Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 20/03/2014 | 911 – The Institute, Birmingham

20/03/2014 | 911 – The Institute, Birmingham

Carrie Humphries


If you are a child of the 90s, then those were the days when you played with Pogs, looked after your Tamogotchi, chatted to your Furby (and subsequently hid it in the wardrobe when it just would not shut up) and collected way too many Beanie Babies. Popper trousers and crop tops were cool, Will Smith was everywhere, you could not have a kids show without gunge, and in terms of music it was definitely one cheesy era of pop.

I adored the boybands at the time and one of my favourites were three pint-sized lads from up north – 911. They formed in the mid 90s and soon had a legion of screaming girl fans all over the UK. However, much like many of the other pop acts of the time, everything came to a disastrous end as they called it a day in 2000.

Jump forward thirteen years, and The Big Reunion burst onto British TV screens. It saw six pop bands from the 90s and early 2000s reform and go on tour together, and 911 were one of them. Now the lads have hit the road again for a tour of the UK with a whole new lease of life and new material.

There definitely is a party atmosphere in the Birmingham Institute tonight even if it is, as the band put it, a school night. As the lads take to the stage and perform a cover of Black Eye Peas’ I’ve Got A Feeling the room is filled with female screams and cheers. To some extent, it’s almost like being transported to the band’s hay-day on The Smash Hits Tour, except this time the cheers are coming from twenty and thirty something ladies rather than young girls.

Although all three lads are now in their forties, they certainly haven’t lost any energy as they danced and flipped through routines. Fans seemed happy reminiscing as the band performed most of their back catalogue with hits such as Party People… Friday Night, Don’t Make Me Wait and More Than A Woman. However, unfortunately their newer tracks seemed a little rushed and did not seem to make such an impact on those watching.

Throughout the night the performances were interlaced with shots of alcohol and cheeky chatter between the band and the audience, including comments about Spike flying low and one particularly naughty banner in the audience reading “Lee, you bring the chocolate spread and I’ll do the rest”. It is all rather fun as the lads would have never have got away with this behaviour in their squeaky clean pop days.

Ending the concert on fan favourite Bodyshakin’, it was quite clear from everyone’s reaction that they didn’t want the night to end. Luckily for those still feeling nostalgic, the band’s management gave a little bit more by throwing an up close and personal aftershow party at 90s club Popworld on Broad Street.