Bill Cummings 05/03/2004
Eastern Lane's set begins with a deliciously melancholic piano ballad, before lurching into the garage rock of a track like "Vena Cava" with its incessant melodious riff and gut wrenching vocals. On record front man Derek Meins belies his seventeen years of age with a beautiful alt country voice, he can pierce your heart and then rip open your mind with his wondrous vocal performance. Live he is a different prospect choosing to twist his vocals up like some kind of post Jack White wrestling with the ghost of Iggy Pop. The tracks come at a pace the stunning "Holy Arms" with its pounding drum beat that gives way to a thunderous riff and angry lyricism: "you use to talk like you knew me/ but I could always prove you wrong but now you say you see through me well I'm as holy as the sun!"
Eastern lane do give us a peek of their diversity too, in a beautiful touch of sensitivity the gorgeous folksy ballad "Lilly of the Morning" is dedicated to a groupies birthday with its mournful lines giving everyone in the room, a lump in the throat " Drawn me a curtain/ and paint me a bed of roses/ Be My Lilly of the morning/ Be my angel of the night."
Elsewhere the stunning "Dead July" confirms Eastern Lane as perhaps the most exciting young prospects around. With its doomed verses allied to a soaring yet melancholic chorus "In the shade/In the shade they left their shackles in the shade." The two standalone singles "Feed my addiction" and "Saffron" show the best of Eastern lane "Feed my addiction" peaking on the bass line refrain of "it brings me down, down, down." The encore is replete with their cover of "Fa Ce La" which is perfectly executed. Ok so their very young (Still only seventeen!) rough Scottish diamonds, who have such immense shyness that they often just stop playing before the audience realise a track is over. They also have no sense of style accept their own kind of charity shop chic. But Eastern Lane tonight are magnificent in all their ragged glory and maybe the best is yet to come, check them out before they are massive.