Lost Indie Classics #5

Saffron – Eastern Lane (2005, Rough Trade Records)

Eastern Lane originated from Berwick Upon Tweed, a town previously famous for being in England despite playing football in Scotland, shortbread and I think being officially at war with Russia since 1856.    In 2005, they released ‘Saffron’ which was their second single and it’s a snotty indie rock classic that has all the musical hallmarks of the early works of Ash (think ‘Kung Fu’).  However, it’s lyrically where this really stands out, it’s a passionate old yomp about yearning hearts and infatuation.  However, for a second or two it was worrying awkward.

Because ‘Saffron’ does not start well.  The opening chord, the very first bit, sounds close to the start of the theme to ‘Friends’.  Thankfully within ten seconds, all that nonsense is hurled out of a speeding car as indie rock perfection arrives and batters you senseless with riffs so huge that you could lose a herd of cows in there and a chorus so damn catchy that it should be checked out by a doctor.

‘Saffron’ has but one purpose, well technically two, but we will deal the main purpose first.   That is to make you jump up and down like toddler who has been let loose in a sherbert dib dab factory.  It is relentlessly buoyant, relentlessly joyous and it will make your roar and it will make you grin in a way that only a record so perfect can.  What I find most refreshing about this is the simple barefaced cheek of it, the confidence, the swaggering strutting rock and roll brilliance of it.   It strutted itself all the way to Number 55 in the charts, which is criminally low.

The second purpose , by the way, was to make Eastern Lane household names, that one didn’t quite work out.  Their next single ‘I Said Pig on Friday’ was despite its ridiculous name, just as swaggeringly brilliant and again reached the lower reaches of the charts.  By the way if you can think of a better song with the word ‘Pig’ in the title, then I’d like to hear it.

I Said Pig on Friday – Eastern Lane (2005, Rough Trade Records)

An album ‘The Article’ followed but in 2006, they called it day, blaming record labels and money for their demise.  

1 Comment

  1. JC says:

    I’ll take on the challenge.

    Peppermint Pig – Cocteau Twins

    On the plural side of things, Suede have a couple of belters – Where The Pigs Don’t Fly and We Are The Pigs.

    On the baby side of things, there’s a typically downbeat and miserable song by Arab Strap that I’ll have on the great short stories series at some point – Piglet. (which also has some great swearing in it)


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