And now Hefner, Britain’s Largest Small Band!
Back in 1998 things were happening. I was working, having my own place with a beautiful woman, studying at the same time photography, shooting all the time, reading, walking, exploring the world, watching movies and listening to Hefner for the first time! After buying their first record most probably because Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian played in it, but also because of the wonderful lo-fi cover and the peculiar song titles, I never looked back. These guys were amazing! Lyrics that were caustic with humor and reality, music that had the rawness any 22 year old is looking for and then stays hooked for the rest of his life and artwork! Oh, the artwork of the singles and the LPs were a treasure on their own! And you had to buy them all to get the extra artwork and extra songs. Nothing was half good. Everything was perfect. What can I say. Hefner’s mastermind, Darren Hayman was responsible for most of them, songs, lyrics and artwork!
I was lucky enough to see them once live in Athens, in 2000 just after the release of their 4th album We love the city. (I consider Boxing Hefner an album, too) A concert to remember, the band playing at hands reach from the crowd, and they played intense and it was fantastic. Darren joked, responded to fans (they throw him a pack of Benson & Hedges, after playing the Hymn for the cigarettes), danced (I think it was I took her love for granted), read a postcard, drank something (probably because he was thirsty and not to justify the Hymn for alcohol). The only regret was that they didn’t play one of the songs from the, then, latest album, Greedy Ugly people. But I forgave them!
After their split Darren Hayman went on (in fact he is still at it) producing great music, art, videos etc. Anthony Harding as ANT has issued several wonderful lo-fi CDS. And as I read, but unfortunately haven’t heard, Jack Hayter is creating his own music or helps other people create theirs, with his multi instrumental talents!
Hefner was really a great band and listening to any of their records, is really the best thing you can do to your ears, mind and heart.