B&S ON SUNDAYS (2)

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As I said last week, much of what will appear in this series will be lifted from wiki .

Here’s what it says:-

Lazy Line Painter Jane was Belle & Sebastian’s second EP, released in 1997 on Jeepster Records. The title track features guest vocalist Monica Queen and was recorded in a church hall. “A Century of Elvis” features bassist Stuart David reading out a story he had written, over music by the band. The backing music from that track was later used on “A Century of Fakers” from 3.. 6.. 9 Seconds of Light.

Pretty feeble stuff as this particular EP deserves a lot more praise. Such as this on-line review from allmusic:-

On their second EP of 1997, Belle & Sebastian delve deeper into ’60s pop, developing a richer, fuller sound, not to mention an actual rock & roll edge. “Lazy Line Painter Jane” has a swirling organ and a thick backbeat, as well as guest vocals from Monica Queen, who duets with Stuart Murdoch. Her voice and the organ come as a shock, but “Lazy Line Painter Jane” reveals itself as one of Belle & Sebastian’s best songs. “You Made Me Forget My Dreams” and “Photo Jenny,” two shining examples of the group’s folk-rock, live up to the high standards of the title track, while “A Century of Elvis” has a lovely, lilting instrumental track (it would later be used for “A Century of Fakers”) that supports a pleasantly surreal story by Stuart David.

It is true – the lead track, which comes in at a shade under six minutes, is one the best B&S songs and much of that is down to the vocal contribution from Ms Queen who, by 1997, was a bit of a veteran of the Glasgow music scene as part of the band Thrum who had enjoyed critical acclaim via releases on Fire Records.  Indeed, just about the loudest cheer of the B&S gigs at Glasgow Barrowlands in December 2010 greeted Monica’s surprise appearance on the stage during the encore.

The EP came with a short story in the sleevenotes:-

Lazy Line Painter Jane prayed for an inspiration that would lift her above the mundanity of midday on a Thursday. She was in a hole, sat with egg and chips, watching buses through the plate glass and easy radio of some old cafe. She was too bashful to pray outright in the cafe, so she pretended to read her fortune at the bottom of her tea cup, and she got what she wanted that way.

The inspiration came along quite soon. It was lucky for her. It had seemed impossible, for her to feel ok, considering the trouble she was in. It seemed impossible, considering the gloominess of that lunchtime.

Jane had never managed to build Thursday into the weekend like some other people did. She didn’t look forward to the weekend anyway. The only good thing about the weekend was that it ushered in the following week. She was a slave to the working week. But she was unemployed.

She was doubtful whether she even deserved her Thursday gift. She had done a lot of swearing and shouting during her period. She almost felt guilty to take up the baton and run. But run she did. Straight to the cathedral graveyard. She took her idea straight through the cathedral graves and out, over the wall at the other end. She found herself in the East End of the city.

She took the inspiration and ran. It filled her like a playground balloon. Now she wasn’t treading on any toes. Jane’s agenda was clear. She just felt like running. To forget her joblessness and her hopelessness. Stripped of her present care, her skin was translucent, and she travelled fast and light over grass and stone precincts. She ran past lines of traffic into quiet streets where her breath and fast steps were the only sound she could hear. Stripped of her present care. And her guilt at being lazy.

Jane pretended she was making indie-rock videos as she tore through the East End. She thought herself quite magnificent, and caused only two minor disturbences as she went. She stopped running when she reached the river.

That was lovely. Reaching the river. A sudden wilderness of wasteland and trees. She may have been a bit worried if it wasn’t for the oxygen pumping in her head, acting like a drug. There was a path, dancing with industrial mayflys, constructed with an air of municipal grants. She followed it, ducking under flyovers, flying over traveller’s caravans. She ran past long curves of ash and alder. She ran until she flopped down in a bus shelter. The rain came on. She had run out of rock video fodder.

She waited in the bus shelter for a while. She had reached the main street of a town that was not part of the city at all. She had reached the provinces, and as such, the youth of the town flirted and taunted with an unaffected provincial air. Casuals drank QC. They put on a show for her, but they never challenged her directly. She was grateful they didn?t pick on her strangeness. Her inspiration had flagged, and she didn?t know how she could handle them by herself.

They went away, to be replaced by the town’s thinking girl’s talent. He smoked a regal cigarette, and paced around a little. Jane couldn’t decide if he was waiting for a bus, or if he had just come out because the rain had stopped. But she liked the sound his segs made on the wet pavement. And she admired him for his quiff. It was the biggest quiff that small town beatings would allow for. He sat down in the shelter. He obliged her by staring at her boots, and rubbing his forhead feverishly. He sat for the length of his cigarette and then went off, leaving Painter Jane alone.

She drank up the peace because she knew that she would be back in her house by fall of night. In the city, a dozen things would be vying for her attention simultaneously. She thought it was around six, but in fact it was nearer nine. She pulled her knees close to her chest. Her jogging bottoms smelled of pollen. She waited for the bus to take her back to the city. As she waited, she thought about how she had got her name, and what she was going to do about it.

Quite.

You can see now why the band were accused of being pretentious to the point of annoying. Just as well the music was so good.

mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – Lazy Line Painter Jane
mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – You Made Me Forget My Dreams
mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – Photo Jenny
mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – A Century Of Elvis

The EP almost hit the big time.  It entered the UK charts at #41 on 9 August 1997, dropping down to #70 the following week. And that’s without much radio play to accompany the EP.

2 thoughts on “B&S ON SUNDAYS (2)

  1. Lazy Line Painter Jane is withthout doubt the best thing they have ever done. This Is Just A Modern Rock song comes close though. I also love A Century of Elvis. The 7″ of this is in my box that I would grab in a fire.

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