Since then, on the personality parade of fame, she’s not done much to win us over. For a time, people (and sometimes Victoria herself) would insist in interviews and documentaries that “she’s actually really funny and doesn’t take herself seriously at all,” but they’ve even stopped saying that now. Victoria knows that she’s not your favourite Spice Girl, and she’s ok with it.
She was the first Spice Girl through the door, though, never to be replaced; not like Suzanne Tinker, Lianne Morgan and Michelle Stephenson. They’d all replied to the same advert in The Stage, placed by Heart Management, who then screwed things up for themselves. ‘Touch’, as the classic SG lineup we all know and love were called back then, spent a year ‘training’ for their great chart heist while Heart neglected to see the potential of the group they’d forced together. By the time Geri had rechristened them ‘Spice’ (still not great) they’d persuaded their managers to put together a showcase for them to invite industry A&Rs and producers to. It went so well that Heart thought they’d better lock Spice (yeah, it’s bad) into a binding contract after all. It was Victoria’s father who gave the group legal advice against signing the deal, encouraging them to stall and go with Simon Fuller instead – and we all know what that guy’s capable of.
If this is the only thing that Victoria Beckham ever did for the Spice Girls, it’s big. Let’s say Suzanne Tinker stayed and Victoria went – while I like the sound of her very much, the Spice Girls could well have remained ‘Touch’ forever. So it would have been ‘Touch Up Your Life’, only it wouldn’t have because no one’s listening to a band called Touch. ‘Scary Touch’ actually sounds better than ‘Scary Spice’. And ‘Posh Touch’. But ‘Baby Touch’ sounds horrific and ‘Ginger Touch’ accusatory.
Without the group, Emma Bunton would have been force into resurrecting her burgeoning acting career as ‘mugger’ from a 1992 episode of EastEnders, and the same goes for Mel B, who’d clogged up Coronation Street as a recurring shelf-stacker in ’93. One hundred percent, Geri would have been a holiday rep, and a fucking brilliant one.
The 1997 Brit Awards wouldn’t be remembered for Geri’s Union Jack dress – ‘Everyday Is A Winding Road’ would have been the big takeaway live performance; ‘Wannabe’ wouldn’t have won British Single of The Year – it would have been ‘Lifted’ by Lighthouse Family. And of course Geri (let’s face it, it’s Geri who we would miss in all of this) wouldn’t have been able to bail on the group early to release a debut solo single as impressively one-dimensional as ‘Look At Me’ – a Poundland Shirley Bassey number in which she lists words she knows that rhyme and gives ‘Ginger’ a funeral in the video (showbiz grudges were much more on-the-nose in 1999).