Spice Girls reunion worth 9 year wait, says critics

LONDON Tue Dec 4, 2007 6:55am EST

The Spice Girls, (from L to R) Geri Halliwell, Melanie Chisholm, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton and Victoria Beckham, perform as they kick off their reunion tour in Vancouver, British Columbia December 2, 2007. REUTERS/Lyle Stafford

The Spice Girls, (from L to R) Geri Halliwell, Melanie Chisholm, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton and Victoria Beckham, perform as they kick off their reunion tour in Vancouver, British Columbia December 2, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Lyle Stafford

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LONDON (Reuters) - It has been nine years coming, but some early reviews of the Spice Girls' world reunion tour that kicked off in Vancouver, Canada, on Sunday said it was worth the wait.

"The solid gold Spice Girls," said London's Evening Standard, a reference to golden outfits the "girl power" quintet sported during the show, one of several costume changes on the night.

The reviewer called the performance "ebullient pop music of a very high standard, presented with panache, and highly unlikely to provoke any attendance at the refund window."

Despite the sassy young singers who stormed the pop world in the 1990s all now being in their 30s, four of them with children, they had yet to pass their sell-by date.

"There seems no diminution in the energy they are prepared to expend, or the lengths they will go to to please the audience."

The Vancouver Sun noted the crush for Spice Girls merchandise, underlining the lasting appeal of Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham, Melanie "Sporty" Chisholm, Geri "Ginger" Halliwell, Melanie "Scary" Brown and Emma "Baby" Bunton.

"Just as it was 10 years ago, the show wasn't about great singing or dancing," wrote the reviewer. "But it was about great entertainment. And the girls delivered the spice."

Not everyone was convinced.

London's free daily the Metro headlined its review: "Spice Girls: Embarrassing and Lackluster," although it conceded that more than 15,000 fans attending the sold-out gig seemed to enjoy the night nonetheless.

"While the hits were all received with enthusiasm, there were definite lulls in the performance," said the review.

"New single 'Headlines' was as lackluster live as recorded, and a Las Vegas-style cabaret sequence was as bewildering as it was embarrassing."

It went on to describe the solo performances as "hit and miss," adding that Beckham, who has faced criticism of her vocal ability, uttered not a note during her spot in the limelight.

The women took control of the group in 1994 and their debut single "Wannabe" was a global hit in 1996.

But their success was short-lived, with Halliwell walking out in 1998 and the remaining members went their separate ways after releasing the album "Forever" in 2000.

The Spice Girls have sold an estimated 55 million albums worldwide.

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