Live Review: Saint Etienne @ The Social

By londonist_music Last edited 112 months ago
Live Review: Saint Etienne @ The Social


Saint Etienne, one of Heavenly Record's first signings, were the guests of honour for The Social’s 10th birthday this Monday night.

From the start, the charming Sarah Cracknell's announcement that they were going to be performing some tracks from their new album was met with controversy - this is tricky territory, as even die-hard fans want some well loved crowd pleasers. Yet it transpired that this album was Foxbase Beta, Richard X's reworking of their seminal studio album, and the opening bars of a revisited version of 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' drifted out across an unsuspectingly euphoric crowd.

With bar prices reminiscent of the time of the album's launch in 1991, and the venue itself being endearingly tiny, it felt more like a house party. We were certainly made to feel at home - having a Magic Number stood on your foot for part of the gig was part of the novelty of such a laid back atmosphere. Five tracks later, we'd been drawn in by classic tunes such as 'She's the One' and 'Spring', but the band suddenly left the stage. Pleas for 'one more song' taken a little too literally, but there wasn't one glum face as we filed out from the venue though - even from the guy who'd come all the way from Nottingham just for the gig was grinning excitedly.

Trudging out to do battle with public transport, work imminent in the morning, we were feeling a little old for school night gigs. But the party at the Social was still going strong, proving that at 10 they're certainly not passed it yet. As the band themselves sang;' Nothing Can Stop Us'. We hope there will be many happy returns.

Ruth Lang

Last Updated 14 October 2009