Pop: Bless them! Spice on earth and good will to all men




MILLIONS OF little girls are gathered in an aircraft hangar wearing tinselly silver antennae and screaming. In the middle is a big glowing stalactite, and green lasers play about through the smoke. It is a scene of wintry apocalypse: perhaps the innocent masses are alien-worshippers, ready to welcome back the extraterrestrials who kick-started life on our planet.

But then, as the amplified orchestra reaches a climax, at the other end of a walkway, among snow-girt fir trees, there is a spurt of flame and four figures rise slowly on a platform, arrested in hieroglyphic postures.

They're not aliens, but goddesses. They're the Spice Girls.

How to praise sufficiently these paragons of womanhood, as they launch into a riotous "Spice Up Your Life"? We must turn to ancient mythology: just as Greek goddesses embodied different aspects of the eternal female for the temple-building devout, so do these four supernatural queens of pop.

Melanie C is Nike, goddess of sporting victory, high-kicking and headbanging; Emma Bunton, vogueing into kittenish little-girl poses, is Hebe, goddess of youth; spangly diva Mel G can be none other than the beauteous Aphrodite; and Victoria Beckham, with her imperious pointing and aura of omniscience, is goddess of wisdom.

Posh's media hounds could be vapourised with a single thunderbolt, but her power is forgiving, benign. Such is the mythical omnipotence of the Spices that they summon at will extraordinary forces: as they balance sweetly on chrome stools for "Mama", a live string section floats out of nowhere into the central platform, while down the walkway the awestruck spectator suddenly notices a gang of white-cassocked, happily swaying gospel singers.

The central stalactite comes to symbolise the Spices' sexual power over all men: strobing in white-hot stimulation or pulsing slowly with a tumescent red glow. After beautifully slinky renditions of "Too Much" and "2 Become 1", there is an electro-jungle interlude as four shaven-headed white men skate about the stage, like escapees from Starlight Express.

They're obviously performing some powerful ritual: the Spices reappear in tight black-and-silver dresses with what looks like a printed circuit- board pattern. Thus do the band straddle the realms of the sexual and the electronic, and prove it with a darkly catchy new song of bleeps and skittering rhythms whose title sounds like "I Want To Make You Harder". The stalactite throbs in approval.

From a pneumatic "Who Do You Think You Are?", by way of fireworks and friendly audience-baiting, the Spice Girls crescendo with a glorious "Goodbye", as snow falls from the heavens and the orchestra swells in joy.

Let their wart-nosed detractors henceforth be struck silent: the Spice Girls can sing, they can dance, and they put on a touchingly entertaining show for the adoring faithful. As an encore, they materialise in even slinkier costumes of blood-red taffeta and white furry stoles to deliver a stonking "Wannabe" and a rousing Christmas medley.

We have been Spiced, and it is a blessing from above.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury


Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas


Arts and Entertainment


Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7


Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary


Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige


Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions