Where to catch retro Trance act N-Trance in 2021?
Dropping in the UK in 1993, it charted at number 82. It was released again in 1994, this time charting at 39, but the band had belief in the song. Fronted by Kelly Llorenna, the duo of Kevin O’Toole and Dale Longworth had been performing it since 1992, and they firmly believed they had a hit on their hands. They tried for the third time in 1995, and this time, Set You Free hit the mark.
The song was originally inspired by a moment at the infamous Hacienda club in Manchester in 1989, which O’Toole described to Vice. "They used to pass round pints of water, and a woman came up to me, and I felt her heartbeat through her top," he said. "The songs created a diary of what was happening at the time." It charted at number 2 in the UK six years later, and a trance legend was born.
N-Trance didn’t manage to better their hit, but they got another significant release; a Bee Gee’s Stayin’ Alive cover. It featured rapper Ricardo Da Force, famous for his work with the KLF, specifically collaborating with Country and Western legend Tammy Wynette on Justified and Ancient. As for Kelly Llorenna, she has had a solo career working with others, performing on covers such as Heart of Gold, a popular early-nineties rave scene track in the UK, and Flip and Fill’s true Love Never Dies. In 2010, she worked with Hacienda legend Peter Hook, who was with New Order, a key player in the development of the dance scene around the world.
N-Trance is no longer a top trance act, but they are hitting the road this year, performing across the United Kingdom. However, if you wish to see them, you’ll need to have an interest in bingo as well; that’s right, one of the most beloved trance acts of all time is hitting the bingo circuit. As Foxy Bingo explains, music is a great way to get a bingo event going and increase engagement, and that’s what a host of halls across the UK will be doing this autumn. Along with DJ Jim Slipp, they’ll be performing their hits Set You Free and Forever, as well as other tracks, capping off a great evening of dabbing with dancing.
It might not seem the perfect fit, but it makes great sense. It’s been 26 years since Set You Free hit the airwaves, and in that time, the clubbers have grown up, likely settled down and not attended many all-night dance events. By integrating with the popular pastime of bingo, N-Trance will reach audiences that were almost certainly of an age in 1995 where they remember the track with nostalgia. For the bingo promoters, it adds a new dimension to their event, bringing some excitement and tempo to a game that has reinvented itself in recent years.
There are dates in Scarborough, Irvine and Medway, bringing a slice of nineties trance to a venue near you in the UK. Overseas trance fans might have to wait for now, but who knows? Maybe N-Trance will attract a full house at venues across Europe if the mix of bingo and raving pays off.