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Their first single, “Headlines,” may be tanking on the UK charts, but The Spice Girls have every reason to be elated this morning. They kicked off their worldwide reunion tour in Vancouver, British Columbia to rave reviews. And according to sources, they didn’t even lip-sync! Here’s a roundup:

BBC NEWS reports on the girls’ setlist.

The two-hour show saw the stars perform 22 tracks, including their nine UK number one singles, and new single “Headlines.” They had eight costume changes during the evening, opening with “Spice Up Your Life” and dancing on raised platforms. The group ended the concert with a rendition of “Wannabe,” their debut single, and a reprise of “Spice Up Your Life.”

Four stars for the first Spice Girls show in The Times:

Now in their thirties, with seven young children between them to consider, along with all the other competing demands on their attention, could they still pull it off?

Yes they could. Indeed, changed circumstances seemed to have made little difference to their irreverent and irrepressible approach. Colorful, energetic, and wildly ambitious, if this was a show intended to “cash in” on past triumphs, they had certainly not stinted on the time, dedication and money that had obviously been spent on designing and mounting it. And despite the ongoing debate about their vocal talents, the Spice Girls didn’t mime, from what I could tell sitting in the front row. (Impressive!!!!)

Catherine Elsworth of The Daily Telegraph concurs:

The exuberant set – which took in eight costumes and elaborate choreography including a spot of pole dancing – had fans screaming from beginning to end and betrayed no signs of the intervening years.

If anything, the crowd was awed by the physicality of the performance and the whittled frames of the now thirty-something members, four of whom are mothers to a total of seven children.

Pete Clark of Evening Standard adds:

Questions have been raised again about their vocal and dancing abilities, and doubts voiced as to their commitment and motivation. Watching these five tiny figures belting it out over two hours, and giving every impression of having a high old time in the process, one has to conclude that this is ebullient pop music of a very high standard, presented with panache, and highly unlikely to provoke any attendance at the refund window.

So, if you forked over the big bucks for a Spice Girls gig, at least you’re likely to get a good show. The Daily Mail has posted their own witty take on the Vancouver proceedings: they’ve dubbed The Spice Girls “The Golden Girls,” which is funny on several levels. I think we all know who’s Bea Arthur

Leona Lewis has taken up residence atop the UK Singles Chart. “Bleeding Love” has extended its No. 1 run to six weeks. The infectious “Heartbroken” trails at No. 2, and Girls Aloud leap five spots to No. 3 with their hit, “Call the Shots.” I got an email from Tanya Bower this morning saying, “The new Girls Aloud is so brilliant! Why, oh why, can’t they be the next big thing here??” Word.

1. Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love
Watch the video

2. T2 ft. Jodie Aysha – Heartbroken
Watch the video

3. Girls Aloud – Call the Shots
Watch the video

4. Take That – Rule the World
Watch the video

5. Timbaland ft. New Republic -Apologize
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6. Mark Ronson ft. Amy Winehouse -Valerie
Watch the video

7. Alicia Keys – No One
Watch the video

8. Shayne Ward – Breathless
Watch the video

9. Kylie Minogue – 2 Hearts
Watch the video

10. Westlife – Home
Watch the video

In other news:

  • Some welcome good news for Morrissey: he has a new record label, according to BBC NEWS. He has signed on to Decca Records. Given Decca’s roster, Moz is guaranteed to be the hardest rocker there.

  • Moz fans stand by him against NME.(The Independent)
  • NME writer Tim Jonze grabs his moment in the sun on Morrissey’s back.(Guardian)
  • From The Sun: “Amy came out and started stumbling around. She popped her head over the fence like she was looking for something. It was freezing and she had no shoes and just a red bra. She was mumbling something incomprehensible. It wasn’t the behavior of someone in the right state of mind.” Hint: it’s not Enchanted star Amy Adams they are talking about…
  • Lily Allen, once an advocate for women’s health and body image, looks freakishly skinny on the cover of GQ.(Daily Mail)
  • The Times reveals the best CDs of the year. Robert Plant and Alison KraussRaising Sand tops their pop/rock list.
  • Maximo Park – who will have three tracks on my upcoming Best of 2007 list – now have their own branded beer.(NME)
  • Director Cameron Crowe recalls the moment Led Zeppelin, met their idol, Elvis Presley, back in 1972. (Telegraph)
  • Jimmy Page opens up about the grief he felt after John Bonham‘s death in 1980: “After John Bonham’s death I spent fifteen years not even wanting to think about Led Zeppelin.”(Gigwise)
  • Page wants some tips from Elton John on how not to sound like sh– at the O2 Arena: “The Stones sounded terrible [when they played there], Prince wasn’t great, Snow Patrol was just this great monolithic noise. The only guy who sounded OK in there was Elton John. So I may talk to his soundman.”(NME)
  • He believes in beauty, it’s Lennon as a boy.(Guardian)
  • A Pitchfork interview with Duran Duran‘s John Taylor.
  • Phil Collins of all people disses Paul McCartney: “I used to work with Paul, these days I wouldn’t. I think he has the wrong sort of people around him. They let him make the wrong musical choices.” (The Sun)
  • Welsh lads Super Furry Animals are coming to America.(NME)
  • Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson says concerts make him too knackered to shag.(The Sun)
  • A “spy” says Nadine Coyle is all set to jump the broom with Jesse Metcalfe.(NME)
  • Nadine and Jesse go G.A.Y. for charity.(The Sun)
  • The quickest way to start a riot? Throw a £30,000 diamond ring into a crowd of gay men, which is exactly what Sharon Osbourne did this weekend at London Astoria.(Daily Mail)
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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.