Spice Girls Reunion: I'll Tell You What I Want, What I Really Really Want
Girls! You’re back! Six years too late to capitalise on that surge of Olympic goodwill or properly promote your dead and buried musical, but still. What’s important is that you’ve proven yourselves capable of spending more than five minutes in four of each other’s company - an Important Step. Geri’s ‘organic’ ‘sushi’ worked its magic back in February, clearly.
Even now you’ve come clean about your not-quite-handful of 2019 UK stadium bookings, speculation continues to fly about what else, exactly, you have planned. International dates? TV show? A Victoria Beckham Dover St sit-in? Mail Online has run about six hundred speculative pieces in the last 24 hours alone—a remarkable achievement in itself, given it’s been almost 20 years since you last released a studio album and the half-assed exercise in legacy disruption that was your 2007 reunion.
This stubborn spark of interest, girls, is why it’s so important you don’t get it wrong a second (Technically sixth, if we include Geri leaving; the Christmas 1998 tour; Mel C’s 1999-2001 hair; Forever; and aforementioned dead and buried musical) time. If things go tits up yet again you can wave your magic porridge pot of emergency divorce/solo career bailout cash goodbye—and yes, I’m talking primarily to you, Melanies B & C.
At the risk of sounding like Michael Barrymore, in khaki, at a fictitious Spice Girls training camp—if it’s not going to look better than CLOSING 2012 LONDON OLYMPICS ASTRIDE PERSONALISED TAXIS as a closing section on your Wikipedia page, for the love of god, DON’T DO IT.
Acceptable Spice reunion activities
An exhaustive, For-the-Fans, world bloody tour
The majority of your fans were children in 1998 (dependent on parents, no money) and then students in 2007 (still dependent on parents, also no money). You knew this. AND YET.
Compounding our decade-long Geri-leaving PTSD, you saw fit to sell a handful of tickets for £££££ via a weird lottery system, threw in the towel after barely 3 months, and—INEXPLICABLY—forgot to properly film anything. You’re lucky any of us are still down for this, and I’ve not even started on some of those 07/08 setlist ‘decisions’.
SO. THIS TIME. You will play Spice and Spiceworld in full. You will not dabble with terrible covers, doing the same song twice, or mute ‘runway’ ‘segments’. Add Hyde Park. Throw in some arenas. Wembley x 10, with bonus VB appearance. Cursory jaunt around the States, with multidisk Blu-ray released just in time for Christmas 2019. Job done. Melanie C can get cracking on her next solo opus ready for the 20th anniversary of I Turn To You (Hex Hector Radio Mix).
2. Spice World: The Movie II
Prior to his ousting and Geri’s subsequent bolt to Paris, Simon Fuller had a second film planned—a part-scripted, part-reality behind the scenes mockumentary of the 1998 Spiceworld tour. It sounded bloody amazing, and until yesterday the closest we had to Fuller’s dream were 2 minutes of Tesco adverts.
We can now add a further 60 seconds to our collection. In-jokes about Geri’s wanton attention-seeking, subtle ticker shout out to Mel C’s best solo single… if Monday’s Instagram announcement video wasn’t the backdoor pilot to a three hour-long televisual extravaganza, then frankly this whole reunion was for nothing. GET NETFLIX ON THE PHONE NOW, FULLER.
3. Cynical archive plundering
For a group that once licensed its likeness to hawk motorised scooters to prepubescents, the Spice Girls seemed curiously reluctant to sell anything in 2007. What with ‘Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)’, ‘Voodoo’ and those shit plastic bracelets, they may as well have stuck massive cigarette-style health warnings over their lazily bejewelled Greatest Hits collection (“MAY CAUSE SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH”).
Good news, girls! Your primary audience has paid employment now, as well as short memories, and we’re ready to buy EVERYTHING. We want album remasters, witty tote bags, Spiceworld on vinyl, and the Viva Forever fairies hidden in crisp packets (Kettle Chips this time round, please).
