Music: Mel C – The Sea Live Tour at the Concorde 2

On this, the last night of her whistle-stop tour of the UK, Mel C strutted out onto the stage of the Concorde 2 amid the smoke and lights as if she were still at Wembley: the audience cheered and held their digital cameras aloft in 21st century salute. She ran through her ballad-heavy roster of hits, and everything was slick, professional and bang on the money. And there’s the rub.

While Mel herself looks every inch the tweezered pop diva, rather than the rock goddess she aspires to be, with moves honed in her stadium pop days, it would be unfair to criticise her simply because she happens to have been a member of one of the most successful manufactured bands of all time. The fact of the matter is that underneath all the slickness and professionalism, the crowd-pleasing, the girl can sing.

But something was missing. The songs – solid, professional, write-by-numbers affairs – were ok, and the band’s performance pristine. Mel deserved better. The show lacked that sense of danger you get when the performers really want it, and the audience never lost themselves in the moment.

Mel C has the voice, and the chutzpah, but all her rock and roll intentions will fall by the wayside until she allows herself to cut loose, and hires a band not of hardened pros, but of young bloods full of rock and roll spirit. The audience get what they paid for, but it could have been so much more.

Concorde 2, 7 March,
Rating: ★★★½☆
Pete Langman

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