Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Darren Hayman and the secondary modern-pram town

some people like to 'travel'. i dont really. if theres not a kettle or a nice place to sit down or a good bookshop, count me out. im confused to why people can 'find themselves' in India when they cant in,say,kwiksave. Ive also never been a person who got a good whiff of wanderlust as a young 'un and ended up dashing off to a far flung city. Ive always been pretty happy at home. its the not the best place in the world. it wouldn't get in the top million most interesting, but its home. my history has seeped into every bus shelter, bridge, and park bench. its me as i am it.

one person who seems to share my feelings in Darren Hayman(essentially,Jarvis Cocker minus the crappy corduroy irony), who has released a beautiful 'folk opera'(ie-not a concept album) about his home town of Harlow. the actual geography of Harlow rarely comes up, its more a love letter to its modernist architecture. any monkey could write an interesting song about London(except lily allen),but what about the little new towns?

the opening introduction of 'Civic pride' is a good indicator of how the album flows. calming, quiet, nostalgic and strangely English(i think its down to the trumpets. I'm a sucker for trumpets. 'Lazarus' trumpets not 'baker street'). its the sound of walking to a warm house after a cold, shit day at work. wonderful.
'Pram town' is an ode to sleepy English towns. the chorus (which reminds me of the chorus of 'get the message' by electronic strangely)and does make you wonder why anyone would go through the hustle and bustle of city life. i must listen to this on the tube one day.
'Compilation cassette' is romeo and Juliet relocated to the commuter belt, 'Amy and Rachel' is an almost Roddy Doyle-esque look at the formation of a band.
the stand out for me though is the sweet skiffle pop of 'Losing my glue', the chorus of which is just really, really is perfect. it makes me want dance and cry a bit at the same time.

this album is about love against the odds, colour against the grey, hope against boredom. its a wonderful piece of work. everything as it should be.

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