For years, my now re-ignited passion for the Spice Girls had lain dormant. Locked away in the part of my heart forever dedicated to the 90s, when the world was so much simpler. Fancy dress just meant a pair of tracksuit pants, a tightly pulled ponytail, a fake arm tattoo and calling myself Mel C. My friends and I would unashamedly lip sync in front of the mirror, hair in those alien-like double buns, and tell each other that 'zig-a-zig-ah' meant 'let's have sex' in Arabic.
But musical taste and the loaded question 'what kind of stuff are you into' got more and more complicated as I grew older. When The Prodigy released Firestarter something changed. Piercings and tattoos and spiders were cooler, even if the lead 'singer' was called Keith. Miming 2 become 1 was suddenly 'sad' and I found myself doing the one dance move, alone. I was forced into hiding. Once it became a secret, my love for girl groups grew into an obsession, the nineties just had so much to offer me. TLC, Destiny's Child, En Vogue, All Saints - every time I thought I could quit and fancy a Gallagher brother, another girl group popped up and lured me in.
Cruelly, now I'm old enough to be honest about my musical tastes, they are extinct. While the boy band has flourished into the weirdly hipster One Direction collective, the girl group petered out as the 78th new member of the Sugababes was announced and it was discovered that Atomic Kitten couldn't sing. Do I want the Spice Girls to reform? No, I don't. And I happily transferred my passion for Destiny's Child to Beyonce's solo career. The truth is, I'm not even sure how I'd feel about a new girl group. It's as though the context has been lost. These days women can succeed outside of a ensemble, and that's great, really it is. Even if you're an ex Spice Girl singing in Spanish. I decided a long time ago not to mourn the loss of the girl group, but rather celebrate it with elaborate karaoke sessions, so here's my nostalgia-playlist. And no, it's not ironic pop. They're heartsongs.