My Top 20 Songs of 2012 #3: Saint Etienne – ‘Tonight’


I’m not sure there’s a better band in the world at both simultaneously celebrating pop music and making great pop music as Saint Etienne. ‘Tonight’ comes courtesy of some assistance from Xenomania and Richard X, both of whom have been behind some of the best British pop of the last decade (Rachel Stevens’ ‘Some Girls’, Girls Aloud’s best songs) and it sounds glorious.

It’s about that anticipation that you feel as a teenager just before going to see a gig from your favourite bands. Anyone who loves music knows that feeling, that giddy anticipation wondering whether they’ll start with “an album track, or a top 5 hit, no turning back” and there is no better band to capture this feeling than Saint Etienne. However, the song is about more than just that feeling; it also conveys looking back upon that feeling as an adult, which is a richer experience than the original quickening of pulse you felt at the time. There is something wonderful about looking back on that rush you felt before the gig and knowing in retrospect that the gig lived up to your anticipations (or exceeded them). Saint Etienne put this feeling to a fantastic pop song, leaving you wondering if there is a place in pop music for the oldies. I hope so.



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