Blue House EP by Darren Hayman

Card gatefold sleeve. Numbered and limtied to 500.

I like collections of five or six songs, seven even. It’s unfortunate that we don’t have a proper name for them; Mini LPs? Maxi EPs?

I write when I travel, when I’m disengaged. I write when I’m on holiday. I wrote three of these songs in a blue house on the Suffolk coast. There was a piano in the blue house and I bought my baritone ukulele. I tasted every beer from the local brewery and rated them in a table in my notebook.

Leaves and Stars is about the cycle of wedding, christening, divorce, wedding. At the age of 42, too many of my friends are on the third stage. Nothing stays the same. It’s a song about acquiescence and letting go, accepting change and letting it wash over you.

Words change too, or at least their popularity does. Remember when words like ‘blackleg’, ‘scab’, ‘picket line’ and ‘strike’ were more common? They were barbed, sharp, violent words. They were necessary. Blackleg is a song about collaborating with the enemy.

 When the School Sold Its Fields is about trying to remember when it first went wrong, or at least when I first noticed things going awry. When I was ten or eleven I remember my school selling its playing fields for a housing estate. Soon all the schools sold part of their fields. Many schools now have housing estates where the kids used to play. The song also concerns a memory I have of me being dressed up by my parents as a ‘China man’ for the PTA International Dinner. Mrs Morgan, our head teacher, had passed away. They held a silence and it was the first time my mind had confronted death. I cried.

Kurhaus Blues was written on an earlier holiday in Semmering, Austria. In fact I have a whole album of instrumentals on the subject of Semmering. We walked around a ruined Kurhaus, lost amongst the mountains and trees. I imagined it when it was new. I do this a lot; imagine old things new.

Loose Change was written by my friend Valentine Leys. She sang one of mine, so I sang one of hers’. Valentine’s is better.

 Blue House was made especially for Indie Label Market 29 November 2013. It will also be available directly from and a few select record shops.

Darren Hayman, December 2013

Buy the Blue House EP CD Direct from Darren

Blue House comes in a neat card gatefold slip case. Numbered and limited to 500.

Or buy downloads from Bandcamp here.


1. Martin Said
Sir Thomas Fairfax March
Seven Months Married
Hey Then Up We Go
The Owl
The Contented
Babylon Has Fallen
I Live Not Where I Love
Bold Astrolger
Old England Grown New
When The King Enjoys His Own Again


An album of songs from the English Civil Wars and seventeenth century to accompany The Violence.

I recently made an album called ‘The Violence’. It concerns itself with the East Anglian witch trials during the English Civil Wars. During my research I started to come across folk songs of the seventeenth century and Stuart era. Two such songs appear on that album: ‘When the King Enjoys His Own Again’ and ‘A Coffin for King Charles, A Crown for Cromwell and a Pit for the People’. 

I didn’t seek to achieve forensic detail when finding these songs, but was keen to have a sense of the flavour of the music of the era. As a side project to the album, I started to record and adapt some of the songs, and now they are collected here.
Consider this an accompanying volume to The Violence, a scene setter, a spin off.

Although I did a fair amount of research, these are not meant to be definitive or historical readings of the songs. I have revised, edited and even rewritten in places.

Thanks to Malcolm Taylor and the library at Cecil Sharp House, and the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

Darren Hayman, February 2013.


releases 15 July 2013
The Short Parliament are
Bill Botting
Dan Mayfield
Dave Watkins
David Tattersall
Johny Lamb


Gatefold litho printed brown card sleeved complete with 16 page booklet of illustrations, lyrics and Darren’s research notes.

Pre-order Bugbears on Heavyweight 12″ vinyl


Pressed on 180gsm heavyweight black vinyl, nestled within a luxury polylined sleeve and coming complete with a full 16 page booklet of lyrics and Darren’s research into the songs, the poems and the events that inspired the music of the time. Each song comes illustrated by a different graphic artist, including Pam Berry, Robert Rotifer, James Paterson, Rose Robbins, Frances Castle, Joe Besford, Jonny Helm, Sarah Lippett, Dan Willson and more…

Four Queens EP

Darren Hayman releases a special four-track EP for Record Store Day (Saturday April 20th) entitled Four Queens, available on limited edition coloured vinyl 10″ and digital. The EP follows on from his critically acclaimed album, The Violence, released on Fortuna POP! last year, which has spawned an ongoing fascination with English history.

