9 Bands You Can Put On A Pancake

Or, 9 spreadable foodstuffs you can build a playlist out of…

Shrove Tuesday deserves far more music. Christmas has carols, birthdays have singalongs and Halloween has party anthems, but the international day of the pancake has nothing. Since no one wants to toss their crepes in silence, we’ve found the best bands to add to a frying pan playlist – the ultimate musical toppings for the fourth or fifth best food-based celebration day of the year. 

NOW That’s What I Call Pancake Day…


If you like your pancakes… Angsty. To feel like a lighter, folksier Nirvana with twice the dread and four times the melancholy. Hüsker Dü’s Bob Mould sandwiched Sugar between his solo work, giving us three years of perfect early 90s alt rock that resulted in two albums, an EP, a live record and two boxsets before he took back off on his own again. 

Try it with: The Lemonheads. Since everyone knows lemon and sugar is the best way to top a pancake anyway. 

The Jam

If you like your pancakes… Definitive. You can add Marmalade and Pearl Jam if you can find it, but there’s only one The Jam – mixing up punk, power pop, R&B, soul and new wave sounds in one big sticky pot of scene-shaping success. You could even spread it on your crepe in Spitfire circles to make the mod symbol. 

Try it with: Bread. For those who can’t decide between a pancake and a sandwich.   


If you like your pancakes… Like a full meal. For a band named after chicken dippers whose biggest UK single was a cheese (‘Mull Of Kintyre’) and whose last album was called Back To The Egg, it’s a wonder Paul McCartney’s mid-atlantic rockers didn’t open a themed restaurant. ‘Live And Let Die’ is obviously the best pancake track, but they do also have a song called ‘Let Me Roll It’…

Try it with: Hot Chip (More than one if possible). Also maybe a side of Korn and a sprinkle of Salt-N-Pepa. 


If you like your pancakes… Sweet. But less “teeth-coating” and more “head-nodding-slowly-with-an-ironic-smile”, as only the best 90s geek rock can feel when you get all the references you think no one else understands. John McCrea’s carnival of genres rode his band through funk, hip hop, country, jazz and college rock, giving us the perfect pancake soundtrack for those who like all the toppings.  

Try it with: Cream, of course. And why not stick a Black Stone Cherry on top (if Sainsburys don’t sell Eagle-Eye Cherries).

The Cranberries

If you like your pancakes… Dreamy. Somewhere between end of The Smiths and the start of Brit-pop, indie music found a dark little corner where it could be beautiful and melancholy and jangly all at the same time. ‘Zombie’ still gets played every Halloween by everyone who doesn’t listen to the lyrics, so Pancake Day might be a good time to misappropriate ‘Linger’ and tell yourself it’s a song about the smell of burnt vegetable oil.  

Try it with: Peaches. Not to be confused with The Moldy Peaches.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

If you like your pancakes… Dangerous. Anthony Kiedis would definitely flip his pancakes in the nude (or else fashion a cold one into a tube sock replacement), and if you want your crepes to have a bit of LA funk-punk edge you could do a lot worse than throwing on some flaming jalapeños and frying your crepe to ‘Can’t Stop’. Just don’t forget the Otherside… 

Try it with: Smashing Pumpkins. Add some rice and cheese, roll it up and you’ve got everything you need for The Flying Burrito Brothers.

Black Honey

If you like your pancakes… Sticky. Spend an afternoon listening through Black Honey’s back catalogue and you’ll hear them evolve in realtime – from 50s B-movie screamadelica to noisy 90s alt rock. Wherever you land you’ll find the kind of snarly pop that makes you want to try and make the pancakes hit the ceiling and start a batter fight with the neighbours. 

Try it with: Bananarama. That’s when you add about five bananas to a pancake full of Nutella while singing ‘Cruel Summer’. 


If you like your pancakes… Slippery. If Eels’ off-kilter indie is Novocaine For The Soul, pancakes must be Lemsip For The Heart. Top them with woozy, introspective LA Eels for that perfect mid-90s mouthfeel, or go old-school London with pie, mash and liquor.

Try it with: The Coral, Blue Öyster Cult and Seal. Make it a Phish pie.


If you like your pancakes… Slim. Throw out all the lemons, sugar, bananas, chili peppers and other toppings and just place a solitary M&M in the middle of your crepe. You gotta lose yourself in the moment, you own it, you better never let it go. You only get one shot, do not miss your chance – oh, you dropped it. 

Try it with: Hot chocolate. Which is what Eminem becomes after he’s sat in the middle of a pancake for two minutes.