Spice Up Your Life (Spice World tour)

I was lucky enough to go and see Spice Girls on their Spice World tour in Coventry this week. I loved the Spice Girls back in the day and saw both of their tours back in the 90s – one with Geri and one without. I would have been gutted to miss out on this one. Luckily my old friend from work and her daughters managed to get tickets for us.

Ricoh Arena, Spice Girls, Spice Up Your Life (Spice World tour 2019)

It sounds cheesy, but the Spice Girls got me though probably the toughest time of my life. As tough times of life go, it was pretty tame, but it was my tough time.

When Wannabe came out, I fell in love. With the song and with the Spice Girls. I was 22, had been graduated for a year and was working full-time in McDonald’s while desperately looking for a ‘proper’ job. I was living in a studio flat in Nottingham with my boyfriend (now husband) and I was very unhappy.

I was an indie kid and people like me ‘shouldn’t’ have liked the Spice Girls. I was too old too. They were aimed at kids and teenagers. But their music and their attitude gave me some hope that life could get better.

When I did eventually get a ‘proper’ job a year later, it was still tough. My job was in London and I was on my own, away from my support network of boyfriend, family and friends. I made new friends, but I was lonely a lot of the time. But I had the Spice Girls.

Geri, Spice Girls, Spice World tour, Spice Up Your Life, Coventry, Ricoh arena

In my head, I wasn’t a girl who worked in McDonalds and felt depressed all the time. I was the Spice Girls’ missing sixth member. They just didn’t know it yet. I listened to their music, I repeatedly watched their ‘documentary’ video and read a cheap and tacky book they’d published. I had posters and cut out pictures of them – I’d even carefully peeled a couple of large fly posters in the middle of the night to stick on my wall.

In 2019, just like the Spice Girls, I am a very different person. Married with kids and a nice house, with my family nearby. I’ve had a proper job and now I’ve chosen to work for myself at home.

But I needed to see the Spice Girls again.

Viva Forever, Spice Girls, Spice World tour, Ricoh Arena, Spice Up Your Life

So on a wet and miserable day, we headed for Coventry’s Ricoh Arena. We got soaked on the way to the stadium. But the rain had the decency to stop before support act, Jess Glynne, came on.

And then it was time for the Spice Girls! Well, after 15 minutes of their dancers – each with a Spice persona – doing poses to warm the crowd up.

Scary, Baby, Ginger and Sporty crashed onto the stage with Spice Up Your Life. Surely one of the most feel good songs ever? It had been reported that the sound on previous shows wasn’t good and to be honest it wasn’t great in Coventry either. But who needs the sound when the whole crowd are singing along? We had two of the loudest, most out of tune singers ever next to us, but they were having the best time (and they covered up my terrible singing!), so what’s not to love?

Emma Bunton, Spice Girls, Spice World tour, Coventry, Ricoh arena, Spice Up Your Life

The Spice Girls moved on to If U Can’t Dance and Who Do You Think You Are?. The stage was amazing – the effects were constantly changing and it was hard to even believe that it was actually the same stage being used for Viva Forever as was used for Wannabe.

I was horrified to discover that I didn’t remember some of the album tracks that well. All those years of listening to the Spice Girls! The poor sound made it all a bit worse. Sometimes they were halfway through a barely audible song before the words back to me.

Spice Girls, Spice World tour, Coventry, Ricoh arena, Spice Up Your Life

There were numerous costume changes and the girls looked fabulous in all of them. Mel B was still scary, Emma was still baby and cute (although I find cute a bit weird in someone over 40) and Mel C was still as sporty as ever. Geri seemed to have adopted ‘regal’ as her new ginger persona, but that was fine with me. There didn’t seem to be any evidence of the reported animosity between Geri and Mel B.

Spice Girls, Spice World tour, Coventry, Emma Bunton, Spice Up Your Life

Viva Forever, Goodbye (which Geri was allowed to join in, even though it was about her leaving the band), Too Much, Mama and 2 Become 1 were all beautiful.

Stop and Say You’ll Be There were just uplifting and brilliant, like the Spice Girls should be.

They finished, of course, with Wannabe. The girls were all wearing sparklier versions of their costumes from that very first video. The video that made the world go ‘What is this? Who are these girls? What are they doing?’.

They’re the Spice Girls. They’re in their 40s now. But they’ve still got it.

Spice Girls, Mama, Mel B, Mel C, Emma, Geri

Author: Sarah Mummy

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12 Comments

  1. Would have been amazing to see them on tour. Lots of people i knew were at Coventry that night. My 6th form friend and i used to drive round the oxfordshire countryside with Wannabe blaring out of the ghetto blaster on the back seat of her ancient fiesta during the summer before we went to upper 6th. Definitely great for girls of that kind of age

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    • That’s such a lovely memory! People thought I was weird liking them because I was an actual adult. Even though they were very popular, it wasn’t cool to like them at all.

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  2. Ahh brilliant, I’m so glad you got to see them and had such a fab night! I had no idea you were so into the Spice Girls. I love how they have endured through the generations with their comeback. My daughters love them now. In fact, we were in the car today and I turned the radio on in the middle of a Spice Girls song and my five year old said “Oh, is that the Spice Girls?” We’ve never really listened to them here so I’m not sure how she knew, but both girls were saying how much they like them. I feel like they’re representing us oldies well to the younger generation!
    Nat.x

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    • My love of the Spice Girls is a little known fact! When I saw them at Wembley Arena, England were playing at the stadium next door. As we were walking away from the concert, we saw David Beckham (with someone holding an umbrella up for him) walking towards the arena! My husband shouted his name, but he didn’t look round.
      I was surprised that my daughter knows so many of their songs. I had their albums on tape, which my eldest destroyed when he was a toddler, so I’ve never played them at home. x

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  3. I don’t know why but I would never have had you down as a Spice Girls fan. They are a bit of fun though. I was just leaving school when Wannabe was in the charts.
    It sounds like you had the best time. I say I’m not a fan of them but I think I know all of their songs word for word. lol

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    • Nobody ever would have me down as a Spice Girls fan! I was always an indie kid in my teens and 20s and I’m still a bit that way inclined now. The Spice Girls are so much fun!

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  4. It sounds fabulous. So glad the rain stopped. You aren’t alone in admitting you needed the Spice Girls. I think that’s why they were so successful, the world needed them!

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    • I like that. I think the world did need them! They changed the face of music. Would Girls Aloud, The Saturdays and Little Mix have existed if Spice Girls hadn’t gone before them? I’m not sure that they would!
      I was SO glad the rain stopped. It was horrendous!

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    • Thanks very much. It really was a great experience. x

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  5. We had the best time. I was never a big fan of them back in the day but E loved them when she was little and it was so lovely to see her singing along xxx

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    • That was lovely! Thank you so much for taking me along with you all. x

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