Monday, 21 February 2011

A tragic neighbour-induced nightmare: Steps are back

"It's a tragedy that Steps split up. They were too good not to get back together."

"Yeah, but Lisa was shit."

Delivering a killer pun entirely unintentionally, this was a conversation between my two neighbours spoken at 2 o'clock in the morning last Thursday.

The wall between our respective abodes is paper thin, so I could hear their skewed pop critique with crystal clarity - unfortunately for me and my efforts to enter dreamland.
Let me set the scene. Our neighbours, who for reasons unbeknown refuse to make eye contact with anyone apart from one another, are two men in their late 30s. They have a cat. Make of that what you will.

Steps, as far as my pop knowledge recalls, peaked, in sick-inducing fashion, in the late 90s and early noughties, when my neighbours were in their late 20s. By that age, any person with an iota of musical curiosity and functioning ear canals will have developed a taste and a passion for a particular genre. Perhaps they will have also channelled this interest into collecting records or learning to play an instrument (the pink oboe doesn't count, boys). 

Not these two. They are unashamedly proud (at least in the confines of their own home, they didn't know poor little me was being forced to listen to their ramblings) of their love for embarrassingly dated dance-pop (assuming Steps are worthy of being placed into a genre, which they're not. Look at them - they resemble actors about to get down and dirty in a low-budget porn flick remake of Star Trek).

Then the ambiguity of neighbour number one's statement hit me. "They were too good not to get back together." Did the "were" refer to them being good in the past and that one day H, Lisa Scott-Lee and that annoying blonde one with the Colgate smile will re-form because they were so bloody brilliant? Or was he celebrating the fact that they had already got back together? Surely not? They were shite, everyone knows that. Listening to Steps sounded like a flock of bird flu-infested crows flying through a sky of bramble bushes, stinging nettles and barbed wire.

A Google search confirmed my fears and brought me out in a cold sweat. Just as the neighbours began their own warbled rendition of Tragedy, I discovered that last Tuesday, Steps announced their intention to reunite for a one-off gig, which will be accompanied by a three-part documentary series.

Presuming my neighbours had spent Wednesday night celebrating the news by masturbating frantically to H's bare buttocks, seductive baby face and hairstyle resembling the rear end of an overweight cat, they had satisfied their lust by Thursday to hold their own private Steps reunion party. Either no one else was invited (we're their next-door neighbours, the rude bastards, maybe we love Steps just as much as they do), or no one else turned up. Or they had no one else to invite. My money's with the first theory - even their cat was left outside in the February chill, screeching from underneath my window to be let back inside. If I was the cat, I would have happily stayed outside freezing my bollocks off.

With half past 2 in the morning fast approaching, on a school night, I found myself listening to a pained, desperate feline and two grown men singing "when you lose control and you got no soul" - rather apt lyrics, I'm sure you would have agreed, if you had been sharing my sweat-soaked bed with clenched fists and grinding teeth. Let me tell you, it was a fucking tragedy, compounded by the nightmarish confirmation that STEPS ARE COMING BACK, YOU CAN'T STOP THEM WITH THEIR SHINY CLOTHING AND INSATIABLE APPETITE FOR MANUFACTURED ENTHUSIASM. And thus nightmare ensued.

At least my neighbours got one thing right. Lisa Scott-Lee is shit. Of that there is no argument.

Pic credit: mattbuck4950

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