The famously volatile Sugababes talk to Chris Salmon about hits, arrests, Girls Aloud - and why the bad times are now behind them

March 17, The Guardian

The Sugababes are discussing a bad habit. "We're not the only ones who do it, though," says Keisha Buchanan, the last of the original band members. "I had to stop Leona [Lewis] from doing it, too. It can ruin your day." "It seriously did ruin my day yesterday," sighs Amelle Berrabah, the trio's newest addition. "It was absolutely horrible. I felt really down afterwards."

Perched on a leather sofa in a London rehearsal studio, the threesome are talking about reading comments posted about them on the internet. Naturally, it's the unkind ones that stick in their minds. "I get things like, 'I hate that Keisha, she should just die'," says Buchanan. "Mine yesterday were more like, 'She's an ugly whore' and 'Look at her funny eyes'," adds Berrabah. "Someone said they hated my dog," says Heidi Range, the blonde, Scouse Sugababe. "How horrible is that? They haven't even met him." All three look genuinely outraged.

Happily, though, this modern-day equivalent of school toilet graffiti doesn't seem to have got them down today. The atmosphere in the rehearsal studio, where they are preparing for their mammoth 30-date UK tour, is bright, with all three visibly enjoying the run-throughs of their vocals (very impressive) and dance steps (slightly less so). "It's going well," says Range, "but the tour starts in a few days and we're definitely not ready. But it only ever feels really comfortable once you've been touring for a week."

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photo by guardian