Anglo For Your Ear: James’ “Laid”

Here’s an early ’90s alt-rock classic from one of many great Manchester bands. As the title implies, the song is about sex, but, more specifically, it’s about sexual frustration. Singer Tim Booth sings that his girlfriend “only comes when she’s on top,” evoking every man’s performance anxiety. The song’s middle verse delves into sadomasochism and takes on a queer sensibility: “Dressed me up in women’s clothes/Messed around with gender roles/Line my eyes and call me pretty.” The quirky neurosis of the song is reflected in the video, which features Booth lounging around in a lady’s nightgown. Nice legs.

By the way, the video censors the word “comes,” replacing it, oddly, with “sings.”

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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