Stuff.co.nz: Eighteen years ago, S Club 7's Jo O'Meara was bona fide pop royalty.
But these days, she describes herself more as a busy working mum. This weekend, O'Meara will bring S Club 7's biggest hits to Auckland's ASB Theatre over two nights, joined by fellow members Bradley McIntosh and Tina Barrett. But while they're being touted by promoters as S Club 3, O'Meara insists the trio haven't gone out and formed a new band.
"We love having all seven of us on stage, but obviously because it's a big group it's difficult to get seven people in the same place at the same time," O'Meara says. "We've all grown up now, people have got families, children, people are married, and have other commitments they have to stick to. That's the only reason as to why only three of us could do it."
O'Meara, McIntosh and Barrett have been working as a trio since 2015 without band mates Rachel Stevens, Hannah Spearritt, Paul Cattermole and Jon Lee. While she is still touring and making music, a bit has changed for O'Meara since S Club 7's heyday.
"I've got an eight-year-old boy now. I'm just like a busy working mum trying to juggle lots of things, school runs, getting up to do the breakfast, make sure there's a clean uniform, then I go off in the evening and turn into 'S Club Jo' and do that."
The 37-year-old says performing S Club 7's hits as a trio is no more difficult than when there are seven on stage. "It does work, I sing a lot of the leads on the songs anyway, and it doesn't feel any different to being the seven of us because is all about the songs, but we do have some new choreography and surprises up our sleeves."
When O'Meara's reminded of S Club's success, like at Christmas when Never Had a Dream Come True always gets a revival, she feels a mix of luck, gratitude, and pride. "I don't think any of us realised how well we were doing at the time. We were so jet lagged, none of us had a chance to sit back and really take it all in, it was only when it was all over that we realised, wow, it was huge."
She puts the band's appeal and success down to their upbeat, family-friendly songs, and genuine chemistry. "I think of some bands and it's always reported there's drama and they're having big spat, but we never had any of that. When we broke up in 2003, the media in England tried to portray that we'd fallen out, but it was just we felt it was time, we'd achieved everything we wanted to achieve and it was time to move onto other stuff."
The lowest point of O'Meara's S Club 7 days was the homesickness. A piece of advice O'Meara would have given her younger self: don't be so self-critical. "I wish I hadn't thought I was overweight, because I wasn't too bad. I'd like to have 19-year-old's waistline again! I never felt pretty, but now I think, at the end of the day, it's not about any of that. It's about loving and accepting the person you are and being happy and following your dreams."
O'Meara is open-minded about what's next on the cards following the tour. "I'm quite content and happy. I love spending time with my little boy, and I'd love to have a holiday somewhere, and who knows, I'd like to get back into the studio and write another album, it will always be about music for me."
S Club 3 play alongside Bewitched, Atomic Kitten and Liberty X at Auckland's ASB Theatre tonight February 3 and 4. Limited tickets are still available at Metropolistouring.com.