They don’t, you know. They positively hate the city, the city in question being London. But this is a fun album, from start to finish, even if one of the songs is called The Day That Thatcher Dies and has children singing “Ding dong, the witch is dead, which old witch, the wicked witch.”
Sorry, let me start again… Hefner are a band whose songs are pitched somewhere between Blur and Levellers; the former’s off-the-wall guitars and the latter’s vocals. Which means they’re a bit artsy, a bit political, a bit of everything really. They’ve even got opinions on London Transport; “This is London/not Antarctica/so why don’t the tubes run all night?” With an opening gambit like that, it is difficult for any Londoner to do anything other than appreciate this band.
The title, We Love The City, is quite obviously ironic in the best traditions of Levellers’ sledgehammer wit, but the message is definitely relayed – Darren Hayman and his chums are a tad pissed off and they’d quite like you, the listener, to sympathise.
Should you happen to be in a beer hall (say, one of the larger Firkin pubs, for example) the riotous nature of some of the tracks could make you wonder if you should vacate the premises – She Can’t Sleep No More builds and builds until it sounds like half of London are either singing or playing. The aforementioned The Day That Thatcher Dies is an attempt at subterfuge but is so blatant as to be comical, adding to the fun feel of this album. You quite often got that with The Levellers – they’d be singing about politics and battles in beanfields and police brutality, but their music would be jigging.
I don’t see Hefner getting to be as unfashionable as Levellers but they must be aware that the comparisons are already out there in the meeja. They must also know that if they hate London as much as this record suggests, there is a big wide world out there in which to live. What’s Antarctica like this time of year?