Saint Etienne: photo book review

Saint Etienne (First Third Books)

Various formats

Out Now 

Saint Etienne’s quarter century has been revisited in a new photo book, a collaboration between Saint Etienne and First Third Books.

Saint Etienne have produced a much loved and adored catalogue of work over the years and their eclectic individuality has gained them a devoted fan base. Inspired by sixties pop culture, electronica, trance and folk – their groundbreaking use of samples and early sounds merge together creating a fresh and innovative sound as invigorating as it was twenty years ago. From their roots in the indie dance scene to their recently film work, Saint Etienne are still turning heads and generating new fans.

With this book First Third Books have created a shrine of Saint Etienne that will appease all bibliophiles and fans. The rich photographic monograph contains over 150 images of Saint Etienne with full annotation. The book notes complete discography and includes commentary by Sarah, Pete and Bob.


Elusive friend and fellow musician, Lawrence (Felt, Denim, Go-Kart Mozart) has contributed an eloquent foreword, and conversations with each member uncover individual memories that make up the group’s history.

With a tonal green linen cover in homage to much of Saint Etienne’s artwork this individually numbered and limited 2,000 run volume contains both celebrated and previously unpublished photos of the group by some of the world’s best known music and fashion photographers, as well as many previously unseen images from the group’s personal archives taken by close friend and film maker Paul Kelly.

The collection will attract long time fans, and certainly acquire new ones along the way. It is a beautiful thing that, to truly be appreciated must be read in a few sittings. The photos tell such stories, and it is a privilege to observe such beautiful pieces of Saint Etienne history. For those that tend to flip through books/magazines and only scour through the lines, please take your time with this collection. The notes and annotations need to be read and for the photos to be fully understood and appreciated.

There will be a special edition of 300 copies, with a different colored linen binding, signed by Sarah, Bob and Pete, which will also include a 7” vinyl single containing two unreleased recordings.

This book is one for music collectors to get a hold of fast! Fans of photography will also appreciate the diversity of this gorgeous collection of photos.

 Saint Etienne’s website is here. They are also on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud

Available on the First Third Books website at

All words by Leanne Durr. More of Leanne’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here.


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