ManBand: 'NSYNC For The Married Set

London publicity company forms pop outfit of 50-year-old men.

Joey Fatone Sr.'s Not So Boy Band isn't the only middle-aged manufactured

singing group hoping to change the face of pop music.

On the other side of the pond, a London publicity company has followed

through with their plans to form the ManBand, a variation of hugely popular

"boy bands" like 'NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, with all five members 50 or

older.

Reese Cannon, Al Hodge, Les Short, Tony Walthers and Gordon Kenny were

chosen from more than 2,500 applicants who performed songs of their own

choice, along with a Boyz II Men tune, for judges at 15 Minutes, the company

behind the band.

Now that the group has been selected, they will head into a studio next week

to record their first single, most likely a cover (though what song it will be is

being kept under wraps). Soul singer Roy Hemmings and songwriter Cliff Nash,

along with the producers behind the up-and-coming girl group the Sugarbabes,

will work in the studio with the ManBand.

Although 15 Minutes' Kizzi Nkwocha promises it will be pop material, Cannon

said a better term is "adult contemporary."

"That will cover basically everything," Cannon, a 50-year-old Akron, Ohio,

native, said. "We're at that age where nobody is really catering to the 35

and overs. That's an entirely different market that nobody is hitting with

anything new.

"A lot of pop songs now are selling sex, and we're kind of past that stage,"

he added. "We're all married now. We don't go out and advertise those

things."

Unlike contrived bands like New Kids on the Block or the Spice Girls, each

of the members in ManBand, who have sung in the past with artists ranging

from Tina Turner to Sting, also play an instrument, Cannon said. They hope

to record their own music on the album. "That's what will set us off from

the young guys," he said. "None of them actually play instruments."

Cannon first heard about ManBand on the radio and decided to try out

immediately (see "Wanted: Backstreet Men For Older-Is-Better Pop Group").

Like the other members, the retired military officer is a longtime

performer.

"We don't have anything to lose," Cannon said. "Sure, somebody has gotten us

together, but if we tried to do this on our own, we would have had a lot of

problems."

Despite their generic name and erratic exposure, the ManBand is taking

itself seriously. Orlando's Not So Boy Band began as a joke and are now

touring with 'NSYNC (see "Joey Fatone's Pops Kicks It Old-School With

NSB2").

"We've been around awhile in England," Cannon said. "Some of us have

followings already. People will know we're serious."