They made waves in the music industry with trademark spoken-word breakdowns which launched them to stardom.

Now, hit Brit-pop girl group the All Saints are back together and coming to perform in New Zealand for the first time ever this summer.

Shaznay Lewis, Melanie Blatt and Nicole and Natalie Appleton formed the group in London in 1993, going on to release hit songs like Never Ever, Black Coffee and Pure Shores.

They came to New Zealandfor an extensive promo tour in the early 2000s, and Blatt returned to judge our version of The X-Factor in 2015, alongside controversial judges Willy Moon and Teddy Sinclair (formerly Natalia Kills).


Reminiscing about New Zealand on the phone from London, the Appleton sisters say they simply remember it being "the most beautiful place, it had the most beautiful sky".

But they're not coming to sightsee - "we've got 18 years to make up for".

All Saints will return in January to play Vine Days along with fellow early 2000s hitmaker Craig David and Kiwi talents Aaradhna and Opensouls.

Discussing how, as a nostalgia act, they fit into the current music scene, Natalie says: "We're just glad to be part of it, we're glad to be doing it. I don't know how we slot in or where we stand, we're just grateful to be able to do this and be able to go out on tour and do gigs for who we are."

That much wasn't always a given; All Saints faced a fair amount of criticism in their prime and spoke out about not fitting into the pop scene dominated by the likes of the Spice Girls and Britney Spears, and run largely by men.

"I think we were sometimes considered difficult because we would maybe disagree or stick to our guns and I think that we were kind of lucky because we had each other at the time and we were four strong characters together and managed to get as far as we did because of that," says Nicole.

"It was a different time then, it was harder. But it's amazing this time around...we're now independent, we're literally in control of everything we do, we've got an amazing team around us...we're blessed and lucky to have them."

After going their separate ways in 2001 and embarking on solo projects, All Saints reformed in 2014 for a tour. They'd always stayed in touch as friends, however, and after getting a second taste of the limelight, it was hard to resist.

"But we thought; 'If we're going to do any more of this, we better have new music'. And Shaz was up for writing so here we are," says Natalie, saying the reformation was "just a natural thing".

And while they've just released their new album, Testament, in July, they promise to play "all the old hits" for fans at Vine Days.

"Without a doubt we can't wait to perform the old hits because we never really got to perform them so it's new for us to do it there," says Natalie.

"We'd never not do the old stuff because that's who we are - that's what made us who we are. We'll still bring something new because we enjoy doing new stuff as well, but the nostalgia will be there 100 per cent.

"It's mad, it really is, it's overwhelming because you forget - especially having that break and then coming back - then you see the people in the audience and sometimes you think, 'were you even born when this came out? And they're singing back all the lyrics word for word - it's really something else, it's amazing. So we're super-duper excited to come to New Zealand."

Who: Natalie and Nicole Appleton from All Saints
What: Vine Days with Craig David, Aaradhna and Opensouls
Where: Villa Maria Winery, January 27