Lee puts his honeymoon on hold to step out on a festive thank-you to fans
Some things are worth postponing your honeymoon for; for Lee Latchford-Evans it was the lure of a pre-Christmas UK tour with group-mates Steps.
Lee married fellow singer Kerry-Lucy Taylor, from the girl band Concrete Rose, in a glitzy ceremony at a Surrey mansion earlier this month. But instead of jetting off to sunnier climes with his new wife, Lee went straight into rehearsals with Claire Richard, Lisa Scott-Lee, Faye Tozer and Ian "H" Watkins for their forthcoming dates across the country, starting with a show at Plymouth Pavilions next weekend.
"When this Steps tour came up, the wedding had already been planned for almost a year," says Lee. "But I'm sure we will manage to get away together soon. Christmas is one of my favourite times of year and it will be really nice for Kerry-Lucy and I to spend Christmas Day alone together for the first time. I used to be in panto every year, so it's going to be nice and romantic and calm this year."
But not quite yet – there are vocal arrangements, costume designs and setlists to sort out for a relatively intimate outing that comes on the back of a sell-out arena tour earlier this year.
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Steps were the most successful easy-listening pop vocal group of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Formed in 1997, the five-piece have sold 20 million records, and achieved 14 consecutive top five singles. They have won countless awards and enjoyed sell-out shows across the globe. The group disbanded in December 2001 and reformed in May 2011 for a four-part documentary TV series titled Steps: The Reunion. The forthcoming concerts, promoting their new album, Light Up The World, are going to be rather special, according to Lee.
"It's going to be very intimate and a special thank-you to the fans who have supported us – more like an audience with Steps. It's going to be mentally rougher than the arena tour," he says.
"We're going to have a live band, which we have never done before. And rather than just Christmas songs, we're going to be singing a lot of winter warmers and some hits that we didn't perform on the last tour."
They apparently sat down with 30 or 40 songs and put together a set that balances their party and ballad side.
"We are all in our 30s and more mature now; the girls have got their children; but we're not going to be sitting on stools for two hours. And it's still going to be a glamorous show with two or three costume changes."
The LP is their first release on their own Steps Recordings label and their first collection of new recordings for more than a decade.
Steps play Plymouth Pavilions on Friday, November 30. Box office: 0845 146 1460 or www.plymouthpavilions.com.