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Last Updated: Monday, 17 December 2007, 11:33 GMT
Press reviews: Spice Girls UK gig
The Spice Girls
Bunton (second right) performed without her crutches
The Spice Girls failed to impress most of the critics who went to see them on Saturday at London's O2 Arena.

However, for the thousands of fans who were there, it was great to have the five-piece perform their first UK gig in nine years, the first of 16 shows at the former Millennium Dome.

Victoria Beckham, Melanie Chisholm, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton and Geri Halliwell's show included 22 songs and even Bunton joined in after spraining her ankle at a previous performance.


The Spice Girls never aspired to the challenging dance routines that Madonna can still - just about - manage as she approaches her 50th birthday.

Their charm lay in the fact that they bopped about like an average bunch of excitable girls on a night out.

They dressed up, threw their arms around each other's shoulders and laughed as the fame, money and celebrity boyfriends rolled in to fulfil every little girl's fantasy.

Geri Halliwell and Victoria Beckham
Roberto Cavalli designed the girls' costumes for the show
Although the singing was weak and often inaudible and the dancing less endearingly exuberant than in the old days, 16,000 fans screamed and hollered through the two-hour show which included all 10 hit singles and solo turns from each of the girls except Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham, who opted for a catwalk strut to the beat of Madonna's Like a Virgin.

Decked out in glitter, the Spice Girls looked like a set of skinny Woolworth baubles - cheap and cheerful but not at all to my taste.

But I refuse to sneer "Bah Humbug" at the thousands who rejoice that the Fun Girl Five have risen again.

THE SUN - Gordon Smart

The Spice Girls were on top form as they kicked off the first leg of their homecoming tour at London's O2 arena.

Posh, Ginger, Scary, Baby and Sporty wowed their eager fans at the concert with brilliant dance routines, all their classic songs and very sexy outfits.

At one point the girls came out on stage in kinky leather gear, with their male dancers on leads.

Fans of all ages made the trip to the Dome to see the girls in action, including several girls dressed in Geri's infamous Union Jack dress.

THE TIMES - Pete Paphides

Panic over. The show will go on. The show, indeed, did go on.

Emma Bunton's ankle - seen only four days ago, still attached to its owner, but encased in stretch bandage - withstood the rigours of the opening night of their UK tour.

Because they haven't collectively scored enough hits to fill an entire show, solo spots were necessary.

Whilst other Spices used theirs to raise the profiles of their flagging solo careers (short of selling her flop album in the foyer, Mel C couldn't have put more effort into her bit) Posh Spice used her moment to self-referentially sashay along the catwalk to a pack of pretend photographers.

Melanie Chisholm and Melanie Brown
Both Mels performed singles from their solo careers

Still it did at least show that she's touchingly aware of her limitations.

Of course, in Spiceworld, the usual rules of commerce and music - quality control, the faintest ability to sing, value for money - don't apply.

Consequently, nothing that the other four did elicited as much of a cheer as the very few things that the gold-attired Posh did. If that rankles with the others, then they weren't about to tell us.

After an unctuously protracted group hug and the inevitable encore of Wannabe they left as they came - with Spice Up Your Life and off to a noise comprising 86 per cent cheering and 14% impatient jangling of car keys.

THE GUARDIAN - Alexis Petridis

They could not be faulted for the gusto of their delivery.

For every unequivocally fantastic pop song like Stop or 2 Become 1 - the latter mysteriously brilliant despite being a song about sex that carries all the lubricious frisson of an episode of Balamory - there's a heap of stuff like Holler's vaporous cod-R&B or Mama's Mother's Day card gloop.

For all the displays of hand-holding unity, there's no doubt who the star of the show is.

Whenever Victoria Beckham lifts her microphone to her lips, she is drowned out by an excited roar from the audience.

Bedevilled by a voice so thin it would be banned from Milan fashion week and with a post-Spice back catalogue you suspect not even she can remember, Victoria Beckham wisely forgoes singing.

It's a charming touch of honesty, although what she does instead makes your brain ache a bit: she strides down the stage, pretending to speak into a mobile phone.

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