Some bands are going to come up again and again on this list. Sonic Youth, Ramones, Tom Waits, R.E.M, The Hold Steady, Motörhead and unavoidably Belle & Sebastian.
This band are what Pop music should be. The riches within Lazy Line Painter Jane are many. It’s like a seam of gold buried deep in the bed rock.
Firstly it’s a duet. Two magnificent mellow voices complimenting each other over a gentle melody. Stuart and Monica take turns to tell Jane’s small town coming of age story.
“Working the village shop, putting a poster up dreaming of anything, dreaming of the time when you’re free from all the trouble you’re in”
Small town small minds surround Jane and her big dreams.
“Let’s see your kit for games all the girls look the same, you are challenging style for running miles, you’re running miles in some boy’s jumper”
So the squares in town aren’t entirely happy with Jane’s shenanigans. The chorus is the real tell about why Jane is so disapproved of.
“You will have a boy tonight, You might have a girl tonight, on the last bus out of town”
Jane is on the horns of a moral dilemma. Does she conform to the meagre life this small town offers or does she go to the darker fringes where she can make easy money being ‘Tax free on her back’ and make something different of her life.
The song has wit as well as mellow charm. Pamphlets from Boots advise on treating infections ‘Got while licking railings’.
The interplay of the voices and the vintage organ sound make the whole thing feel like a song from another era. There’s a familiarity to it that can fool you into thinking you know the song the first time you hear it. You’d do well to get familiar with Lazy Line Painter Jane. It’s a fantastic song.
Amazing to think it wasn’t close to a hit and is only available on a rarities collection ‘Push Barman To Open Old Wounds’. In another (better) world this song takes the place of some boy bands biggest hit.
As a funny little bonus I’m going to include a live version of the video from the concert Video Fans Only as well, because it is just sublime.