Self Esteem at Cambridge Corn Exchange

I arrived late to the Corn Exchange as the second support act, Campbell King was finishing their set. I was a tad disappointed to have missed them as they sounded really good. Cambridge was originally the opening show of Self Esteems’ spring tour but was postponed due to the star catching norovirus. Tonight, is the rearranged date. The atmosphere is electric and full of anticipation as I make my way into the pit.

As the house light dim there’s a cheer from the crowd. The darkness is punctuated by flashes of light revealing 3 dancers in grey suits at the front of the stage. The band are also dressedthe same. There’s another cheer as the opening music of Prioritise Pleasure starts. Then Self Esteem AKA Rebecca Taylor also dressed in a grey suit appears atop a flight of marble stairs and is greeted with applause. She stands statue like with arm outstretched before descending the stairs to meet the three dancers in perfect union as they dance around the stage. They move together as one, the choreography is flawless. It’s a powerful performance almost Maddonnaesque in its execution.

There’s no let up as we go straight into the crowd pleaser Fucking Wizardry and then Moody. Things are slowed down with a stripped back version of Just Kids. Taylor then leaves the stage for the first of the costume changes. The dancers move to the centre and strip off their grey suits to reveal skintight red catsuits and leather harnesses. Self Esteem then remerges dressed in the same red catsuit, a red corset and a red cowboy hat. They launch straight in the new song Mother which see’s Taylor pounding on drums atop the stairs. This then blends into How Can I Help You which sees the four all smudge their make up across their faces, it’s a powerful moment indeed.

The rest of the set was a roller coaster, Girl Crush and Elton John sounded amazing. We are treated to another costume change. This time everyone is in black. Taylor announces this is her last song for now, but they would be back for an encore and then launch into I Do This All The Time. As they walk off stage The crowd scream and cheer for more. Taking the stage once again for a three song encore with I’m Fine, The Best and bringing the evening to a close with Still Reigning.

Overall, the evening was a triumph, full of energy, joy with wall to wall singing and dancing. I don’t think I saw anyone not either singing along. Meticulous choreography was at time breath taking and it was exhausting just to watch. Self Esteem’s monumental rise is unstoppable, totally shaking off her indie past to become the pop star she deserves.

Set List


Prioritise Pleasure

Fucking Wizardry

Moody

Just Kids

Happy Valley

Mother

How Can I Help You

Love Second

Girl Crush

John Elton

The 345

You Forever

I Do This All The Time

Encore:

I’m Fine

The Best

Still Reigning
 
Photos and Words by Mark Stimpson
 
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Philip Goddard

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