There are some bands who are champions for their hometowns, and London has no better advocate than Saint Etienne. Over their 20+ year career, they’ve done a brilliant job espousing all that is good, bad, and undefinable about England’s capital and its inhabitants. When I was first exposed to the band in the ’90s, they were my gateway to a city and country I thought I’d never experience.

Although adult stuff – like kids and the tedium of touring when one is north of 40 – has rightly slowed the band down in the past few years, they have kept busy closer to home with a variety of other artistic pursuits.

This year saw the release of their first new album in seven years, Words and Music by Saint Etienne, which is also their best album in 14 years. Everything But the Girl and Stereolab may remain accurate touchstones, but the band is now a little older, a little wiser, and much more reflective. It’s an album that looks back without bending under the weight of nostalgia, acknowledging that being 25 is fucking awesome, but growing older isn’t too bad either.

For the first time in six years, the band will be doing a North American tour. There’s no Philly date, but they will be in Los Angeles, which means I’ll get to see them for the first time in 13 years (I bought my ticket 30 minutes after they went on sale yesterday). Not sure if I’m more excited about this one or Springsteen in December.

10-24 Toronto, Ontario – The Opera House
10-25 Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
10-26 New York, NY – Webster Hall
10-27 Boston, MA – Paradise
10-29 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
10-31 Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
11-01 Seattle, WA – The Showbox
11-02 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
11-03 Los Angeles, CA – Fonda Theatre


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