Introducing Mandy, Laura and Sam - the three members of the latest chart topping girl band, the chiX. This is the story of how it all began, before they were famous.
Oh, but we should not forget the other sister, Gladys. You might not have heard of her before. She's not in the band because she's too young and she's too geeky. But she is the brainiest. And although the others don't always admit it, they couldn't have gotten anywhere without her.
Story by Bertie.
Read by Natasha.
Proofread by Claire Deakin & Jana Elizabeth. Duration 14 mins. Picture of Gladys for Storynory by Tania Fernandes
Have you ever wanted to be lead singer in a band? I mean, have you ever picked up an old cardboard toilet roll, held it to your mouth, and pretended that it was a microphone?
Or have you ever found yourself tapping out a beat on the kitchen table with a couple of felt-tip pens? Or come up with a great new dance in front of the mirror?
I bet you have because almost everyone has… Everyone except Gladys. She had never done anything like that. She was much too clever to mistake a toilet roll for a microphone. But her three older sisters had all done it. Their names were Mandy, Laura and Sam, and all three of them loved dancing, and while they were dancing, they secretly imagined that they were on TV and everyone was watching them. They also dreamed what it would be like to be really, really famous. When they went to school, the kids on the bus would say: “Hey girls, you were great on TV last night.” Only they probably wouldn’t go on the bus to school anymore. The record company would give them a black stretch limo as long as the street and with dark windows. That’s how they would go around once they were famous.
One Saturday night, all four sisters were squashed together on the couch watching the Eurovision Song contest. If you don’t know what the Eurovision Song Contest is, that’s probably because you live in Mexico or somewhere twenty time zones away from Europe.
In fact Gladys remarked: “I wish we lived somewhere like Mexico or Alaska, and then we wouldn’t be able to watch this trash.”
But Laura said: “I expect all the Mexicans watch it on the Internet.” And Gladys had to admit that she hadn’t thought of that, because although she was the brainiest, she couldn’t always think of everything.
Just in case you are lucky enough never to have seen the Eurovision Song Contest, I had better tell you about it. It’s when all the worst bands in Europe get together and see who can come up with the corniest, cheesiest, naffest, most annoying tune; and who can dress up in the most ridiculous costume and look the silliest dancing and prancing around on stage. Only the bands taking part don’t always understand it that way. They probably think that they are really it! And do you know what? 100s of millions of people watch it every year. I’m not kidding. It’s that popular!
It’s true that quite a cool band called Abba once won it. But that was like, 7 zillion years ago. In fact, it was so long ago that Dad was still at school, and nobody cool has ever won it since.
Well Mandy, Laura and Sam liked watching it – There was a Danish man dressed up as woman, a Norwegian flamenco dancer, and a rugged Moldovian with blond hair extensions. They were just funny. The only band really worth seeing was from Ukraine. The singers were three beautiful but mean-looking girls with straight black hair falling over their white faces.
“You know what?” Said Mandy. “I bet we could do that. We could be just as good as them, and be on the Eurovision Song Contest. In fact, I bet we could win it.”
“Only the UK never get any points,” said Gladys.
“So? We say we’re from Montenegro. But what I’m pointing out, is that they are on telly, and like billions of people are watching them, and we are just as good-looking as they are and can dance just as well as they can.”
“But we can’t sing,” said Gladys.
“Well neither can they,” said Mandy. “Besides, Laura has a great voice. Everyone says so.”
Gladys still thought it was a silly idea so she said: “But Laura wears a tracksuit and gold bangles, even when she’s going out with her boyfriend. You can’t dress like that if you’re on TV.”
“Well, said Mandy, “when we’re famous, all the top designers will send us free gear, so Laura won’t have to wear a tracksuit unless she feels like it, like when she wants to go shopping and not get noticed by all the fans. Beside, you aren’t in this band, because you’re too young.”
“And too geeky,” added Laura.
Gladys hadn’t really thought about being in the band, but when they said that she wasn’t in it, she felt, well, a bit left out. It wasn’t fair. She could play the piano. If anyone was going to form a band, it ought to be her.
“Well at least I know how to read music, which is more than any of you lot,” she said. “So you’ll have to have me in your band because you won’t know what tune to sing.”
Laura scoffed: “Ah come off it who’s ever heard of a band that knows how to read music? We’re not the church choir! Now go and play computer games like a good little geek, while we get ready to be famous.”
