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Alternative dance-pop trio St-Etienne blew in to Grand Central Hall

Alternative dance-pop trio St-Etienne blew in to Grand Central Hall

Saint Etienne and Jane Weaver blew into Grand Central Hall on the back of Storm Arwen with both acts promoting new albums.

Jane Weaver warmed up the crowd in a chilly Central Hall with a set that showcased her 2021 Flock album, that is sitting high in plenty of ‘Best of lists’ of the year; Pyramid Schemes, Revolution of Super Visions , Sunset Dreams and Heartlow pulsed through a quiet but appreciate crowd.

Jane throwing graceful slinky moves as her band locked into their motorik sounds and the crowd eagerly waiting for the epic finale of Solarized to finish the set, her final track on her marvellous Flock album but it wasn’t it be, a missed opportunity one would think?

Flock is one the albums we have on rotation at Urbanista HQ and its even caught the attention of Fashion Brand – Mulberry. The designer is using the track Heartlow in their new campaign.

Three decades in, Saint Etienne are Indie pop/ dance true survivors and are still reinventing themselves with their 2021 album I’ve Been Trying to Tell You .

Bob Stanley, Sarah Cracknell and Pete Wiggs has always moved confidently with their own purpose and grace. Producing a strong set that started a little hesitantly with a subdued Like a Motorway and Mario’s Cafe, the set and crowd sprung into life with Girl 7 and Spring from 1990 debut album Fox Base Alpha.

Personally, I hadn’t warmed to their new album but Fonteyn and Penlop sounded dynamic and epic in the live surroundings. With Sarah wooing the crowd and Bob and Pete swaying over their electronic set up in the background, the crowd roared in ecstasy with 1990 club favourite and Neil Young cover Only Love Can Break Your Heart and Tonight from Words and Music. Showcasing their new Xmas song Her Winter Coat in the encore, the mood softened until a bursting gleeful poppy He’s on The Phone brought the party back to life in Central Hall.

Both bands deserve an acoustically better venue as it was difficult to understand what they were saying due to the reverb in the room.

A chilly evening in the curious setting of Central Hall was certainly a set of two halves but Liverpool warmly embraced Saint Etienne with the love and respect they certainly deserve.

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Kieran Maguire

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