After months of rumours, Spice Girls confirm reunion.
Paul MacInnes and agencies
Thursday June 28, 2007
From left: Posh, Sporty, Ginger, Baby and Scary.
Photograph: Lefteris Pitarakis
"Girl Power is back and stronger than ever". With these words the Spice Girls announced they are to reform and embark on a world tour, six years after they split up and the day after a line was drawn under the era they helped to define.
Less than 24 hours after Tony Blair left Downing Street, the band, who as much as anything else came to represent the Cool Britannia years, formally revealed their plans at a press conference at the O2, the venue known until recently as the Millennium Dome.
"We wanted to say thank you to our fans. It just feels very right for us", said Mel C, explaining the decision.
"Obviously it's nostalgic. But equally, if new fans want to come along, that's fantastic," Geri Halliwell said. "We ARE girl power. It doesn't matter how old you are, 5 or 65. I like to think our songs are universal and they are timeless."
Mel B concurred: "We feel like the time is right. We wanted to have some fun and be together again for a while." When asked her opinion of Gordon Brown, however, it took Mel C to explain to Mel B who he was.
After months of rumoured negotiations, all five members of the band - Posh, Ginger, Scary, Baby and Sporty, to use their original nicknames - have agreed to the reunion, which will see them embark on a 11 date world tour next December that will include stops in London, New York, Beijing and Buenos Aires.
It is 11 years since the Spice Girls launched their debut single Wannabe, which swept the world and left everyone singing "zig-a-zig-ah" in its wake. Together, the girls sold more than 55 million records, registered six consecutive number ones and also made a successful movie, Spice World.
For at least three years, the band were ubiquitous, launching Channel 5, appearing on TV across the world and spreading the gospel of Girl Power, an ideology that may not have been sophisticated (it amounted to believing in yourself) but spoke directly to their fan base of girls, both teenage and younger.
The group began to fall from pre-eminence, however, with the departure of Ginger, Geri Halliwell, in 1998. Their third and last album, Forever, released in 2000, was their first not to get to number one. The following year, with the remaining members focusing on their solo careers, the band broke up. Since then, the individual members have done everything from ballroom dancing to launching their own range of clothing - and they share six children between them - but, today, they have announced they are back.
The full dates:
2007 December 7 - Los Angeles
December 8 - Las Vegas
December 11 - New York City
December 15 - London
December 20 - Cologne
December 23 - Madrid
2008 January 10 - Beijing
January 12 - Hong Kong
January 17 - Sydney
January 20 - Cape Town
January 24 - Buenos Aires
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007