• Saint Etienne @ British Library, Oct 13

In Saint Etienne’s dreamy 1993 hit, Sarah Cracknell tells her down-on-his-luck companion “You’re in a bad way; every day is just the same.”

 The same can’t remotely be said for the band. They may be approaching the end of their third decade together, but they look and sound fabulous – and each day, one imagines, must be full of fresh delights as they take their show back out on the road.

Sarah and bandmates Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs seem to have missed the memo about rock & roll lifestyles and growing old disgracefully. Fresh-faced and cheery, they seem to have not only found the elixir of youthful enthusiasm but cracked the secret of musical alchemy; their recent work more than holding its own among the big-hitters of their 90s heyday.

As good as last year’s album Home Counties was, it’s their classic material that defines them as a band –and it has stood the test of time, as this wonderful show in the central atrium of the British Library in London’s Kings Cross showed.

Saturday’s show, the first of two at the venue last weekend, saw them running though their poppy 1998 album Good Humor, which, of all their albums, probably best suited the august setting; its deceptively simple acoustic songs – in practice richly augmented with luscious synths, piano, strings and sax – relatively unlikely to rattle the shelves and damage the priceless manuscripts housed within that temple to learning.

Of course it was a well-behaved do, with a largely 30 and 40-something crowd out to relive the magic. And that came in spades.

Sarah, who lives near Oxford, is still every inch the heartthrob, and clearly loves being back in the role of diva surrounded by her boys in the band. She toys with a feather boa and raises her arms as she hits the high notes, that silken voice washing over the audience like very expensive organic honey made from only the brightest of flowers by a happy collective of shiny bees.

The band are joined by some of Oxford’s finest: searingly good drummer Mike Monaghan and virtuoso guitarists/ multi-instrumentalists Robin and Joe Bennett of Goldrush, The Dreaming Spires. 'Bennett, Wilson Poole' and Truck and Wood Festival fame.

The second half featured a mixed set of hits and curios, starting with Hill St Connection from Fairfax High – the bonus disk which accompanied Good Humor in the States. And it just got better, with Hug My Soul, Magpie Eyes and Take It All In (from Home Counties) – the sugar-coated Only Love Can Break Your Heart and, for the encore that classic You’re in Bad Way and, of course, He’s On the Phone.

It was sublime and proved that not all good things have to come to an end.