1994 album with 15 bonus tracks. Also available on lavish Box Set.
To mark its 25th anniversary, Saint Etienne announce details of the release of one of their most critically acclaimed albums, ‘Tiger Bay’. A ground-breaking blend of electronica and orchestration with traditional folk melodies, ‘Tiger Bay’, their third studio album, was originally released on 28th February 1994 on Heavenly.
Like most bands founded by former music journalists, Saint Etienne were a highly conceptual group. The trio's concept was to fuse the British pop sounds of '60s London with the club/dance rhythms and productions that defined the post-acid house England of the early '90s. Led by songwriters Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs and fronted by vocalist Sarah Cracknell , the group managed to carry out their concept, and, in the process, Saint Etienne helped make indie dance a viable genre within the U.K.
Saint Etienne set themselves a bold challenge for their third album. No more records about London; no more samples - of music they loved, or snippets of film dialogue between tracks. They would change the genes of their music, swapping the helix of Madchester meets Swinging London meets indiepop for one in which Belgian techno was spliced with folk music.
‘Tiger Bay’ was intended to be nothing less than the sound of folk music reimagined for the last years of the 20th Century. Their brilliant reinvention of folk rock for the electronic age might not have resulted in an invitation to headline Fairport’s Cropredy Convention but it gave them their best album yet.
‘Tiger Bay’ slipped beneath the sands - neither an indelible hit nor a memorable flop - but that gives it a staying power, perhaps, that its predecessors lack: it doesn’t sound of its moment in the same way ‘Foxbase Alpha’ and ‘So Tough’ do. It sounds as if Saint Etienne had finally broken free of pop time, to create something that floated above pop trends, borrowing and squeezing together elements that should never have blended. It might even be their masterpiece.
Self-produced by the band and engineered by longtime collaborator Ian Catt, the album also features input from Underworld’s Rick Smith, orchestral arrangements by renowned composer David Whitaker (Serge Gainsbourg, Marianne Faithfull, Air) and vocal contributions from Shara Nelson and Stephen Duffy amongst others.
The band are set to perform the album in its entirety at a number of shows across the UK including a performance at the Barbican in London accompanied by the London Contemporary Orchestra. Never before performed with a full orchestra, the show will also feature a set of hits and deep-cuts from their back catalogue. The other UK shows see the band accompanied by a pared back 6-piece string section.