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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007, 18:00 GMT
Spice Girls: Old vs New
The reformed Spice Girls have staged one of the most successful comebacks of the year, with a top 10 album and a sell-out World tour.

But can the reunion ever capture the frenzied mayhem of the band's 1990s heyday?

Olivia Hunt, a die-hard fan when she was 10, went to see the band play at the O2 arena in London this week.

She reflects on how the fearsome fivesome has transformed over the last decade.

Spice Girls in 1997 and 2007
Each of the five Spice Girls has launched a solo career in the last decade

1997

Impact

The Spice Girls were the first pop group my friends and I really got into. They came from ordinary backgrounds, and their message was that anyone could achieve their dream. They were a girl band for girls and their influence was remarkable.

Favourite Spice Girl

Mel C. She was cool because she could do back-flips and was a bit of a tom boy. I was fickle, though, and Geri was a close contender.

Favourite song

Stop. The song and dance routine were a must-have for all school discos and even the boys joined in! Their energy, extrovert personalities and song lyrics captured our imaginations.

Girl power

Boy bands saturated the music scene in the '90s and it took a really powerful girl band with a strong image to infiltrate the market. The Spice Girls were ambitious and determined to succeed. Girl Power was about accepting who you were and girls sticking together.

Spice fashion

Interesting, to say the least! Platform shoes and fun outfits that matched each girl's personality. Their influence on what we wanted to wear was huge. I can still remember begging my mum to buy me a pair of platforms!

2007

Impact

The girls are now all famous individually - so their fan bases have multiplied. People who were young fans in 1997 are now in their early 20s and can afford to go back to see their childhood idols, while a whole new generation has discovered Girl Power.

Favourite Spice Girl

Victoria Beckham. I really like her sense of humour and sense of style. The biggest surprise of the concert was that she can actually sing!

Favourite song

Spice Up Your Life. They started and ended the show with it and the girls put on a fantastic performance! The Lady Is A Vamp was excellent, too. It was performed with a live band in a cabaret style.

Girl power

It had the potential to be watered down, now that the girls are in their 30s. But they represent girl power of a different kind - that of proud working mothers. They even brought their children on stage for Mama! However, the message is still the same: Girls on top, friendship forever.

Spice fashion

They're far more glamorous these days in specially-designed Roberto Cavalli dresses. But Geri wore her infamous Union Jack dress and Mel C wore trousers, which kept the essence of the original act.

Olivia Hunt
Olivia, now 21, was just 10 during the first flush of the Spice Girls success

Spice merchandise

Deodorant, mugs, t-shirts... Absolutely everything was Spice-branded! I had a life-sized cardboard Posh Spice, although my Dad appreciated it more than me! The Spice Movie was also a must-have. One of my friends referred to it as "cinematic genius!"

Geri leaving

I was absolutely gutted! It seemed like the heart of the band had left with her. I think we also knew that this was the beginning of the end for the Spice Girls.

In concert

Unfortunately, I was never lucky enough to see the Spice Girls live back in their heyday.

Spice merchandise

The concert's merchandise stall sported a huge range of Spice memorabilia. In addition to the regular t-shirts and key rings, there were several items for the more mature fan - including Spice Up Your Life aprons and "zig-a-zig-waaah" babygros.

Geri leaving

You wouldn't know that she had ever left. On stage, she seems just as much a part of the group as she ever did. But if you believe the rumours, the tensions are still there.

In concert

It was well worth the wait - and the expense. They were simply fantastic!

Conclusion: If I'd seen them in the 1990s, I'm sure the costumes would have been less expensive, and the show less mature. But they have proved that, 10 years on, they still have what it takes. Girl power!



SEE ALSO
Spice Girls make UK stage return
16 Dec 07 |  Entertainment
Spice Girls celebrate homecoming
16 Dec 07 |  Entertainment
Press reviews: Spice Girls UK gig
17 Dec 07 |  Entertainment
LA debut for reunited Spice Girls
16 Nov 07 |  Entertainment



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