Make no mistake, this band is [i]adored[/i]...

Bloody hell, it’s rammed! And when homecoming anti-heroes Hefner burst straight into ‘Hello Kitten’, the best wank anthem since ‘Turning Japanese’, it soon becomes apparent that Darren Hayman is going to be struggling to make himself heard over Camden’s biggest indie karaoke session since – well, didn’t hear anyone singing along at The Fall round the corner last night anyway.

These people obviously empathise, or else they’d only be here to chuckle at the sad losers who inhabit Hayman’s bittersweet pocket symphonies, such as the wake-up call of ‘Pull Yourself Together’ (whose recurring, nagging riff is heavily reminiscent of Wire’s ‘Strange’) and the confessional Velvets-esque beauty of ‘I Stole A Bride’. A brass section, and guests vocals from indie stalwart Amelia Fletcher, are introduced to fill out the highlights of the new album ‘We Love The City’, resulting in a vibrant ‘Good Fruit’ and a celebratory ‘The Greedy Ugly People’.

Make no mistake, this band is adored – maybe some people like nothing better than listening to ditties about characters whose personal life is far worse than their own. Oh, and the communal singalong reaches a crescendo when Hayman bellows out the closing ten-years-out-of-date-but-what-the-hell ‘The Day Thatcher Dies’. Hey, these kids like their satchels and hair slides more than anything, but they’re not gonna turn their nose up at a bit of cutely naive politics. God, he can even fit that one in. They must love him. And they do.

Viva la underachieva.

Alan Woodhouse