A review from Drowned In Sound....
With October’s Essex Arms, Darren Hayman and his Secondary Modern released one of the great records of 2010. Not only was it a lovingly crafted take on, amongst other things, small town angst and ennui, (it was basically a better The Suburbs, with just as much aimless driving but slightly fewer references to "The Kids"), but it also managed to achieve a strange sense of beauty with the Essex badlands as its canvas.
It’s relatively easy for Springsteen to dig around New Jersey for battered dreams and scuffed heroes when he has the vastness of The American Dream to fall back on. But you have to be really clever to draw out the same sense of romance and piquancy with Essex as your muse. But this is exactly what Hayman achieved. So maybe he could’ve been content with creating some of the best music of his career so far and spent the New Year with his feet up reflecting on a job well done. Instead he’s decided to write, release and record a completely original song for every day of the coming month.
Interested in where this enforced restrictiveness will lead to and how it will impact on a creative process Hayman might’ve felt so relatively comfortable and familiar with up until this point, this promises to not only provide some lovely material from one of this country’s most undervalued songwriters, but also give an illuminating insight into the creative process with an effort to understand the artist’s relationship to his craft. So you should keep track of his progress at http://januarysongs.tumblr.com/
Age Restrictions: 16+
Tickets: £8 adv / £10 otd