WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2
It’s quite something that pop star and songwriting genius Sia thought her tune What The Future Holds would be best sung by this reformed boy/girl band quintet.
- Read on for reasons including how to see Steps on tour next year
She’s not wrong either. It very much reminds of Scared Of The Dark, the big, anthemic, high-energy stormer that launched their last album, 2017’s Tears On The Dancefloor.
Sia has a big voice and we suspect that the reason she chose Steps is because they include within their ranks the similarly spectacularly endowed Claire Richards.
We think its lyrical theme about the need for certainty (sample lyric: ‘I’m terrified of things to come, paralysed I cannot run. Tell me What The Future Holds.’) will resonate in this COVID-19 period and it’s a joy to have a band that is so big-hearted and so pop making a glorious comeback as we head towards winter.
We’re also enjoying that although Claire’s bagged the chorus, the other four members of the band all get a shot at a solo which wasn’t always the case when the band was at the height of its late 90s/early 00s first rush of fame.
The new single shares its name with the album (out 27/11) which includes as its second song a cover of one of our favourite Melodifestivalen entries. We said of Jenny Silver’s Something In Your Eyes in 2011, number 4 of our greatest Andra Chansen songs of all time, ‘ABBA has rarely been recognised quite so joyously in MF. A flawless vocal outdone only by its interpretive dancing. And who let those backing dancers in?’ We can’t wait to see what Steps do with it.
We’ve seen Steps a few times live (Portsmouth Guildhall in the 90s and The 02 in 2012) but it was at Greenwich Music Time in 2018 that they left their most lasting impression: ‘Fans of the band will know full well that live is when they really come into their own with Claire’s impressive vocal to the fore and the dance potential of the big production numbers ramped up to the max.’
They’ve never been shy of a Eurovision comparison and that night they were supported by Saara Aalto and you can read our 5 (6. 7, 8) reasons why we think they should represent the UK because ‘for us we can’t imagine that there’s much left for them to achieve except perhaps capitalise on the ABBA nods and European nature of the support acts they’ve chosen this summer and finally have a tilt at Eurovision.’
Tickets for their 2021 arena tour go on sale soon and with the almighty Sophie Ellis Bextor supporting, whose own Kitchen Disco album is shaping up to be one of the most exciting things about next month, it looks like What The Future Holds for Steps is that they are going to be hard to avoid in the months to come.