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Eastern Lane : Saffron

The best song ever written about the singer from Republica. Possibly...

Eastern Lane : Saffron

If you’re going to do a shit bit in a song, get it over with quickly. Rather disconcertingly the first chord of ‘Saffron’ sounds like the theme from ‘Friends’. But rather than jangling chummily into a politerock sludge with lots orf close harmonies and hugging on it, two seconds in the idea that this week’s column might be The One Where NME Loses All Semblance Of Taste And Decency And Starts Liking The Rembrandts is blown out the window by a ferociously clipped riff of such full throttle perfection that you’ll know you’ve heard it before. Whatever, its precision dictates that, like Iggy Pop’s ‘The Passenger’, it’s probably certified by the National Guild Of Riff Craftsmen.

Meanwhile, singer and modeller of cast-off clown wigs Derek Meins warbles "I met a man in my head and I don’t remember". It may sound cleverer than it actually is but it elegantly sums up the whole point of the song. Which is that there isn’t one, apart from making you jump up and down like a shag bunny for 149 seconds.

This snotty classic is so primal that it's worth considering what dark arts abound in the handsome shortbread town of Berwick-Upon-Tweed that could make him vomit out so much passion so young. Y’know, even when Ash were knocking out pop punk classics they were about kung fu, planets and stuff rather than blistering wails of unfulfilled infatuation like this.

Then, to top it all, two minutes into the song he does a bizarre, quivering "Wooooaaaaah" with a flash of such barefaced confidence it’s as though he’s possessed by the spirit of Jerry Lee Lewis flashing his personal invite to the Eternal Rock Greats Hall Of Fame. Just brilliant… still don’t know why it’s called ‘Saffron’, mind.

Anthony Thornton

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