People seem to forget that Melanie C is still making music years on from her first solo album Northern Star, but she is and she is still bringing Spice into people’s lives.
Heading to the London 02 Shepherds Bush Empire I cant help but use this occasion as a chance to reminisce, after all 2016 saw 20years of the Spice Girls and technically 20years of Melanie C releasing music. Where the Spice Girls have only had 3 albums and a greatest hits, Melanie C has just released her 7th Album as solo artist something of a landmark for her.
I’ve been massive fan of the Spice Girls ever since the release of Spice in 1996, like a lot of people the Spice Girls really opened my eyes to the adult world, especially helping me accept being gay and being proud. Most of this did come from Geri Halliwell, but the Spice Girls were about being who you are. Any true Spice Girl’s fan would never have a constant top 5, over the years mine has ever evolved, but Melanie C has always been top 3. Geri Halliwell was my Queen, and still is to this day. Say what you want but she has done well for herself.
Its fair to say Melanie C’s biggest success was from her monster first album Northern Star, with hits like Never Be The Same Again and I Turn To You being massive number one’s around the world. But Melanie has carried on her formula even with her latest album Version Of Me. The difference is not a lot of people still think she’s releasing music, especially in the UK. But who cares to be honest, her loyal Spice Girls fans still follow her, as well as a massive gay following. So who needs anyone else?
Recently Melanie came under fire for declining the 20th Spice Girls reunion, and to be honest she got a lot more flack than Victoria did for saying no to the reunion. Melanie’s reason being if the reunion was going to happen, it would have to be all five girls. Spice Girls was a recipe for individuality, each girl brought something different so to come together without one it just wouldn’t be The Spice Girls.
I remember seeing the Spice Girls in concert after Geri had left, and as much as it was great to hear those songs it wasn’t the same. Even when Mel B, Emma and Geri formed Spice Girls GEM it wasn’t right, it was becoming more and more like 3 different bucks fizz or Sugababes line ups. I am still adamant that it has to be all 5 or not at all. But Melanie hasn’t forgotten about her Spice Girls roots and regularly champions her early days as something out of this world. I agree too Mel 🙂
I took my friends David and Laurent with me to London to see her, it was their first time seeing her in a concert. It was one of the first hot weekends of year, sitting in the Brew Dog just around the venue. As well as being a day to see Melanie C, it was also a group and friends enjoying the weekend. By the way most of the photos actually you see on this blog come from them 🙂 As we sat in window getting more and more pissed looking at hot guys all around us, we the saw the queue for the gig begin to take shape. Melanie wasn’t due on stage till 8:45pm and we weren’t bothered about seeing the support act to be honest. This is something we did question we finally got into the venue and it was packed!
The Venue felt more and more like I was back in the Astoria for G-A-Y, I don’t believe there was a straight person in the place, like I said before this is her market and we the gays love her. But it was a great celebration, I knew I was with my people. Then out of the blue the crowd began to scream, I looked around thinking what’s going on? And there she was – Geri Halliwell had entered the room. Above in balcony Geri came in to a monstrous applause and gays cheering;
” Geri, Geri, Geri, Geri”
The night was complete, my Queen was above and we were all awaiting Melanie C to begin, The opening chords to Anymore started and out she came.
Even with Geri just up from me I loved the show, and Melanie delivered everything she had. Remember this isn’t a greatest hits show so she belted out her new album as well as revisiting old hits like Northern Star, Think About it and Never Be The Same Again. Dear Diary and Anymore were personal favourites of mine. Melanie even gave us a cover and Rag N Boneman’s Human which was brilliant.
But the one song that had every gay man in the room screaming was her rendition of Say You’ll Be There and calling out to Geri watching above. It was an amazing finishing touch to the gig. I wont lie I thought with Geri in the crowd and singing one of Geri’s signature Spice Girls tunes, she would walk out on the 2nd verse to join, alas was not to happen. But Melanie was amazing and no one left the venue unhappy.
So what is the future here? There is a very slim chance that Victoria will suddenly turn round and make a reunion happen, do we actually need one? Don’t get me wrong I’ll be the first in the queue screaming at the top of my lungs and crying if it ever did, but my love of the girls still remains to this day. Seeing Melanie C sing Say You’ll Be There was just as good as all five of them doing it, it was a great nod to her roots, and I even saw Geri giving a standing ovation to it.
Maybe this is the way forward? Emma recently sung 2 become 1 with Robbie Williams, Victoria was signing Spice Up Your Life with James Corden in carpool karaoke and even Mel B singing solo and Spice Girls hits on Facebook. With GEM trying to make a reunion happen, Melanie C and Victoria doing 2 Become 1 over New Years, is it really forgotten? Sometimes its the smaller things that mean more than the big.
Friendship never ends they said, and to be honest last night in the Shepherds Bush Empire the excitement was just as big as it was at the O2 years ago at the reunion. But it was Melanie’s show and boy did she give some welly! So it you haven’t seen Melanie C live before, you are missing out. Its a trip every Spice Girls fan should make.