Sean’s memories of living the dream... in Blackpool

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Those of a certain age, and probably female, will be very excited at the news that Five are heading to Blackpool.

The lads – Scott Robinson, Ritchie Neville, Abz Love and Sean Conlon, who, believe it or not, have sold 20 million records – have reunited for a greatest hits tour, where you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll play the big hits like If Ya Gettin’ Down and Keep on Movin’ (they might have been able to write a mean tune but they clearly weren’t too hot on spelling).

They come to these parts – the Opera House to be precise – on Wednesday, November 20 and one member – Sean Conlon – admitted to me that he’s a bit nervy about the
 prospect.

That apprehension is nothing to do with the gig, it’s about coming back to a place he has great memories of.

“I absolutely love Blackpool,” he said. “When I was a little kid Blackpool felt like Las Vegas. There is nothing more exciting than when you saw the lights and the Tower.

“I was just a regular kid that grew up on a council estate. We didn’t go abroad. We went to Blackpool, that was it, our holiday.

“Once a year we’d get on a coach, it felt like going to other side of world and you kept waiting until you finally saw The Tower. You could see it from miles away. It felt like you were proper living the dream!

“So going back for me is a big thing. I’ve avoided going since I was a kid because I have such great childhood memories and I want to keep that in mind. When you go and see somewhere as an adult, it all looks really different.”

Turns out Conlon is a cracking bloke, and had one particular recollection of Blackpool that still tickles him.

“I was about 10, we were in Blackpool for our holiday, and my nana saw a poster of a guy wearing an aeroplane hat and goggles,” he said.

“She didn’t know who he was because she was my nana and she was knocking on a bit. She said I’ll take you to see him, he looks good.

“Well, it turned out to be Roy Chubby Brown and she dragged me out, all flustered, after about two minutes. I’m a Yorkshire lad and we’re taught to always respect our nan so I didn’t remind her of it in the years afterwards – I think she was embarrassed enough.”

When Five achieved almost overnight stardom in the mid-90s, Conlon was a teenager.

He admits it was difficult to deal with the success and has had issues since which he’s had to fight hard to 
overcome.

“I went from knocking around in the park and drinking cider and smoking cigs, earning five quid a week to, almost overnight, hit records and loads of money in my bank.

“There was nothing in between so I never got to grow up and find out who I was. I’ve had to do that since,” he explained.

“I still have to deal with that on a day-to-day basis really but I’m getting there.”

The band reformed last year for an ITV documentary called The Big Reunion.

They went down so well it’s led to a 14-date headline tour. “I can’t wait,” he adds. “There seems a real genuine appetite from our fans to want to see us again, which is humbling.”

Tickets for Five’s Opera House gig are selling fast but you may find some available at www.ticketroyale.com