darren hayman

blimey the blighter keeps turning up everywhere of late, I’m half expecting him to appear on the goggle box reading the weather, what’s that you’ve an album about the woes / joys and the unpredictability of the British weather. of course we jest, but it does seem to us that there’s been a restless air of late in the Darren Hayman camp, with singles and albums flying out with unchecked regularity, not that we here are complaining especially when they come woven in the kind of brittleness that graced his last outing for Static Caravan under the moniker the Hayman Kupa Band. This time however, charged or was that taunted, by the Static brethren, to do a ditty about his favourite ever train, in return the label having already revealed their hand with the promise of pressing up said offering onto an eye catching picture disc, Mr Hayman furiously shook his dusty hard drive to unearth an albums worth of train line love notes. not wanting to let such a gift horse staring opportunity go amiss, the label took said tapes and furiously worked on a specially crafted package that now finds the original picture disc promise bolstered by an additional CD featuring a further six locomotive lovelies. ‘trains’ reveals a Hayman secret passion, yet this isn’t merely a geeky train spotting affair offering tales of colour co-ordinating Kagool wearing hand holding shy hearts, rather more it’s a homage, a fond recollection of childhood memories of family summer holidays thought forgotten, a people watching parade (like Len and Kate on the monochrome filtered musical hall waltz of ‘buffet car song’) intrinsically linked to sleepy sidings, picturesque stations and the huff and puff of steam engines tooting joyfully along the rural green and brown arteries of these fair isles, a fascination subtly instilled into the English consciousness by the ‘coronation scot’ or films such as ‘the titfield thunderbolt’, ‘oh, Mr Porter’ and ‘the railway children’ to name just three, each harking back to a yearning for a time less rushed, more-quaint and indelibly more British. So here by the inscrutable pen and fond eye of Mr Hayman are eight such sorties, led from the fore by the delightfully chirpy adoration for ‘class 108 DMU’, a misty eyed love to the diesel classes of yesteryear beautifully crafted with the harmonic huffing and puffing hum of children giving it an adoring sense of movement while Hayman watches out through the window at his childhood self-reflected back. For the purists among you there’s even field recordings of this diesel dandy further along the listings on ‘sounds of the 108 dmu’. next up the bitter sweet ‘we find treasure’ in truth the most touching track here, an ode to neglected stations lost to progress and disuse, haunted by memories of an England locked in another age. the theme of forgotten lines continues on ‘la maison du garde’ recorded in 2010 at Wreckless Eric’s back garden, the tumbling rustics mournfully etching out tear stained ode to the overgrown linking line that connected Chalus to Oradour Sur Veyres. the sleepy headed and decidedly off centred and wonky ‘the backs of houses’ wraps up matters and brings the journey to a hissing halt and finds Hayman returning back to familiar hum drum jaunts wondering what became of his ‘almost girlfriend’. gem like. ‘trains’ will be rerady for boarding from the Static Caravan platform on 1st August 2016.            


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