S Club may have catapulted to fame back in the nineties, but singer Jo O’Meara has revealed that she still feels “sheer panic” before stepping out on stage.
After announcing that they’d be touring the UK as part of their reunion tour back in February, S Club members Bradley McIntosh, Jon Lee, Rachel Stevens, and Tina Barrett are just weeks away from kicking off their 15-date string of live shows.
And now, speaking to OK!, Jo has opened up about her excitement to be back on the road once again, though has admitted that the nerves don’t get any easier.
“My legs will be buckling when I walk out on stage. They’ll be like jelly. I can't speak for the other band members but I get this sudden memory block and I think I don't know any of it,” she says.
“I think there's just sheer panic. It happens every time I step out on stage – I think I don't know words. Suddenly in those few seconds before the house lights go up, I think I don't know any of it. That's always a bit of a scary thing, but it always comes back.”
But with hits including Reach, Don’t Stop Movin and Bring It All Back, S Club’s songs are recognisable to fans up and down the country – something which Jo says helps make those initial moments on stage a little less daunting.
“It’s why it's so good that fans know the words because when I don't in one of those moments, I put the mic out and they sing them back,” Jo, 44, adds.
Following the death of bandmate Paul Cattermole in April, Jo has opened up about how the tour will be “emotional” as S Club endeavour to “celebrate” their beloved friend.
“Paul was so excited for the tour, so it's very important that we honour him. He's with us all the time, he’s with us every day, so there's going to be some emotional moments during the tour,” she says.
“We want to celebrate how amazing Paul was and do the very best job that we possibly can.”
Away from her time in rehearsals and in the recording studio, Jo recently visited Yorkshire Wildlife Park where she filmed the three-part documentary series, No Ordinary Zoo.
As part of the series, Jo went behind the scenes with her friend Cindy Lou and the pair got stuck into everything from feeding the sea lions to crafting enrichment activities for the lemurs.
“The best part about going behind the scenes with Yorkshire Wildlife Park was seeing the hard work that goes on. There's so much work that goes on to make a park of that scale run smoothly – every single staff member was so committed and passionate. I found it really inspiring,” says Jo.
Following her time at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Jo is keen to encourage others to look after the planet to help save animals from extinction.
“Hearing about the conservation work going on was amazing because the way the world is going, I don’t think we’re taking good enough care of these animals.
"Before long, they're going to become extinct and we will only ever be able to see him in a book. That's a very heartbreaking and sad reality,” she explains.
“My message is we've got to look after the animals, look after the planet and respect the animals. We need them and they need us.”
No Ordinary Zoo starring Jo O’Meara at the award winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park is out now. View all three episodes here.
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