Friday, 8 May 2009

Girls Aloud to bow out?

IT has happened before. It seems that every time Girls Aloud venture out on the road, there are rumours that it'll be for the final time.
And not because of any waning popularity.
Tabloids are still hungry for news about Cheryl Cole and co and the fans – recession or not – are still happy to hand over their hard-earned to see them. Nottingham folk included.
Next week, the quintet – Britain's most successful girl group since the Spice Girls – will be appearing at the Trent FM Arena. And the two shows, on Monday and Tuesday, are both virtually sold out.
But there are clear signs that, despite their popularity, they'll be heading off in new directions once the tour is done.

Cheryl Cole has confirmed she will be recording a solo album this summer. Added to that there are rumours The X-Factor judge has been offered £2.1m to stay on with ITV for more TV shows.
As shown in the past, with Ronan Keating and Boyzone, Robbie Williams and Take That, the strongest member of any pop outfit, encouraged to pursue a solo career, is enough to split a group.
But in the case of Girls Aloud, Cole – last month voted the World's Sexiest Woman by FHM magazine readers – isn't the only one with a deal on the table.
Bleached blonde Sarah Harding reckons she's going to be the next Angelina Jolie. The 27-year-old, who has already appeared in the St Trinians movie, will soon make her TV debut in the BBC drama Freefall. She plays a nail technician who dreams of owning her own chain of beauty salons and is partnered by Mamma Mia star Dominic Cooper.
"I still love my singing, so I don't want to quit that completely," she says.
"It's time to have a bit of a change and utilise some other skills,
"It keeps it interesting. We do need a break from it, otherwise it gets very tedious."
She adds: "I could definitely see myself doing something like a comedy, or a psychological thriller – I don't know. As long as it's baby steps, I'm not rushing into it. It's one step at a time."
Added to that, they're to release a retrospective singles box set – and like a greatest hits album, that's an indication they could be closing a chapter on the group.
The set features all 20 of their hits, plus b-sides and remixes, 16 videos and a 64-page booklet. It runs to 13 hours of music and can only be ordered from Girls Aloud's official website. £45 if you feel the urge – and you get it all in a metallic flight case.
Both Harding and Cole have rejected claims that they are to split.
"Split? No, No, No!," Harding told The Mirror.
"I'm hyper so I love having a few things on the go at the same time. But we're not splitting up."
Cole tackled the question in February after they turned up to collect a Brit Award for their single The Promise.
"We have just won a Brit voted for by the public, and us being here shuts that question up," she said.
If you're going along to the Trent FM Arena next week, expect leotards and hot pants – and chest-baring male dancers.
And tracks from their fifth album Out Of Control, which, says Nadine Coyle, is: "the best we have ever done.
Should this 32-date tour, that kicked off in Manchester last month, signal the end of Girls Aloud, critics agree it will be a shame, judging from the positive reviews of the shows so far.
"Let's hope there's no truth in those pesky rumours of splitting for solo careers," said The Independent.
"For together, they are quite a sight."
The opening acts are Emma Deigman and Will and The People (see panel).
For ticket availability call 08444 124624.

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