Darren and Emma used to be in the worst two named bands in the history of UK indie.
Darren met Emma in Sheffield and told her he was suspicious of a band who all wore hats. Then her band all put hats on and went on stage.
They started a friendship based on short scale basses.
Darren started writing a song and thought the melody in the chorus sounded like something Emma might write and sing. To avoid legal action he asked her to sing on it.
During the recording session they aspired to make the record sound as much like Bryan Adams and Sporty Spice as possible. If it doesn’t sound like that, then they’ve failed. That was their only objective.
Emma told Darren it was the best guitar playing she had ever heard in her entire life. Ever. Bar none.
There’s a video too, where they both play cat’s cradle beside canals. The video is less like Bryan and Sporty.
There are rumours that Darren and Emma are now making an album of duets.
When these two met they wanted to make a record that sounded like Bryan Adams an Sporty Spice as possible. Bloody students. Thank God they've failed.
'Boy Look at What You Can't Have Now' is more like a pair of jealous kittens spitting out barbs than anything you'll find on Now 65. Think of Tom Jones and her out of Catatonia, and then forget them immediately because that song was a crime against humanity, whilst this discordant rattle through self-defiance is a slow-burning beauty.
I used to love Hefner, you know. There was a time when I hung off every Darren Hayman lyric, but I haven't really hit it off with much of his solo stuff. However, a sprinkle of Emma Kupa on anyone's cornflakes is enough to transform the mundane into the magical. There are rumours of a duet album. That might fill the Standard Fare-shaped hole in my life for a while, but for now, this is very nice, thank you very much.
(A Layer Of Chips)