Four saintly singers are refusing to wave the white flags on their career – and instead looking forward to a headline comeback tour.
All Saints – Melanie Blatt, Shaznay Lewis and sistesr Nicole and Natalie Appleton – are back together and heading out for a new tour on their back of their hit comeback album Red Flag.
They said: “We couldn’t be more excited to be heading out on the road to perform across the UK this October.
“Playing live is our favourite thing to do as a band and we can’t wait to perform all our hits plus some new tracks from Red Flag.
“It’s incredible to think our last proper tour was more than 15 years ago, so we’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time – and from the feedback we’ve read online it seems like a lot our fans have been waiting too.
“We can’t wait to get out there and see everyone.”
The quartet shot to fame in the late 90s and enjoyed a string of hits, including chart-toppers Never Ever, Under the Bridge, Pure Shores and Black Coffee.
However, tensions within the group led to a split in 2001 – with the catalyst for the final split a fall-out over a jacket for a photoshoot.
A reunion in 2006 proved unsuccessful – while a single, Rock Steady, reached number three, their album Studio 1, only reached number 40 – but a second reunion, to support Backstreet Boys on their UK tour, has left everyone smiling.
The quartet put it down to a new-found maturity – all are now in their forties.
Melanie, aged 41, says: “It’s been amazing, we have been enjoying ourselves.
“It just feels different in everything. We are taking one day at a time, doing the album and tour and we’re just enjoying it.”
Red Flag was released in April and reached number three in the charts – and was a hit with fans and critics.
Melanie says: “We are really happy.
“We knew we’d made an album all four of us were really happy with and we did it all ourselves.
“We weren’t signed to anyone when we were making it, so we had full control, and we really love it.
“We had no idea how it would be received, but we had no agenda and no goals to achieve, but the feedback from fans is amazing.
“Shaznay is a brilliant songwriter, even better than she was and our voices have matured,
“We’re more dynamic now, we all know our strengths and weaknesses.”
And the mum of 17-year-old Lilyella says the band’s time apart has strengthened them now.
“I just think we needed that amount of time to mature and be the best we can be,” she says. “It just works for us. Maybe we needed that break.”
For now though, all thoughts are on the forthcoming tour, their first full tour in more than 15 years, which kicks off in Newcastle on October 6 and arrives at Sheffield’s O2 Academy on Saturday, October 15.
Melanie says: “It’s just four girls. We’re going to have a bit of old stuff, a bit of the new album.
“We also had an album we didn’t tour,” she says, referring to Studio 1, “so we’re going to include songs from that fans have not seen.
“It’s going to be great.
“We just want everyone to have a good time.”
And after the tour comes a well-earned break.
“We haven’t got anything planned,” says 41-year-old Nicole.
“We’re just enjoying it one step at a time at the moment.
“There’s lots of songs written, but we haven’t got that far ahead.”
n All Saints play Sheffield’s O2 Academy on Saturday, October 15.
For tickets, priced from £27.50, visit www.sheffieldacademy.co.uk