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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Spice Girls Comeback Gets Rave Reviews

Britain's most successful girl group, which folded in 2000, kicked off their comeback world tour on Sunday night in Vancouver, at the General Motors Place indoor arena.

And newspapers back home lapped up their return at the first opportunity, printing front-page pictures of the five singers in action on the west coast of Canada.

Victoria Beckham ("Posh Spice"), Melanie Brown ("Scary Spice"), Emma Bunton ("Baby Spice"), Melanie Chisholm ("Sporty Spice") and Geri Halliwell ("Ginger Spice") are on a concert tour set to hit six continents.

The Daily Mirror and the Daily Telegraph both featured a giant picture of Halliwell looking majestic in a Union Flag dress.

She is squeezing far fewer curves into her trademark outfit than the first time round when it symbolised the "Cool Britannia" mood of the late 1990s.

"The crowd was awed by the power of the performance and the whittled frames of the now thirty-something members," said The Daily Telegraph.

"They're back... and bigger than ever", said the front page of The Sun, next to a picture of Beckham in a push-up top. "(And so are the Spice Girls)", it added.

The Times gave the show four out of five marks, saying it was a fairytale start to their comeback.

"If this show -- colourful, energetic and wildly ambitious -- was intended to cash in on past triumphs, there was certainly no stinting on the time, dedication and money spent on it," their review said.

"The Spice Girls have never been the world's greatest singers or dancers, but they remain consummate entertainers.

"They performed with every ounce of strength in their legs and passion in their hearts. Mission accomplished."

Most newspapers touched on how much live singing was done, accusing them of duff notes, auto-tuning and miming.

But the Daily Star quoted a Spice Girls spokesman as saying they sang live over a click track, while a backstage source said it was standard for such highly choreographed tours to have extra vocals on a backing track with the performers singing over the top.

"It's Spice to have you back," said the tabloid.

Newspapers noted that all the girls sung a solo spot except for Beckham, who did a mock catwalk routine instead.

The Sun thought Brown's solo turn singing Lenny Kravitz's "Are You Gonna Go My Way" was a highlight, while the Daily Mirror accused her of "murdering" the stomping rock tune.

It still gave her an A minus, while Halliwell and Beckham got an A plus, Bunton a B plus and Chisholm got a C minus.

Most tabloids ran the set list in full.

"Ah, the glitz, the glamour, the unashamed girly pop -- it was just like they'd never been away," said the Daily Express.

"The Spices finally silenced their critics... with a glorious, glittering show."

The Daily Mail branded them "Old Spice" and compared photos of the singers then and now.

"In the years since they split, there have been three husbands, seven children and one divorce -- not to mention surgical enhancements."

The Independent carried a picture of Halliwell and Beckham with a caption, while The Guardian rounded up the Canadian press reviews.

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