We’ve already discussed the necessity of a tour Blu-ray. As much as Song For Her would suggest otherwise, there has to be at least one non-awful Spice demo in the vaults. What about a sneaky bonus disc of unreleased tracks? (Geri, Melanie B, Emma—maybe leave this one to Melanie C).
4. Do some actual group appearances
Part of the original Spice magic was watching every TV interview descend into unpredictable, platformed chaos (Exhibit A: below encounter with Jamie Theakston; Exhibit B: every other 96-98 Spice clip on YouTube, plus handful of What-the-Hell-is-Up-With-Mel-C moments circa 2000).
Totally in keeping with the spirit of their winning 2007 reunion then, that they would do precisely zero proper TV spots and somehow even look cut-and-pasted into the comeback video they allegedly all filmed together. You’re welcome, Children in Need!
I’m happy to report that, just days into the new line-up, they’ve already reminded Radio 2 listeners that GERI HAD SEX WITH CHRIS EVANS and gone in for round II with Theakston. Things are shaping up nicely.
5. Act like you’re enjoying it
Let’s be realistic. We’re a girl down and I’m not entirely convinced Melanie C is here of her own accord. We need, as Melanie B would say in her various reality TV judging spots, ONE-HUNDRED-AND-TEN PER CENT from here on in.
For the avoidance of doubt, what that means in practice:
Curly hair (IN HORNS)
That cool white pantsuit you wore at the Olympics
NO SOLO ALBUMS
Platform shoes and union jack dresses a bonus.
Unacceptable reunion shenanigans
1. tv talent shows
Because judge spots on Britain’s Got Talent, America’s Got Talent, Asia’s Got Talent, Dancing On Ice, X Factor UK, X Factor USA, X Factor Australia, The Voice Kids Australia, Dancing With the Stars Australia, The Great American Baking Show, Your Face Sounds Familiar (???) and GOD KNOWS WHAT ELSE weren’t enough?
As discussed—beyond the scenes Netflix mockumentary, please. No other TV projects will be tolerated.
2. CHILDREN’S ANIMATION
Absolutely not. Next.
3. Melanie B’s usual nonsense
For someone who, since 2001, hasn’t ONCE stopped banging on about getting the Spice Girls back together, Melanie B has also proven herself uniquely capable of driving a metaphorical, on-fire Spice Bus through all said reunion efforts.
Whether it was forcing Geri out in the first place; bullying Sporty to the point of still writing sad songs about it TWENTY YEARS LATER; cutting the last tour short to spend more time with her abominable then-husband; or continual, clumsy Beckham-baiting; one thing is clear: Baby must be hard as nails.
It falls to you, then, Emma Bunton, to do what no one else can: CONTAIN MELANIE B. Cancel all her Loose Women bookings, do something with that suspicious hairdresser friend of hers, and lock her in the actual Spice Bus until absolutely needed for rehearsals.
4. New music
Now, I’m not saying the four remaining Spice Girls are totally incapable of producing decent music. It’s just… their collective discography* from 2007 onwards.
I’ve not totally given up hope of a Viva Forever 2.0, or a Never Give Up on the Good Times 2019. These are four women 80% responsible for two of the Objectively Greatest Pop Records of All Time, after all. But how about we get through the first set of tour dates and see how Geri’s lyric book’s looking then, eh?
5. Any attempt to replace the irreplaceable
One of the early rumoured Spice reunion ‘projects’—thankfully either entirely made up or otherwise correctly abandoned—posited to mount a global talent search for the ‘next’ Posh. As if such a thing exists!
Let us be clear. Victoria Beckham’s absence from what looks to be a sell-out fuck-fucking-Brexit party of towering homosexualist proportions is nothing less than a NATIONAL POP TRAGEDY. I’m missing her already—and we’ve not even got to Goodbye’s middle eight yet.
I can live with the occasional Adele guest spot. Perhaps even a resurrection of Geri’s original ‘2 Become 1’ verse. But all other VB lines, from “any fool can see they’re falling” to “HOLLA HOLLA, MAKE YOU SAY MY NAME” must be handed over to your crowds. We will keep them warm for her. For we know she will return.