever will be transported from one of her boring days in Holland, to the exciting city of London, to live her dream. I am sure she will do and of course we will all be able to read about the experience on her site. Trust Is All It Takes

I must be a great feeling to prove you critics wrong. Particularly when you are completely written off as a one hit wonder dance act. Well Love Inc. can feel such joy. There latest single, released next week, “Into The Night”, also the name of their debut album is a break away from the standard foreign dance track. Instead it is a very uplifting and at times soothing track. The Canadian trio can proud themselves on a great job done! It certainly hits the spot. Listen out for it on your radio station, in the coming few days.

Not much else to report I’m afraid. Just one final piece of coursework to complete for University. The other’s are done and dusted, one which just needs to be submitted in the morning. A week early I might add! :) However, that was the good news, still got a lot of work, mainly documentation (as I’m informed by a course mate, via MSN) to do this coming weekend. Assignment due in on Tuesday. So, I must get cracking with that. I look forward to hearing from you soon, particularly have blogs, you feel should be listed on this page!

Thursday 13th November 2003

I would like to mention someone who has created a fantastic site, for one of their personal idols. She has proved what can be achieved, if you show great devotion, for the one, who has touched your heart. Kristy (yes, that is Kristy, no Kirsty!) from the Netherlands, has created a homage to her idol, Michelle Heaton, from the band, Liberty X. I have added her site’s link to my links page, but I feel she deserves an ‘official’ plug, via my blog. Michelle Heaton Online or MHO as it is referred to, is a one of the best ‘fan’ sites I have seen out there on the web. I would like to wish her every success with the website, her dreams and aspirations. You will come to the UK one day and see Liberty X.

Like many of the British population, yesterday evening, I settled down in front of the sofa to watch, Only Fools and Horses: Miami Twice. I needed a break. I needed some food. I know, I had seen the episode several times, since it’s original airing, in Christmas 1991. The scene that captured my attention and imagination, was when the brothers are about to enter the night club. It was not so much the comedy that was being played out on the screen, but rather the music. The music streaming from the club, sounded yet again so familiar, but it was just beyond my memory, in terms of placing a name to those angelic words, sung by such an sweet voice. “Baby, Baby”, was all that I could remember as the comedy episode came to a close. I rushed onto my computer, and opened up Google. I didn’t know what to search for, but attempting to complete a line of the song, proved unsuccessful. I then, just entered in “Baby Baby”. Instant response. Amy Grant. The song had been number one in the US, and number 2 in the UK in April 1991. Downloading the song, and hearing that almost 80s electronic introduction, took me back those 12 years. How could such a classic 90s song be lost, for so long? I hadn’t heard it on the radio, or seen it on any episodes of TOTP2. I will of course, keep you posted with my progress. What makes things slightly more stranger, is the fact that her better know hit, is the cover of the Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”.

Baby, baby
I’m taken with the notion
To love you with the sweetest of devotion.

Baby, baby
My tender love will flow from
The bluest sky to the deepest ocean.
Stop for a minute
Baby, I’m so glad you’re mine, yeah
You’re mine.

Friday 7th November 2003

Now you think that even terrestrial broadcasters would have a vast library of programmes and films to show. I was extremely surprised to discover that last night, five had no other content in the archives apart from to show the 1980 movie, “Escape to Victory”. Although a classic in it’s own right, the film is one of those annual films that you only see at Christmas time. I was shocked by this and wonder if anyone else out there was surprised, and delved into their programme listings, trying to discover what mistake had been made.

I have been a fan of Liberty X, ever since the first ITV Popstars back in 2001. Of course, like everyone, I was disappointed that Jessica, Kelli, Kevin, Michelle and Tony didn’t make the final band. However, what success they have made out of failure! Signed up to Richard Branson on V2 for a six album deal, within six months of the end of the talent show, they seemed to be going places. But a lawsuit, change of name and low exposure of their first few singles, did not deter these artists from aiming for star status. They wrote several songs for their debut album, including the breakthrough single, “Just A Little” which would launch the band to the dizzy heights of number one in May, 2002. Having to add ‘X’ to their name, did little to change the band’s overall appeal. They won a Brit Award for Best Single in 2003. Thinking It Over was released two weeks after their debut number. With debut albums, there seems to be a lack of quality, and it appears that management have forced many changes and not allowed the creativity to flow. The evidence is clear, through tracks such as “Never Give Up”, “Saturday” and “Feel The Rush”. Although fantastic songs, in their own right, they appear ‘incomplete’. So expectations are high with their second album – “Being Somebody”. Released on Monday, I was able ‘obtain’ a copy on Thursday evening. I’ve been listening to a variety of the tracks. Overall the quality and clarity is better than the first. Depending on which songs are released as singles, the X have a potential multi-platinum album on their hands. Apart from the two single releases, ‘Jumpin” and ‘Being Nobody’, my personal favourites include: ‘Be Remembering’, ‘The Last Goodbye’ and ‘Forever’. I look forward with great anticipation to see how Liberty X, grow and develop into a world class pop band. [Particularly Michelle Heaton :)]

Uni is going well, I am making fairly good progress on my FYP and the rest of the modules are going fine too. Hope to get some of the coursework out of the way over the weekend. Life in general is treating me well, no complaints, so far! Arsenal left it late to beat Dynamo Kiev at Highbury on Wednesday evening. Thankfully Ashley Cole was there at the far post, to knock the ball into the back of the net! We just have to pull it together and win our final two games, I’m confident we can get the results we need! As I mentioned earlier in the week, I am off to the NEC for the Classic Car Show. Expect all my photographs to be uploaded on Sunday evening.

