Back in the nineties it would have been hard to find anyone that wasn’t a fan of 5ive. Born in an era of girl and boy bands, they quickly became the ‘bad boys of pop’ – and they did it so well.
But for Essex boy Scott Robinson, even at the height of fame, nothing was more important than remembering where he’s from.
Growing up in Pitsea, Scott attended Chalvedon Comprehensive School and to this day still lives in Pitsea with his wife and two children.
“I think it’s important to stick to where you come from,” says the 33-year-old. “I’ve never felt the need to live in a London penthouse with a maid. This is where I grew up and it may not be the nicest place in the world, but for me, it’s home.”
Spending his teens and early 20s mobbed by screaming fans, the number one hits (and tabloid headlines) kept on coming for Scott and the band – in fact there seemed to be no stopping the fivesome from taking over.
But despite their success, the band, made up of Sean Conlon, Abz Love, Ritchie Neville, Jay Brown and Scott, were on a rocky road backstage.
And on 27 September 2001, with their track Let’s Dance dominating the UK charts, the group made the shocking announcement they were splitting – 5ive were to be no more.
Over the years the boys all went in their own ways. The day after the split, Scott married his long term girlfriend at Stock Brook Manor in Billericay, Ritchie moved to Australia and Sean tried a solo career, even auditioning for The Voice UK last year.
Yet although the group attempted a reunion in 2006, it was only when ITV2 approached them with their show The Big Reunion that the group really got the chance to shine once again.
Now, almost two decades since they first split, the newly reunited foursome (minus Jay) are getting ready to perform at V Festival in Chelmsford this weekend and the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend on their headline tour in November.
“I’ve never actually been to a festival before,” laughs Scott. “When all of my mates were going to festivals, I was in a band and then after the band, I couldn’t go because everyone would be like ‘that’s Scott from 5ive’. The closest I’ve ever been to a festival, is a beer festival and even then I’ve got my sunglasses on as a disguise!”
Indeed, thrust into the spotlight when he was just 17 years old, Scott grew up dodging screaming fans and the tabloids. But although he’s now older, the singer admits he’s also wiser to the ways of the industry.
“Music has completely changed since we were in the charts, I don’t even recognise it,” he says. “We wouldn’t have a place in the industry today. And I think it’s a bit arrogant to come back after 13 years and try to force new songs on everyone.
“That’s why we’re not working on anything new at the moment. Right now everyone seems to be loving the nostalgia, so we just want to give people what they want.”
And that’s exactly what they’re doing. Having already played sell out dates alongside their Big Reunion mates, the boys will also be playing a headline tour across the UK, bringing their hits Everybody Get Up, Getting Down and When the Lights Go Out up and down the country.
“I’ve wanted this for a long time,” says Scott. “I think we had a good position on The Big Reunion and to end up with our own arena tour is fantastic.”
But with former bandmate Jay making the last minute decision not to reunite with the group, 5ive faced an uncertain future.
“When Jay decided he wasn’t going to join us, we really were a man down – we’d gone from 5ive to four,” explains Scott. “We did genuinely look at another member, but for me, there’s only one person that can be, and that’s Jay.
“I wouldn’t say I’d welcome him back with open arms though,” he adds quickly. “There’s a process we all had to go through to get to where we are, but he’s got as much right to be in the band as I have.
“We’re definitely wiser the second time around. We’re all a lot more happier,” he says. “And we’ve never sounded so good.”
And the band is looking forward to bringing their new live sound to V Festival in Chelmsford this weekend – a festival they were originally invited to play at back in 2001.
“It wasn’t even called V Festival when we were first booked on it, but we had to cancel because it was the year we broke up,” he explains.
“It’s a real honour though because none of the other bands from The Big Reunion were asked to play. It makes us feel like we’re a bit of a cut above the rest.
“This will be the first time we’re playing at a festival with a live band, so we won’t be singing to playback.”
With that in mind, what can fans expect from their live performances this year?
“We’ve changed some of the songs ever so slightly. But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Even the routines are the same – well they hurt more, but we absolutely love them!”
They may be older – but they’ve still got the moves to Slam Dunk da Funk!
5ive will be playing on the Arena Stage at V Festival in Hylands Park, Chelmsford on Sunday, 18 August. Visit vfestival.com. 5ive will also be coming to the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend on 25 November. For details, visit southendtheatres.org.uk.