Spice Girls Re-Team For Brief Tour

After solo projects, marriages, motherhood, and another round of slagging in the press, the Spice Girls reconvened over the weekend to kick off a brief British tour.

The Girl Power pioneers played the first of four straight shows at Manchester, England's Evening News Arena on Saturday and found a warm welcome, according to reports. The Associated Press reports that "Sporty Spice" Melanie C. actually cried at the response the group found, telling the crowd, "We've missed you."

After their Manchester run, the Girls will move on to play four dates at London's Earls Court Arena from December 11 through the 15.

The reception had to help the Girls' egos after the annual readers' poll in Brit music mag "Smash Hits" reportedly named the outfit "Britain's worst group." Reuters also reports that Mel C. (who ventured into solo country this year with "Northern Star") was hit especially hard in the survey, being named Worst Female Singer, Worst Single, Worst Video, Most Tragic Haircut,

and Worst Dressed Person.

Despite the poll results, there's no denying that the Girls have placed a big candy-coated stamp on the face of popular music during their tenure, as the group's still-loyal fans will tell you. The outfit helped to usher in a new wave of larger than life teen-oriented pop with the one-two punch of 1996's "Spice" and 1997's "Spiceworld," and the Girls are not about to rest on top of the empire they've built.

"Initially we were standing up there for Girl Power and everything, which is fantastic," Mel C. told MTV News recently. "Now there's a lot of girl bands. There's a lot more female artists, maybe not [having] to do with us, but you know, it's made it more acceptable, and in Britain there's some great pop out there... and there's a lot of terrible pop out there, which is a shame."

"But that's always the way," she continued. "When something comes out in fashion, when something becomes successful, everybody jumps on the bandwagon. So that's something

which is quite sad, but it was gonna happen. It was gonna happen anyway, and I mean, I feel now music is... enough already with the pop. You know, I think it's time for the next stage, thank you very much. I mean, okay, Spice Girls were a pop band, but I think we're the more sophisticated end of pop. I like to think so, anyway."

The Spicy ones have already begun work on a new album (no release date has been set yet), and Mel said that the group is expected to launch a U.S. tour in the summer of 2000. If you happen to be in the U.K. now, here's where you can catch them:

  • 12/7 - Manchester, UK @ Manchester Evening News Arena
  • 12/8 - Manchester, UK @ Manchester Evening News Arena
  • 12/11 - London, UK @ Earls Court Arena
  • 12/12 - London, UK @ Earls Court Arena
  • 12/14 - London, UK @ Earls Court Arena
  • 12/15 - London, UK @ Earls Court Arena