Scott Robinson, (seen here on the left), singer and songwriter with 5ive, chats with Kevin Cooper about his musical influences, appearing on The Big Reunion, playing with Queen and Oasis and 5ive’s forthcoming tour of the UK with The Boys Are Back!


Scott Robinson, English singer and songwriter, is best known for being one of the founding members of 5ive, who were formed in 1997.  Other original members included Sean Conlon, Ritchie Neville, Abz Love and Jason Brown.

Going on to sell over ten million albums worldwide, the band split in 2001 citing personal differences.

In 2006 the group briefly reformed without Conlon, but eight months later, despite having a secured a lucrative tour but no record company interest, they again disbanded.

In 2012 they planed another reunion, this time with Conlon on board but as a four piece in the absence of Brown.  They then featured in the ITV2 documentary, The Big Reunion in 2013.  In 2015 Love also left the group, leaving Conlon, Neville and Robinson to continue to tour as a trio.

When the group has been active, Robinson has always been involved.  However, he started his career as an actor, initially enjoying acting success with small parts in Casualty, The Bill and Eastenders.

Whilst busy getting ready to go into rehearsals for their 2020 The Boys Are Back! tour, Scott Robinson took some time out to have a chat with Kevin Cooper and this is what he had to say.

 

Hi Scott, how are you?

I’m not too bad thanks Kevin, how are you?

I’m fine thank you and before we move on let me firstly thank you for taking the time to speak to me today.

No worries at all, in fact thank you for being interested in just what it is that we are up to now.

And just how is life treating you at this moment in time?

I must be honest with you and say that life at this moment in time is actually very good.  The sun is out, so what is there not to like (laughter).  Let’s just say that at this moment in time I am very happy.

We have to speak about the forthcoming tour; The Boys Are Back!, which opens on Friday 14th February 2020 in Yeovil consisting of A1, Damage, 911 and your good selves 5ive.  Are you looking forward to the tour?

Yes, I am, very much so.  It is always good to get back out on the road.  Don’t get me wrong, 5ive are out on the road and working ever single weekend but they are one-off shows.  But when you do a tour, you are fortunate enough to get real feedback from your fans every night, which let me tell you, is really nice.  The line-up for the forthcoming tour really does work for us together with the fans who are buying the tickets.  They are getting a good ticket price for a lot of acts.  So yes, at this moment in time, all is looking pretty good. 

From a fans point of view, it will simply be an evening full of hits.

Yes, it certainly is.  5ive have been lucky enough to have a few of those, together with the other bands on the tour, so it most definitely is the place where you will want to be. 

On the subject of the other bands on the tour, do you all get along okay?

Do you know what, I personally have never not got on with any of them.  It’s true that in the past there would have been some egos on show, but now there are no egos at all. All the guys in the different bands are all in this for the same reasons.  We all want to do it because we want to and not because we have to.  We have now all got families, we all get along together, and I have to say that it is a really nice atmosphere.  

You say that there are no longer any egos on show, but I must ask you, will there be a competitive edge on the night to see just who can put on the best performance?

(Laughter) not really; at least not in real terms.  However, at the end of the day, obviously there is pride at stake.  You want to go out there and know that you have done a great job.  You want to make sure that everyone leaves the theatre talking about your band rather than anyone else’s purely on the basis that you want people too really like what it is that you are doing and make sure that you deliver on the night.  To be honest with you, we get along so well with all the other bands that there will certainly be no hoping that they don’t put a good performance on.  At the end of the day that would have a negative effect on the gig for all of us.

I would hate to do a show where we were really good, and the other bands were not much cop simply because that would leave a sour taste in the mouths of the people who had paid to come and see the show.  There are other shows that we have been offered, together with other bands who I won’t mention, that we have refused to do simply because we didn’t feel that the line-up was right.  You must make sure that it is going to be a good night. 

On the subject of the line-up, Matt Winter from Loco Management deserves a special mention as he is the man who has got everyone pulling together to make sure that the tour happens.

Do you know what, I have worked with Matt now for many years.  He basically haunted me after the band split up; he didn’t give up, he just kept on messaging me saying “I can make you money, I can do this, I can do that” and all of that was when he was a young lad just about to leave University (laughter).  I have to say that Matt is a man of his word; he has gone from strength to strength and I have followed him wherever he has gone.  Matt has certainly done well for himself; he is working with so many acts now, he is the man in the music industry to be with.  Thanks to Matt there are still more dates to come, although I personally don’t think that they can add too many more (laughter).

I don’t think that our voices would be able to hold out if they add many more dates (laughter).  At this moment in time, it is already looking like it is going to be a fantastic tour, and as I have mentioned earlier, all the guys are really looking forward to it.

How you worked out the format of the show yet?

Do you know what, a lot of people have asked this; are we going to mix, are we going to do one off and one on or will one band do their entire set and so on.  The truth of the matter is that at this moment in time, we don’t know (laughter).  We have all got to sit down together and properly work that side of things out.  We have to work out what is best not only for the band but also the best format of the show.  Having said that, at this point, I wouldn’t rule out all of us doing something, even if it was like a mash up or something in either the middle or the end of the evening where all the lads are on stage together.

