News today that ‘80s Brit boy band Bros are contemplating a reunion comes as a shock. As the picture above shows, I thought it had already happened!
Seriously, though, the picture records my meeting with the ludicrously handsome Matt Goss in early 2010, on the eve of his reincarnation as a Las Vegas lounge singer. We sat in the suite at Caesar’s Palace where The Hangover was filmed, though there was sadly no tiger in residence that day, and he told me then that he was open to a Bros reunion.
Talent-spotted by the manager of the Pussycat Dolls, Matt Goss was about to start a residency performing Bros hits, old jazz standards and new material on a giant, garishly painted indoor boat called Cleopatra’s Barge. As you do. Giant billboards of his unfeasibly sharp cheekbones and five-day stubble sprang up all over Sin City, complete with the optimistic caption, “This century’s Sinatra”.
I found Matt charming, talkative, and working that dapper British gent look to the max: sharp shoes, a three-piece suit with a watch chain and cool tattoos poking out from under the sleeves, and a hat that he was happy to admit was less a foppish affectation than a disguise for a receding hairline (takes one to spot one).
He had one funny story about growing up with his brother Luke, who is now a reasonably successful Hollywood actor with credits including Blade II and Hellboy II. After moving from Camberwell in south London to the country, the twins used to make their own entertainment by throwing darts at each other across the fields and trying to dodge – until Matt got one stuck in his ribs.
He also described himself as a savvy business-man, having “learned the hard way” when Bros put on a hubristic concert at Wembley Stadium. “The show broke even,” he said, “but we didn’t understand the difference between ‘net’ and ‘gross’, and we were contracted to pay someone 20% of gross profits! It cost us a fortune. So now I pay attention!”
It obviously had a positive effect on Bros’ bassist, too. Craig Logan left Bros at the height of its fame, still aged just 19, and fought six successive legal actions with the label to recoup any share of the money. Logan is now a bona fide music mogul, managing artists such as Tina Turner, Sade and Pink. He’s never been keen on the idea of getting back on stage, so getting him to agree to a reunion is a coup.
There’s just one snag: how can the three schoolfriends from Surrey who conquered America now sing When Will I Be Famous with a straight face?