S Club 7 certainly isn't the Beatles. The group isn't even the Monkees.
But if you've got preteen or young teen offspring around the house, don't be surprised if you hear a good deal more about them in the coming months.The co-ed, made-for-TV, British pop group comes to the Fox Family Channel on Saturday at 11 a.m., with the first of a 13-episode series -- "S Club 7 in Miami" -- fresh off creating a sensation of sorts on the other side of the Atlantic. Not only was there show a hit in Great Britain -- pulling in 50 percent of audience ages 16 and under -- but they hit the top of the music charts with their upbeat brand of pop and the single "Bring It All Back." (It hit No. 1 the week it was released.)
That the group is slick and commercial should come as no surprise. It was put together by Simon Fuller, the former manager of the Spice Girls. And he's put together a group of young, attractive, personable and talented singers who seem destined for the cover of every teen fan magazine.
Members of the group -- Tina Barrett, Paul Cattermole, Jon Lee, Bradley McIntosh, Jo O'Meara, Hannah Spearritt and Rachel Stevens -- range in age from 17-22. And they all had previous performing experience -- some were actors, some dancers, some singers and some did all three.
The show itself is, not surprisingly, rather slight. The group comes to Miami thinking they're headed for fame and fortune, only to discover they're more or less indentured servants at the mercy of the buffoonish owner of a broken-down hotel. Their adventures are quite silly, but then this is a show aimed at kids. And it deserves points for being appropriate for its audience.
The show is at its most entertaining when the group is performing, however. S Club 7 is sort of a co-ed 'N Sync, Backstreet Boys or (of course) Spice Girls -- high energy choreography accompanying catchy pop tunes. And "Bring It All Back" is as catchy as anything you'll hear on the radio these days and seems certain to appeal to the same crowd that has made stars out of those other groups.
(The kids at my house played the music video of that song about 40 times the first couple of days after I brought it home to them back in August.)
WHAT'S IN A NAME? So, what exactly does the S in S Club 7 stand for? Pretty much anything you want it to.
"Everyone asks that question," said Rachel Stevens. "Basically, the Clubs is the big part of the name for us. Basically, the Club thing is that kids can join in. It's something that kids can get involved with.
"And we came up with the letter S because we liked the letter for some reason. There's loads of words you can get out of that letter and kids can make up what they want it to be. It can be for 'successful.' It can stand for 'super.' It can stand for anything you want it to stand for, which we thought was nice."
Well . . . whatever.