11 January 2014 (gig)
15 January 2014
Mel C was back in town. Celebrating her 40th birthday with a special one-off gig and advertised as Sporty's 40, the former spice girl rocked out Shepherds Bush Empire with an extended gig of her songs to date, including her solo hits. The track-suit bottoms were gone, as were the crazy back-flips. This didn't dampen the mood as she took to the stage in jubilant birthday and rather drunk fashion.
Back in the Spice Girls days, there was always the view that Mel C was the most credible artist of the band, with the best voice some would argue. Taking the fans through a journey of 23 tracks, she can certainly hold her own when it comes to live performances. Perhaps not with the most angelic of voices, more through live power and precision.
Kicking off the event with the track Think About It (from her fourth album), the sell-out crowd were quick to respond. Indeed fans from all over the world came to see Sporty in action, including from Germany, Spain and Columbia. Partnering duets came thick and fast on stage, including Northern Star with Andy Burrows, Loving You with Ben Foster and When You're Gone with Chris Moyles, much to the amusement of the crowd. There was also a one-off acoustic guitar performance from Mel and a cover of Rhianna's Only Girl (In The World), making the night somewhat varied in entertainment.
A birthday celebration wouldn't be the same without a cake and old friends. And Mel C had both. Greeted at the end by Natalie Appleton for Pure Shores and Emma Bunton for 2 Become 1, the party ended on a suitable high, along with a solo rendition of I Turn To You.
Overall, a good evening's worth of entertainment from a credible artist.