That is something that we haven’t done before, even on The Big Reunion; it was all done as separate bands.  That may very well be the case; it may well be as totally separate bands.  Having said that, part of me would quite like to get involved in little bits and bobs with the other bands because like I said, the other guys have all got some fantastic songs.  I pretty much love all of Damage’s songs; they really are awesome so I’m thinking ‘why would I not, if I had the opportunity to go on stage and sing a little bit of Ghetto Romance, which would be absolutely fantastic’.  So, in answer to your question I would have to say I don’t know yet but watch this space (laughter).

I must tell you that I recently spoke to Jimmy (Constable) from 911 and he said that he would love to see all of you onstage together at some point during the evening.

Well there you go; I have just said the same thing so that’s two of us who are up for it (laughter).  Let’s wait and see just what the other guys say to you Kevin.  Maybe that will happen.  I personally like the idea.  Whether it would be every member of every band who will like the idea, I simply don’t know.  We will have to get into that a little later this year and what would be best visually for the show.  It will be a fantastic show, and the one thing that I can say with any certainty, 5ive always put on a high performance and a very lively show, and anyone who is thinking that they might want to come along to the show, they should most definitely do it.  It really will be a fantastic show.

When will you be starting rehearsals?

Do you know what, that is proving to be really tricky.  Obviously, I can’t speak for the other bands, I can only speak for 5ive but we are so busy.  We are playing literally every weekend.  We are about to play a short tour of Norway and Sweden, and we have an arena tour planned for November and December, so in all honesty, the diary really is currently chock-a-block.  Obviously, at some point, there will be rehearsals, but I personally don’t think that we will be able to start rehearsing until into the New Year. 

You have mentioned that you all now have families, wives, girlfriends and partners.  Well the tour kicks off in Yeovil on 14th February which just so happens to be St. Valentine’s Day.  How are you going to swing that with your better halves? (Laughter). 

(Laughter) well, let me tell you, that would have already been earmarked and we will all be going out for a nice meal as close to Valentine’s Day as is humanly possible (laughter).  I personally would not have let that one slip through the net. 

May I take you back to September 2001 when 5ive split.  Looking back, was it the right decision to take at that moment in time?

I believe so, yes.  I don’t believe in regrets, and so I think that it was totally the right time for 5ive to split both physically and mentally.  Perhaps we should have done what a lot of bands are doing nowadays; perhaps we should have said that we were taking a break and then come back ten years later, so for us to break up was possibly a step too far.  Perhaps we should have gone on a hiatus, reconvened after a year and took stock of where we were at that moment in time.  But for me, I would say that it was the right thing to do because I think that mentally and physically no one was ready until we did The Big Reunion anyway.

We got back a little while after that, five years in fact, and it didn’t work because at that point, no one was mentally strong enough to do it.  You can’t be in a band like 5ive and do things half-heartedly; one toe in and one toe out, you can’t do that.  You have got to be doing it and doing it because you want to do it.  You must do it for all the right reasons.  Other than that, it is just going to fail. 

You mention The Big Reunion; how did it feel when you all got back together for the show.  Did it feel right?

I have to say that it really felt great to be honest with you, and I will tell you why.  There was a lot of unfinished business together with a lot of things that had been left unsaid, and for us to be able to put it right, and for us to be able to move forward, and for 5ive to be a band once again, we had to talk all of those things through; thrash them out, being totally open and honest with one another, we had to do that.  We really did need to go through that process.  Before that, I had wanted the band to get back together for a very long time, partially because I felt guilty for the breakup.  Sean (Conlon) had left the band, I had a breakdown and said “look, I can’t do this anymore” so at that point, I pulled the plug on 5ive and that was that; the writing really was on the wall.

From that point on, I felt that I owed it to the boys to do it all again and give 5ive another chance.  And I must tell you that we have never ever had a better time, and when I say ever, I really do mean that this is the best version of 5ive that I have ever been in. 

As I said earlier, I have spoken to Jimmy (Constable) from 911 and he said that he was amazed at just how much baggage and ill feeling was worked though on the tour bus as you travelled from city to city on The Big Reunion.

Yes, we did, that’s right.  The thing is that for us now, there is absolutely nothing for us to work through.  We have stayed together as a unit, we enjoy each other’s company, and it still feels as though we are brothers who are doing something that they want to do together and not colleagues who have to.  We genuinely feel like we are having a great time singing the songs that we want to sing, for people who want to hear them, in each other’s company.  We all bring our wives along to the shows and even our kids come along to the shows.  I know the wives of all the other guys on the tour; I know everything about them, so we really are going to have a great time together.  It is going to be a real family atmosphere; it really is going to be fantastic. 

Putting you on the spot, what would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?

(Laughter) that really is a tricky question for me to answer.  To be honest, there have been so many highlights; for us to perform with Queen really was quite incredible.  We opened The Brits with Queen, we closed the MTV Awards over in Milan, we have performed in front of four hundred and fifty thousand people with Oasis; all these things are part of an experience, but I suppose getting the chance to relive it really does top it all.  However, for me, having the chance to reconnect with the boys on our own terms really must be the highlight.

