LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Britain's Spice Girls, back together and nearly a decade older than they were during their last world tour, have a better appreciation for their success -- and each other -- than they did during their heyday as a late 1990s pop phenomenon, the singers said on Wednesday.
The sassy quintet best known by their nicknames -- Posh, Baby, Sporty, Ginger and Scary -- are just days into a 40-date reunion tour that band member Melanie "Sporty" Chisholm said last month would be the group's "final bow."
In Los Angeles on Wednesday, however, the band didn't rule out making the reunion more permanent.
"As long as our fans want us to do shows then we'll be there for them," Emma "Baby" Bunton said, but added that touring and scheduling was more complicated now that most of the women have children.
With seven children between them, families are a constant refrain among the Spice Girls, which is comprised of Chisholm, Bunton, Victoria "Posh" Beckham, Melanie "Scary" Brown, and Geri "Ginger" Halliwell. Brown characterized the tour as a traveling circus, and Beckham said husbands, kids, dogs and tutors were along for the ride, which will take the group through North America and Europe.
The Spice Girls were one of the biggest musical acts of the 1990s, selling 55 million albums worldwide and captivating young fans with their self-assertive style, "Girl Power" slogan and catchy pop hits including "Wannabe" and "Say You'll Be There."
A reunion tour kicked off this week in Vancouver, and has been met with positive reviews. Recent demand for their music, however, has been disappointing, with their recent charity single "Headlines" selling only a few thousands copies in its first week and their "Greatest Hits" album failing to reach number one in Britain.
On Wednesday, however, the Spice Girls said the experience of mounting a reunion has been healing for the group, which started to crumble in 1998 when Halliwell left.
"It's good it's come full circle because it's like a bit of therapy for all of us," Brown, who was dressed in a bright yellow dress, said, adding that the relationships within the group had become better and stronger.
Bunton agreed, saying age allowed them to appreciate their success more than they did when they were 20-somethings suddenly overcome by global stardom.
"When we were younger we became a big complacent about it," the blonde Bunton said. "Now we've got a chance to do it again, with our children watching."
Even Halliwell said she regretted walking away from the group nearly a decade ago.
"I just didn't have the tools to work through things," she said. "I wish I'd been more mature about it instead of just running away."
Editing by Doina Chiacu