All Saints – Red Flag Tour

I literally had the time of my life the other night. The date was the 10th October 2016, the location was the O2 Academy in Bournemouth. I was there because one of my all time favourite groups have recently reformed, created a new album, and have now gone on a new tour, their first tour in over 15 years no less.

The band I am talking about, of course, is the All Saints. All Saints first burst on to the music scene back in 1997 with their debut single “I Know Where It’s At”, the first time I ever saw them was when they were performing this song on the National Lottery show. I was a huge fan of the Spice Girls at the time (there is a blog coming up on this soon), but All Saints struck me down with their sassiness. They were like the anti-Spice Girls but in a good way, demonstrating that girl power comes in many forms. To me, you had the bubblegum pop of the Spice Girls and then the down ‘n’ dirty sassiness of the All Saints, showing real honesty in their songs and their message. I fell in love with them right there and then. Thanks to YouTube, I have managed to track down that particular performance on the National Lottery show, shall we watch it together? Press play.

Flash forward nearly 20 years and they are kicking off their new tour with that very same song, what a great opener and a big reminder of where they started. I was nearly in tears, believe me, when they embraced the stage and the first few bars of that song started. I was in pop heaven. There were many trips down memory lane, as they performed every single one of their singles, bar one, which was “All Hooked Up”. Everybody was singing along and I think even the girls were in awe when the music cut out and everybody was singing the chorus to “Never Ever” loudly and enthusiastically. It was marvellous. The night was also the birthday of Nicole and Natalie Appleton’s mother, who was seen recording the whole thing and being overly enthusiastic about the show.

Talking of the members, if you don’t know All Saint’s history in pop, then you are about to get educated. You have Nicole and Natalie Appleton, both sisters obviously and then Shaznay Lewis and Melanie Blatt. They have all had solo careers, well apart from the sisters forming a duo in the name of Appleton. The group were very popular in their early years, having a total of 5 number 1 hit singles in the UK alone. It all came to blows at the end of 2000, basically down to a jacket in a photoshoot, and the group were in disarray, splitting up in early 2001. They reformed briefly in 2006 for a new album, but all of them would probably tell you that this was not for good purposes, it was essentially money driven. The new album at the time was called “Studio 1” and in my opinion is still rather great material, even if the girls themselves would say otherwise. They split up again in 2007 because the album was a commercial flop, and I think because their heart was not in it, they made up and healed broken friendships, but in terms of the music, it was not in their hearts at the time. Then came 2014, the year they got back together again, mainly just to perform and to be with each other again, a new album then got in to a creative process and was released to the masses in early 2016. Readers of my Music of the Month blogs will tell you that I loved it, it has been a staple in my Top 10 albums pretty much ever since, and in my opinion has some fantastic material on it. If you haven’t heard it already, go and do that now and then come back to read the end of this blog. The album even reached the Top Three in the official UK Albums chart which is an amazing success, and I really hope that there is more to come.

So with the history in mind, their tour this time around has so much importance behind it. They have been in each other’s company regulary for many years now and you can tell that there is so much love between them now, no bad blood. They all looked so happy and despite a few forgetful lines here and there, rocked a fantastic show. The venue was beautiful and the crowd were really enthusiastic, getting into every song that they performed. There was a lot of songs from the new album featured (obviously) and it sounded great being sung live, with a live band in tow. “One Strike” was the first single from this big comeback and when it was performed in the medley, it had an extended opening which sounded amazing. This then led them into the final song of “Pure Shores” which was a big crowd-pleaser, and is still one of my all time favourite songs.

Before I show you some pictures that I took from the event, I really want to show you guys how good this group really are and how much praise they really should be getting. Here is five of their best songs in a playlist, created just for you. Check it out!

So, as promised. Here are some of the photos I took from the other night.

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So were you there on the 10th October too? What did you think? Please get in contact. All Saints will be performing a set of different dates all over the UK in the next week or so and if you have a ticket, you are in for a treat. Show them how much you love and appreciate them and we may get more in future years. Thank you for reading my blog as always, before I finish, here is my montage video which is almost mandatory at every concert I go to nowadays. Let me know what you think.

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