Monday, November 23, 2009

Noughties By Nature #90: Hefner – The Day That Thatcher Dies

Of course (at least at time of writing anyway), it didn’t happen. She may presumably still be planning her own state funeral, but thanks to Darren Hayman a swathe of the indie underground will know exactly what they’ll be doing whenever the time arrives, “even though we know it’s not right.” Hayman, you’ll recall, also made a number of impressive solo albums studying post-war suburbia, created an incredibly underrated LP of electro-wanderings as The French, given the bloggers an Anglicised version of bluegrass, had a hand in re-popularising the ukulele and still had time to write his fans a postcard from his caravan holidays. But it’s Hefner (self-described as “the biggest small band in the country”) that’ll stay most celebrated. Near the end of the cracking We Love The City, another forthright yet gentle foray into – let’s face it – his own tempestuous love life, the brass-laden The Day That Thatcher Dies mixes even more astute recollections about fancying a girl with blood-thirsty lefty polemic, confirming in his own mind that schadenfreude and sex share the same sort of delicious guilt. Plus, for good measure, a group of kids chanting “Ding dong the witch is dead” with cheerful malice, channelling a sentiment of the national masses that despite being decades old still felt raw. More of a street party than a poll-tax riot, admittedly, but as anti-nostalgia goes it was scathing enough.
Thomas Blatchford

[YouTube (live)]
[Album: We Love The City]


Anonymous said...

Song of the decade no question.

Anyway from the Hefnet site a bit more background to how such genius is produced.

"Today is the first day of recording some of these guest stars. First James (10) and Owen Hayter (4) come in with their dad (big Jack) to do some vocals. Owen thinks it's hilarious to wear the headphones around his waist and blow raspberries into the microphone (AKG 414 if your interested (I wonder if those Austrian sound technicians reckoned on their mikes withstanding so much spittle)). They are here to sing ‘Ding dong the witch is dead' on ‘The Day That Thatcher Dies', but James tries to wrangle a writing credit by coming up with ‘Ding dong the witch is dead, Thatcher is a poo poo head'. They are paid £15 which they spend on an Action man bike and a copy of Ape Escape."

Its unclear if Brian Eno was involved.

One last thing. "Hayman, you’ll recall, also made a number of impressive solo albums studying post-war suburbia...." Whats all this 'made', despite the best efforts of Nottinghams muggers Darren is still very much continuing to make great music.


thommo said...


The feature is about looking back at the decade, so i put it in the past tense, that doesn't mean i'm siding with the mugging community!

Thanks though.