JLS address future tour plans and share ‘epic’ Manchester moment

It’s been eight years to the day since JLS performed the final show of their ‘Goodbye’ tour. But after a mega 28-date comeback arena tour, Aston Merrygold, Marvin Humes, Oritse Williams, and JB Gill are back on the promotional trail. The boyband, who shot to fame on the X Factor in 2008, will release their new album, JLS 2.0, on Friday.

They’ll also be making a sold-out appearance at HMV in Manchester’s Arndale Centre to mark their return. : Coca-Cola Christmas truck IS coming to Manchester as part of festive tour JLS revealed their reunion in February last year with a brand new single and tour set for the end of 2020.

But the pandemic put a hold on their big plans just as they were getting started. “It did change what we wanted to do,” JB told the Manchester Evening News while the band were in Manchester – a place where they say they have many memories of performing and enjoying a night out. “I think it gave us more time to consider music options and I guess we did the whole process backwards.

“Most people release music and then want to go tour it. We’re very fortunate to be able to go straight on tour, from 12 dates we initially put on sale to then almost doing for which is incredible for an arena tour.

JLS on BBC Breakfast

“But with everything that happened it gave us that extra 18 months to consider what our other options may be and also give us the time to put out music we wanted to put out.” He added: “It definitely did alter the course of what we were planning to do but we never said we wouldn’t put music out.

I think that was always something we might potentially do anyway, it was just a case of timing.” The band wrapped up their tour last weekend, on Oritise’s birthday, in Birmingham and it’s like they’ve never been away. “It’s been amazing being back.

It’s been a couple of years has made the whole world stop and pause and made us appreciate everything we had prior the crazy way the world went,” Oritse said. “And we see that in the reaction from fans and we see that in ourselves.”

JLS address future tour plans and share 'epic' Manchester momentJLS at Manchester’s AO Arena last month

He added: “The JLS Beat Again tour has been the break that everybody’s needed. It’s been the celebration of life everyone’s needed and all our fans, everyone that comes to see us, it’s been crazy.

“Manchester was crazier than ever.” But when they announced that they are splitting up after five years together, and performed for one last time at a sold-out 02 Arena in London, did they really think they’d never be back? “I think we never knew,” Marvin said. “At that time that was it.

There was no guarantee that we would get back on stage together. “I personally would have liked to have thought we’d get back on stage together just because we have been through so much together and we’re a family. “Now our families extended massively – eight children between us – so this time around it has been really special to have our children along with us on the ride.

“We were hopeful that one day we would [be back on stage] and we did.” “When we did this the first time round it was very different in every single way possible,” Aston added about them know being dads with wives and fiances. The band’s children also got an appearance on stage during the tour.

“It was a bit of a weird feeling. I don’t know if I can speak for the rest of the boys but before that moment, they were in the pit area at the front and it was hard to concentrate,” Aston said of the special show. And JB said the reaction to their comeback has been “incredible” and one they didn’t necessarily expect.

“Of course there was confidence that we’d be able to put on an arena tour and at least do one date in the country but it definitely exceeded our expectations.

“It was very humbling to see to be honest, so many people supporting us and wanting to come see us on tour.” All eyes are now on the album and as mentioned, a signing at the Arndale centre which reminded them of the time they switched on the Christmas lights at the Trafford Centre. “It was definitely one of those epic moments in JLS history,” Oritise said. “Literally shut down the whole place, thousands of JLS fans running amock all over the Trafford Centre and us trying to get out of the centre safely.

“It was mayhem. The fans go harder than any city.” So what can fans expect from ‘2.0’?

JLS address future tour plans and share 'epic' Manchester momentJLS reunited last year

“The exciting thing about the album is that it’s a collaboration of previous producers we’ve worked with and new producers,” Marvin told us.

“It’s nice to work with both areas, new school and old school, and bringing that 2021 JLS sound to 2.0 has been an exciting process. “A lot of great songs, a lot of variety but that’s how we’ve always been.” He added: “We’ve worked really hard on the album the last 18 months and I think the fans are going to be excited to hear it.”

But there was one question that needed to be asked on behalf of fans everywhere, will there be another tour for the new album? “We’ve been asked a lot if we’re going to tour our the previous album because obviously we had the greatest hits and didn’t officially do evolution and then they’re [fans] very excited to see if we’re going to perform this or not,” JB said. “We don’t know what the future holds just yet.

We’re definitely going to take a well-earned break after we’ve done promo for the album and whatnot. “But by all means, the sky’s the limit. Because of everything that’s happened we don’t take anything for granted.

“We’ve adored, loved, this whole process.

It’s been a great experience and if we can do it again I’m sure we will.”

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