S Club 7’s return to the world of music has a personal beat for me – because once upon a time I sang along with them.
Well, me and about a quarter of a million other kids.
You see, when making the 2001 Children in Need single Have You Ever, the S Clubbers weren’t content with just raising money, and also decided to try and break a Guinness World Record for the most voices recorded in a single song.
My school was one of the 3,600 that took part, and I can clearly remember us crowding into a prefab classroom to record our part of the chorus onto cassette. The record was duly broken, our voices were on TV, and my excitement at skipping classes was only trumped by the knowledge that I would soon be plucked from obscurity to become a singing star.
You can see/hear some of the choirs in this video. Although it’s quite poor quality, I think you can still make out my angelic performance.
But alas, stardom was not to be – while I’m sure my melodious contribution enticed many a record exec to South Wales in search of the next Aled Jones, the list of participants on the Children in Need website incorrectly spelled my name as ‘Hugh’ rather than ‘Huw’, meaning Simon Cowell et al couldn’t find me.
When I think about the stardom that slipped my grasp, there’s only one song I can invoke to represent my grief (hopefully remembering the lyrics 14 years on):
Tell me, have you ever loved and lost somebody /
Wished there was a chance to say I’m sorry /
Can’t you see? That’s the way I feel /
About you and me baby /
Have you ever felt your heart was breakin’ /
Lookin’ down the road you could be takin’ /
I should knoooowwww, cos I loved and lost /
The day ah let you goooo /
Yup – still got it.
Record producers, please feel free to leave your contract offers in the comments box below.