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Sad farewell to classical boy band; MUSIC.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come...

As of September 1, G4 will be no more.

It may not rank as highly as the break-up of The Beatles or Bambi's mother getting shot, but there will be a few tears at the NIA tomorrow night when Ben Thapa, Matt Stiff, Jon Ansell and Mike Christie, aka X Factor runners-up G4, play their last ever concert in Birmingham.

Well, never say never...

"I remember reading an interview with Take That where they said they wished they'd never said that they wouldn't get back together and I think it was really poignant - now look what they've done," says Jon.

"You never know; at the moment when just want to go away, spend

some time apart from each other - if someone had said when we finished college that a year later we were going to have an album out, done a tour and recording a second album we'd have laughed at them - so you can never say never."

One of the big success stories of recent TV talent shows, the vocal quartet shocked fans when they announced their split last month.

Three years, five tours and three albums down the line, they've outsold not only Steve Brookstein, who edged them to win the 2004 series of The X Factor (but has since faded), but many other established artists - in one year shifting a mammoth 1.2 million albums.

Not bad considering they only applied to The X Factor for a laugh.

"We went there initially just to have a quote on the poster for an upcoming concert," says Jon.

"I saw the advert and thought 'why not just go for it', and thought we might end up on the joke DVD and Simon Cowell might say 'you're alright'... then it turned into this - insane!

"Even in the early stages of the live finals we didn't have a clue we were going to get anywhere," he insists.

"Every single week we thought we were going home, that's why our reactions when we did get through were so funny because it meant so much to us."

They will now go their separate ways to pursue individual interests, all still involving music: "We all have such different passions."

Ben explains. "We've always been pretty resolute as individuals (a word each uses more than once in our conversation).

"We've always had ideas about what we wanted to do in the future," adds Ben, who plans to move to Dublin this autumn to follow a career in classical singing.

"It was the right time to move on; for me classical music is my first love, I'm going back into that and hope one day of being a classical singer, that's a big dream for me.

"I imagine when we wake up on September 1 it's going to be really weird, to be in the same place and same surroundings - so just to get out and try something different, a different pace and place for me is going to be really really crucial."

G4 play the NIA tomorrow.


Ben Thapa, Matt Stiff, Jon Ansell and Mike Christie perform as G4 in Birmingham's HMV store to promote their last album; Jon Perks mourns the end of classical combo G4
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 25, 2007
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