From the Spice Girls and Take That’s more subdued individuals to Girls Aloud’s Kimberley Walsh, it’s the so-called quiet ones who are often the most astute
“My biggest insecurity has always been, what do I contribute to the band?” mused Jason Orange in 2005, ahead of Take That’s lucrative reunion. His lack of clarity vis-a-vis his day job was subsequently reflected by Twitter wags, who marked his eventual departure in 2014 with variations on “Who?”. But as Take That stumble on as a trio – a reworked greatest hits album is out now – and with the Victoria Beckham-less Spice Girls reunion causing a similar wave of “Wow, what a huge vocal loss” sarcasm, it is time to reiterate the obvious: a great pop group is not just about vocals, dance moves or even the songs; it’s all about chemistry.
What Jason Orange and Victoria Beckham had in common is that both understood the importance of bringing self-awareness to groups featuring earnest, self-proclaimed leaders (Gary Barlow, Geri Halliwell); loose cannons (Robbie Williams, Mel B); steady third-tier recruits (Howard Donald, Mel C) and cute, quirky types (Mark Owen, Emma Bunton). Without them, the all-important balance is thrown off. Sure, Victoria’s main dance move was the point and pout, but the fact that you’re picturing her doing it right now means that she left her mark. The Posh Spice moniker may have defined her as smile-free, but you can’t eschew a solo spot, as she did during the Spice Girls’ first reunion tour in 2007, in favour of sashaying down a catwalk to RuPaul’s Supermodel (You Better Work) and not have a sense of humour.Continue reading...
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