“Yeah go on G-lady,” said Sam. “Stop annoying your older and better sisters. You aren’t in the band anyway, and it’s time to tuck your dollies up in bed.”
It was particularly annoying when Sam spoke like that, because she was born only a year and a half before Gladys, but she looked a lot older, especially when she put on make-up, so somehow people took her more seriously.
“I haven’t got any dollies,” said Gladys as she left the room, “unlike you darling Samantha. You’ve still got six! Besides, your band hasn’t even got a name – so it’s not a band at all. Goodnight.”
On Sunday afternoon, Gladys spent a lot of time on her homework, because she was working on a big project about Ancient Egypt and she had to research the pyramids on the Internet. Her three older sisters watched the music channel on TV and tried to copy some of the dance routines.”
Later that evening, they were still talking about what to call their girl band, because it wasn’t easy to come up with cool name.
“How about the Smith Sisters?” Said Mandy. You see, their name was Smith.
“Boring!” Said Laura.
“Or the Teddy Girls?” Suggested Sam. Because they lived in a place called Teddington.
“Too babyish,” said Mandy.
Dad was there for a while. He had got wind of this idea about forming a band – though nobody had actually told him about it. He said, “How about the Rich Girls?” Because he was hoping that they would pay for his retirement. The girls took no notice of him, however - they never did, so he went out to the front drive to fix his motorbike, which was how he usually spent Sunday evenings.
While they were talking, Gladys had been trying to imagine a name that both sounded good, and looked good when it was written down – like on a poster or an album cover.
When the others went quiet, she said: “I think, “chiX, spelt with a small c and a big X, because it’s a Chick Band and X looks like a kiss.”
“Yeah, or like, “Leave me alone,” which is cool,” said Laura. “But I bet there’s already a girl band called the chiX because it’s too good.”
Mandy searched iTunes and YouTube and she couldn’t find any other band with that name. They couldn’t think of anything else, so their name just sort of became 'chiX.' But somehow they didn’t quite remember that it was Gladys who had come up with it. It was just like they had always been the chiX ever since they were born.
Now all they needed was a song - but of course they didn’t have one. A week went by and the chiX almost got forgotten. Then next Saturday, when Dad came home from the football match, he said: “Hey girls, how’s your band going. Have you got a gig fixed up yet?”
“Of course they haven’t got a gig,” said Gladys. “They haven’t even got a song.”
Dad was disappointed. You could see from his face that in his mind, his darling daughters were already rich and famous and had bought their beloved daddy a new bike, a cottage by the sea, and a subscription to the sports channel.
Mandy said: “I’m working on it.”
“Oh go on Mandy, do sing it to me, pretty please. I’m sure it’s such a lovely song,” said Gladys. And Mandy looked annoyed.
“Well don’t cry. I’ll write you some words.”
“How could you write the lyrics for a song?” asked Laura. “You don’t know anything about relationships. You’re too young.”
“Not all songs are about relationships,” replied Gladys. “Some people think about other things apart from boys.”
And Mandy said: “Besides, before we start on any songs, we need to decide what sort of musical genre we’re going to do. I mean, are we going to be more like the Spice Girls, or the Sugababes?”
“Can anyone really tell the difference?” Asked Gladys. But that gave her an idea to work on. So she went up to her room, sat down at her desk and scribbled down a few ideas. Later she came to the living room and switched off the television. Her sisters started to say: “Ah come on Glad, what was that for?” But she took no notice. She stood in front of TV and read out her words:
“You’ve had your sugar
you’ve had your spice
now you’re looking
for something nice.
Not too sweet
and not too sharp
the chiX are here
to take your heart.”
“Not bad,” said Laura, “but sharp doesn’t rhyme with heart.”
“Well what do you want it to rhyme with? Harp? Besides it’s an internal rhyme, and I’ve got a chorus…
“But don’t you think
we’re an easy catch.
Don’t count your chiX
before they hatch!”
“Well at least that rhymes,” said Mandy. “Here, that’s not too bad. Did you really write those words yourself Gladdy?”
“Of course,” she said, and before she handed over her words she signed her name on the bottom and wrote: “Copyright Gladys Smith,” so that the others wouldn’t forget that she composed them.
Now the chiX had some words, all the needed was some music. I’ll tell you about how they made that another time soon.
And don’t forget – there are loads more stories on Storynory.com. So drop by soon, and listen to a few. For now, from me, Natasha, Bye bye!