An album of songs from the English Civil Wars and seventeenth century to accompany The Violence.
I recently made an album called ‘The Violence’. It concerns itself with the East Anglian witch trials during the English Civil Wars. During my research I started to come across folk songs of the seventeenth century and Stuart era. Two such songs appear on that album: ‘When the King Enjoys His Own Again’ and ‘A Coffin for King Charles, A Crown for Cromwell and a Pit for the People’. I didn’t seek to achieve forensic detail when finding these songs, but was keen to have a sense of the flavour of the music of the era. As a side project to the album, I started to record and adapt some of the songs, and now they are collected here.
Consider this an accompanying volume to The Violence, a scene setter, a spin off.
Although I did a fair amount of research, these are not meant to be definitive or historical readings of the songs. I have revised, edited and even rewritten in places.
Thanks to Malcolm Taylor and the library at Cecil Sharp House, and the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
Darren Hayman, February 2013.
Press for Bugbears
"Bugbears ends up sounding like a stellar Darren Hayman album. 'The Contented' and 'Impossibilities' are like Hefner at their best, while 'Seven Months Married' is the kind of engaging, unfurling yarn the 42 year old has made his own since going solo. History has rarely been so engaging" The NME [7/10]
"an intriguing, satisfying listen" Record Collector [4/5]
"Pretty poignant ane educational, too" Uncut [8/10]
"Bugbears is a rich and warming curio" Mojo [3/5]
"the freeness of the reinterprations animates the source material all the more effectively" Financial Times [4/5]
"Bugbears is a loving and modern take on the chaotic Civil War period, with his Essex and London accent giving the songs greater authenticity" Neon Filler [8/10]
“Hayman may sing about impossibilities, but with Bugbears, he’s proved that it’s possible to turn the ancient into the contemporary and the fatalistic into the optimistic.” Music OMH [4/5]
“With Bugbears, Hayman stands apart” The Arts Desk
"they no longer sound like musty relics but more an interesting and occasionally informative journey back in time that's seen through modern eyes and is, on more than one occasion, really quite enchanting" SoundsXP
"Musically the band have done a cracking job with the arrangements, and all the songs, featuring lute and violins alongside guitars, sound incredibly authentic. Of course this is a Darren Hayman album so the songs he has chosen tend to the darker side of life, but that's what we love about Darren Hayman, right?" Artrocker
"Hayman recognises the birth of modernity in the social upheaval of that era" The Quietus
"quirkier in concept than performance, like a folk genre idea tackled with an indie band's skillset" Herald Scotland
"These songs could have carried on all day as far as I was concerned: Bugbears is, in every way but superstitiously, utterly charming." For Folks Sake
"he has unearthed a fascinating treasure trove of folk songs and turned them in to a lovingly performed, effortlessly enjoyable collection of songs" Penny Black Music
“The hearts of the songs have been treasured in their time-travelling.” Kyeo [3/5]
“‘Bugbears’ is distinctive album and an intriguing companion to The Violence. Hayman has reached back into the past and picked up a handful of gems.” Drunken Werewolf
“‘Bugbears’ is a collection of lovingly crafted folk songs” Norman Records