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Boyband Phenomenon Never Changes -
Thank Goodness

Brisbane Times
by Elisabeth Mahoney
April 12, 2012

British-Irish Boyband - One Direction

I was too young to scream for The Beatles or the Stones or The Monkees but, as a little girl, I was a fan of Jimmy Osmond - even though I had no clue what a "long-haired lover from Liverpool" might be. Watching it back on You Tube, I don't think he did either.

Did he actually have another song? I'm not sure.

Jimmy and his older brothers formed The Osmonds, the first boy-band to infiltrate my world and, in these rapidly changing times, it's great to know that some things stay the same.

I've really enjoyed watching teenage girls being teenage girls in Sydney this week, clambering for an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the boys from One Direction.

Who? I hear you ask. I hadn't heard of them either until about three days ago but, having watched them on TV yesterday morning, I've joined the "I think they're great" brigade - but for vastly different reasons to the teenage girls, I suspect.

I think they're great because they're well-mannered, modest, well-spoken and well-dressed. Good role models and clearly the products of what my folks used to call good homes.

Simon Cowell, you really are good. They were five blokes who auditioned separately for Britain's X Factor talent show. You saw them and realised the world was ready for another boy-band ... and so One Direction was born.

A band that doesn't scare parents. Genius.

Whoever thought of their hit "What Makes You Beautiful" cleverly tapped in to the psyche of every teenage ugly duckling who dreams of emerging from their pond as Beyonce.

Great marketing.

For me, it's really good to finally "get" a modern-day act. I've struggled to understand the Bieber phenomenon and what is the fascination with Lady Gaga? In fact, what is Lady Gaga?

Of course the difference in my day, (eek), was that the music world wasn't so immediate. We'd wait for the occasional television special or write away to their distant homeland for an autographed photo, then count the weeks until it arrived in the post.

We were glued to Top of the Pops, in Britain, and Countdown here, just to see a little bit more of our idols. We'd save our pocket money to buy a 45 or, if we were really lucky, we'd get the whole record which Mum or Dad would be forced to play again and again and again ... until they'd start making up warnings that the needle was going to wear out the groove. That Mantovani and Perry Como never wore out was always a mystery.

While I was a fan of the Osmonds, many of my friends were enraptured by a group of tartan-clad Scottish lads called the Bay City Rollers. Hard looking blokes in half-leg, flared trousers and open shirts - singing girly songs. Sounds crazy but it worked. The boy-band phenomenon relies on young girls having a favourite; someone they really believe is singing to them. Les, Woody, Eric and Co. captured hearts.

Then women started to infiltrate our bands ...but it didn't matter because it meant we girls now had people we could pretend to be, as we mocked up the dance routines of Brotherhood of Man and Abba.

So thanks One Direction, your time here has brought back a lot of memories for all of us who ever went woozy over a band. And let's face it, that's all of us at one time or another.



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