Saint Etienne: ‘The name had this kind of magic’


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BBC 6 Music’s excellent Amy Lamé’s French Voyage, on Sunday 10 July, included an enjoyable conversation with Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley about how they chose their name. Stanley said: “It was just down to the name of the football club. When I was a kid Saint-Étienne did really well in Europe, got to the European Cup final played in Glasgow [in 1976; they lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich], and they just looked very dashing – very impressive green and white kit and the name was just very exotic.


“So for me it always had this kind of magic, so even when me and Pete [Wiggs, fellow founder member] were at school, we thought: If we ever have a band, it’s going to be called Saint Etienne.” They did and it was.

Lamé said she had always thought their name was connected to Étienne Daho, the French singer. It isn’t, although they did make a record with him, under the name St Etienne Daho, released as an EP, Reserection, in France and Japan. One track, Accident, was remixed and became the hit He’s On the Phone.

Étienne Daho appears in the video. He’s on the phone.




Last modified: January 23, 2017

3 Responses to " Saint Etienne: ‘The name had this kind of magic’ "

  1. Expatr says:

    Bounced here from your Guardian piece. That video reminds me that to be in your 20s in London in the 90s was very heaven. Loved St Etienne so much.

  2. Dan Stoten says:

    Brilliant idea for a site, David. I wonder if there’s something we could work on together – I run The Punk Archive ( and it may be good to link up on some punk band names articles…?

  3. David Marsh says:

    Thanks, Dan. Good idea. Please email me,, and we can discuss it. I like your site. I am a big fan of Notsensibles and The No-Talents, who we’ve just added to the And And! And A-Z. Best wishes, David

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