Darren Hayman and the Secondary Modern, Hefner

Steve Ellis 30/11/2008

View: 2nd row

Afternoon gigs are, by their very design, more sedate than their evening counterparts. So it came as quite a shock when Darren Hayman started with the boisterous 'Nothing you can do about it'. As he swung his shoulders around, his body language threatened scissor kicks. It would not have been a good move in the tiny venue. He then explained that it was his birthday and that he was slightly drunker than he would like to be.

A set that consisted of mainly his solo songs followed. Fan favourites like 'Perfect homes', 'Eastborne lights' and the ultra-twee 'Crocodile' were mixed up with two excellent new songs 'Big fish' and 'Out of my league', the latter being tribute to anyone who has ever dated the office stunner.

Banter between Darren and his bass player about being on tour with Oasis punctuated the song breaks with occasional references to cocaine being a type of cute animal.

'Caravan Song' chugged along like a Hefner classic and the set was ended with a tribute to hip-hop, 'Wu Tang Clan'. The audience was offered a free CD to anyone who could name all 9 members of the rap band but this was mainly an indie audience so his discs were safe.

It wasn't until the first encore of 'When Angels play their drum machines' did he properly touch on his back-catalogue. The downbeat 'Half a life' followed.

A second encore was demanded and another Hefner tune, 'The Greedy ugly people' was offered. Exhausted, Darren and the band limped off for more birthday drinks leaving crowd yelling for even more. As far as they were concerned he could've played well into the night.


Nothing You Can Do About It
Perfect Homes
Eastbourne Lights
Big Fish
Out Of My League
Family Photo
Losing My Glue
Baggage Reclaim Song
China Crisis
Caravan Song
Wu Tang Clan


When the Angels Play Their Drum Machines
Half a Life

2nd Encore

Greedy Ugly People

Photo by Simone SW