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The Backstreet Boys and New Kids On The Block are back, in the form of a superband. And London has Nineties fever.

Girls: hands up who had a favourite boyband member in the Nineties. And hands up all the boys who were jealous. The boyband phenomena – the bleach-white smiles and poster-covered walls – didn’t elude many. So the comeback of the decade for anyone who was a pop-loving pre-teen two decades ago has to be NKOTBSB.

The tongue-twisting and quite frankly OMG-inducing acronym for two all-American boyband greats – Backstreet Boys and New Kids On The Block – emblazoned across billboards London-wide will have been noticed by most fans. The two old-school greats are touring again, this time as a supergroup.

It’s a risky business – fans were either into BSB or NKOTB. BSB’s Howie Dorough confesses: “At first I wasn’t sure if they were gonna be territorial. I started reading some stuff on Twitter and I was like ‘uh oh, security!’”

But, luckily for the pop veterans, their devotees weren’t as crazy as social media portrayed. “It’s cool to see both fanbases coming together, creating this huge monster-like army and being cool with each other,” Dorough says.

”Now they’re friends.”

They admit teaming up keeps things fresh. New Kid Joey McIntyre sees performing in front of someone else’s fans as a welcome “challenge”. But he still knows the songs will go down well.

“We’re lucky to have hits like The Right Stuff, I Want It That Way, Quit Playing Games With My Heart, I’ll Be Loving You Forever, Hangin’ Tough and Backstreet’s Back – every band would kill to have those hits.”

The shows give a lot more than your usual concert. The bands play both their own old favourites separately, but also produce group efforts and mash-ups of the two bands’ songs with tunes from the likes of Coldplay, Prince, AC/DC and Queen.

And it’s the stonking two-hour sets of joint pop-tastic nostalgia that has made the fans cross over. Dorough remembers one who was torn between him and McIntyre.

“There was a girl at one of our early shows with a ‘Howie’ sign,” he says. “Then, I was looking at the monitor when NKOTB were up, and I was like, ‘does that sign say ‘Joey’? She’s got two signs!’ And I went back up there and the sign would say ‘Howie’. Then, when we were both on stage, she had to flip it!”

“We made her decide,” McIntyre says, playfully. And who did she pick? Dorough pauses. “I don’t know … probably Nick [Carter].” And the boyband rivalry is out in the open.

But asked if they fight, Dorough says: “The nine of us have a blast. No arguments. I don’t think anyone’s stupid enough to mess this up.”

But it’s clear they’ve still got their egos – who wouldn’t, after being a heartthrob for 20 years?

“At the beginning of the show we have two lifts and both groups are going up on them. I always equate it to the Roman Colosseum,” McIntyre says.

“We had this one ending and it’s like, ‘boom’ and the lights go out and there’s another roar. It’s magic. It’s something out of some fantasy. To be able to do that every night is really special.

“I would feel for anybody who didn’t want to be in that show.”

TNT Magazine was privilaged to be present for the GLOBAL WORLD EXCLUSIVE first performance of Hoey, aka Howie from Backstreet Boys and Joey from New Kids on the Block, singing a NKOTBSB mash-up. Obviously, we didn't want you to miss this incredible moment in pop history, so we were forced to film it with a pot of instant coffee, hence the poor quality.


Boys will be boys: the return of the boybands
Digital Mag

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