Boyband Five plan comeback as foursome
The announcement was fittingly five years to the day since the group split up. Ritchie Neville, Richard 'Abs' Breen, Jason 'J' Brown and Scott Robinson explained that they are self-financing their comeback and currently have no record deal.
Justifying their decision to keep the name without former member Sean Conlon, who is working on solo material, Robinson explained: "Five’s a brand not a number."
Five, formed after auditions in 1997, forged a successful career in which they notched up eleven Top 10 singles in the UK. Hits such as 'Keep on Movin', 'Let's Dance' and 'When The Lights Go Out' propelled them into the hearts of many young girls. Their fanbase may be older now, but the band seem determined to build a new audience.
"Five years on - we're now officially men," proclaimed Neville. "The music's gonna reflect that."
But 'J' was quick to clarify that nothing too drastic would happen - "we're not gonna try and come back as Def Leopard or Led Zeppelin," he joked.
The band also revealed that the seeds of their comeback bid were sown over a game of pool some months ago. Since then, they have collaborated with songwriter Guy Chambers on new material.
"We want to write a new album and sell as many records as we did last time," added father-of-two Robinson. "We've been back together for a while now without you knowing."
'J' then sought to fend off accusations that purely financial motives have fuelled their reunion:
"We’ve all still got some cash - we’ve got nice houses and nice cars... why shouldn’t we have another crack at the madness?"
The foursome also revealed what they have been up to during their wilderness years, with 'J' living a tranquil life to "[get] my head sorted out from all the madness". Conversely, 'Abs', who recently appeared on ITV's Love Island, devoted his time to "quite a lot of parties and late nights."
Neville, who spent the intervening years writing and travelling, admitted he became a "borderline alcoholic at times" but was now fully fit. Married Robinson proudly said he's "been busy making babies."