Melanie C – Sporty’s Forty

Well, today Melanie C (née Chisholm) turned the grand old (but young) age of 40. Yesterday evening, she celebrated by inviting 2000 odd people to a gig at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire. I was there, of course. So I feel it is appropriate I talk about the happenings of last night from the viewpoint of a 90’s Spice Girls fan.

I never really was a great massive fan of Mel solo at first. In fact, I would say I was way more into Geri Halliwell solo. Geri Halliwell, in my eyes, brought the fun and the frolics to the Spice Girls in their heyday. When Geri went solo, I was fan boy-ing all over her. Buying every CD single religiously and watching every TV appearance I could to see the ex Ginger Spice in action. Mel C, was for me, the serious and talented solo act from the Spice Girls who seemed desperately wanting to be taken more seriously by music critics. That, for me, was what put me off her. You have to bear in mind that this was back in the day after the Spice Girls had gone their separate ways and serious was just not “fun”.

So anyway, years have passed. Reunions have happened. Olympics performances have dazzled. In this new era, I would declare myself more of a Melanie C fan. The fact that she is so talented, and the songs that she sings are so under-appreciated has made me want to root for her to be more successful. The fact she writes each and every song of hers (apart from the odd cover), and is also not afraid of being honest just makes me love her more. I urge everyone to listen to her 2011 album “The Sea” and not find a single track on there that doesn’t float your boat. That album deserved so much more success and is one of my all time favourite albums.

Anyway, so yesterday I went to this gig. This is the first time I had actually gone to a solo Melanie C gig (apart from a few shows in the past where she was just featuring). She was amazing. Totally blew me out of the water how authentic she is live, she certainly knows her crowd and how to get them worked up into a frenzy. Melanie performed pretty much every great song in her back catalogue (including a certain Spice Girls track along with Emma Bunton). She delivered, and completely re-affirmed my belief that she is in fact the best Spice Girl.

Highlights of the night were “Goin’ Down” where she went all grunge and you couldn’t help but head thrash to, “Think About It” the opener and the blatant upfront pop song of the night, “Be The One” the acoustic sounding track from her first album, “Enemy” the feisty track you sing when someone just really gets on your tits, “Weak” one of the best songs from that album I mentioned earlier, just great and of course “I Turn To You” the biggest song of her career by far, and still to this day sounds as uplifting as it did back in the day. I should also mentioned that she performed one of my all time favourite songs, “Pure Shores” by All Saints along with Natalie Appleton. We did have to endure a 90 minute DJ set from Jodie Harsh first, nothing against her, but by the end I was just hoping there was some sort of power-cut so it stopped.

So I’m sorry Geri, you have to move over as you are no longer my favourite Spice. I love each Spice Girl individually of course but for me, as an adult, Melanie C really knows how to crack in to my music blood stream and get me hooked. Melanie also confirmed that this year she will be going back in to the studio to record her sixth album. Colour me excited. In the meantime, I urge each and every one of you to check out some of my personal favourite Melanie C songs below…