Nottingham Wolloton Park

You have to ask why anyone questiones their star potential in the first place...

It’s been a day for the kids. [a]All Saints[/a] are the headliners of the (now) annual City In The Park festival – Nottingham‘s equivalent of the London Party In The Park, which has seen short sets from the likes of Madasun, Lolly, A1, The Vengaboys and Scooch, as well as a no-show from Billie Piper due to an ongoing kidney problem and the first major solo live performance from Boyzone crooner Ronan Keating.

But, after a day of innocent pop played for innocent kids, [a]All Saints[/a] add a pinch of rock’n’roll attitude. Considering the world isn’t exactly waiting with baited breath for their new album, it comes as a bonus that tonight, [a]All Saints[/a] are musically tight, happy and prowl across the stage looking for the fight.

They play their set, half of which is entirely new, with the air of [I]real[/I] stars. Of the new material, ‘Distance’ is ‘No Scrubs’-era TLC, all Spanish guitars and shuffling rhythms, while an unnamed song about Tequila follows the same Latin groove. An ill-advised cover of Run DMC and Aerosmith‘s ‘Walk This Way’ (presumably this album’s ‘Under The Bridge’) precedes what you would expect to be the Saints‘ best chance of a third number one – ‘Saints And Sinners’. It’s a XXX rated ‘Bootie Call’, and its hooks grab instantly and refuse to let go. “Are you a Saint or a sinner inside?” they question over sugar-coated vocal harmonies. It’s so ace they named their album after it.

They end with a double whammy of number ones, ‘Never Ever’ and ‘Pure Shores’ and, looking down the rest of today’s bill, you have to ask why anyone questioned their star potential in the first place.

All Saints are back in action. Thank God for that.