Christmas in Spiceworld

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Christmas in Spiceworld
European tour by Spice Girls
Start date 4 December 1999
End date 15 December 1999
Legs 1
Shows 8
Spice Girls concert chronology
Spiceworld Tour
(1998)
Christmas in Spiceworld
(1999)
The Return of the Spice Girls
(2007–08)

Christmas in Spiceworld was the second concert tour by British girl group the Spice Girls. The eight-show tour was launched following "solo projects, marriages, motherhood and another round of slagging in the press", as a reunion for the girls.[1]

Background[edit]

Christmas In Spiceworld Tour was a sell out arena tour that ran for eight shows in Manchester and London, England during December 1999. The tour occurred between the albums Spiceworld and Forever. The Spice Girls debuted three new songs from the "Forever" album sessions on the tour - "Right Back At Ya (Pop Version)", "W.O.M.A.N (Unreleased Song)" and the future number one single "Holler". The performed version of "Right Back At Ya" differed from the version that later appeared on the album. Rather than a Darkchild-produced R&B song, it was a "Spiceworld" - esque pop song. A studio version of "W.O.M.A.N" never surfaced. It was written by Matthew Paul Row Bottom, Richard Fredrick Stannard and the four spice girls in August 1999. This is considered to be the most famous unreleased Spice Girls song. The song was meant to be released on Forever but after it was decided that the third album would have a more R&B influence, the song was cutfor it was considered that the bubble-gum pop sound did not fit in with the rest of the album. "Right Back At Ya" was originally written and produced by the Spice Girls and Eliot Kennedy, whom they have worked with before on singles such as "Say You'll Be There" but it was remixed by Darkchild so it would fit in with the rest of the album. This offended Kennedy and he labeled the final piece another "boring, plodding R&B song".

Broadcast[edit]

The full concert at Earl's Court was broadcast live on Sky One at 8:00 P.M. and also included a documentary containing rehearsals and interviews with the Spice Girls.

The full concert was also aired on Fox Kids in some foreign countries.

Show and stage[edit]

The stage was their most complex and most accommodating. It was set up at the far right corner of the arena with a small platform with some props such as Christmas trees. From the small platform, there was a very long runway which lead to a pentagonal main stage which was nearly in the middle of the arena. In the middle of the main stage there was a pit that contained the band. Above the pit were four small runways onto the circular centre piece of the stage which could be raised up and rotated. Above the main stage, in addition to stage lights, there were Christmas-type features such as a fake ice pillar.

Act 1
"Forever Spice":

The concert starts out with an musical intro composed by Nathan McCree. The girls then entered the stage on the small stage and made their way over to the main stage. During the whole show the girls would move from the main stage to the circular one in the centre on the main stage. When "Say You'll be There" was performed, it started with a slightly faster acapella version of the song. The version of "Right Back At Ya" performed was the pop version. The girls introduced it as a comeback song and as a get back to the critics, who said they would split. "W.O.M.A.N" was introduced as a new song from their third album, but the studio recording never surfaced. It is a jazzy pop song that is similar in style to "Who Do You Think You Are?". For the last song of the set Mel B and Emma Bunton would go into the audience and pick two members of the audience to join them in "2 Become 1" with Mel B saying she needs a man and Emma saying she needs a baby (a reference to her own spice persona).

Act 2
"Supergirls":

There was no intermission between set one and two. The girls began "Stop" on the centre stage while it rotated around the stage. "Holler" was done as the album version, though a dance interlude was added before the third verse. "Who Do You Think You Are?" was remixed into a jazz song. "Never Give Up On The Good Times" had an interlude before the final verse and the girls acted as superheros. "Wannabe" was also remixed for the tour and "Goodbye" was performed with a choir and ended with a long orchesral interlude as the girls left the stage.

Act 3
"It's Christmas!":

Church bells were heard before "Viva Forever started. The choir performed for the final time with the Spice Girls during "Viva Forever".

Incident[edit]

A crew member died on 16 December 1999 after falling "more than 80ft" at Earls Court Arena while dismantling the set from the Spice Girl's performance.[2]

Set list[edit]

Act 1: Forever Spice

  1. "Spice Up Your Life"
  2. "Something Kinda Funny"
  3. "Say You'll Be There" (a cappella introduction of the first verse)
  4. "Right Back at Ya" (unreleased pop version)
  5. "Step to Me"
  6. "Mama"
  7. "Too Much"
  8. "W.O.M.A.N" (unreleased song from "Forever")
  9. "2 Become 1"

Act 2: Supergirls

  1. "Stop"
  2. "Holler"
  3. "Who Do You Think You Are"
  4. "Never Give Up on the Good Times"
  5. "Wannabe" (Remix)
  6. "Goodbye"

Act 3: It's Christmas! (Encore)

  1. "Viva Forever"
  2. Christmas Medley:
  3. "Wannabe" (Reprise)

Tour dates[edit]

Date[1] City Country Venue
4 December 1999 Manchester England Manchester Evening News Arena
5 December 1999
7 December 1999
8 December 1999
11 December 1999 London Earls Court Arena
12 December 1999
14 December 1999
15 December 1999

Personnel[edit]

Performers

  • Emma Bunton - vocals
  • Melanie Brown (or Melanie Gulzar) - vocals
  • Melanie Chisholm - vocals
  • Victoria Beckham - vocals

Band

  • Simon Ellis - musical director / keyboards
  • Michael Martin - keyboards
  • Paul Gendler - guitar
  • John Thompson - bass
  • Fergus Gerrand - drums

Brass

  • James Lynch - trumpet
  • Mike Lovitt - trumpet
  • Howard McGill - sax
  • Winston Rollins - trombone

Strings

  • Audrey Riley - arranger
  • Chris Tomling - 1st violin

Violins

  • Greg Warren Wilson
  • Richard George
  • Anne Morffe
  • Laura Melhewish
  • Darren Morgan
  • Helen Patterson

Violas

  • Susan Dench
  • Peter Collyer
  • Bridget Carrie

Celli

  • Sophie Harris
  • Joy Hayley

Management and additional personnel

  • Richard Jones - tour manager
  • Peter Barnes - show producer, lighting & set designer
  • Chris Vaughan - production manager
  • Ray Furze - sound engineer
  • Darrin Henson, Melinda McKenna - choreography

References[edit]