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Atomic Kitten Review

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by AVForums Dec 1, 2002 at 12:00 AM

    Atomic Kitten's history goes back to 1998, when Andy McCluskey, former frontman of '80s synthpoppers Orchestral Maneouvres in the Dark (Electricity, Enola Gay) decided to make another try for the charts, this time by writing a new batch of songs and Frankensteining together some fresh-faced young hopefuls to sing them. Step forward Kerry Katona, Liz McLarnon and Natasha Hamilton, three mates from Liverpool, all of whom had been singing since an early age. A string of top ten hits followed, including the likes of Right Now, See Ya and I Want Your Love, with the band being taken to the hearts of teenage pop fans and appearing on everything from the Smash Hits tour to Blankety Blank.

    Cut to the year 2000, and with Kerry's Bryan-from-Westlife-related pregnancy forcing her out of the band, the Kittens found themselves needing a new member to bring their number back up to three. Luckily, Jenny Frost was waiting in the wings, fresh from her role in former Kitten support act Precious and ready to help them to Number One with Whole Again. By this time, McCluskey had been forced off the scene by a combination of music industry politics and the girls' desire to write their own songs.

    Since then the Kittens have had a huge Number One hit with The Tide is High (ironically, a cover version), their globe-straddling success down to a unique ability to relate to their (early-teen girl) audience not so much as proper pop stars, but as big sisters - their songs offering advice by proxy to their pre-pubescent devotees about what will be on the way when they finally discover boys.

    Other bands had tried it before (B*Witched, for instance) but no one has managed to pull off 'foxy yet more-or-less entirely sexless' quite as well as the Liverpool three. Then, of course, there's the tunes - each one a veritable model of perfect pop, from Right Now's big-ass disco to Strangers' ocean-sized balladry.

    Right Here Right Now sees the girls embracing the DVD age, presenting a concert where they played their biggest hits and most beloved album tracks to a packed Belfast Waterfront. Songs include Right Now, Hippie and of course, Whole Again. A fun night out for both 10-year-olds and middle-aged men who like blonde girlies, in other words. Offered in both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1, the sonics are pleasingly bassy although perhaps a little flat (there's plenty of crowd noise in the surrounds, though). The 1.85:1 anamorphic image is colourful and solid, but obviously aimed at the easily pleased, the disc boasts an underwhelming set of extra features including the videos for It's OK! and their cover of The Tide is High, as well as a documentary about life on the road called The Kitten Diaries.