Una Healy denies split rumours as she talks about Frankie Sandford’s wedding
There’s certainly no sign of The Saturdays slowing down. Generally when a band announces a Greatest Hits Live Tour and album the rumour mill goes into overdrive that they’re splitting up. And that’s exactly what happened to The Saturdays, but in this case those rumours aren’t true. Having now sold over five million records, with four top 10 albums, Una, Frankie, Mollie, Rochelle and Vanessa continue to be a whirlwind force in the world of pop which shows no sign of slowing down.
The 5-piece band are hitting the road on 7 September for their Greatest Hits Live Tour with a date on 17 September in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, and Una told U magazine they can’t wait to get out and see their fans. She said: “We really can’t wait, we’re going into tour rehearsals in the next couple of weeks and it’ll really start coming together so we really can’t wait to be on tour.”
With a successful career spanning seven years, the Tipperary native said they decided to do a Greatest Hits Live Tour and album now as a celebration of their success so far. “I think it would have been too soon to do it before now because the album will have 17 previous singles, and with 13 of them being top 10 hits we felt it’d be a celebration really of an album of all our hits to date, and also there’s three fresh tracks on there too so it’s still like quite a new album at the same time.
“It’s definitely more a celebration and a milestone that we have reached but it’s not the end. We don’t intend to break up, we love what we do and we’re so lucky to have come this far and still be together after seven years. Some pop bands don’t even last that long so we’ll be around for another while,” she added.
The tour comes just weeks after Frankie Sandford tied the knot with her footballer beau Wayne Bridge so it’s back to a hectic touring schedule for the newlywed. The pair – who are parents to baby Parker – exchanged vows at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire before celebrating with her bandmates and friends in a marquee that had been erected in the grounds. Opening up about the nuptials, Una told U mag: “Oh it was amazing. Aoife and Rochelle’s little one Alaia were flower girls and they were so cute in their little tutus. It was a great, great day and Frankie looked absolutely amazing. It was a very private event, the pictures aren’t going to come out in any magazine or anything. She wants to keep it really private.”
It’s a very busy time for all the girls – with the tour and new album coming up – and Una, Rochelle and Frankie are also juggling motherhood duties. Una explained: “It’s not easy because like any other working mum you’re juggling having your family life and your work. It’s exactly the same, my work is being in the band and all that goes along with that so you find a balance and I’ve found a good place. Also the other girls are the same, there’s two others as well who are mums so we work hard but we work hard at being mums too.”
She said despite three out of the five girls being mothers the dynamics of the group hasn’t changed and the girls are there for one another when they need advice. “I don’t know. It feels like ages since I’ve had Aoife so I can’t really remember life without her. I don’t think it has changed me. It changes life and your priorities and this person completely depends on you, but I think as a person I’m still exactly who I was before. Obviously I’m hugely responsible and all that but we’re still the same people but we’re just getting older I guess. Life goes on,” Una said.
“I think everybody is their own parent. Everyone does things differently. I often plan for myself as well. I’ll take certain people’s advice but I don’t want to give out too much (advice) because I don’t want to be telling peple what to do. People will figure it out for themselves and people like to do things their own way. I’m always here to give the girls any advice that they look for but I’d never preach to them, ‘oh you need to do this or your need to do that’. They’re very capable and they helped when I had Aoife first so they were well prepared for it,” she added. Una revealed her daughter Aoife Belle is starting playschool in September so she won’t make the Dublin date.
“Ben is actually based back home at that time so Aoife Belle will be staying back home with him and she’s got playschool in September so she has her own agendas and her own schedules,” she laughed. “The tour is spanning over three weeks so I get to come home in between. She’ll come along as well to a few of the shows.”
Playing in front of a home crowd can be daunting but Una said for her her family and friends give her extra encouragement. She explained: “Sometimes it does (be nerve wracking) when you look out into the crowd and recognise a few people, a lot of family and friends come along which is nice. They’re a great support, they love it and they really enjoy it so they give me even more encouragement more than anything.
“I love going back home and I’m so glad we never miss it on the list when we’re on tour, to go back to Dublin. I’m always saying, ‘make sure we don’t leave Ireland off the list’,” she laughed.
And things certainly aren’t slowing down for the girls. “This year is really jam packed right up until Christmas really, we’ve got the tour in September, I’ve got Una’s Dream Ticket, I’m recording that towards the end of the year for it to go out over Christmas as well and we’ve got quite a few gigs over Christmas as well. We’re also recording a new album as well so there’s that and hopefully another single as well,” Una explained.
And while it’s a hectic schedule she does get some downtime too. “I do, I definitely have my own private downtime, I would never neglect that obviously. I like to have my own private downtime,” Una added.
* The Saturdays’ Greatest Hits Live Tour comes to the Olympia Theatre, Dublin on 17 September with tickets available at www.ticketmaster.ie.
Their Finest Selection: Greatest Hits album is out on 8 August.