Is S Club 2 (out of 7) worth the money?

Angus Kidman 13 February 2017 NEWS

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What decimated 90s pop madness can teach us about financial decisions.

Last night, I went to a concert at Luna Park in Sydney featuring B*witched, Atomic Kitten, S Club 3, East 17 and Liberty X. If you're a fan of 90s UK pop, this sounds like a dream line-up. But the dream turned out to have a definitely surreal quality.

Of the five bands on the bill, not one had the full original lineup. Lindsay Armaou was missing from B*witched ('C'est La Vie'), for reasons unspecified. Liz McClarnon refuses to fly, so her place in Atomic Kitten ('Whole Again) was taken by Michelle Heaton from Liberty X. S Club 3 was already a significant reduction on the original 7, but then Jo O'Meara got sick, leaving just Tina Barrett and Bradley McIntosh to try and make sense of a song like 'S Club Party', which name-checks all seven band members. East 17 ('House Of Love') has neither its original singer or its songwriter. Finally, Liberty X ('A Little Bit More') had only the female members (including Michelle Heaton, who pulled double duty on the night), leaving the two male members off the list.

So why bother going? Like any spending decision, compromise is inevitable. You can't always buy a house in the exact suburb you want. You can't always afford the model of car you secretly desire. And you can't often justify flying to the UK just so you can see Atomic Kitten with Liz McClarnon. I regularly attend retro concerts (everyone has to tour in this no-money-in-music streaming universe we live in), and it's not uncommon to have just one singer from the relevant act. So really, it could be a lot worse.

Naturally, the acts varied over the three hours. East 17 were shocking, like a bunch of drunken uncles in ill-fitting suits. Tina and Bradley from S Club worked really hard to make up for the lack of five other vocalists, despite some decidedly wonky notes. B*witched and Liberty X were immaculately choreographed and note perfect, and enviously well-preserved.

By far the most entertaining performers of the night were Atomic Kitten, largely due to Kerry Katona lurching around the stage, losing control of her earpiece, messing up all her gag lines and just having a whale of a time. It was like the world's most entertaining canteen mum had taken over the stage. Sometimes it's not just about the music.

But the most telling financial detail: when this show was originally advertised, I figured it was appealing, but overpriced at more than $100. Once $49.95 tickets became available, I was right in there. It's all about maximising your enjoyment while minimising your spend.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on finder.com.au.

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