WORTH A LOOK?: ****
SETLIST: Who I Am; Blame It On Me; Good Enough; Escape; Fearless (with Nadia Rose); Overload; In And Out Of Love; Into You; Nowhere To Run; Here I Am; End Of Everything; High Heels (with Sink The Pink); I Turn To You
‘The 10-year-old in my head has absolutely collapsed. While 27-year-old me feels the same,’ says south London rapper Nadia Rose (pictured above left) as she joins Melanie C onstage during this internet gig to preview the latter’s new album out today.
- Read on for reasons including details of Melanie C’s tour next year including a London gig
The song they duet on is called Fearless and is from Melanie C’s 8th solo album Colour And Light which is a diverse collection which we hear in its entirety tonight.
Flanked by a drummer and a keyboardist, the artist formerly known as Sporty Spice puts this internet album launch in context: ‘What a weird world we are living in. But we want to make the most of it. I’m not going to mention the ‘c’ word.’
Later she adds: ‘I hope you’re all enjoying your evening and I’ll try to distract you from the utter shite.’
Melanie C made her name in the Spice Girls in the 90s and has been releasing albums on her self-funded label Red Girl Records since 2005. Our favourite track on this album is the dancefloor-friendly In And Out Of Love (listen below) but there’s a lot of fine competition in the album’s 10 tracks.
She describes Here I Am (key lyric: ‘I found strength in my weakness.’) as a song about empowerment, Good Enough was written with monstagigz favourite Shura and there’s real darkness in Nowhere To Run.
‘For me this feels really exciting, like a new chapter. This album has been so much fun. It’s been an amazing focus for me at this worrying time.’
The highlight of the new songs for us is the classic ballad End Of Everything of which Melanie C says: ‘This is a song about change. I’ve always been afraid of change. There’s a lot of change at the moment. I want to share my experience of how beautiful change can be.’
For us the album shows just how much Melanie C is growing as an interesting artist capable of soul and if we had to make a comparison it would be as a more commercial Robyn.
There might not be an audience for this gig that she can see but Melanie C has an infectious sense of humour. ‘Look at how dinky I am,’ she remarks as she takes off her high heels towards the end of the new set.
Sink The Pink join her for an encore of one of her more recent dancefloor successes (listen above) and she clearly misses touring saying: ‘We had so much fun in 2019 on the Spice Girls tour and then the Global Pride tour with Sink the Pink – and then it was 2020.
‘I hope that we all live in a much better world and soon. I hope to see you all on tour soon. I want to go everywhere, all over the world.’
As she encores with one of her biggest solo hits (I Turn To You) we’re reminded of the 2007 Spice Girls’ gigs we saw her at in The 02 and also solo at the old Wembley Arena in 2000 and Shepherd’s Bush Empire in 2004.
She’s always been impressive live but it is tonight with a terrific new album she is about to unleash on a receptive world that she seems most comfortable in her own skin.