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Review: Summer of Steps tour comes to Canterbury

By Lowri Chant

They may have burst onto the 90s pop scene as a boot scootin' novelty band, but more than two decades on, Steps have proved the novelty hasn't worn off.

Thousands of excited fans - predominantly groups of 30-something women looking to relive their youth - packed into The Spitfire Ground in Canterbury last night for the Kent leg of the Summer of Steps 20th anniversary tour.

Some may sneer at the five-piece, with their sugar-sweet pop anthems and squeaky clean image.

Steps perform in Canterbury as part of their 20th anniversary tour. Picture: Chris Davey.
Steps perform in Canterbury as part of their 20th anniversary tour. Picture: Chris Davey.

But Claire, H, Lisa, Faye and Lee are the ones laughing. Continuing to fill stadiums and top charts, no one can deny theirs is the ultimate comeback.

All the elements that made them such a huge success at their peak are still there - the elaborate costumes, the easy-to-follow dance routines and lively, heart-thumping tunes.

But they've come a long way since cowboy boots, wedding outfits and Faye's questionable dreadlocks.

Their vocals - which could be heard across the city - were razor sharp.

As far as singing ability goes, it is a band with no weak link. But Claire's is clearly the strongest, hitting the high notes on the likes of Better Best Forgotten and The Way You Make Me Feel with ease.

Clearly grateful for their fans' support, each member took turns to speak to them between songs.

Steps perform their cover of Chain Reaction. Picture: Chris Davey.
Steps perform their cover of Chain Reaction. Picture: Chris Davey.

As veteran performers, they strike a great rapport with the audience and, despite their well-documented acrimonious split in 2001, display a tangible sense of camaraderie with each other.

They peppered the two-hour set with songs from their latest album, Tears on the Dancefloor.

But it was a night for nostalgia, and therefore the oldies that drew the biggest response from the crowd.

The audience at the Steps concert. Picture: Chris Davey.
The audience at the Steps concert. Picture: Chris Davey.

Catchy covers of Chain Reaction, Better The Devil You Know, and of course, Tragedy, ensured there was something for non-Steps fans who went (or were dragged) along for the ride.

The Bee Gees track, unquestionably Steps' biggest hit, was the big finale, and had everyone singing along with their hands waving around their heads.

Here's to another 20 years.

For tickets to other dates in the tour, from £39.50, visit lhgtickets.com, ticketmaster.co.uk or stepsofficial.net.

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