Main Stage Friday, 12 July
Sugababes became the most successful British girlbands of the 21st century with six Number One singles, millions of global sales and multiple multi-platinum albums. Along the way they told one of the most spectacular stories of the modern pop era, but it all started in the summer of 2000 with one song, three voices and a mysterious white label 7”. “The first time Overload was played on the radio they announced it as Sugababes, but they didn’t know anything else about us,” remembers Siobhan Donaghy. “They had no idea who was in the band, what we looked like, how old we were. Nothing. It was a mystery: who are these girls? In the twenty years that followed, the album’s own glow has never diminished. It went gold at the time while singles Overload, New Year, Run For Cover and Soul Sound hit the charts around the world, but it was in that space between then and now, as the Sugababes story took its various twists and turns, that One Touch slowly took on a life of its own. In 2021 One Touch remains a blueprint for genre-hopping mainstream music and a byword for effortlessly stylish British pop. “Both a quintessential product of its time and years ahead of it,” noted a Vice article published 17 years after the album’s release and titled Sugababes’ One Touch Is Lowkey One of the Greatest British Coming of Age Albums’. “It was a magical thing to be a part of,” Siobhan says now. “We knew at the time, too. I remember being in the studio thinking: ‘Wow, everyone who works in music must feel like this all the time.’ It was so special. It felt like the centre of the universe.