Thursday, 10 December 2015

Only St Etienne can break your heart... @bobpetesarah

For me St Etienne were always the epitome of cool, both in sound and image, ever since Foxbase Alpha in 1991 (and I am sure I saw them play a set at Glastonbury the year before that). They have always been on my musical radar - inventing a whole new sub-genre of music in my mind (sometimes literally in my mind- their music is always but a trigger away for me): electronica-melancholia. The wistful lyrics and lilting sounds always go straight to my heart and soul. 

St Etienne's music has always made me sigh, cry and even dance around my flat (a rare feat achieved by very few bands, I'll have you know). I thought I may never see them live again but last night they were back, at the Albert Hall in Manchester, which they seemed to appreciate as a venue as much as the audience appreciated them popping in on their Christmas tour.

I tend to swoon at Tales from Turnpike Lane and its Milk Bottle Symphony- because of that album I always listen to an album of St Etienne whenever I am on the train to London- their heartfelt London references set me up for the Big Smoke.

Amidst swirling synths, mournful cellos, Charlie Brown Christmas cartoons, and a wander down cool (and cheesey) videos from bygone eras, we were treated to a winter wanderland through a glorious back catalogue: He’s On The Phone, Nothing Can Stop Us Now, You’re In A Bad Way, Don't Back Down, Who do you think you are? Tonight, and many more. If you know and love the work of Sarah Pete and Bob you will know what I mean. If you don't, well where have you been the past quarter century- time to catch up! And Maybe Only Love Can Break Your Heart, I certainly cried a little at various points throughout- not something that happens often to me at a gig. Thanks St Etienne, come back to Manchester real soon! 

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