From Agadoo to The Ketchup Song: Where are the artists from your year six disco now?
One of the cheeky girls is ‘into car sales’
The year six disco threw up everything that was wrong with the primary school experience in the space of just two singular hours. Boys awkwardly shuffling over to the side as soon as the DJ put Justin Bieber on because they didn’t want to be seen enjoying his music, the thin synthetic flame shirts that were all the rage at the time, the panda pops on sale at the little tuck shop. Or how about the weird local 50-year-old disco bloke that always picked the little blonde girls to win the dance competition and subsequent busted CD? Just my school on that one, then.
Although you’d think back then that the sky was the limit for such highly esteemed artists as The Cheeky Girls and Steps, we haven’t actually heard anything from them in so long aside from the occasional tragic SU appearance. So, what have the soundtracks to our year six discos been up to since?
Las Ketchup – Ketchup song
What came first, Las Ketchup or The Ketchup Song? Why they’d make ketchup the sole focus of their life’s work, putting it in the title of their most famous song as well as their band name is beyond me. Oh look, ketchup doesn’t even look like a real word anymore.
Say what you want about their group name, but this Spanish girl group were behind one of the most iconic year six party tunes going. What may surprise you is that they haven’t released any singles since 2006 but they STILL tour around the world to this day, and you can imagine the red condiment stain take pride of place at the top of every single setlist.
Here’s a throwback posted by the group in 2019, and it looks from their Facebook page like they’ve lost a member along the way. It’s good to see that they’re still keeping busy as ever, and I’m sure they’ve got some healthy royalties coming in from the song that sold seven million copies worldwide.
Black Lace – Agadoo
First coming to prominence at the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest in which they came seventh, Black Lace went on to record their biggest hit to date in 1984 with Agadoo, and there are sooo many questions.
Why did the lyrics sound like the incomprehensible babble of some pissed bloke in the back of a bar? Why was a song from the 80s played to so many children at discos in the late noughties? Why is the above video the exact bad trip I experienced when dropping a tab for the first time?
As a band that holds little relevance in the public eye nowadays, there are probably only two things you need to know about the members. Firstly, two of them have unfortunately died, one in a coach crash and one from a fall.
Secondly, Black Lace’s Dene Michael was charged with fraud in 2016 for claiming £25,000 in disability allowance. He spent six months in prison, where it is claimed he was forced by fellow inmates to perform their only big hit which is… unfortunate.
Los Del Rio – Macarena
Los Del Rio, which in Spanish translates to “Those from the river” or “We only made one good tune” have got to be one of the early originators of immortalising a song through an accompanying dance move, á la Gangnam Style etc.
Well, would you just look at them! Antonio Romero Monge and Rafael Ruiz Perdigones are now both in their 70s, and it looks like they’ve still got as lively a public persona as ever.
Their last musical release appears to be in 2012, but it doesn’t look like any of their music has hit the charts since Macarena. But that’s fine – their Twitter shows them looking healthy, happy and they’ve probably enough to retire from song alone. Speaking of which, did anyone ever have a clue what the lyrics meant?!
The Cheeky Girls – Cheeky Song (Touch my Bum)
Touch my BUM?! At a CHRISTIAN INSTITUTE with panda-pop induced sugar-manic kids running around the assembly hall? No wonder we all turned out the way we did.
The Cheeky Girls are likely the biggest criminals when it comes to visiting universities that didn’t want them there. In fact, I remember coming to Royal Holloway with big dreams of what a uni night out would provide, only to have them perform at “Medicine” for 20 mins and fuck off. In 2016. Real ones will understand how tragic this is.
Weirdly, one of the twins named Gabriela had a romance with a Lib Dem MP in 2006, where it was reported that he ensured they wouldn’t be deported from the country by “speaking to a home minister”. They were engaged in 2008 and broke up three months later.
Their mum said in 2019 that they have both moved on with different careers: “I’ve told the girls that there is a limited time they can do this. So they are preparing themselves for a new life by doing apprenticeships and courses. Gabriela has done three cosmetic courses and Monica is into car sales. They are passionate car drivers, both of them.”
Vengaboys – We like to Party!
Ah, the Vengaboys. The ironic but so unironic tune to put on during pres when you’re all feeling a bit silly and want to let go of some energy. Whether it’s “We like to Party!” or “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!”, there’s a little flavour for everyone found in this weird Dutch Eurodance group.
You will be delighted to hear that they haven’t stopped the hustle, regularly performing and releasing music ever since their old bangers came out. Their latest offering is a collaboration with Timmy Trumpet (don’t ask) which is a rehashed version of their old hit “Up and Down”:
Let’s hope, after all this craziness is finished with, we can all hop on the Vengabus on a one-way ticket to Party Town again. 😞
Estelle – American Boy
Probably one of the few songs from the old era that still holds just as much cultural relevance now as it did back then is Estelle and Kanye’s American Boy. Whether it’s rehashed versions on TikTok or Smithy screaming the lyrics down the phone to Gavin, it always crops up every now and then and well… it’s just a fuckin bop isn’t it?
Hammersmith born Estelle has worked with artists including John Legend, Robin Thicke, Chris Brown and Will.i.am which is pretty impressive by anyone’s standards.
She currently has her own show with Apple Music called The Estelle Show, and it looks like she’s really paved a solid and successful career for herself since making one of the most iconic songs of the last twenty years. I wonder if she keeps in contact with Kanye…
Steps – 5, 6, 7, 8
Steps made some iconic tunes, from the above to Tragedy, properly cementing themselves as sing-along heroes. Sicne their heyday they’ve still been making music, the latest of which was released in 2017. But you don’t care about that, you want the GOSSIP… of which there is very little.
Ian Watkins of Steps was unfortunately mistaken for Ian Watkins of LostProphets in 2013, when several people sent him hate mail misidentifying him as the latter, who went to prison for child sex offences. He has since taken legal action against several bodies for his photo being wrongfully published.
Other than that, several of them have been married and divorced and several have had kids. That is all.
Say you will, say you won’t, say you’ll do what I don’t! Right.
Another classic song with some pretty shitty lyrics, B*Witched had us MESMERISED by their track C’est La Vie (laugh), and it had all the poppy forced positivity that we got off on. They’re still going after taking part in the ITV2 series The Big Reunion along with other classic groups like Atomic Kitten and Blue.
One of the members, Keavy Lynch, has since become a licensed counsellor, running a practice in Kingston upon Thames. Her website says that she is qualified in “Gestalt Therapy, Person Centred Therapy and Transactional Analysis”. She has been open in the past with her struggles with mental health when B*Witched initially split up.
For their appearance on The Big Reunion, they had to have some “emotional chats” because Sinéad and Edele had fallen out in 2006 and not spoken to each other since.
If someone asked you who originally asked that iconic question back in 1999, you’d have absolutely no idea until now. The Baha Men are still going strong, releasing new music this year at the same time that Who Let the Dogs Out became 20 years old – now WE have no choice but to feel old.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Who Let the Dogs Out? is another crass metaphor for people with bad looks, but it was actually revealed afterwards that the song is actually about catcalling men who are disrespectful to women who end up calling them dogs: “And tell the fellas stop the name callin’ / Yepee ah yo / Then them girls respond to the call / I hear a woman shout out / Who let the dogs out?”