Melanie C - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London
2012 has been a very successful year for ex-Spice Girl Melanie C as the singer rejoined the UK’s biggest ever girl group for their appearance during the closing ceremony of the London Olympics, a performance viewed by over 26 million people in the UK! Mel also appeared on countless TV screens over a two week period, as she was one of the judges on the show Superstar, a reality TV series searching for the singer who would play the role of Jesus in a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, with Miss Chisholm taking to the road after the show's completion for a highly successful tour of the musical, playing the role of Mary Magdalene.
Mel’s love for musical theatre has led to the appearance of her current album - Stages, a selection of the singer’s favourite songs from that genre, including ‘I Don’t Know How To Love Him’ from JCSS and ‘Tell Me It’s Not True’ from Blood Brothers, a song Mel must know inside out as she sung it for almost six months while playing the part of Mrs Johnstone in the West End production, leading to the singer receiving a nomination for the Best Actress in a Musical category at the 2010 Laurence Olivier Awards.
Mel doesn't have a current tour in the pipeline to promote Stages so her rare one off date at the capital's Shepherd's Bush Empire was a real treat for fans, especially as it pulled from all stages of her career.
Mel announced early on that she wasn't there to promote anything, she was just doing the show for the fans, saying "Fuck it!" and having a good time, a sentiment shared by the countless Chisholm devotees in the house, who roared their affection throughout the show.
There was plenty to enjoy at SBE, with several tracks pulled from Mel's previous album (and firm Fix favourite) The Sea, including opener 'Rock Me', 'Stupid Game' and a very rare outing for 'Enemy'. Things didn't go too well during 'Drown''s appearance on the set list though, as the song was started twice but knocked on the head due to technical issues. Luckily the same couldn't be said for 'Think About It' as it was a real set highlight.
Audience members had been promised a few special guests and three appeared in quick succession, with Peter Vettese lending a hand during 'Both Sides Now' and Starsailor’s James Walsh joining in with his co-penned 'One By One'. Both guests went down well but the biggest cheer of the night was reserved for fellow Spice Emma Bunton, teaming up with Mel for a run through of current single 'I Know Him So Well', cheered on by Ginger Spice up in the balcony!
The remainder of the night was peppered with fan faves from Mel's back catalogue, including 'Suddenly Monday' (leading to a huge crowd singalong), 'Carolyna', 'Next Best Superstar' and 'When You're Gone', with the evening ending with a fantastic 'I Turn To You', leading to massed dancing, with many fans exclaiming how great the show was as they exited the building on the song's completion.