Saint Etienne still in love with London

Electro-pop trio Saint Etienne have been talking about their ongoing obsession with London. The city remains a lyrical centrepiece on their latest album Words and Music by Saint Etienne.

Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs grew up in unglamorous Croydon, and idealised the capital from an early age . "The cachet of London was such that we used to go to pubs by the nearest stop that had a London postcode," Wiggs told The Observer, "because Croydon had a Surrey postcode. So we'd go to Norwood and New Cross, just to go to the pub. 'We're out in London tonight! Going uptown!'"

Singer Sarah Cracknell grew up in Berkshire and had a similar love affair with the capital. "As soon as I was 15, my friend Alison would get on the train at Ascot and I'd get on at Egham and we'd go up to Kensington Market."

The group has been around for a couple of decades now, outlasting their Britpop contemporaries and embracing many of the new pop innovations. Much of the new record was produced with Xenomania, the team behind Girls Aloud. Recording with them was an idyllic blend of Saint Etienne’s parallel fascination with the 60s and modernity.

"Alesha Dixon would make tea for everyone," Stanley said. "Nicola Roberts would be watching MTV next door – I never heard her speak; Neil Tennant would call you up to the studio to put handclaps on something – it didn't bother me too much that he called me 'Lawrence'. It was an ideal setup, like the Brill Building, but with soft furnishings and a big picture of Serge Gainsbourg on the wall."

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