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- The Green And The Grey by Darren Hayman & The Secondary Modern
8/10 Brian Staff review, 18 August 2011
Good golly. Old Hefner mouthpiece and arch purveyor of post-war English nostalgia, Darren H is back with an album of offcuts and alternative versions from his Essex Arms opus. This guy is noted at Norman Towers (soon to be mansions) for once uniting Phil and I in a shady anti-schmindie pact years ago where we fantasized about doing terrible things and wicked deeds to a man, that frankly, we felt is completely to blame for the existence of Indietracks and all that "twee" nonsense. Except we actually like him now. Yeah, both of us! See, his odd, gentle/yelping voice doesn't tear gaping holes in my sanity any more and we've realised he's actually a really sensitive and progressive modern folk musician with a nice line in gently cynical, witty prose. I'm five tracks in and I'm enjoying this even more than the actual album. These alternative versions and unreleased bits have a beautiful pastoral swell, intimate charm and hearty rattle about them. I don't dread a Hayman record any longer, I virtually embrace the man for all his steadfast indie worthiness and value his highly respected, individual stance in an industry full of strutting cretins and vacuous wankers. Or maybe we've just all grown up a bit...
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