Thursday, 14 April 2011

13: It’s Immaterial, “Driving Away From Home (Jim’s Tune)” (no.18, 1986)

Britain has never been especially conducive to road trips: when you can get there and back inside of two days, it rather defeats the purpose. The sole UK Top 40 entry for a pair of Peel-approved Liverpudlians counts, along with Chris Petit’s cult cine-travelogue Radio On, as about as close as we got to traversing the length and breadth of the nation in search of… well, ourselves, I suppose, although a nice pasty from The Granary wouldn’t have gone amiss, either. Where our American cousins get their kicks on Route 66, the weary travellers of “Driving Away From Home” are sent down the more prosaic M62, yet the song makes a melancholic (and very British) poetry out of what it comes to observe there: concrete thoroughfares, derelict warehouses, traffic jams. (To see the contrast in “Driving” styles, compare the above UK promo to the altogether sunkissed and happier one filmed for the US release.) Though not a hit, the group's follow-up single “Ed’s Funky Diner (Friday Night, Saturday Morning)” deserves to be better known, too.

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