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Mighty Hoopla / Luke Dyson

5, 6, 7, 8! Steps fans assemble! Since their debut in 1997, Steps has achieved multiple number one albums in the UK, a string of 14 consecutive top five singles and sales of more than 22 million records worldwide along the way. Their soon to be released Platinum Collection is set to celebrate the hits in all their glory, with their set at Mighty Hoopla being no different. Seven albums in, though, deciding what to perform is no easy feat. “It’s actually really, really difficult because we don’t want to disappoint anyone,” Faye Tozer told GAY TIMES ahead of the showstopping performance. “And so it’s almost like we have to wager up who we are going to disappoint! We have seven albums now to choose from. We obviously want to give everybody what it says on the tin. It’s really important that we don’t forget some of the original stuff, but also we’re so proud of the new stuff that we’ve got as well, we have to try and mix it all in together. It’s a really, really tough challenge and we never get it completely right.”

Step’s array of anthemic pop songs, combined with their sickening choreography and camp aesthetic has, in part, factored into them generating a massive LGBTQ+ following. Faye explained that this presence has been felt since the beginning of their career, when the band was “put together to front a line dancing song”. She continues: “I think, then as we developed as a band, the people that came on board were predominantly the LGBTQ+ family, and I think we didn’t ever target a specific audience, but we’ve just been shown so much love.”

Faye recalled performing at London’s most famous LGBTQ+ nightclub, G-A-Y, when Steps was first getting started: “There were queues around the building and down the street and we were like, ‘Wow, who’s this for?’ and it was for us and we were like, ‘Wow’, we had no idea. And yes, we do feel the presence, it’s just so wonderful to be loved, you know, in this community because we try to have our colourful selves and just have fun and be in a safe space and it’s just, we suit each other, you know, it works. We didn’t know that that was what we were going to become or how much support we would get and it’s just, yeah, it just matched.”

Lee Latchford-Evans, who is also a member of the band, explained that Steps’ music has been “like the soundtrack to a lot of people’s lives” and that fans often reach out to tell the band what their music means to them. “We’ve had stories, fans writing in and telling us about stuff and it’s all sorts from, you know, maybe it helped them be brave enough to face who they truly are, helping people who are ill and recovering, or just giving some people joy in their lives and things like that.” He calls this response “very humbling” and is proud that the music “has helped people be their true, authentic self.” Lee said that Steps has “organically grown into what it is and the fans have all jumped on board because we are all just very honest and true to who we are and I think that’s what works. We are unashamedly pop, we love what we do, we like to have fun and we create a safe space.”

Steps will soon celebrate their 25th anniversary with the Platinum Collection, a greatest hits album packed with tracks from 1997 all the way up to 2022. It is set to be released on 19 August and can be found below or by clicking here.