It has been confirmed that hit 1990s groups Eternal and Damage will join ‘The Big Reunion’ 2014 line up.
Eternal – Sisters Easther and Vernie Bennett, along with Kéllé Bryan will reunite but still no word on whether Louise Redknapp will be joining her former band mates. Louise left the band in 1995 to pursue a solo career.
I will never forget reading an interview that featured in black British women’s publication Pride Magazine, not long after Kéllé Bryan was controversially sacked by the Bennett sisters via a fax from their solicitor in 1999. Sisters Easther and Vernie decided to go on as a duo and were interviewed by a journalist who had a very long memory. This journalist had interviewed the sisters before on numerous occasions when Eternal was then a foursome and enjoying huge success worldwide. But at the time of this interview Easther and Vernie were struggling to keep brand Eternal relevant while promoting a new single which was lounging at the tail end of the singles chart.
The journalist noted that in previous interviews the sisters were always rude and would often sigh deeply before answering questions. But today was different. Both were friendly, eager to please and even offered to make the journalist a cup of tea. When the journalist later confronted Easther and Vernie over their past behaviour during interviews the excuse was ‘oh it was just that time of the month”.
I remember laughing and thinking this is comical and a lesson on why you should be nice to people on your way up/when you have made it to the top, because you will meet those same people on your way down.
Back in the day I heard through the grapevine that Kéllé and Louise were always the nice humble ones in the group, but the fame went to both Easther and Vernie’s heads, especially when Easther started dating and later married Boyzone star Shane Lynch.
Black British R&B group Damage split in the early/mid noughties but later reunited for a few shows last year (minus Coree Richards).
Jade Jones said of the split: “Lots of things were swept under the carpet.” Band mate Andrez Harriott explained the band’s downfall and admitted: “Drugs came in, that’s when it went wrong.” While Rahsaan J Bromfield revealed he never wanted to see his school friends again and added: “You could see the punches being thrown left right and centre. (I said to the band) ‘Don’t call me I don’t want anything to do with you again’.”
In 2012 Coree Richards revealed in an interview what happened after he left the group to pursue a solo career.
The guys all stopped speaking to me after that. I was so depressed I went to Thailand and partied to cope with the pain and pressure of now trying to go solo. It was hard. I had so many initial fears and didn’t know what I was going to do next.”
“Certain producers that used to work with Damage, that we had given their first breaks to were either not returning my calls or trying to charge me sums that were out of my range!”
Damage used to be the Choice FM babies but now DJ’s like Jenny Francis wouldn’t even get back to me!”
“There was a Ghetto Romance party arranged in Muswell Hill. A past Damage team staff member had invited me to come along and try and be cordial to the boys. I turned up and security wouldn’t let me in. Eventually I was inside and the entire band was really throwing me negative vibes. Andre Harriott (the son of former Choice FM presenter Daddy Ernie), who seemed the worse for wear, maybe because of alcohol, was quite aggressive’’.
I loved the first Big Reunion so will definitely tune in to the second series.
The Big Reunion will air on ITV 2 in 2014.