Who has influenced you musically along the way?

You know what; I just like real singers, proper singer songwriters.  Ed Sheeran has had quite an influence on me; his attitude towards music and the way he writes music is incredible.  However, going back to when I was a kid, I loved Wet Wet Wet, I loved Phil Collins, and in fact I still do, Richard Marx, the sort of people who can really hold a tune. 

In 2008 you took part in the third series of Celebrity Scissorhands, the reality show that was part of the BBC’s Children In Need charity campaign, where you were trained to be a hairdresser under the guidance of a certain Lee Stafford.  How did you find that; was it an enjoyable experience?

(Laughter) I did, I really did, and you know what, I still, although not as much as I did, I still cut hair now.  In the two weeks that I was on the show I learnt how to cut hair like I would have done if I had spent three years at college, it really was that intense.  I really did enjoy it.  Even now my friends will call me up and say, “Oh Scott, could you cut my hair as I am going out tonight” (laughter).  What’s funny about that is that if a hairdresser was to watch me cutting hair then technically, he would know that I do things the wrong way.  But the end result does look okay so I can still cut hair which is quite amazing really (laughter). 

I recently bumped into Lee Stafford.  It was about two months ago now, and I hadn’t seen him for years, and we bumped into each other of all places on a train.  He and Jess (Jessica-Jane Clement) were on the same train together, and funnily enough, that’s where they met, on a train. 

What next for 5ive; are there any thoughts regarding any new material?

No, not really.  Do you know what, we have spoken about this on numerous occasions and it is one of those things that will run on and on.  We have written some new songs that are really good, and I know that there are people out there who would like to hear them, but I personally feel that it is really self-indulgent when you do that.  The fans who pay good money to come along and see us don’t want to hear new songs, they want to relax, have a good time, and hear the old ones.  Whenever you go out on stage and try to promote your new album or your new single, it naturally creates a lull in the show because the fans simply want to hear the hits.  So, if we did that, we would be doing it for us, not them and I think that the best thing to do at the moment is for us to sing the old ones. 

Whenever I go to a concert and the artist plays a new song that I haven’t previously heard, it automatically becomes either toilet break time or a trip to the bar (laughter).

(Laughter) it certainly does, I know exactly what you are saying and that is why we stick to the hits that everybody knows and loves. 

I see from doing my research that you are a Gooner.  How do you think that they will fare this season?

Do you know what, I honestly don’t know.  That’s a really hard question.  I could go on all day about Arsenal, but it’s a tricky one really.  We are meant to be bringing in a few new players, but I honestly don’t know what is going to happen.  What I do know is that we need to shore up the defence.  This year it is the defence that is the problem.  If we don’t sort that out, then I should think that we are going to struggle once again.  We have got loads of firepower going forward and down the wings, but we haven’t really got much at the back.

That’s surprising because if you look back over the years the great Arsenal sides have always been built on a solid back four.

That’s right; I have to say that you are one hundred percent correct in saying that.  I don’t know why we have decided to play with a weakened back four; it is just a chance that we have decided to take.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Arsenal to bits but if we have to score three or four goals in order to win a game, week in, week out, then you really are in dire straits.  As an Arsenal fan I have to say that I am getting used to it now.  All of the Wenger Out boys should realise that if it is still the same now, then the problem wasn’t with Wenger was it?  I really don’t like the way that football has gone, you look at Chelsea and they just get rid of managers for fun.

You have got to let a manager cut his teeth and do the job properly.  I want to see the club give Unai Emery as much time as he needs in order to get the club winning games and playing attractive football.  He has got to have time in which to build a team.  I am happy with him; he has got the players playing along to his way of thinking.  I just wish that he knew that we need a couple of defenders (laughter).  

Testing your memory, what was the first record that you bought?

Now this is where things could turn into something embarrassing (laughter).  I think that the first record that I bought could very easily have been MMMBop by Hanson (laughter).  I love that song and I clearly remember buying it in order to wind up the boys in the house.  It really was a fantastic song.  However, thinking about it then it could very well have been a John Denver song (laughter).  My mum absolutely loved John Denver. 

Who did you first see performing live in concert?

To be honest with you I haven’t really been to that many concerts.  The first person that I would have seen performing live would have been John Denver.  My mum would have dragged me kicking and screaming to a John Denver concert.  Having said all of that, do you know what, he was incredible.  I would actually go as far as to say that he was the Ed Sheeran of that era for song writing and being so similar to Ed Sheeran’s older music.  I would say that they were very like for like.

What was the last song or piece of music that made you cry?

Blimey, where did that come from (laughter).  The song that immediately comes to mind is Dance With My Father by the late Luther Vandross.  That song really does mean a lot to me.  When my wife lost her father, I sang that song at his funeral.  Even if I just hear a snippet of that song it makes me upset. 

On that note Scott, let me once again thank you for taking the time to speak to me today, it’s been fantastic.

Thank you very much Kevin.  You take care and we will see you up there in Nottingham