if girl power still exists, what is it? If the reports are to be
believed, it's pocketing a whopping £50m from 17 London concerts and,
at £75 a ticket, rubbing their hands at the prospect of another
windfall from their three sell-out Manchester dates.
course the group maintain the motivation for returning hasn't been cold
hard cash. And they insist they've come back up north after they missed
the provinces on their last tour and found themselves bombarded with
complaints.Click the green play button on the right to hear
an exclusive interview with the Spice Girls, starting with the group's
memories of living in Kirkstall.
"We actually have to say a
massive thank you for that," said Mel C, presumably addressing the
north of England. "I told the girls all about it, Mel B was over in LA
and I actually woke her up because we were so overwhelmed by all the
emails we received trying to get us here."
"And it worked!" added Mel B.
two northern members of the band are particularly pleased to be in this
neck of the woods since they know Manchester's close enough to attract
fans from Sporty's native Liverpool and Scary's home city of Leeds.To see stunning photos of the Spice Girls, click here.
"I'd love to play Leeds," said Mel B.
we have a really big stage set up with this tour and we're reluctant to
make the show smaller, so we need something as huge as Manchester Arena
And since they can fill a 21,000-capacity arena three times over, who could blame them?
if girl power is the ability to make thousands of fans part with
millions of pounds is it done by means of seduction or, as a cynic
might suggest, a bit of a con?
For a start they are no longer girls, a fact which is obvious during the interview as they are sitting just a few feet away.
These are fully fledged thirtysomething women with a backstage creche and character lines to prove it.
that they don't look impressive. Although their appearances are often
judged harshly – with Posh supposedly lauding it at the top and sporty
languishing somewhere near the bottom in the aesthetic stakes – there's
actually not much to choose between them.
Mrs Beckham may be
famed for her skinny frame but even standing next to her none of the
other band members could be described as anything other than svelte.
overall verdict? Posh's harsh tilted bob is distractingly odd. Baby is
the natural beauty. Ginger looks the oldest. Scary is indeed scary (and
sexy) and Sporty unquestionably the most endearingly attractive.
be fair, they've chosen to be interviewed in a dimly-lit room and since
they're minutes from going on stage on their first night at Manchester
they're all covered in a thick layer of make-up.
Pop lambs they ain't – but there's still no mutton in sight.
we get back on stage we're just children again, anyway," said Emma. "We
might go backstage and feed our own kids but when we're out there it's
just one big party.
"If anything having our kids with us
actually adds to the sense of fun, there's a very playful, happy
atmosphere going on all the time." said Mrs Beckham.
And, as if
on cue, in walks Mr Beckham with their three sons, closely followed by
Emma's boyfriend Jade and their five-month-old son Beau Lee Bunton.
David later makes an appearance at the gig walking hand in hand with Mel B's eldest daughter, Phoenix Chi.
precede a young woman, possibly a nanny, carrying a little baby with a
giant pair of headphones on its head. Could this be Angel, Mel B's
daughter with Hollywood superstar Eddie Murphy?
journalists are warned not to broach the subject of the turbulent
wrangles with her ex-partner. "Good reporters know which roads not to
go down" was the line.
Several interviews in the States, where
interest in the Murphy/Mel B stand-off is even greater, were apparently
brought to an abrupt end when US hacks dared to go down that road.
We avoid it, not least because Mel B doesn't seem in quite as talkative a mood as the rest of the group.
the Leeds-born lass, raised largely in Burley and a pupil at Intake
High School in Bramley, perks up when she hears her home city mentioned
– so too, unexpectedly, do the other band members.
totally made me who I am today," said Scary. "Apart from being with
this lot and travelling the world – your childhood experiences mould
It's at this point that Geri shouts a word you would never expect to hear come from her lips.
The other band members stare at her.
you remember all of us sleeping in your bed in Kirkstall?" she
continues. "It must have been 10 or 12 years ago, we were recording in
Sheffield, we didn't even have a record deal then."
Then Mel B remembers: "Oh yes, it was my mum's house."
said: "We were top-and-tailing in this tiny house in Kirkstall, mucking
in together, eating chips and, erm, what do you call those things.....
"Scraps!" laughs Mel B.
"That's right, scraps, love those," said Geri.
"Oh and bread cakes!" chips in Emma.
Mel B said: "We didn't go out in Leeds though, it wasn't quite as happening 10 or 15 years ago as it is now."
"But I seem to remember we did have a great house party there," recalls Emma. "In fact it's great to be back up north.
"Do you know I think I've got more northern friends than I have southern friends?"
Geri said: "Totally! I think between the two Mels the north has had such a huge impact on my life."
added: "Which is why we wanted to be here so much and it's great that
we could come for all the fans who said they wanted us to."
"I really admire the northern determination – you tell us what you want and you get it!" said Geri.
interjects: "In all seriousness though, the support you've shown all of
us is fantastic and that's why it's nice to come back and say thanks.
Personally I have such fond memories of living in the north."
or off the stage, the Spice Girls are obviously consummate performers.
Developed over years in the business, they can consistently wrongfoot
reporters with a fearless charisma.
Like residents of tropical
climes who have to constantly negotiate omnipresent flies, they're at
once relaxed, playful and sometimes irritated by our intrusion. But
they always accept our inevitable presence and deal with it.
main weapon is the obvious dynamic between the five. Sporty is their
mainstay, Baby is quietly confident while Posh is amusingly
Interestingly Ginger is often prone to scatty
blonde moments, in contrast to Mel B who seems quietly mocking,
occasionally laughing at Geri throughout the interview. It's easy to
see how (assuming the rumours are true) these two could clash.
So is this a facade of unity? Another part of a possible con?
it is, it works. As a unit – as a five-strong unit – hacks posing even
the most awkward of questions somehow feel more nervous than the Spice
Girls might feel having to answer them.
If there is any friction here, these pros are unlikely to let anyone exploit it.
fact it's easy to get swept along in the flow of saccharin-sweet
sentiment which glazes their comeback. Not least because it's hard to
understand why, since all their dates are sell-outs, they actually need
Perhaps, just perhaps, there
is no con. Maybe it's all seduction and £75 is a fair price to pay.
There's even a chance the group really are touring to say something to
the fans and not merely to feed a cash cow.
"We've been asked about this time and time again," said Mel C. "But the purpose of this tour is to celebrate our past successes.
have no intention of continuing as a group and that's why we haven't
released new material other than the two tracks on our greatest hits
"We're big fans of Take That and they're really deserving
of their new success with their new stuff. But we don't want to follow
that path; we're quite happy with what we've done."
with characteristic ineptitude, said: "I don't think the music industry
is a very nice business to be in and, personally, I wouldn't want to be
in the industry anymore."
This prompts a huge laugh from the
rest of the band who perhaps can't believe she has just inferred what
the Spice Girls do isn't, strictly speaking, music.
"What I mean is," she continues, "what we're doing now is more about jus
t having fun and a laugh on tour with our families around us."
C tries to retrieve the message: "The point is, it's very much about
nostalgia. Also, we've seen our fans grow up and have their own
children and there's a whole new generation of Spice Girls fans out
"Plus we've had the chance to appreciate it much more.
Everything happened so quickly, so all-at-once first time around and we
never thought about it ending.
"But now we know it can't last forever, so we enjoy every second of it."
then, for any Spice Girls fan, comes the concluding body blow which
suprisingly comes from Baby Spice: "We're taking each day at a time.
We're having a rest first and then going to see what happens because you never know what's round the corner.
"But our main aim in coming back was to celebrate the Spice Girls, give something back to our fans and say a proper goodbye."
The full article contains 1669 words and appears in n/a newspaper.