Manage episode 236254284 series 2515757
All the Spice Girls projects that lead us to the 2019 reunion tour. We actually get a lot at this time. They’re literally... "Giving us everything".
Brits 2010 Spice Girls win best British performance of the past 30 years – for 1997 hit Who Do You Think You Are. Geri Halliwell and Melanie Brown (Scary Spice and Ginger Spice) attend to collect the Brit award. They look incredible. I don’t think these photos do Geri justice. I remember watching it on TV and thinking “Hell, how is this angel on earth”. 2012 was a big year for the Spice Girls of course we get the 2012 Olympics. London 2012 Olympics was a huge deal in the UK. We had one of our most successful events on record, taking 65 medals. More than we had since 1908. But….. the real thing everyone cared about….. was the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. I had got confused. I believed they would be on in the opening ceremony. Frankly, they deserved to be in both. Emelie Sande appeared twice. I felt like she was on it a lot. Was Dido there at all? 12 August, 2012. The show was entitled “A symphony of British Music”. 23 million viewers in the UK, 750 million globally. Worst kept secret ever. It had been rumoured for some time and then a few days before the event, rehearsal footage leaked of the Spice Girls performing around taxis.
They were apparently reluctant at first – believing the show was being staged at minimal cost and only agreed after Simon Fuller convinced them. Missing out would be a mistake….. Who did: The Rolling Stones , David Bowie , Sex Pistols , Kate Bush and The Libertines They don’t appear until 20 minutes in, nearer the end of the music section. Everytime I saw a taxi I started screaming. Convinced it was them.
Most tweeted moment of the year: 116,000 tweets per minute. By this point we had already had an announcement of a new musical in the works for the girls. So, in June 2012 the five girls reunited on the St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel where 16 years previously they had filmed the video for Wannabe. They announced a juke box musical will be made from the back catalogue with a book by Jennifer Saunders and production by Judy Craymer. Then we move into musical territory. Viva Forever! (written with an exclamation mark – presumably that was Victorias input – we know she loves a ! her Greatest hits thank yous were filled with them).
Right choice of people to work with. All female. Felt very appropriate. Saunders can be linked to Comic Relief, Ab Fab, The Movie. Open in London West End at the Piccadilly Theatre in Dec of that same year.
Before we talk about the show – can we do opening night. Victoria nearly didn’t make it. Didn’t walk the red carpet with the girls; did with her family o The look book. Geri is in a huge ballgown. Very similar to the one she wore at Prince Charles Birthday Gala. All in upmarket dresses….. except VB. Who is in trousers, a shirt, and a jacket over her shoulders. (Maybe she was genuinely late). I had on platform trainers. My union Jack vest. My bottle of wine. It was very middle class, middle aged, middle mooded. Was not a lot of jumping and screaming. It felt like Mamma Mia audience, to me.
It felt…. Weak. And I wanted it to be good. The story was – well, X Factor felt tired at that point, and it was centred on that. Also, they started as a group and then she left. Whereas the Spice Girls were about 5 girls forced together who had to get along. Bear in mind a year earlier Little Mix had been put together as a winning group. THAT would have been a better story. o They used album tracks and solo stuff. Which I thought was strong. A nod to the fans, new music for some. o Staging – cool – with the houseboat that rose out of the stage. o Also, there was this complicated birth mother story that had an obvious conclusion that never got resolved. o I lay the blame at Jennifer Saunders door. And the support she would have received in writing the book. She is known more for things coming together in improve and rehearsal – They never had a finished script when they went to film an episode of Ab Fab. The jokes in it were tight – hilar, but it didn’t feel slick and fully cohesive.
- The reviews were savage: o Telegraph: "ll tell you what I wanted, what I really really wanted – I wanted this terrible show to stop. I shall not dwell on the plot because, goodness knows, Jennifer Saunders, its writer, certainly hasn’t done. Viva Forever! marks the West End coming to an unequivocal dead end." o Guardian: The real problem is the songs. For one thing, there aren't enough memorable hits in a career that lasted for three albums to support two hours of theatre o That’s the tone all the way through – bad script, lack of experience in Saunders, not enough hits to carry the show, gloomy story.
We also get a documentary _ Spice Girls Story: Viva Forever! Another Christmas treat my family left me in a room with a bottle of wine to enjoy.
- Announced on 2nd May that the show was to close after only 7 months, with a loss of £5million. Who takes that hit? That would have been a huge blow. They were looking at that show being their legacy…… they were thinking transferring to broadway, a soundtrack, a movie. Big things were planned for this. o How do you survive reviews like that? You just can’t really. Its not like a movie, where people can just pop in. West End is expensive, and a travel, it’s a huge event. o Some satisfaction. I had written to Jennifer Saunders to appear in it…… Tell the story.
Then we get the Hot mess that was GEM. - July 2016: There is a website launched with a video stating they will be doing something for the 20 th anniversary of Wannabe (watch). The video, they are sat in a bed with paper hats on. - Its just Scary, Baby and Ginger…… with the intials of Melanie, Emma and Geri spelling GEM. In the video, Mel B is wearing two hats….. makes you wonder if they were expecting someone else. - They don’t say what is happening, but they say something. Its highly speculated there will be a gig in Hyde park the following summer. Mel B has subsequently confirmed that…. But we never know what to believe with her, because a lot of the time she says things she wants to happen. Shes obviously read The Secret.
- November we get a leak of a single from the 3 – Song For Her – I think it could have been a banger. Its what you would expect from a grown up spice girls album actually. o Geris vocals are awful o It obviously is pretty raw, needs a lot of production work. But that all comes in later. Get a Hex Hector remix. Call up Freemasons. You got a hit on your hands. o They said it was not a single. Emma said on Heart it was just the girls getting together and messing around.
- This whole thing just got MESSY – There was some hot rumours they would perform at the X Factor final that year. Either as GEM, or the Spice Girls. But that never happened. That same week – Mel C and Victoria duetted on 2 Become 1….. They sang it at the Beckhams New Years Eve party. (VB is always doing that, her Karaoke song is her OWN song. But she didn’t sing most of the vocals, so it’s a genuine treat and challenge!) - Then they were saying they weren’t called GEM, and still the Spice Girls. Then the other two said they weren’t the Spice Girls without all 5. Then they said the other two might join, and the other two said they wont. Then Mel said GEM wasn’t a thing, the tabloids made it up – even though the domain name is registered to them. It was messy messy messy….. and just faded into nothing. Much like another girlband acronym: Sugababes MKS