Comprised of one track from The Violence, the outstanding ‘Henrietta Maria’, plus three new compositions, the EP features (as the name suggests) songs about a quartet of English Queens. Sung from the perspective of King Charles I as he serenades his French Queen, ‘Henrietta Maria’ is beautiful and touching, and somehow Hayman manages to indulge in a brief history lesson without ever compromising his lyrical meter or the song’s integrity.

Elsewhere, ‘Nine Day Queen’ deals with the tragic tale of Lady Jane Grey, who reigned for a mere nine days before being beheaded at the tender age of 17. ‘Eleanor Of Aquitaine’ tells the story of a monarch who was Queen of both England and France who, as well as marrying two kings gave birth to two, lived to 80 (outliving all but two of her ten children) and caused a whole lot of trouble along the way. Perhaps the standout track here though is ‘Elizabeth The First’, which sees Elizabeth Morris from Allo Darlin’ taking lead vocals over Hayman’s plaintive backing.

As The Violence so clearly showed, Hayman is a master craftsman at the top of his game, and this EP continues the remarkable quality of his recent releases with these four, finely wrought royal vignettes.

Buy the Four Queens EP Direct from Darren

Or buy downloads from Bandcamp here.

Old Man Don’t Waste Your Time – 7 Inch

Released on May 7th by WIAIWYA records.

On OLD MAN Darren Hayman serves up the best bits of Prince, Dr Feelgood, the Laughing Clowns and Hefner in a pint of POP that’ll be lodged in your noggin til a week next Thursday… once it’s there, it ain’t budging, so you might as well strap on your air guitar and pour yourself a chaser of TUNE… in fact, just take the shade off that standard lamp and sing your way through the third spin, adding your own grunts and moans as appropriate (and they are ALL appropriate)… by the fourth round, as you collapse onto the sofa of SONG to soak up the sax solo (I know, I KNOW!), OLD MAN will be tattooed on your temporal lobe, permanent, forever… and ever… amen…

It’s REALLY good

OLD MAN was recorded in a day in Sidcup Working Man’s club; Ian Button arrived at 9:00 to set up, Darren and the Long Parliament arrived at 10:00 to get recording, the cameras started rolling, the bar opened, the magic happened, and by 5:00 we had a video, a photoshoot, and two HITS for wiaiwya-7777777…

wiaiwya-7777777 is a series of seven 7″ singles released during 2013, one on each day of the week, and always on the 7th of the month, in the 7 colours of the rainbow, with exclusive tunes from 7 of the most exciting indie, electronic, folk and alternative bands around… oh, they come in editions of 777 too…

there’s lots more information here –

Buy Old Man Don’t Waste Your Time on 7-inch

Or buy the downloads from Bandcamp

The Violence

The Violence by Darren Hayman and the Long Parliament

Over the past four years, ex-Hefner man Darren Hayman has been releasing records about lidos, dogging and Russian space dogs. He has played gigs in libraries, observatories and remote Hebridean Islands.

In all that time, however, Hayman’s real focus has been on this, a 20-song, double LP chronicling the 17th century Essex Witch Trials during the English Civil Wars. The record constitutes the third part of Darren’s Essex Trilogy. The previous two albums, Pram Town and Essex Arms, dealt with the new towns and suburbs and the lawless countryside.

“I have been drawn to my birthplace because it is both familiar and alien to me,” says Hayman. “Essex is so close to London yet so remote from it in many ways. I want to be both brutal and tender about the place in my songs. It’s easy to become trapped by your own tropes. I write easily about modernity and pepper my lyrics with slang, brand names and colloquialisms. I wanted to write about something in Essex’s past that spoke of its strangeness and also forced me to write in a language suitable for another period.”

Between 1644 and 1646, approximately 300 women were executed for witchcraft in the eastern counties of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk. Matthew Hopkins was the self appointed Witch Finder General who travelled East Anglia and helped small communities to rid themselves of these lonely, widowed women.

The album deals with fear and isolation, the way we use our own terror in times of trouble to lash out at the weak. It’s about how societies persecute otherness and outsiders.

The album also concerns itself with the wider context of the English Civil Wars. Hayman sings about King Charles I’s doomed love for his French bride; Parliamentarian spies; Puritan ideals and the comfort of animals.

