I know there is more to life than london, okay? I know! occasionally someone reminds me there is a downside to living there (thanks, pam), and surely there are many. but when it comes to the most londony of all london pop groups (saint etienne), I don’t think they care about that stuff because they just love london so damn much. old london, new london, they love it. everything they do is all about london! makes sense that I was in london (or was it glasgow?) for the first time when I heard their music back in 1991. anyway, here’s a little segment on st e in monocle in case you had forgotten how glorious their fluffy pop is. really, that blond girl singer duffy was no dusty if you ask me. if you’re hankering for some classic pop, try this. (though there isn’t a cf reader alive who doesn’t know about them — sorry!)
2 Replies to “m2: saint etienne: london conversation.”
Was it summer '91? I thought they were a reasonably nice cover version of “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” and probably not much else. Then whilst trapped in the cash countout room at what was then Tower Records Lincoln Center NYC, I popped on the white label promo cassette of FOXBASE ALPHA. What a savior from that drab space and experience! Even the classical buyer got it when “Kiss & Make Up”, “Nothing Can Stop Us” (I had no idea it was a bloody Dusty sample until the Girl Groups box set of a couple of years ago! I reckoned it was a pastiche on “My Ever Changing Moods” LOL), “Spring”, “People Get Real” came over the beat box. From then on, it was a love affair…the full-Etienne live line-up at their first NY appearance (same bill with AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB…yikes!), the “comeback” that was GOOD HUMOR being the best record of its kind since RUBBER SOUL. The sound of a band deep into The Kinks, The Beach Boys, Free Design,The Smiths and Ibiza. Aiding and abetting the US repackaging of Sarah's solo record and subsequent EP (“Sarah, are you sure it is “Sea Shells”. and not “Sea Shell”?”). What great sensibilities! What a fun band! What a fantastic label (Heavenly)! It's so great that they keep on keeping on.
Bob Stanley sent me a postcard this week in which he said of LONDON CONVERSATIONS “it’s going to look (at least) beautiful”. Perhaps a reference to The Et’s bottomless capacity to “reissue! repackage! repackage!” After all, there have already been two best-of/most-of compilations in the last few years alone (SMASH THE SYSTEM and TRAVEL EDITION). Still, I’ve pre-ordered it (apparently the release date has been pushed back) and when it arrives I will love it like the other SIXTY THREE of their releases in my collection. Insane.
Stanley closed his postcard to me with “fans like you keep our peckers up.” Glad I could help, Bob. Singers like yours do the same for mine.
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