Watching Mel C step up onto the stage for her headline slot at Manchester Pride last Friday, I was thinking, this could go one of two ways for her, she could ace it or crash miserably. I will say now that I was a huge Spice Girls fan in the day and will still spice up my life at the merest opportunity, however I’ve never seen a solo Spice performance before.
Solo has often been a mixed blessing for our five divas. Obviously Posh has done the best with her fashion empire and hopelessly perfect family and don’t we just love her for it? Sporty got off to a promising start with Northern Star but realistically recording success has been a rollercoaster at best. The others were last seen trying to breathe new life into the Spice phenomenon with GEM (Geri, Emma and Mel B) which, thank goodness, didn’t ever see the light of day leaving Geri guest hosting This Morning, Emma designing kids clothes for Argos and Mel B a stalwart of TV talent shows.
So you can understand my concern for Sporty as she walked out to huge screams. Could she deliver? Were the crowd just after Spice nostalgia? Can she hold a performance on her own? Well she did, in bucketloads, singing, dancing, banging drums and bantering with the audience in a much more confident way than she ever did when overshadowed by louder colleagues.
It wasn’t until she introduced new song, A Version Of Me, that it got me thinking about what shape success should take. The song is a response to someone who bullied her in the past, we all have our suspects and the crowd screamed one name in particular but I’ll leave that to you to draw your own conclusions. In pretty much the blink of an eye she went from vulnerable to belting out this song in total defiance and it was a real eye opener.
Mel C, the quiet, seemingly bullied one with the eating disorder who just wanted to sing and dance is now doing exactly what she wants. Headlining a major Pride event, looking hot in a spangly jumpsuit and heels that even Posh might balk at, she looked free as a bird as she joked with the crowd during a technical hitch and even pulled Spice hit, Say You’ll Be There out of the bag although it has to be said, she did look uncomfortable singing it in comparison with her other stuff.
So I guess the moral of the story is that bullies tend to get left behind. This Spice Girl is dancing to her own tune now and I, for one, hope she sticks to that tune and doesn’t give in to silly reunions. Having said that, if they released tickets I’d be there in a heartbeat.