Big Reunion Christmas Party

Atomic Kitten
Atomic Kitten
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Manchester Arena

There is nothing like a big slice of cheese on toast with cheese on top and a dollop of extra cheese.

And at time of year, with temperatures plummeting and Christmas jumpers ubiquitous, this particular slice of comfort was being served up by girlbands and boybands circa 1990 – in The Big Reunion Christmas Party.

Around 15,000 people were stuffed into Manchester’s Phone4U Arena (an ironic name I fear as mobiles most certainly do not function in there) for the final leg of this Christmas tour.

Spirits were extremely high for the gig, which signalled the end of an era for some of the bands – most certainly the final arena hoorah for Liberty X, including Lancashire’s own Jessica Taylor and Kevin Simm ( who is spending Christmas in Chorley in case you were wondering) who have decided to wind things up and go out on a high.

The other bands, namely 5ive, The Honeyz, 911 and Atomic Kitten have all left the doors open to create new music – with 5ive in particular planning their own tour next year.

And there was no doubt this was an emotional evening for all, with virtually every single BR star crying at some point. The night was divided into two parts – the first a rundown of all the bands’ classic hits and a few covers and the second a Christmas fest, culminating in a rendition of the Big Reunion Christmas single – recorded for the Text Santa charity.

Cheesy yes, but joyous and satisfying at the same time.

There is absolutely no doubt that the stars of the evening were Atomic Kitten, 5ive and Liberty X, with the biggest roars of the evening reserved for the hugely pregnant Kerry Katona, who as she put it herself with tears pouring down her face – was proof that if you get knocked down you just keep getting up again.

It is clear her popularity has not waned, particularly in a northern crowd.

Ultimately this was a hugely enjoyable and satisfying evening which left even sceptical old me with a spot of Christmas spirit and a smile on my face.

Nicola Adam