10 terrible music acts designed to screw money out of parents

MUSIC producers quickly realised children and pre-teens were a lucrative market thanks to people known as ‘parents’. Here are some of the crap acts that were the result.

S Club 7

They’re back together and this time you’ll be paying for it instead of your weary parents. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia, but bear in mind ‘Get ‘em young’ was also the motto of the Jesuits and the Nazis.

S Club Juniors

Casting the net even younger, S Club 7’s management assembled S Club Juniors with the CBBC show S Club Search. Parents grudgingly coughed up the cash again, but at least Frankie Bridge was in The Saturdays’ Just Can’t Get Enough video, which was some recompense for dads.

One Direction

One Direction were surely intended to make parents weep as their girl children channelled their embryonic feelings of love into ‘official’ stationery sets and other tat. Still, it’s all a normal part of growing up until you become mature enough to send death threats to Taylor Swift, Caroline Flack or whichever unworthy female celeb was stealing your Harry.


The pretty-boy covers band were ideal for tweens due to being so unthreatening. Did they undergo surgery to remove all traces of sexuality? It seems likely. Ronan Keating should be examined to see if he’s like an Action Man down there. 

Early Kylie

Before Charlene off Neighbours morphed into a classy dance act with a big gay following, she was knocking out crap like The Locomotion for kiddies. All under the tutelage of the dark puppet master Pete Waterman, a man who loves Northern Soul so much he only made synth-pop toss.


People swear the strangely punctuated band had ‘hits’, but you try naming them if you weren’t a 12-year-old fan. Also unleashed gobshite self-publicist Myleene Klass on an unsuspecting world, and we’re still suffering for it today.

The Archies 

Back in the 60s Archie Comics created The Archies with their enduring hit Sugar, Sugar, a subject Haribo-obsessed children can relate to. It quickly gets extremely annoying but an animated band certainly cuts down on overheads like hotel bills, cocaine supplies, weird solo concept albums, etc.


Remember these test tube mutants? No one at their record company thought ‘Yes, the Hanson boys will have a broad fanbase of pre-teen girls and Mojo readers alike’. However they only had one hit, MMMBop, so the financial damage wasn’t too bad.


Hardly worth mentioning when Boyzone is already listed, but their phenomenal chart stats (16 number one singles, 34 top 50 singles, 13 top two albums) give a good idea of their manufactured nature. They’re still touring – the Far East this year for some reason – so why not see them at Singapore Stadium? For old times’ sake, get your elderly parents to pay.


No f**king around here, just suck some more cash out of parents whose kids owned the dolls. The vast Bratz franchise included numerous singles and albums, weirdly on Geffen, so technically they were stablemates of Nirvana and Snoop Dogg. However they barely charted anywhere except Norway, where a dad called Olaf probably regrets wasting his kroner to this day.

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The 15 rules that apply to everyone except you

EVERYONE agrees that rules are essential to a functioning society. But that doesn’t mean you, obviously. You’re special, so you’re allowed to ignore the following rules.

Dog shit bags

Most people have to bag their dog’s crap and put it in the nearest bin, but luckily for you the bridle path where you walk your dog has a magical Dog Shit Fairy, who comes when everyone’s asleep and collects the bag of dog shit from the tree branch you’ve hung it on.


Chumps who drive VWs and Skodas stick to the speed limits, but you’ve got places to be. People who do 70 on a motorway should actually be fined for holding your Range Rover up.

Traffic lights

‘Amber gamblers’ like you ought to be applauded for reducing traffic. If everyone stopped on amber, there’d be massive queues building up. If there were more road users like you, going for a drive would be a pleasure.

Shopping trolleys

The supermarket trolley guy would have a pretty dull day if all he did was check on the trolley bays. By abandoning your trolley next to where you parked, you’re actually livening up his day with a visit to part of the car park he doesn’t normally see.

Cycling on the pavement

Pavements are for pedestrians only, but you were only riding on the pavement ‘for a bit’ and you weren’t going that fast. If that’s not a watertight legal defence then what is?

Paying taxes

Paying tax is for poor people, not wealthy businessmen like you. Even ordinary self-employed people shouldn’t have their taxes wasted by bureaucrats on stationery. Do complain bitterly when you have to wait at the GP’s because the receptionist hasn’t got the right form or can’t find a biro.

Indicating at roundabouts

The Highway Code clearly says that drivers should use their indicators at roundabouts ‘except anyone driving a BMW or an Audi’.

Photocopier étiquette

The rule is that if the paper tray runs out while you’re printing something, you fill it up. Same for the ink cartridges. But if you followed the rule, Trevor in accounts wouldn’t have anything to whinge about, and he loves whingeing, so you’re actually doing him a favour.

Contacting your staff at home

Had Moses had more space on his tablets, God would have given him an 11th Commandment – thou shalt not contact thy staff on their days off. But your staff are different – they don’t mind it when you email or text them at home because they’re lucky to have such a great boss like you.

Cinema etiquette

No talking during a film? No using your phone? How on earth are you supposed to find out the name of that actress you vaguely recognise without waiting for the credits?


When you’ve finished your fast food, you can either leave the packaging carelessly strewn about your car like an eyesore until you get home or you can simply roll down a window and chuck it on the verge. Opt for tidiness every time.

The quiet carriage

Being in the quiet carriage doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make any noise – that would be ludicrous. It means everyone else should be quiet so you can hear better when you’re on the phone.

Parliamentary expenses rules

How on earth are you supposed to scrape a living as an MP on a paltry £84k a year without fiddling your expenses? Horses can’t install their own central heating. They’ve got hooves.

Cleaning the bath 

‘It’s YOUR filth so YOU should be the one to clean it’ runs the argument. Did the 20 million victims of Stalin worry about the odd pube in the bath? Sense of perspective, please.

Shag pile carpet in the bathroom

Interior design rules say bathrooms should have vinyl or wood flooring – something easy to wipe clean. But you’re an 80-year-old pensioner and no one’s going to tell you what to do. That weird stained bit of carpet round the toilet? That’s part of the pattern.