Review: Girls Aloud, Arena

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BACK together after a three-year break, sparkling in tiny twinkling outfits, Girls Aloud marvelled with incredulity that a whole decade has passed since they formed.

More astonishing is it’s been only a decade.

In the 10 years since Popstars: The Rivals created the world’s most successful reality TV pop group, Cheryl, Kimberley, Nicola, Sarah and Nadine have churned out 20 top 10 singles, seven hit albums, and six nationwide tours - this one, Ten, to mark their anniversary.

Their catchiest songs - Love Machine, Biology, Something Kinda Ooooh - feel to have been part of pop consciousness forever.

Their lives and loves are as familiar as our own.

And that’s even before you start pondering exactly how long wor Chezza has been the nation’s sweetheart, quite how many pictures you’ve seen of Sarah Harding on the lash, just how well the lovely ‘nimble Kimble’ came across on Strictly Come Dancing.

Their reunion tour was a chronological run-through of their hits since Sound of the Underground.

They started their Sheffield Arena show high on a hydraulic sign, and sailed above the crowd to a small, central stage.

Cheryl - displaying her huge new rose tattoo - needed only wave, blow a kiss, or yell ‘Sheff-ield!’ to elicit screams of excitement.

But the most emotion came as screens beamed images of the girls fresh-faced in their early years, and during I’ll Stand By You, as Cheryl and Kimberley sang hand-in-hand and tearful as gold ticker tape rained down.

Sarah Crabtree