Entertainment & Arts

Melanie C: Spice Girls reunion 'not the same' without all members

Melanie C

Melanie C has said a Spice Girls reunion is "not the same" without all five former members of the band.

The singer, whose full name is Melanie Chisholm, told BBC News: "I describe the Spice Girls as a jigsaw puzzle.

"If there's a piece missing, it's not the full picture, we weren't just a band with interchangeable parts."

Earlier this year, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown and Geri Horner announced plans to reunite to celebrate the group's 21st birthday.

Chisholm said: "Obviously I love the girls and totally respect what they want to go on to do, but to me, Spice Girls is a five-piece."

The singer recalled the band's previous performances in the late 1990s after Horner had left the band.

Image copyright Emma Bunton / Twitter
Image caption Brown, Horner and Bunton announced in June that they would reunite

"When Geri left and we were on tour, obviously we didn't have a choice, we had to carry on, we had a tour to fulfil in the US," Chisholm said.

"And I don't think that was the same. Unless it's all five, I don't think it is [the same]."

Asked if she would have taken part in the recently announced reunion if Victoria Beckham had agreed, Chisholm replied: "Yeah, I would definitely consider it."

'Quite good money'

Chisholm's new album, Version of Me, is her first since 2012, but that certainly does not mean she has been taking things easy since then.

For a start, the singer was recruited by Simon Cowell to be a judge for the first two seasons of Asia's Got Talent.

"South East Asia is a part of the world I've worked in a lot, there's a huge fan base for the Spice Girls out there. It was a quiet time in the diary and it's quite good money," she joked. "So that ticks all the boxes."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chisholm has been a judge on the first two seasons of Asia's Got Talent

Such singing competitions seem to be fertile ground for former girl-band members, with Nicole Scherzinger, Melanie Blatt and Cheryl Cole all being enlisted in recent years.

"I have been critical of those shows in the past, but becoming part of the Got Talent family, everyone who works on it really believes in it, and I think of all of those shows it's the kindest and most entertaining. So I had an absolute ball," Chisholm said.

But when asked whether she would consider taking up a judging role on a British talent show, her answer is telling.

"It would be a difficult decision to make because I quite enjoy having a much lower profile these days, and I think shows like that put you very much in the spotlight," she says.

"Strictly [Come Dancing] for example, people always say I should do Strictly, but it's so high profile and it gets you in the Daily Mail, and that makes me feel a bit nervous."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chisholm was cast in a stage adaption of Jesus Christ Superstar in 2012

There is one TV programme, however, that her friend and fellow Jesus Christ Superstar cast member Chris Moyles suggested they could jointly appear on.

She said: "Chris lives round the corner from me, he's such a good friend, so generous.

"I was getting my kitchen done a couple of years ago and he was in LA, and he allowed me to house-sit.

"But there was a bit of crossover where we were living together for a week or two and we used to sit watching X Factor and saying, 'We should be on Gogglebox.'

"We are the odd couple, but we just get on."

But there will not be much time for relaxing in front of the TV anytime soon.

Chisholm's schedule is packed with interviews and gigs for now, as she gears up for the release of Version of Me.

"I've been more involved in every aspect of this album than albums in the past," she said.

'Painstaking'

This time around, in addition to some of her usual collaborators, Chisholm has worked with Sons of Sonix, a dance duo from south London.

"Working with them really opened my eyes... they're much more R&B, which I love and I've dabbled in," she said.

One of Chisholm's biggest solo hits was 2000's Never Be The Same Again, a song with a bluesy vibe and a guest rap from TLC's Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes.

"It was kind of nice to revisit that style but with a more electronic and current sound. So that was fun, they do a lot of grime stuff, but they haven't got me rapping, which is good, believe me," Chisholm joked.

Asked whether there are any other musicians she'd like to duet with, Chisholm replied: "I'd love to work with Sia, I think that would be a really interesting collaboration.

"We are both women of a certain age," she laughs. "And she's such an incredible songwriter and vocalist."

The music industry has, of course, changed beyond all recognition between her debut, Northern Star, and her seventh album.

"There used to be a formula that worked, and it doesn't anymore," she laughed, "and there's so much more work to do with social media and online."

She added that the decline of the traditional physical album was one of the main differences between now and 20 years ago.

"As an artist, you've made this body of work and even the track-listing is painstaking to get it right," she said.

"When I was a kid, we saved up, went to Woolworths, bought your album, scrutinised the lyrics and the artwork, and it was such an exciting part of growing up. Kids don't do that now, it's not their world anymore."

Another big difference, she added, was how much more sexualised the industry had become.

"I wish some successful women were more courageous in not baring as much flesh," Chisholm said.

"When you're young and you look fabulous, of course, flaunt it. But I just think it's overkill, I really do."

As the interview drew to a close, there was still one crucial question that needed to be asked: at the age of 42, could Sporty Spice still do a back-flip?

"You know, I've not done for a while," she laughed, "but I'm sure I could, if I do a good warm-up."


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