Leeds First Direct Arena news: Tony Watson gives us the low down on what’s happening at the city’s biggest music venue

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News from Leeds First Direct Arena this week... the stars just keep on coming.

After months of feverish speculation and their recent performance on BBC’s Children In Need which resulted in the greatest hits album surging up the chart, pop powerhouse S Club 7 have confirmed their hotly-anticipated return to the music scene with their 2015 ‘Bring It All Back’ arena tour, their first in over 10 years, visiting the first direct arena on May 19, 2015.

“Doing Children In Need was a total blast. We’re so excited to be touring across the country next year. Being back together is amazing and we can’t wait to get out on the road and to perform in front of our fans again. Let the S Club Party begin.”

Bradley McIntosh, Hannah Spearritt, Jo O’Meara, Jon Lee, Paul Cattermole, Rachel Stevens and Tina Barrett exploded on to the pop scene in 1999 with ‘Bring It All Back’ – their instantly infectious debut single which topped charts around the world. They followed up with hit after hit of essential, ubiquitous chart pop – ‘Reach’, ‘Don’t Stop Movin’, ‘Never Had A Dream Come True’ and of course ‘S Club Party’ – storming charts and leading to global sales of over 10 million records.

The band’s celebrity status was also cemented with their own TV shows. Miami 7 and LA7 became record-breaking favourites on children’s TV and were watched by more than 90 million people in over 100 countries – LA7 remains the highest rating programme of all time on CBBC, while in America the S Club 7 TV shows went on to inspire a generation of TV hits such as High School Musical and Glee.

With four multi-platinum selling albums, two Brit Awards, and nine number one international hit singles to their name, S Club 7 are household names that are once again ready to rise.

And multiple Grammy Award®-winning singer and legendary performer Bette Midler has also announced she will return to UK stages for the first time in 35 years. The Divine Miss M will visit the arena on July 15 2015.

The tour follows her previously announced North American tour and will feature material from her career and material from her new album, ‘It’s The Girls!’ - a glorious tribute to girl groups through the ages, featuring the swinging sounds of Second World War-era Andrews Sisters, to 60s super-groups like the Supremes and the Shirelles, to 90s hit makers TLC. The album is out now on Warner Music UK.

Bette Midler has garnered countless accolades. She’s earned four Grammy Awards including Song of the Year (1989: Wind Beneath My Wings) www.firstdirectarena.com

Adam Beaumont of AQL

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