'Let's go away for Christmas', we said. We never go away for Christmas and Christmas never looks like Christmas. Christmas did look like Christmas in Haworth in 2010: a blanket of snow, tinsel, all that stuff. It made me nostalgic for for cheap, flimsy cards that hung on string on my parents' wall. When I think of Christmas, I don't think of snow, I think of my Uncle pushing a shaving foam pie into my face until I choked. I think of my Mum crying over Monopoly. I think of cold fatty meats and a broken James Bond Lotus Espirit.
Christmas gets in the way, so we got out of the way of Christmas. We went to Haworth in Yorkshire. We walked out into the countryside and got lost in the snow.
Four of these songs were written and recorded in Haworth, West Yorkshire, during Christmas 2010 and later overdubbed in London and Newcastle. 'Branwell' was written and recorded in London July 2011 and 'Ruby's House' was written and recorded in Ruby's house in Lancashire in June. David Watkins played the banjo and Rebecca Evans played the bass clarinet. The band on Branwell is Jonny Helm (drums, vocals), David Tattersall (banjo, vocals), Franic Rozycki (mandolin, vocals), Robert Rotifer (guitar, vocals), Bill Botting (bass, vocals) and me (piano, vocals).
Recorded by Ian Evans and myself.
Darren Hayman - August 2011