Girls Aloud kick off reunion tour dedicated to late bandmate Sarah Harding

18 May 2024, 06:39 | Updated: 18 May 2024, 08:41

Girls Aloud have taken to the stage for the first gig of their reunion tour with emotional tributes to their late bandmate Sarah Harding.

A 30-minute delay to the show blamed on "Dublin motorway closures", did nothing to dim the delight of fans when Nadine Coyle, Cheryl, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh appeared on stage, standing on individual podiums singing their 2008 song Untouchable.

The comeback tour has been dedicated to Harding, who was diagnosed with cancer and died in September 2021 aged 39.

During the show, the group performed a duet with Harding, whose vocals to I'll Stand By You played as they joined in live on-stage.

They later sang one of their biggest hits, The Promise, during which the singers stopped and turned their backs to the audience to watch footage of Harding performing the song on her own.

A post on the official Girls Aloud X account said: "Show 1 done. Dublin you were absolutely INCREDIBLE. What a start to the #TheGirlsAloudShow tour."

The singers won Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 and formed Girls Aloud, going on to achieve four UK number one singles and a Brit award.

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They reunited with new music for their 10th anniversary in 2012, while a second reunion was planned for their 20th anniversary when Harding was diagnosed with cancer.

Less than an hour before their expected arrival at the 3Arena in Dublin, the group issued an updated stage time on X.
It said due to "Dublin motorway closures", the band would arrive 30 minutes later than expected at 9.15pm.

Ahead of the show, a post on the official Girls Aloud X account said: "Rehearsals? Done. Choreography? Ready. Outfits? Fitted. Girls? Aloud.

"...We've been working so hard to make this show special for all of you."

After two back-to-back opening nights in Dublin's 3Arena, Girls Aloud will play two concerts at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Monday and Tuesday, before heading to the Manchester AO Arena from Thursday to Saturday.

In November, the group had to add six extra dates to their UK and Ireland 2024 arena tour due to "unprecedented demand" following ticket pre-sales.