Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Monday, April 25, 2005

Hue and Sigh 

More acts left their dignity at the door on Saturday night as the latest episode of Hit Me Baby One More Time hit the television screens of the nation, even if the vast majority of the nation decided it didn't really give a shit and turned over to the other side, leaving them to get on with it in privacy. First to try and recapture her glory days was Sinitta, who was last seen helping making Steve Brookstein into the pop icon he is today. Despite the fact that, as a result of this, she should only be allowed on television when she agrees to make an apology to the nation, she's still been given a second shot at pop success. First up she did so Macho in a pair of ripped tights and a skirt that was last seen gracing Jennifer Ellison. Vocally this was a bit dodgy at first, no doubt because most of her concentration was focused on remembering the dance routine. Fortunately her cover was better, taking the lovely Natasha Bedingfield's Single and reinterpreting it in a Chicago Speakeasy style. Good though it was, her flirtacious style made it an even less convincing reading of the lyric than the Bedingfield original.

Sinitta Fact: Sinitta's dog, Max, is currently living with Simon Cowell!

Next up were Hue and Cry. Big in the late eighties, their career stalled in 1989 when singer Pat Kane gave up music to dedicate his life to looking for Linda, something which he's never stopped doing. Indeed, the only reason he agreed to appear on the show was so that he could eliminate the studio audience from his enquiries. They turned up, did a passable version of Labour of Love before deciding to cover Beyonce's Crazy in Love. Now, Crazy in Love is one of the greatest pop songs of the last five years, it's a lightning bolt of energy, fizzing over with sexuality and raw power and possessing a powerfully pumping heart of sheer sassy joy, so what do the brother's Kane do with it? They turn it into a bloody Hue and Cry song. Bastards!

Hue and Cry Fact: Greg Kane wrote the theme tune to Scottish Women!

The Real Thing - who may or may not have been, we're sure that even when they're looking in the mirror they'd have trouble recognising the original members - did You to Me are Everything, in which the lead singer makes a number of promises which he's clearly unable to keep in a bid to woo an uninterested second party, much like the election campaign (satire). They covered Justin Timberlake's Cry Me a River, which was nothing earth shattering, but we're sure they've made a few pennies from the recent Freeloader track so they're probably not that fussed.

The Real Thing Fact: They once appeared on Opportunity Knocks!

Hazel O'Connor, winner of this week's "Blimey! Haven't they changed?" award, did Will You which is still an ace slice of chilled, glacial balladry, but it could have done with losing the lone saxophone, a rule which applies to any song containing a lone saxophone. She covered Kylie's Can't Get You Out of my Head, a track which we think is massively overrated anyway, but Hazel managed to suck all the sexual allure out of the track, thus rendering it utterly pointless. We blame the bongos.

Hazel Fact: Hazel has written and recorded a new album in her cottage!.

Finally we had China Black who's hit, Searching can hardly be described as a classic, though they did do a decent stab at it, but fortunately they turned things around when it came to their cover, motown-ising The Darkness' I Believe in a Thing Called Love. They somehow managed to make it even cheesier than the original, ultimately sounding like it was being done by a wedding band, and sounding none the worse for it. This was clearly the highlight of the week and, indeed, possibly the series.

China Black Fact: It took just 20 minutes to write Searching!

So, who won? Well, clearly China Black, and the studio audience agreed with us on that point. Unfortunately a brain fuzz seems to have effected the voting public - we blame mobile phone radiation - as Hue and Cry were announced as this week's winners. If you voted for them, then we'd like you to go and stand in the corner, think about what you've done, and not come out until you're ready to apologise. It's for your own good.