Why ‘Girl Power!’ makes me want to climb into a microwave oven with a pocketful of spoons.

News that The Spice Girls are planning a West End musical is a bit like receiving notification in the post that you’re due for a smear test.

You’ve known it’s been on the cards for a while, you haven’t been looking forward to it, but if you just grit your teeth and get on with it, hopefully the pain will be short-lived.

After their disastrous reunion in 2007, Our Ladies of the Hideously Unsuccessful Solo Careers have announced they are ‘brainstorming’ with Mamma Mia! Producer Judy Craymer to create Viva Forever: The Story of the Spice Girls.

Brainstorming with the Spice Girls: there’s a concept.

On the plus side, the working title of the musical isn’t “Girl Power”, a phrase I loathe so completely that when I heard it on Britain’s Got Talent a month or two ago, I had to fight the urge to gouge out my ear canals with a pair of nail scissors so I would never hear it again.

For those of you who might have forgotten, Girl Power involves turning a blind eye to your husband’s infidelities, having eye-wateringly extreme eating disorders which include rooting around in George Michael’s bin for leftovers and hiring witch doctors to perform love spells involving Eddie Murphy’s pants and a pickle jar.

Victoria Beckham's figure is the envy of the world

The Spice Girls tirelessly fought for a woman’s right to wear microscopic hotpants and halter-neck tops – think Emmeline Pankhurst if she’d dolled herself up a bit and stopped banging on about politics.

They sang one feminist-lite song about telling men what they really, really wanted and then stuck to beige love songs and choreographed dance routines – all of which served to make the male svengalis behind the band hugely wealthy. Girl Power!

With the launch of a musical, we can look forward to lots of personal appearances, photo calls and endless interviews about ‘empowerment’ and ‘friendship’.

Of the Spice Girls, only Mel C – dubbed ‘the ugly one’ back in 1996 – and Emma Bunton – ‘the fat one’ – look as if they don’t earn their money hanging around on street corners offering sailors saucy cuddles for a handful of grubby small change.

Indeed Mel C looks positively radiant next to Victoria Beckham, who resembles a Versace-clad preying mantis wearing an Andy Warhol wig and the rictus grin of a cadaver.

Mel B, once a terrifying harpy who looked as if she was only one misjudged comment away from glassing you in the face, now looks about as scary as a bowl of blancmange being gently agitated by Dickens’ Tiny Tim.

Mel B at the height of her sexual allure

One’s ability to terrify mankind diminishes somewhat when your public learn that you’ve tearfully demanded a DNA test from the Donkey in Shrek in order to prove he’s your daughter’s father and taken part in a ballroom dancing competition.

Geri Halliwell, meanwhile, remains the haunted shop mannequin we have grown to know and ignore, a talent vacuum who has completely refused to let a lack of any discernible ability prevent her from describing herself as ‘an entertainer’.

It’s this kind of plucky attitude which would have netted her the consolation prize for village idiots at school prize day for learning to put her clothes on the right way round after PE.

The Spice Girls’ ill-fated reunion was believed to be the result of Take That’s triumphant return to the charts some months beforehand.

What Victoria and clan conveniently ignored was that the secret behind the incredible success of Take That’s reunion and subsequent follow-up singles was due to the fact that the public were genuinely interested to see some old faces again.

Bar the odd appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, or news from my cousin in Manchester that Jason had joined her pilates class (apparently, he was hung like a donkey), we’d heard nothing of Gary, Howard, Mark and Mr Orange for years.

Since the Spice Girls went their separate ways, barely a day went by without at least one of them appearing on a reality show, judging a reality show, writing an autobiography, having a baby, failing to chart or being involved in a love triangle involving a footballer, a Hollywood actor and a woman who pleasures pigs on farms.

The Spice Girls didn’t so much split up, they dispersed.

Scary, Ginger, Baby, Sporty and Posh were what happened when you base your music career on an image and not talent, Take That were what happens when you let the fat one stay in the group because he can write good songs.

We can but hope that the musical is as successful as the world tour – not that that stopped them last time.

25 Responses to “Why ‘Girl Power!’ makes me want to climb into a microwave oven with a pocketful of spoons.”

  1. 1 Dee
    July 19, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Well if for nothing else, I’ll give the Spice Girls brownie points for bringing the Woman in Black back to life. Welcome back!

  2. 3 Rachel
    July 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    If you don’t like them, just say so. No need to beat around the bush, dropping subtle hints . . .

    And yes, it’s great to have you back.

  3. July 19, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Yes, what the ladies above said. I did quite like a couple of Mark Owen’s solo songs – but I was the only one. I may go to see a Spice Girls musical, but only if it is done on the village hall AmDram circuit.

    • July 20, 2010 at 6:57 pm

      The Spice Girls would write a song about men like you who want things their way all the time. And they would call it ‘We Aint Gonna Play No Village Hall’. And that would learn you real nice.

  4. July 19, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    This post just made my day!

  5. July 19, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Could they improve their act by performing in the nude? I just don’t know anymore.

  6. July 19, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    what the hell…just post something after 12 months and act like nothing happened.

  7. July 20, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I’m afraid I hijacked the invitation you left to Donald Mills on his site, and just came right over myself. And I must say, I am very glad I did, there is nothing better than a some Spiced (girls) vitriol of an evening…

  8. July 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Welcome black, Ms Back.

  9. July 20, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    and about bloody time too !!! 😉

    • July 20, 2010 at 7:22 pm

      It was a dramatic pause…(ahem).

      • July 21, 2010 at 4:39 am

        ‘dramatic pause’, my arse !!!

        You walk out on me, with no explanation. I’ve heard nothing for months – not even a bloody Xmas card. And now you waltz back into my life as if nothing had happened, muttering about a ‘dramatic pause’

        Jeez, you’ve got a nerve !!! 😉

        [good to see you back, WIB] 😆

  10. July 21, 2010 at 4:35 am

    I’m just a sheep following the flock….

  11. July 21, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    How many Mels did they have in the Spice Girls? (Disclaimer: I picked up all of Melanie C’s solo albums after hearing her on Last.fm and only later discovered she is an ex-Spice.)

  12. July 22, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Welcome back Mrs. Black,

    If the gals are looking for a working title I think you may have already come up with a winner…

    “Saucy Cuddles for a Handful of Grubby Small Change – the Musical”

    I think it’s damned catchy and entirely appropriate to what they have in mind. They might even want to consider writing a song of the same name. I’m sure you could pen them some lyrics with just the right blend of saucy feminism, sexy capitalism and contagious (in the non-saucy sense) fun.

    I think it’s either that or “the Old Spice Girls – the Scent that Lingers.” It’s not as poetic but it has American Marketing possibilities that really can’t be ignored.

    So good to see you back!


  13. October 19, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    What has happened to British music? Britain went from giving the world great bands like the Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath to Rick Astley and the Spice Girls 😦 As much as I’d like to blame the Canadians, I don’t know how to blame them.

    • January 30, 2011 at 2:16 pm

      it’s no longer a means to express ideas and emotions, it is now a business which is why many bands dont last. The pub scene has all but disappeared I hear. Then again I left 20 years ago.

  14. January 30, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I wish i could be so polite, sadly, i can’t so dont have a blog….this is a joy to read. my sides hurt.

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