5ive, the brainchild of Simon Cowell, burst onto the pop scene and rapidly hit the top of the charts but as they reaped the reward of success, on the cusp of breaking America, cracks were appearing behind the scenes.
The grouop will be featured on tonight’s ‘The Big Reunion on ITV2, or most of them will. Scott Robinson, Ritchie Neville, Abz Love and Sean Conlon have agreed to reunite for the show, but J Brown has turned down the offer.
On the show the singers will examine their past and rehearse for a comeback gig, which will take place later this Spring.
“On stage we were the best ever, off stage we were a train wreck. Life in 5ive was mental. It was five years of very hard work. You see the inside of a hotel room, an airport, a radio studio, it’s hard,” admits father-of-two Scott.
With reports of in-fighting and boozing, the feisty boys earned a reputation as the bad boys of pop.
Abs confesses: “I know there were times when one of them would be p*ssed off with another one (in the band). There’d be fights going off.”
Richie agrees: “We were difficult, bordering on being ar*eholes. We were delinquents.”
Sean adds: “But like Simon Cowell said, he wanted a band with edge and that’s what he got!”
As they continued to notch up hit after hit, life as a popstar was becoming unbearable for one member and culminated in Sean leaving the group after admitting to suffering a breakdown.
Sean says: “I remember looking in the mirror and thinking to myself, ‘Who is that?’ I didn’t know myself and I just had the strongest feeling that no matter what happens no matter how much money they throw at me I’ve got to find Sean. Otherwise I make thousands of pounds but I’d be spending it all on therapy.”
With the band still performing as a four piece and insisting publicly that Sean’s break down was ‘glandular fever’, Richie reveals it was seeing fellow band mate Scott ‘inconsolable’ that made him realise the band was over.
He says: “We were in this hotel and Scott just broke down, he was crying his eyes out. Jay and I walked out to him and put our arms around him and he said, ‘I just can’t do it anymore.’ I remember looking at Jay and he just looked at me and just went, ‘It’s done isn’t it?’ And I went, ‘I think it is.’
Scott continues: “I just wanted a week off from being Scott from 5ive. I was on the edge. We quit at our peak, we were number one at the time and we jumped ship.”
However Abs admits he took the news of the band’s demise badly. He says: “I don’t know what the details were, why Scott had to do what he did exactly because to be honest with you I just felt a little bit like you’re taking something away from me.”
For The Big Reunion, the band will be returning as a four piece, without founding member Jay but the band insist the door has been left open for him.
Scott says: “I was annoyed with Jay when he said he didn’t want to be a part of this. I was really angry because I’ve been personally myself been trying to get this band back together for years and years and someone’s let it down. He will be missed. “
Whilst Abs adds: “I don’t want him to regret because it could be something amazing.“
Tonight, 9PM, ITV2