At the risk of turning PM into a Hayman-only devotion zone fixed with Hefner curtains and pictures of his dogs everywhere while we mark homework that doesn’t exist for children that may or may not have crushes on us in the glow of Teen Wolf coming from the TV, here are some pictures of last night’s Rough Trade East in-store gig.
Hayman proved that, though he is wont to forgetting even his most recent and cementing lyrics, he has a surprising kineticism on stage. His records hardly plod, but you’d be forgiven for thinking that, live, they might accrue some of the gentility heard on disc. What we’re met with is a smart-arsed and thoroughly noisy, scratchy and impassioned yell through some of his finest moments. Caravan Song from Table For One gains new buoyancy here, even though he confuses the lyrics again, and the overwhelming impression is one of righteous desires sung by a man who’s continually ashamed of every one of those desires he has.
Tunes from his latest concept album Pram Town (reviewed) are not dwelled upon, but they are all efficiently and sensitively performed. Big Fish is a minor beauty, its small-time sentiments played with maximum scope for emotional indignity – something Hayman has perfected more than maybe any songwriter of the last few decades. The only gripe (and there shouldn’t really be any, it’s free…) is that the audience laugh when Hayman compares far-off locales to his own Walthamstow. Why laugh? It’s sung with such earnestness.