Cosmic Slop #68: Who would want to see 60% of the Spice Girls?

Queen performing at the BRIT Awards with Paul Rodgers

Queen performing at the BRIT Awards with Paul Rodgers

With 60% of the Spice Girls expected to reunite with replacements, Getintothis’ Shaun Ponsonby wonders who the bloody hell would want to see that.  

Reunions are often a cause for concern. It’s often a mere nostalgic exercise and a quick once-around the world to pay the bills. Personally, I see nothing wrong with that on the whole. Why not? If you don’t want to see it, you don’t have to go. I wasn’t alive when most of these bands were around the first time, so it can’t exactly be nostalgia for me. Unless I saw them in a previous life, but I don’t believe in reincarnation because I can’t imagine what I could have done to deserve coming back as me.

As much as many of us wish to deny it, nostalgia is a big part of our enjoyment. A lot of music is escapism, and there’s nothing wrong with visiting the past once in a while. It doesn’t mean you want to live there. Why do you think all those Stone Roses shows sold out at the Etihad Stadium? Because the new singles are so good? Bitch, please. Nearly every person there was either basking in a nostalgic glow or wishing they were around in the late 80s/early 90s before the Roses released Second Coming and proved that the first album was probably a fluke.

But at least they have a full line-up. What do you do if significant members have died? The Who go out because it is a brand name and it will attract the casuals who might not know who Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend are by name (like NME, who constantly referred to Daltrey as Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters in their Glastonbury review last year). The Who were such distinct characters on stage that it is impossible to replace Moon and Entwistle, so they don’t try. They go out and play their songs, with the two of them taking centre stage. And they have every right to do that. You got the guy who wrote the songs (Townshend) and the guy who sang them (Daltrey). If they want to perform those songs and there are people who want to see them, then why shouldn’t they?

Do supergroups ever work? Getintothis’ Shaun Ponsonby gets to the bottom of this apparently burning issue.

But what if you ain’t even got that? Queen have been touring steadily without Freddie Mercury for over a decade now. Some people are cool with that, others find it about as good an idea as that idea I had to save money by cutting my own hair. Their tours with Free and Bad Company frontman Paul Rodgers and American Idol thingy Adam Lambert have provided mixed results, but they at least had the good sense to not call it “Queen”. It’s “Queen + [whoever]”, so are at least acknowledging that it isn’t going to be what people know as “Queen”.  At the other end of the spectrum is Thin Lizzy, who are somehow able to tour without consistently being sued under the trade’s description act.

This last week, it has emerged that the much mooted Spice Girls reunion looks set to take place to celebrate twenty long years of “Girl Power”,  a version of feminism that the Spice Girls interpreted as KISS-like whoring of your name out to any old shit to make a quick buck. No doubt encouraged by the baffling success of Take That and the expected tanking of All Saints, they are also apparently in the studio with the humanoid who produced some of the greatest advertising jingles for their merchandise, one Eliot Kennedy. A while back he tweeted this cryptic message;

This sent the heartbeats of Loose Women viewers everywhere into overdrive with the prospect of songs to use as bathroom breaks during the inevitable follow-up tour becoming a very possible reality.

Sadly, things aren’t quite that straight forward. All is not what it could be over in Spice-land. It seems they will be two spices short of a Cajun Style Queso Fundido, with the sporty one and the posh one having none of it. They’re going to do it without them, and we all remember how well things went for them when the ginger one left. Namely, that they only lasted one more album and no-one really cared anymore.

But fear not! They aren’t going to be relegated to a three-piece. Unlike when Ginger left, they have opted for the best idea in the whole world; they are going to audition replacements. An unnamed source told some shit magazine; “It wasn’t a surprise that Victoria would decline the tour, but the girls really hit the roof when Mel C ditched too. The girls are going to be making a formal announcement about try-outs for their spots in the next few weeks. Posh and Sporty can be replaced.”

Yaaaaaaaay! Who will it be? What will they call them? Stand-In Spice? Understudy Spice? Whatsher Spice? Aunt Viv? How could this possibly go wrong? More importantly, how are they going to be able to sing all of those songs about friendship lasting forever, sticking by your friends and your friends being the most important thing to you with a straight face?

Read Shaun’s other attempts at framing cultural debates in a way he understands in the always riveting Cosmic Slop archive. 

The prospect of any kind of Spice Girls reunion fills me with dread and painful memories of sitting through depressing episodes of Top of the Pops where cartoon pop would be interspersed with boringly laddish Britpop (with the greatest respect to Buzzfeed, the 90s mainly sucked). But more than any other group in the history of music, the Spice Girls were a cartoon. Yes, more so than Gorillaz. Even more so than that Danish group who were actually called Cartoons (Remember them? They had that hit with Witch Doctor).

Like all cartoons, losing main characters changes too much of the dynamic. Do you think it is any coincidence that The Simpsons started going downhill after they retired Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz following the death of voice actor Phil Hartman? No, because they were part of the Springfieldian fabric.

Whether you like the Spice Girls or not, they were ostensibly sold as characters and not as pop stars. That’s what their audience related to. The Mildly Seasoned Girls probably won’t cut it for their nostalgia-seeking fan base. It looks set to be Blues Brothers 2000 all over again. But with much crappier music (obviously).


NME‘s continued incompetence was on display this week, when they reported on Ritchie Blackmore‘s first rock show in nearly 20 years. They said his set was split between Deep Purple and songs from his other band “Journey“. Unless Ritchie Blackmore is actually Neal Schon in disguise, I assume they meant Rainbow. Just to be clear; the proof readers at NME will actually have a salary.

Nice to see Liam Gallagher supporting not only British football teams, but the stereotype about homophobic football fans.

Gary Barlow is fronting a new talent show on the BBC. Of course he is. He’s got to get his boring mug on TV as often as he can if he wants to get that Knighthood.