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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, February 02, 2008
    Box clever
    Through the letterbox: the perfect antidote to the February blues (helping see off a two-day graveyard-iceblast-induced migrane) - the long-promised, nicely-packaged selection of jollity which is Saint Etienne's fan-club only Boxette. I've found myself a member of said club quite without intention or fuss. Saint Etienne have grown on me since I started taking notice of them through their extracurricular (film, football, and eighties) pursuits. Finisterre alerted me to the wondrous truth, and Tales From Turnpike House confirmed it: that here is a group of musicians who are also effortless psychogeographers, celebrants of the everyday spirits of the places they know best.

    "Don’t lose your pastoral heart" says James Woodward in this week's Church Times (frustratingly only available online to subscribers, not people who get it from the newsagents). "Clerics urgently need to recover their interest in people," he writes, "to take an interest in people for their own sake." Both parties might be surprised to be linked in this way, but I find the spirit of Woodward's position in the joyousness of Saint Etienne as they paint closely-observed pictures of South London life in all its glorious minutiae.