Live Review: Sainte at the Hoxton Bar & Kitchen - 11/8/17

‘This is what I’ve been up to for the past two years’ were the words former We Are The In Crowd frontwoman, Tay Jardine, announced to a sold-out London crowd before her new project Sainte (9/10) began what was only their second ever live performance. Jardine burst back onto the scene last month with the release of Sainte’s debut EP Smile, and Wave. Compared to the pop-punk stylings of We Are the in Crowd, Sainte, also compromising of former We Are The In Crowd members; Cameron Hurley and Mike Ferri, is orientated in a much more pop direction. The EP is packed full of infectious synth/electronic melodies, upbeat lyrics and twinkling guitar lines, which make for an enticingly fun live show.

Sainte’s set began with an emotional rendition of ballad ‘Lighthouse’ that included a powerful full-band driven final chorus, which packed even more punch compared to the studio recording where the dynamics of the song never seem to shift too far. ‘This is Sainte. Welcome to it!’ Jardine declared as ‘Lighthouse’ ended and EP opener ‘Eyes Are Open’ kicked in, igniting an enthusiastic sing-a-long from the audience. From the anthemic ‘Eyes Are Open’ to the fierce and unforgiving ‘Feels So Wrong’ and ‘With or Without Me’ the energy produced by both the band and crowd alike never once faltered. From the moment, she stepped on-stage it was clear that Jardine was beyond happy to be back and her fans were even happier to welcome her. Since Sainte currently only have one EP released they were able showcase ‘Smile, and Wave’ in its entirety, concluding with a stellar performance of debut single ‘Technicolor’.

With all their material clocking in at around 25 minutes, Sainte were left with some room towards the end of the night to play some, as quoted by Ferri, ‘vintage We Are The In Crowd songs’. ‘Come Back Home’ made for a welcome change in pace, and one of the strongest sing-a-longs of the night, while a fiery performance of ‘The Best Thing (That Never Happened) brought the energy right back up again. It’s obvious that hearing these songs again was an utterly wonderful surprise for the audience.

Sainte closed out their set with what is undoubtfully WATIC’s most well-known song, ‘Rumor Mill’ taken from their debut album Best Intentions. Jardine took the liberty of taking several audience members phones during the song to film from the band’s point of view, which was a delightful piece of crowd interaction to witness, and something that clearly made a few fans experience that much better. ‘Rumor Mill’ acted as WATIC’s staple set-closer for the best part of their touring career and hearing it again for what was, quite possibly, the final time couldn’t have been a more perfect way to end the night.


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