Geri Halliwell’s blog reads like a series of those fridge magnets your grandma has—all inspirational quotes and photos of farmyard animals with human features. She repeatedly refers to Mel B as her “soul sista” and her entries are littered with shrill faux pearls such as “last weekend I danced with an old Elvis who grows vegetables, I saw a funky bunny who played the bass—amazing, and I ate vegemite.” This is all served with a fervent spatter of pogoing exclamation marks.
Bless Geri though. She's not having the best of years. She doggy paddled into controversy in April when she tweeted that Margaret Thatcher was “our 1st Lady of girl power.” Quickly afterwards she deleted the tweet and mused, “Did I really know enough about Margaret Thatcher? Was I just trying to be relevant? She had obviously upset a lot of people.” On her blog, she goes on to pontificate that having knowledge of Thatcher’s policies is irrelevant to having a view about her. “I admire a woman…regardless of her opinions,” which makes me think she should do a quick Google of Irma Grese.
Eight years after the release of Richard-X TENA-lite flop “Desire”, Geri's back with the track ‘”Half Of Me”, currently only available to buy in Australia, where Halliwell is a judge on Australia's Got Talent, alongside Dawn French.
To date, it has sold 393 copies, reaching number 94 in the Aussie charts. Since the sales data came through she's started to refer to 393 as "her new magic number”, which has a touch of pathetic fallacy to it, the 393 being the absolute worst bus in London, meandering with the same small and red lack of direction.
Perhaps the secret of the song's "success" lies in it's lyrics
“Just like an apple/Cut down the middle/I only have one matching half.”
“I wanna have your baby/ Gotta have you like crazy/ And iron your shirts.”
“I gave you the finger/ You took me to dinner".
Nope that hasn't helped, apart from conjuring a horrible mental tapestry of a supper date with former squeeze Russell Brand’s ill-fated residues on her cuticles, virulently poking at tapas. I hope she practices good hygiene.
The accompanying video looks like it was paid for by taking a few extras at gunpoint to a Coinstar. Geri nods her big ol’ head nods to current youth trends: there’s a man in a backwards cap, perhaps from the street dance troupe she saw during her judging post on Australia’s Got Talent (who apparently looked like they were “going to steal my handbag!”) There are also some gay people! And a girl that I think is meant to represent sea punk but may have just had an allergic reaction to something.
The best thing that can be said about the video comes from the following YouTube comment:
“The video is a bit amusing with all the different common people in it. Geri is nice as well. Not a super song, but is good for the radio with its happy little tune.”
Venturing further into Geri Halliwell’s own YouTube channel is a strident experience. There is “Forgive me -- I’m Geri Halliwell the cockroach killer!” which sounds like a Jainist B-movie. There is also “Geri Halliwell Does Dare” which unfortunately isn’t an articulated cover of the Gorillaz/Shaun Ryder song, but involves Geri walking into an unsuspecting pub and delivering a rictus rendition of the Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There”. This is toe-curling to watch because I don’t think anyone dared her to do this. It’s also a far less impressive dare than when my flatmate ate 120 value chicken nuggets and went blind.
Geri was due to perform “Half of Me” on the finale of Australia’s Got Talent, with the humble hope of bolstering it to number 60 in the charts. She instead decided to fall back on something "honest". But at the last moment she instead did a stripped-back version of “Wannabe”, which she previously biopsied at a 2012 Breast Cancer Gala. Despite “Wannabe” consisting of about six clauses, she manages to drag out her moth paste vocals for a painful three minutes, during which fellow judge Dawn French looks like she has a slice of lime in her urethra.
Maybe it’s unfair to judge Geri until we hear the whole album. It was written in a “magic shed” with Ed Sheeran’s team of songwriters and as Geri says on her marvellous blog - “I didn’t sensor myself one bit” (sic).