Manchester Evening News, 2nd April 1997

Eternal - Nynex Arena, 1 April 1997

By Collette Walsh

Before last night I'd never have described mysself as a fan of pop sensation Eternal. However, within minutes of Easther, Vernie and Kéllé arriving on stage, I, like the thousands of fans who packed Manchester's Nynex Arena, was captivated.

Wearing baggy sportswear and caps, Eternal gave a polished delivery of five of their most popular songs, including "Baby Let Me Be The One" (sic) and "One Step To Heaven" (sic) . All this in the first 20 minutes of the show.

A small interval, whilst the set was re-jigged, was cleverly handled with a tap dancing extravaganza performed by two of the four backing male dancers. To the crowd's delight (especially the men) the dancers were joined by Kéllé, who showed off the kind of footwork Michael Flatley would have been proud of.

Another quick costume change - funky black patent leather suits this time - and Eternal were in full swing again, this time delighting the audience with not only songs from their new and third album, Before The Rain, but also a fantastic version of the Peter Gabriel Hit, "Larger Than Life" (sic - and not mentioned here, this was a Vernie solo). Credit here must go to eternal's talented band of top-class percussionists and keyboard players. There were points in this part of the show which showed that the girls had been influenced by Janet Jackson - not surprising, since they are about to launch an American tour.

Fabulous helicopter lighting and sound effects introduced the last part of the show, this time with Easther, Vernie and Kéllé wearing baggy seventies-style denim ankle-length coats, and jeans with four inch turn-ups. For the next 20 minutes (sic) the crowd were treated to an extended dance version of Eternal's massive hit from 1994, Crazy. Interspersing it with a complicated dance routine, the girls gave a faultless performance. the atmosphere throughout the Nynex was electrified further with a funky dance version of Good Thing, Eternal's biggest hit from last year.

Most memorable, though, was what has to be the best ever cover I've heard of the Beatles track, "Come Together".

Eternal's funk woman, Easther, changed the tempo completely towards the end of the show. Singing "Some Day" (sic) the soundtrack to Disney's "Hunchback of Notre Dame", she silenced the audience with her solo performance. Wearing sparkling white dresses, Eternal stood against a starlit backdrop, and the night's entertainment ended on a dramatic note.

As far as live pop acts go, Eternal proved last night that they are definitely cream of the crop.

Many thanks to Janet Valentine for sending in this article.