Antony Costa talks about his involvement in the 80s Versus 90s night in Lancashire
Antony Costa’s feeling really Blue today – and he’s absolutely delighted! The boy band star of the 90s and his bandmates are enjoying being back on stage...doing what they do best: entertaining the fans.
And that includes a much-anticipated summertime trip to the Lancashire coast to entertain the crowds at the Lytham Proms Festival Weekend, starting August 1.
Blue are firmly back in the big time, thanks to their appearance in the hit ITV2 show, The Big Reunion.
And 33-year-old Antony and his pals are also hard at work promoting the show’s latest national tour, which starts later this year.
With fatherhood on the horizon – his fiancée Rosanna Jasmin is expecting their first child – these are busy times for Antony and he is loving every minute of it.
Blue first came to prominence with their top five hit All Rise, which led to a string of number one successes.
But they split in 2005 and embarked on solo projects before reforming in 2009. Two years later, they represented the United Kingdom in Eurovision.
However, it was The Big Reunion and their appearance alongside their fellow 90s pop idols that really made their comeback complete.
Following that the boys: Antony, Duncan James, Lee Ryan and Simon Webbe, supported pop legends Wet Wet Wet on their UK Arena Tour.
Blue are among the chart stars of the 1980s and 1990s, who will go head to head at the special fifth anniversary Lytham Proms Festival this summer in the ultimate pop battle.
Organisers of the three-day event have unveiled a stellar line-up of stars for the opening evening of the big Fylde coast party in August.
The 80s team is packed with talent that includes Hue & Cry, The Christians, Howard Jones, China Crisis and Captain Sensible.
Representing the 90s are Heather Small, Atomic Kitten and B*witched – and the boys in Blue.
It all makes for a massive fun evening of musical nostalgia on Friday, August 1, as the festival kicks off its fifth birthday.
And Antony and the band are really looking forward to a fantastic evening. He said: “It’s all part of a really busy year for us and it’s going to be a great night of nostalgia at the seaside. We really can’t wait to perform at this very special event.
“There’s so much going on at the moment. We’re working really hard on publicity for the Big Reunion Tour and that’s going very well.”
Asked about the impact the TV show has had on the band, Antony added: “I am really surprised by the success of the show, but in a good way.
“It’s a genius idea by ITV to put all these bands together. People thought they were amazing back in the day and it’s great to have their real-life stories on the screen.
“If Blue were not a part of it, I’d be a real fan. The fact we are able to go on tour with it, following the success of last year’s tour, is absolutely unbelievable.
“It’s put us in front of a new audience, as well as the hard-core boy band fans, and it really has given us a new lease of life.
“A lot of new fans have jumped on board and are listening to Blue’s music and we’re expecting to see many of them at Lytham. We owe a lot to that show, definitely.”
He confirmed: “We’re not recording at the moment, but we are busy touring, including gigs abroad, we’ll be spending time soon in Germany and Italy.
“We’re enjoying what we do. If there was a chance to do new albums we’d crack on with it, but it’s not our priority list at the moment.
“It’s different this time around. The music industry has changed a lot and we’ve had to deal with that.
“Back in the day there were no iTunes or YouTube. We’re from the old school of CDs and tapes.”
Antony believes the key to their successful return has been their togetherness: “We’re all still mates; I wouldn’t be in the band, if I didn’t get on with the boys and wasn’t enjoying my music.
“We always said, if we got to the point where we were tired of what we were doing, we’d walk away and that’s what we did in 2005, the time seemed right then.”
He explained: “We’ve always supported each other, because we are friends as we were when the band started.”
Antony can’t wait to be a dad. He announced news of the impending arrival at the start of the year and he’s really looking forward to diving into his new role.
He says: “I’m a bit anxious, but in a good way. I’m just excited about the baby arriving and looking forward to enjoying the experience. I can’t wait to be pushing that buggy around.”
Looking at his career, he sees no end to the nostalgia boom that has pushed the band back into the spotlight and which promises to make the opening night at Lytham Proms another special experience.
“People want to relive their youth. There’s even been talk of Oasis coming back together. I’m a great fan and I’d love to see them back on stage, doing what they do.
“We’re the same as other bands.
“Our story is what every band goes through, personal problems, financial problems.
“To be able to come back together and do what we’re doing now.
“What could be better than that?”
Antony has had what he describes as “some really up and down stuff” along the way, including well-publicised financial problems after the band first split.
“I’ve learned about some things the hard way,” he said. “But now I’ve got a baby on the way and I don’t want to make the same mistakes I did years ago. I’ve got to earn money, I’ve got a mortgage and bills to pay like everyone else. As long as I’m working, I’m happy.”