Formed in the seaside town of Hove sometime in the late nineties, Clearlake are a quintessentially English band. In fact, they couldn't be more English even if they pitched up on TOTP2 decked out in Pearly King suits singing I'm Henery The Eighth, I Am, with Tim Brooke-Taylor and Margo from the Good Life providing backing vocals in matching Union Jack outfits. So, quite English then.
But not English in a jingoistic, Rule Brittania, xenophobic sort of way; more like one of those classic bands that couldn't possibly come from anywhere but England: the Kinks, Madness or The Jam, for example. Great chroniclers of the minutiae of life in Blighty, basically. (of course, the fact that vocalist Jason Pegg doesn't affect some sort of mid-Atlantic drawl when singing also helps a lot.)
This Englishness couldn't be better illustrated than on Jumble Sailing, from their very first single - the track being as it is a paean, as the title kind of suggests, to the simple pleasures of picking up bargains from the local jumble sale. (Sample lyric: We'll be just like two millionaires going out on a spree / We'll know that it won't break the bank 'cause it's only 10p.) Lovely stuff!
Actually, despite the fact that Clearlake have released three albums and several singles so far in their career, it's still this very first single (the other track from which, Winterlight, I'm also including here) that stands out for me as their finest hour (or finest 9 minutes + 26 seconds, if we're being pedantic).
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