90s Pop Necromancy: S Club 7 and the Occult

On the 30th November, former teen heart throb and 90s pop star Paul Cattermole announced that his latest business venture was to deliver tarot card readings via his new YouTube channel. The British press picked up on this like a nostalgic gundog and headlines along the lines of ‘Paul off’ve S Club 7 is a fortune teller now’ were rife. Naturally, the collision of the worlds of 90s pop and the esoteric resulted in my inbox being flooded with forwarded posts of Paul’s new career. Indeed, if only there had been a sniff of dodgy knitwear and budget wine, the story would have all my key interests covered.

For the uninitiated, S Club 7 were a 90s pop group, put together by former Spice Girls manager, Simon Fuller (hence the ‘S’ in ‘S Club’). The group were together for 5 years, having a string of top 10 hits, a tv show – Miami 7, and even a film – Seeing Double. They were a teenybopper sensation and won a huge amount of awards for their heavily choreographed hits, and their other media output. Paul was the first to leave the band, preferring to dedicate his time to his (now this dates things) nu-metal band, Skua. Sadly Skua never made the big time and Paul has been kicking about the theatre and reality tv scene ever since.

Not to critique my favourite male member of S Club (my favourite girl was Hannah, thanks for asking) but his new YouTube tarot promises are vague. Paul claims to provide ‘Tarot readings for everyone’, being ‘general, collective, individual, timeless and also random Tarot readings, most often short and to the point…but sometimes long.’ Thanks for clearing that up, Paul. The 44 year old former pop star will provide monthly readings for all 12 signs of the zodiac, with the promise of additional ‘bonus readings’ when the cards, or the mood, takes him. Rather ominously, Paul also provides a disclaimer for his new mystical services, warning that ‘This Tarot Channel is in no way responsible with what you do with the information provided in these tarot readings. Don’t make big important choices based on Tarot readings.’ As jarring as it sounds coming from a former Smash Hits-pinups’ mouth, our Paul has a point; anything a little left-field should always be taken with a pinch of salt.

Nonetheless, I wish Paul the very best and I look forward to watching his glittering career in divination take off in earnest. I will also argue another thing. We should have seen this coming. Indeed, if one looks into S Club 7’s peppy back catalogue of bubblegum bangers, there are the tentative signs of occult obsession. This isn’t a case of playing Judas Priest records backwards in a courtroom to argue satanic intent; S Club 7 were brazen occultists, hidden in plain sight. To argue this rock-solid point, I have prepared a small selection of songs to support my argument. You’re welcome.

Never Had a Dream Come True (2000)

Never had a dream come true? That’ll be a confession of prophetic dream divination then! In this Children in Need charity single from 2000, the fresh-faced collective unveil their belief in oneiromancy. Oneiromancy is the process of interpreting dreams, a skill considered a divine act across many cultures. Just look at Joseph of Technicolour Dreamcoat fame! The principles of oneiromancy are simple, in that dreams are messages sent from deities or from the dead, predominantly as advice or as warnings. Supposedly the song is about a break-up. A likely story. As Jo O’Meara sings ‘There’s no use looking back or wondering how it could be now or might’ve been…’ we know this is a veiled reference to her frustrating inability to break through the veil of death and into transcendental knowledge.

Reach (2000)

‘Reach for the stars!’ they sang, bold as brass. That’ll be some heavy-duty astrology then. This feel-good summer hit inspires children to follow their dreams and reach their goals, but also to ‘climb every mountain high’. Why? That’ll be to get a better look at the stars with your Polydor-funded telescope then. Is it any wonder that Paul moved away from a band-wide obsession with the zodiac and moved into the familiarity of the Tarot. What star sign is Paul? With his birthday on March 7th, that’ll make him a Pisces. According to the authority on astrological readings – Cosmopolitan Magazine – Paul’s Pisces traits make him a ‘dreamboat’, being flirtatious and charming, but also emotional and introverted. With such attractive qualities, it’s clear that Paul will be pegging himself as a future YouTube star.

Bring it all Back (1999)

Well this spells necromancy to me! S Club 7’s debut single nails their colours to the mast, with the fresh-faced contingent professing their desire to raise the dead. Perhaps suggesting a want for a zombie apocalypse, they tell listeners that ‘when the world seems to get too tough, bring it all back to you’ and that ‘you are your own destiny.’ Namely, they imply that when life becomes unbearable, summoning an undead army is the next logical step and your given right. Your destiny.

The red flags were there from the beginning, yet we chose to dance along and dig no deeper into their sinister plans. Whether Paul is carrying on in the rich tradition of S Club occultism and has slipped up with this media storm, or whether he is attempting to expose the true nature of S Club is unclear. All we can do is to wish him well with his new venture, but never let him out of our sight.

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Additional:

I got very carried away with reading into S Club songs and noted the following connections. Like this whole article, they seemed too stupid to leave out.

Two in a Million (1999) – A clear confession of a mastery of numerology. Nostradamus links with Top of the Pops appearances? Worth a look.

Natural (2000) – This Rachel Stevens-led hit is a gentle ballad about being a Hedge Witch, being ‘Natural’ and ‘in her DNA’. (Potential – Her solo hit ‘Sweet Dreams my LA Ex’ may be an indictment of black magic..)

Bring the House Down (2001) – ‘Raise the roof and get on the floor’… ‘we’re flying away.’ That’ll be telepathy then.

Show Me Your Colours (2001) – A ballad about aura reading and enchantment. ‘You cast your spell over me…show me your colours.’ An unhealthy relationship with a master of witchcraft perhaps? Or a weekend at a Mind, Body and Spirit event.

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