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Hefner - Catfight

  by Tommy Gunnarsson

published: 19 / 7 / 2006

Hefner - Catfight
Label: Select Label
Format: CD X2


Enjoyable 43 track double CD compilation of unreleased material from much missed indiepop group, Hefner

When singer and songwriter Darren Hayman announced that Hefner were going to split up some years ago, I think most of their fans understood that this wasn’t the last time we would hear from them, despite the announcement. Shortly afterwards, Darren formed the French with Hefner bassist John Morrison, and their sole album proved that Darren was still a great songwriter. For the past year, he has also released some singles and an album on his own, and even though they are still good, it’s quite far from the sound of Hefner that we came to love. Last year, Darren also bought the rights to his old band’s complete catalogue from Too Pure, a label that apparently didn’t treat the band very well, and earlier this year, a complation called 'The Best of Hefner' was released, with their super rare debut single, 'A Best Friend', being made available on CD for the first time ever. Now the follow-up is here, the double-CD 'Catfight', which is a 43-track compilation of unreleased Hefner songs, and contains songs from the very first seesions Darren recorded under the moniker of Hefner (with a different line-up) in 1994, up until the demos that were recorded for the band’s unrecorded fifth proper album, the follow-up to their final and fourth album, 'Dead Media'. As you might have guessed, when listening to this CD, it was like Christmas Day for a Hefner fan like me! And as you also might have guessed, this compilation has its ups and downs, as usual when it comes to these kinds of records. Often there are very good reasons why the songs haven’t been released before, but these reasons are not that obvious here. Some of the first six songs on the first disc, the songs that were recorded for that unreleased album, were re-recorded by the French, among them 'The Pines' and 'Gabriel in the Airport'. These songs sound as good here as they do when they recorded by the French later on. These demos surely make you want to hear that fifth album… I’m sure it would be fantastic! Some of the other songs that I really like are 'Country Song for Simon', a song that Darren recorded for a film that a director friend had made back in 2001 ; 'The Girl with the Loneliest Futon in Bethnal Green' (from 1997) and 'Hymn for the Telephones' (from 2000). But it’s hard to pick favourites from here, as most of the songs are really good. And after all: it’s Hefner!

Track Listing:-
1 The Pines
2 Gabriel in the Airport
3 Anne and Bill
4 Repression Song
5 I'm Not Surprised
6 New French Tits
7 Country Song for Simon
8 Fist Footed
9 Dirty World
10 Your Kitchen
11 Come on Sister
12 Dark Days
13 The Love Has Gone
14 Hymn for the 1950s Folk Revival
15 Monkey Man
16 Louise
17 Down Street
18 Hymn for the Telephones
19 Standing on Jesus
20 The Little Baby Hefner's Xmas Song for Holland
21 Somebody's Got to Love You
22 If I Had the Desire
23 The Hymn for Lisa and Me
24 OMD
25 Orange Ball of Hate
26 Don't Break My Heart
27 The Girl with the Lonliest Futon in Bethnal Green
28 The Art of Forgiveness
29 Underfed
30 It Breaks My Heart
31 Smoke
32 Shit TV
33 Lemon Pixie Stick
34 Fully Clothed
35 How Can I Be Certain
36 You've Been Prayed For
37 Colette
38 No Fucking Just Kissing
39 Fox
40 Virgin Friends
41 Betty Cutts
42 Affordable Friend
43 Lank

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