It has been almost 20 years since 911 lead vocalist Lee Brennan was in Malaysia with fellow members Jimmy Constable and Spike Dawbarn, but he still has fond memories of his time here.
“It seems like a lifetime ago! I do remember Malaysia though … how amazing the crowds were, how dedicated the followers were and how fanatical they were. That was something that stood out for me,” said the 45-year-old in a recent phone interview from Britain.
Formed in 1995, 911 was one of the biggest boybands in Britain in the 1990s. The group released its debut album The Journey in 1997, followed by Moving On (1998) and There It Is (1999), and scored hits like Bodyshakin‘ and A Little Bit More, which became the band’s only No. 1 UK single in 1999.
According to him, the Malaysian concert at Kuala Lumpur’s Putra World Trade Centre back in 2000 was also one of the group’s final shows: “We went back after the Asian tour and just ended the band,” he recalls.
However, 2012 documentary The Big Reunion brought 911 back along with a host of other 1990s groups (including 5ive, B*witched & Atomic Kitten), and the trio has not stopped performing together since. In 2013, 911 released its comeback album Illuminate: The Hits & More featuring the single I Do.
911 will be in Malaysia for a concert, aptly called ‘911 The Reunion: Live in KL’ at Quill Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, on June 22, 8.30pm, which Brennan is looking forward to.
What can we expect from your upcoming show?
Most of our fans who followed us back then probably have families and jobs now, and have to get off work to come see us! We just hope to give them a great time and to see all the fans, and sing all the songs they love when they were teenagers.
When 911 broke up in 2000, did you ever expect you’d get back together again?
Not when we first broke up. It was a rollercoaster five year ride of travelling and amazing experiences. When it ends you think that is the end.
Now we realise that nostalgia will always be around and people will love that. When you realise there are people who want to watch us to reminisce and be nostalgic for a night, it makes it all worthwhile.
As the lead vocalist, did you ever have problems remembering the songs again?
Initially yes! But it was mostly harder trying to remember the old dance routines again. We wanted to keep the stage we had back in the 90s, because it was important for 911 fans to see 911 perform the way they used to.
We used to have an energetic routine, with a lot of breakdancing and flips and we wanted to keep that. I’m proud we can still do that even though we are now in our 40s!
Now, we have to be careful of what we eat and make sure we train in the gym to stay in shape for the shows.
We interviewed Spike last year and he was really proud of the fact that he could still do all the backflips. What are you most proud of in this second 911 run?
I think the fact that we had such a huge experience in the 90s and still stayed friends. When we met the TV station that wanted to do Big Reunion, they said that they were doing a documentary, and wanted 911 to talk about our experience truthfully.
Was that the first time the three of you had a proper heart to heart talk about what happened in the past?
Yes it was. I remember the camera was recording for three hours, and all we were doing was talking about our experience and issues, how difficult it was, and how it changed our lives.
It was the first time we really ever talked about those issues, because we never had time to do that when were together.
It gave us a look at each other’s personal experiences, and what we each went through at the time. I think we had more respect for each other after that, and it really did make it easier for us to become a band again.
Tickets to the KL concert are priced at RM98, RM158, RM258 and RM398. A limited VIP package priced at RM598 will entitle you to an exclusive Meet and Greet with 911 after the concert. To purchase tickets, visit 911.qtic.my.