Man band

chapter 1

Episode Five were a successful boy band. They all came from completely different backgrounds from different parts of the country and had been put together by the record company.
Paul was a top tenor whose voice has a strong falsetto range. He often got the middle eight section to sing, or ad-libs at the end. He came from a family of sheep farmers in the Scottish Borders. However he liked to sing. He practiced on those Scottish hills and auditioned on a whim on a visit to Edinburgh one day.
Jake was from the West Country. He still had the rolling R’s, from where he was brought up, but the rest of his accent had become more neutral. He had gone to drama school from an early age. He had planned a career in musical theatre, so he had several skills. He could dance, act, and had a good strong top tenor voice. As a child, he had been in two movies, a west end musical and done some modelling. He took most of the lead vocals and had the confidence to take the lead whenever they were interviewed. Out of all of them, he was the fittest and most dedicated member of the band. He learned his dance moves and lyrics early and never forgot them.
Peter was the second tenor in the band. He was only sixteen when he joined, just left school. His mother ran a dance school, so he had been brought up doing ballroom and Latin dance competitions most weekends. He was from Blackpool with a strong Lancashire accent. He picked up dance moves really easily, but had to do a lot of voice training to get his voice strong enough for recording. His other strength was his style. He knew what he looked good in. He could do his own hair and make up and look stunning on any occasion.
Alan came from the Valleys of Wales. He had a rich baritone voice, but struggled with the dancing. However, musically he was strong. Not only could he read musical notation, he could play the piano and turned his hand to songwriting too.
Robert came from a more privileged background. He’d been to private school, he came from a big house with a swimming pool and stables. He knew the aristocracy, but he did not belong to them. His distinctive posh accent could get rather loud. He knew his fashion and designer brands. He had a bass voice and rarely got any solos, but his harmonies gave the band’s sound more depth.

The band were under contract with the record company and had to do what they were told to do. They recorded their first album, completed the video for the first single and then went on a lightning fast promotional tour when it was released. They did photo shoots, interviews record signings, appeared on TV shows... whatever was necessary. Then they went on tour, supporting a bigger band, while making a name for themselves.
They had a week off after the tour to catch up with family and relax, then they were back in the recording studio to repeat the cycle again.
As Episode Five, they had seven top ten hits in their first two years. They had an album in the top twenty all that time. The third year was more difficult. The singles were not as successful, but they worked just as hard to get them in the charts. The workload was beginning to take a toll on them. They were more fractious with each other. They were always together. Expectations from their management were high. They might have to do a gig, travel to a TV studio and do a lip sync performance for a TV special that went out live late at night, then they had to be up early to appear on children’s television the next morning. Then they would have to travel to their next venue to do another gig that night.
Robert partied whenever he could. He loved mingling with the rich and famous! He used whatever means he felt was necessary to keep going and slept only when he had to.
Jake was the most sensible out of all of them. He tried to stay out of the limelight when he was not required to be in it. He stayed away from alcohol and drugs and tried to keep himself healthy.
Everyone else fell somewhere in-between the two extremes.
After three years under the record company’s management, they had their first casualty.
One night Peter, the youngest of them, had a panic attack before going on stage. It was only natural to get performance nerves, but he had been turning to other substances to help for some time. They managed to get him on stage that night, but after that he crumbled. He had to be admitted to hospital he was in such a bad way.
The tour continued, somehow, without him. The extra pressure caused even more arguments. A few short weeks later, Paul left. He said he wanted to pursue a solo career. Alan wanted to do more songwriting and stay out of the limelight. So they split.

It was not long before Jake returned to his love of musical theatre. He was starring in a west end production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ as one of the disciples.
Robert went into rehab, came out as gay, then popped up on several reality celebrity shows.
Paul went to America to try his luck solo there.
Alan developed a notable reputation for his solid songwriting for other people and had many hits, but never appeared in public again.
Alan tried acting and eventually got a job on a long running soap.
Peter stayed out of the limelight altogether. He returned to Blackpool and returned to the world ballroom and Latin competitions, but this time, he was the teacher.
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