Gary Barlow. (Toni Anne Barson/FilmMagic)
Picture it: You’re in a cavernous sports stadium, coronavirus is a distant dream, and the lights begin to dim – Little Mix, the Spice Girls and the Sugababes emerge to rapturous cheers and screams.
But nobody is here to see the holy trinity of pop. Nope. They’re here to see Gary Barlow – they’re just his backing singers.
The sinful scene could be a reality after it emerged that the former Take That singer, the creator of dozens of pop earworms eternally hummed by your 40-something aunt, wants to start a supergroup.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, the 50-year-old is hoping to repeat the success of the 1980s megaband the Traveling Wilburys, which consisted of rock veterans Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty.
Its modern-day reprisal he’d call “Group Therapy” – a name that has a particular relevance considering the world is in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic, but we imagine would be about as therapeutic as, say, celebrities singing a John Lennon song at us from their mansions.
Gary Barlow wants to start megaband with Britain’s biggest girl bands as, er, backing singers
The band would consist of Coldplay’s aggressively heterosexual singer Chris Martin and the Killers’ flamboyant frontman Brandon Flowers.
Behind them, Electric Light Orchestra’s Jeff Lyne on guitar, Razorlight’s Andy Burrows on drums, and “the keyboard player from Snow Patrol”, who Barlow does not name but is Johnny McDaid, who has written for Ed Sheeran and P!nk.
“Then we’d have a mixture – some of the Sugababes with some of Little Mix with maybe even a Spice Girl – as our beautiful backing vocals, which would be awesome,” Barlow added.
In other words, disgruntled Twitter users were quick to point out, “he’d have all the women – from the three biggest UK girl bands – as his backing singers”.
So he’d have all the women – from the 3 biggest UK girl bands – as his BACKING SINGERS?
— Debbie Salt’s White Pantsuit (@stromo_) January 30, 2021
Imagine looking at Little Mix, The Spice Girls and Sugababes and thinking yep backing singers! Let’s have the entirely charisma free Brandon Flowers and Chris Martin up front. https://t.co/HmLiuiTHiM
— Eddie Argos (@EddieArgos) January 30, 2021
“There’s never been another Traveling Wilburys – a gang that gets together and you write and film it all,” Barlow said of how he envisions Group Therapy.
“You write for two weeks in a studio in Nashville, take it on the road for six months… it’d be brilliant. I’d love that.”