The Return of the Spice Girls – Without Posh?

Alex Norris
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The year 2000 will forever remain one of the most important years in history. Not because it marked the start of a new Millennium, nor because Vladimir Putin was first elected as President of Russia, and neither because the first ever crew arrived at the International Space Station. Something far more monumental occurred in 2000 that none of us will ever forget – the Spice Girls announced their split.

Since then, all five original girls have only reunited for a handful of occasions, most notably their 2007 reunion tour, and in 2012 to perform at the London Olympics opening ceremony. But hope is still on the horizon for Spice fans desperate to see the group perform together one more time. It was announced via Vogue yesterday that Victoria Beckham has given the go ahead for a new Spice Girls reunion . . . the only catch is, she wants no part of it.

So what would a Spice Girls reunion look like if Emma, Mel B, Mel C and Geri were to go ahead as a four-piece? Well, speaking frankly, it would be an abomination.

The Spice Girls have existed as a four piece before. After Geri quit the band in 1998, the remaining four members limped ahead until finally calling it a day 2 years later. The horrible truth was – there was no Spice Girls without Geri. Geri brought the sass, the ambition, the drive and the controversy. Third album, Forever, sans Ginger Spice, was a somewhat flat, lifeless record compared to the energy and flair of their previous two efforts. If Geri’s walk-out showed us anything, it’s that the Spice Girls only work as a five-piece.

You might argue that the Spice Girls have no need for Victoria. It’s true that she sang the least and compared to her larger-than-life bandmates she could seem a little reticent in interviews, but none of that matters. She added something to the group that none of the other girls could ever quite manage – class. She managed to be alluring without ever being too risqué (hello, Geri), she was well spoken and self-deprecating at the same time, and her black bob and range of little black dresses are almost as iconic as that Union Jack dress. While the other girls sometimes wrestled for centre-stage (Mel C’s backflips were a staple of early Spice performances), Victoria was happy to take her place in the background, remaining a mysterious and enticing figure in contrast to her bandmates’ more obvious and brash performance styles.

Victoria proved her singing credentials numerous times throughout her Spice career – just look at that incredible harmony she manages with her fellow Spices during their performance at the 2000 Brit Awards. Her sultry vocals are put to perfect use on the spellbinding 2 Become 1 and the moody Too Much, and her low-register is ideal for contrasting with Emma or Mel C’s much higher pitched vocals. Though her voice doesn’t always jump out at you, it’s always there, helping to glue the other vocals together to make a sound that is quintessentially Spicy.

So while the idea of a new Spice Girls tour may sound exciting, it just wouldn’t be the same without Victoria. The stage would feel empty without her classic pout, her little black dress, and, of course, that iconic point. The Spice Girls were about image just as much as they were about spectacular pop songs, and like it or not, Victoria is a crucial part of what made the Spice Girls so, so special.

So Geri, Mel C, Mel B and Emma – if you ever happen to read this, I’m begging you, let’s leave the incredible legacy of the Spice Girls where it belongs – in the 90s, with all five members firmly intact.

About Alex Norris

Budding writer and eternally perplexed language student at Cambridge University. I make up stories and write them down. Unapologetic vegetarian, keen bibliophile, dedicated pop fan, committed man watcher and Dido apologist. @AlexSNorris