The album is epic in both concept and sound. The landscape of the Dedham Vale is bought alive by beautiful intricate woodwind scores, trembling strings and destroyed church organs.

The Violence is an outstanding creative achievement, a truly unique and unprecedented album.

“It’s about how violence frightens us and how fear just leads to greater violence,” says Hayman.

Glowing reviews for the Violence…

‘Hayman’s fragile delivery gives voice to the paranoid and persecuted of the past while drawing subtle eerie parallels with modern times. A major work.’ – Mojo – 4 stars.

‘Lustrous future folk and psych wonderment’ – NME 8/10

‘His vision goes far beyond any other current independent artist and is a true treasure’ – Q Magazine

‘All that he does is beautifully thought-out, clever and tuneful and The Violence is no different…diverse, gently melodic and skilfully wrought…lovely, literate, approachable way to approach the past.’ RocknReel 4 stars.

‘Behind this bold and unique record lurks the thinking persons indie-pop legend and unaccredited national treasue Darren Hayman.’ – Stewart Lee – The Sunday Times.

8/10 Uncut Magazine

‘These are wonderful pop songs, each a compacted treasure of melody and heart. Autumnal, witty, sad and very, very English The Violence is the high watermark of Hayman’s career and one of the finest British releases of 2012, a record that neither floats, nor drowns but soars.’ – The Quietus

‘Triumphant’ – Artrocker

Buy Violence on CD


Buy the Violence on download from bandcamp here for £8.50

Field Recordings for Lido

I recently made an album of instrumentals about open air swimming pools.

I thought it would be interesting to embed into the recordings actual recordings of the Lidos themselves and in some cases recordings of the locations where the Lidos used to be (Brentwood and Purley Way).

I thought it would be fun to release these recordings on their own. It’s hard to imagine of what use they would be to anyone. However last year I bought a record of catering announcements on trains and I really enjoyed listening to it.

Sound has the ability to transport. Maybe these recordings will take you to a Lido. In your head at least.


Darren Hayman 13, October 2012

released 13 October 2012

Field recordings by Darren Hayman, Johnny Lamb, JG Smeaton, Dan Mayfield and Patrick Morrison.


Released 27th August 2012

Lido is a beautifully hand packaged CD and Vinyl record about Britain’s open air swimming pools.

The CD sleeve is hand glocko printed and the LP is on beautiful blue vinyl. Vinyl comes with download.

The very limited edition second run of Lido is now available.

After this run though we plan on Lido being unavailable for a while, physically at least.

Click here for more on the Lido project

Physical Copies of Lido on CD and Vinyl have now sold out.

Or buy on download here from Bandcamp for £7.

The Shit Piano

9th February 2012

We never do the ideas we have in pubs. In pubs we go, ‘That’s a great idea!’ in the morning we go, ‘Hmm not so great’. But what if the ideas we have in pubs are the best? I had an idea to re-record my album ‘The Ship’s Piano’ in a day on casios and call it the Shit Piano. Although on the surface it’s an idea based on a pun I was thinking about the tradition of remixes and the earlier tradition of Dub versions of albums. I tried to use the limitation of the Casios to find new and interesting readings of the songs. The album definitely isn’t ‘shit’ on purpose. I hope you like it.

Buy ‘The Shit Piano’ from Bandcamp for £3.

January Songs

Darren’s extensive online songwriting project from January 2011 finally receives its physical debut. A deluxe gatefold package with 2 full colour inner bags. Limited 1500 copies. Every single cover is hand drawn by Darren. That’s right, every single cover is an individually unique image.

Buy January Songs on double CD

Or buy the downloads from Bandcamp (Expanded to 48 tracks and costing £13)


Christmas In Haworth

Christmas In Haworth

Originally released December 2011 on Fika Recordings.


A six-track 10-inch EP with a hand-printed sleeve, Christmas In Haworth features four songs – ‘The Christmas Wars’, ‘Lost In The Snow’, ‘Christmas In The Boiler Room’ and ‘Photos Like Postcards’ – written and recorded in Haworth, West Yorkshire, during Christmas 2010. ‘Branwell’ was recorded the following July, and ‘Ruby’s House’ was written and recorded (in Ruby’s House) in June. The EP accompanies Darren and Tom from Fika Recordings’ curated digital advent calendar of Christmas songs, which is still available at