Girls Aloud performing The Girls Aloud Show at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Wednesday 12th June 2024.

Review by Kevin Cooper

Girls Aloud were the biggest British girl group of the noughties era and they showcased their hits to a packed crowd at the Motorpoint Arena on Wednesday night.

With the devastating early death of Sarah Harding in 2021 aged only 39, Cheryl Tweedy, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh are embarking upon a 30 date Arena tour, The Girls Aloud Show, to celebrate and acknowledge their friend’s life.

Opener Untouchable saw them appear on stage on the top of high podiums with Harding appearing on enormous screens watching over the Arena, as the quartet sequenced straight into a stomping synth drenched version of The Show as they were lowered to the floor.

With a set list that was separated into three parts to allow for their costume changes, they delivered a strong opening with thrilling performances of Something New, and Can’t Speak French whilst Love Machine was as expected a real crowd pleaser as was Biology. The first set was closed with another tribute to Harding, as they delivered a wonderful rendition of 2005’s Whole Lotta History complete with black and white footage of her walking around Paris.

A jaw dropping moment featured all four flying suspended motorbikes over the heads of the audience to a back drop of on screen lightning whilst performing their electro anthem Wake Me Up which thrilled the crowd. Whilst the set list was mostly predictable with the likes of Sound Of The Underground and Long Hot Summer, there were also a few pleasant surprises like Graffiti My Soul, Girl Overboard and No Good Advice. The biggest sing along moment featured with their cover of The Pretenders I’ll Stand By You which they sang as a ‘duet’ with a recording of Harding’s vocals as lit phones filled the Arena.

The last set was by far the raunchiest and obviously the sheer physical energy of the songs and the choreography wasn’t the same as it was sixteen years ago, with the backing dancers taking on a lot of the heavy lifting, it was still fabulous fun.

Jump (For My Love) saw the use of the confetti canon and there were pyrotechnics in use for Something Kinda Ooooh. They finished with The Promise which got the biggest reception of the night as the group again acknowledged Harding on the big screens as they bid their farewells.