It has been seven years since Una Healy, Rochelle Humes, Mollie King, Frankie Sandford and Vanessa White joined forces to become The Saturdays, in the process becoming one of modern pop music’s great success stories.
And now, 18 smash hits later, the band are in the mood to celebrate what counts as genuine longevity in the fickle world of pop with a Greatest Hits album and nationwide arena tour.
Back in 2008 when the girls were first brought together, the notion of releasing a Greatest Hits album was nothing short of a dream. “It was!” Mollie begins. “That was something we dreamt of. We’ve been very lucky, we’ve worked very hard and of course the support of the fans has been there since the beginning. We wouldn’t be anywhere without them.”
Aside from killer pop songs - and there can be no denying the likes of Up and What About Us are just that – it has been The Saturdays’ incredible friendship and unity that has kept them fresh and energised in what can be an exhausting procession of work.
“I think as a five-piece we work really well together,” Mollie says. “There are never really any big arguments; we understand each other, and we all have the same drive and passion. If you have your heads in the same place, it’s easier to succeed.”
There have been changes in personal circumstances over the years – three of the band have become mothers and married.
But the girls have learned how to juggle work and private lives well.
“I don’t think any of us are that different, really,” says Una. “I’m still the same person, I’ve just lived a bit more. I still live each day as it comes. I don’t think I notice things differently.
“I think overall I’m still the same,” agrees Mollie. “I’ve learned a lot - when I joined the band I’d just turned 20, now I’m more grown up. I still worry about everything,” she laughs, “but I’ve grown up as a performer and a person... we all have.”
Even in the time The Saturdays have been a fixture on the charts, the music industry has changed irreversibly. Mollie says the group are “still old-school” in signing copies of albums for fans, she admits progressing the group’s trademark sound has been important.
“Yes, we’ve definitely moved along with the times. At the beginning we were straight pop. More recently we’ve become more dancey. That’s the way the times are going, and I think it’s good to show you can move along with that. You can’t be doing the same stuff you were six years ago.”
Outside of the music, The Saturdays have become tabloid favourites, seizing the chance to move into other parts of light entertainment. Una hosts a TV show in Ireland, while Mollie has stepped into the fashion industry, designing a line for Oasis.
“That’s another reason why we’ve lasted so long – not one of us resents any of the others doing something on the side,”
Says Mollie: “I love the fashion, and I’d like to get into that more as time goes on. Hopefully there’s a lot more for me to do.”
But don’t take that as the beginning of the end for The Saturdays. Where Greatest Hits tours can often suggest a break-up is in the offing, Una couldn’t be more emphatic that this year’s release it is merely the closing of the latest chapter on The Saturdays’ incredible story.
“We’re not splitting up!” she laughs. “It’s more about celebrating a milestone. We’re already planning our next album. It’s not the end, it’s the beginning of the next chapter!”
The Saturdays - Finest Selection: The Greatest Hits is out August 11, with September UK tour tickets on sale now.