More Glasto-guest appearance shenanigans today, with what turned out to be both a surprise and a gem – Mel C joining Blossoms on stage to perform Spice Up Your Life:
Other than to say that was ace and everyone seemed to be having a real blast, there are three things to say about this barn-storming performance (and one of those isn’t even about the performance):
- Lead Blossom Tom Ogden seems to be wearing the sort of outfit that even Miles Hunt would have blanched at when The Wonder Stuff were at the peak of their Size of a Cow/Dizzy powers;
- Did you notice a slight change in the lyrics? There’s a line in the original, at the start of the second verse which goes: “Yellow man in Tumbuktu” which, thankfully, was now changed to “There’s a man in Timbuktu”, which I’m sure you’ll agree is slightly less ‘of it’s time’ than that which it replaced;
- In an interview afterwards, Mel C said that she would be reporting back to the rest of the Spice Girls about how “amazing” Glastonbury is, and that she thought she might be able to get all five Girls – ‘Posh’ included – to reform one last time to play the Sunday Legends slot (y’know, if they were asked, like).
Now. I am not going to deny that the Spice Girls were very important in the world of pop. Their impact was significant not just in the land of the hit parade, but culturally, world-wide. They were empowering to young women who, until that moment had no all-female pop-bands to look up to and aspire to be like. Apart from Bananarama. And The Go-Go’s. And The Nolans. OK, maybe there were some all female pop-bands. But you get my drift; up until then, there had been nobody quite like the Spice Girls.
What I am going to suggest, however, is that once they’ve got past the upbeat hits – Wannabe, Say You’ll Be There, Stop, Who Do You Think You Are, the aforementioned Spice Up Your Life, heck even 2 Become 1, then the show would be a tad on the dull side. Shmaltzy, but dull, because you’re then into interminable slush like Viva Forever, Goodbye, Mama and *gulps* comeback single #2 Headlines (Friendship Never Ends).
It’d be so schmaltzy and dull that, much as the crowd spontaneously sang Happy Birthday to Paul ‘Fab Macca Wacky Thumbs Aloft’ McCartney, I can envisage an unrehearsed chorus of “Come back Diana Ross, all is forgiven!”
For on Sunday this year at Glastonbury, the age old question: “Do the legends mime?” was answered once and for all. Answer: No they do not, but they may well do after Ms Ross’ appearance.
About 25 years or so ago (early 90s, whenever that was) I was moonlighting selling merch at some gigs at what was then called the Cardiff International Arena. I got to see some great acts perform there: Take That not so long before Robbie quit, some not-so-good-acts: Chris de Burgh – who was as dreadful as anticipated and, if I recall, spent a good part of his set moaning about the fact that the Red Tops had gotten hold of a story about him banging his au pair whilst his wife was recuperating in the hospital from a broken neck suffered during a horse-riding accident (a story which I imagine none of them were pleased became public knowledge).
And then there was Diana Ross, who was, as one would expect, utterly fabulous, so I was quite looking forward to her appearance on the Pyramid Stage this year.
Oh dear. What a disappointment. I’ll be generous and assume there were sound issues, because I don’t think she managed to hit two correct notes in a row throughout the whole thing. Hel was overseas on holiday, and unable to watch it, so I treated her to the following commentary via a WhatsApp chat:
“Watching Diana Ross. Mildly embarrassing – she’s veering from flat to just shouting the words…Backing band and vocalists are doing a lot of heavy lifting here…She’s just shouting the last syllable of each line. It’s like watching Mark E Smith, blacked up and in drag…Oh God. She’s stopped the band, and is trying to start a sing-a-long to the verse of I’m Still Waiting. Not the chorus, THE VERSE. It has been met with what is often referred to as “a deafening silence”. Excruciating…Absolutely unfathomable decision to leave the stage, return to do an encore of… I Will Survive. Finishes, walks off stage again, barely a noise from the crowd.”
Be grateful I haven’t managed to locate a clip…