You know the priest has started reading the last rites on dance music when the record label best known as home to Fatboy Slim releases… an alt.country record. Cynicism aside, Lucky Jim mark a laudable attempt by Skint to expand their horizons.
A two-piece (Scottish lad Gordon Graham and Brighton boy Ben Townsend), Lucky Jim draw on all the necessary and obvious references (Dylan, Gene Clark, Gram). But this collection of border skirmishes is surprisingly effective thanks to a neat line in bruised acoustic melancholia and Gordon’s prairie-dog growl. “You’re Lovely To Me” is all mandolin, strings and dusty melodies blown in from the desert. “Almeria”, a nod of the Stetson to the Spanish city where Leone shot his Dollars trilogy, possesses a ragged, loping gait; a Morricone mooch. “The Honeymooners” sounds like Gainsbourg’s “Bonnie & Clyde” for the E generation, while “My Soul Is On Fire” is a fine example of frontier melodrama.