On the eve of 3T's first UK tour, Jordan Paramor sneaks backstage at their secret pre-tour gig to catch the eyebrow wielding threesome in action.....
Things are really heating up backstage at the unlikely venue of The Regent in Ipswich, home to tonight's concert. The caterers are hard at work, the stage crew are running around maniacally, and the tour manager's freaking out because the video crew's disappearing. So where are 3T? I'll give you a clue- it's big, it's a bus and it's got a huge selection of video games and computer games on it.
The wind's howling outside, and any minute it's about to start chucking buckets. But that doesn't stop the dedicated fans that surround the tour bus taking turns to scream at their favourite T. They mill around chatting, and when there's a movement on the bus and the front door opens to reveal the lads. Suddenly it's every girl for themselves as they surge forward forming a sea of waving hands and posters. The guys pose for pictures and sign autographs for ages (ahhh!), before being bundled through the crowd and into the venue by security guards.
Once inside, the T chill out and check out the stage set up. The atmosphere's hectic, yet laid back and friendly. The it's time to sound check, and 3T and their band take to the stage for one last rehearsal before people begin spilling into the venue. They've already had a practice run earlier in the week when some very lucky fans that were waiting outside got invited in for their own private show.
After the sound check everyone adjourns to the dressing room, which is located directly behind the stage. The room's filled with teddies, fan letters, and an array of brightly coloured stage outfits. Taj takes position in front of the mirror to get his stage make-up done, while TJ and Taryll sit down and read the catering menu. "What the hell is a spotted dick?" asks Taryll looking confused as everyone wets themselves.
SH moves in for gossip. Are they excited about the tour? "We've learned a lot about doing tours from watching Michael And Janet, so we're really looking forward to doing our own shows," begins Taj.
"And we're really looking forward to doing Wembley!" adds Taryll.
"All the crew are great," smiles TJ. "We're like a big family. In fact, two of the members of the band are our cousins!"
Are they worried that the tour will be really tiring? "Well, we decided to do a bus tour because flying tires us out so much," explains Taj. "So we stocked up on computer games and videos, and we'll be driving everywhere and sleeping whenever we want! It'll be cool!"
Once all the boys have eaten and had their make-up done, all that remains is for them to psyche themselves up for the show.
Out the front of The Regent, the excitement's building. Scores of people are cramming to get into the venue, and as soon as they do, they find their seats in a flash and wait in anticipation. The tension rises, the lights go down and the screaming rises about a million decibels. Then suddenly the lights go up, and they're there in full glory. They begin by breaking into Brotherhood , then go on to perform all the songs on the album - and a few surprise numbers as well. In addition to the fantastic Jackson 5 medley, during which dad Tito joins them on stage, they even do a brilliant version of Oasis' Wonderwall!
The voices are amazing, their dance routines are cool, and the show is altogether dazzling. Backstage after the concert the guys are looking pleased with themselves. The only one who's feeling a bit down is Taj. During the concert he threw his ruck-sack into the audience and his microphone went flying with it - straight into a fan, "I feel really awful," he says. Not that she minds, she's been invited back to meet the band as way of an apology.
As we leave the Regent the smiles on the faces say it all: they've had a brilliant time. And our verdict on the concert? Obviously the 3T's: T-op! T-remendous! T-errific!


Smash Hits, March/April 1996

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