My dear friend, Sibtain Bandali, is currently working on DemonNet Productions version 3. It shall be online soon, he promises me. Of course, having exclusive access, I’ve seen a preview of the site and all I can say is, it will blow you away… I will keep you posted on the site’s progress and when it finally goes live.

Back when I was on my placement, there was a realisation that my final year was hastily approaching and I needed to prepare. I decided to take a little ‘peek’ around the web for sites on final year projects to get some inspiration. One site I stumbled upon, was that of Tamir Hassan. His site was documenting his experiences at the University of Warwick, while he studies for the final year of his four year MEng Computer Science. I contacted Tam, and he provided and continues to provide a valuable resource as I undertake my Final Year Project. He has also been providing me with details of various graduate schemes, that I should be applying for. Hopefully, the publicity through my webblog should force him to give the site a much needed update!

Sunday 23rd February 2003

Went out in Bedford for the first time last night with some work colleagues and had a quite a good time. When in one of the pubs in the High Street, I noticed, perhaps not a mass upsurge but considerable interest (mainly from the ladies) for a young man whom, had just entered the establishment. As he squeezed through the crowds of Saturday night revelers, I was amazed to discover it was Kevin Simm from the original (2001) ITV Popstar’s runners-up band, Liberty X. It was on his return through the crowds heading out of the public house, that I was able to make eye contact, smile and say “Hi”. My thoughts fell back to the MasterCard poster campaign, which had come to climax, for the Brit Awards on Thursday 20th February! The poster has the image of a young teenage girl, at the front of a crowd at a West Life concert, with the classic words underneath: “Star gazing: priceless”. An ideal way to describe my experience on Saturday night. Its amazing how much we realize that when we do meet some ‘celebrity’, that they are indeed ‘human’ and no different from ourselves. Its just unfortunate, or perhaps fortunate (depending on your own personal view point) that it takes a moment, of ‘star gazing’ for us to come to this perhaps obvious conclusion.
Audio page – fully updated, with latest version of my now, “World Famous” MP3 Collection!

Sunday 8th December 2002

So the first week of December, rolls by and this runaway train continues on its deadly course for Christmas. Are you prepared?

I make it no secret, that I am not a purchaser of music singles. Therefore, the UK Top 40, does not reflect my personal musical tastes. However, I have purchased the following singles:

  • Chesney Hawkes – Stay Away Baby Jane (31st December 2001)
  • Andy Williams – Music To Watch Girls By (December 1998)
  • Ace of Base – Life Is A Flower (April 1998)

Quite a mixed collection indeed. I was considering the purchase of Liberty X – “Holding On For You”, this week, until I heard an amazing trance record on Radio 1,
early in the week. The piano, and soothing voice of the female vocalist struck a cord with my soul. Therefore, I have now made a promise. I will buy, one single each year. And it will be the last release of the year. Therefore, as you have already deduced, the song I am referring to will be sold from Monday 30th December 2002. However, what is the name of the song? For that my friends, you will have to wait.

With regards to site updates, there are the usual updates to the usual pages. The photos, audio and links pages have had new material added. Plus, I have decided to remove the classified results of England internationals. I feel these high important statistics are better suited in the hands of a professional. I will screen some sites
and provide a link to a site which offers the best and most up to date statistics for our national team. The most noticeable change to the website is the major change to
the menu. I have now added a link directly to my Top Ten page, to give the page the necessary increased exposure.

Mirror Site –

This has been available for nearly six months and has provided the opportunity to increase the audience span of my site. It was, however, updated infrequently and
sporadically. I have now made the decision to update it every month. This will mean, that it remains 3 weeks before the main site here. Of course, the mirror, contains
all the material from the main site apart from the Berlin page, due to size restrictions.

Saturday 9th November 2002

Another week disappears as a distant memory. It has been a good week, with none of the ups and downs, I’ve faced in the past. Less of a roller coaster, but more of a bus ride to the weekend. I knew my destination, it was just a matter of when, my ‘stop’ would arrive. Another great week, achieved everything I hoped to achieve, and everything I expected to happen did. No real surprises.

Yet again, a song can summarize to a beautiful melody how I feel. Driving home on Wednesday evening, on a dark night, with the rain coming down, making driving conditions extremely poor. As always, I’m listening to BBC Radio 1, and find a song new to my ears, fills the airwaves of my car. The band sound, so familiar and song, takes my breath away. As the song played, my thoughts drifted away from the road and heavy traffic ahead. Friends, family, both far away and those close at home. How friendships come and go and its only those precious few that stay. Contemplating this, the track brought a warmth to my heart as I drove deeper into the winter night.

Updating the site with a few more photographs and other little additions over the place. Continue to have a high visitor rating over the week. Over 1220 visitors now and increasing steadily. An important announcement is on my Audio page.

Take care. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend and enjoy the week ahead.

Oh, yeah, nearly forgot, the name of the song, “Holding On For You”, by Liberty X.

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