374. Darren Hanlon – “Pointing Rayguns at Pagans”

This album has provoked me to provide you with some back history on my Hanlonisation process.

I first encountered him as the most outgoing and down-to-earth member of The Simpletons, and delighted in his first excursion to the mic on their tune Danielle.

I then recall seeing him step out for a short solo set one night at the Empress Hotel, entertaining us with a collection of shambolic but endearing tracks. The rest is history (his subsequent JJJ fame from his first EP on, global domination etc).

This CD is a collection of his non-album work, mainly single B-sides and tracks from the various Candle Records compilations. Unfortunately, as far as my memory can recall, it only features one of the elusive tracks he played at that Empress gig – banjo-heavy Pinball Millionaire.

I already owned most of the tracks on here, and in an iTunes world having them together on a CD carries less premium than it once did (a couple were only on 7″, so there is a digital gain).  The collection is a nice patchwork of his varying dalliances. The cover of Fischer-Z’s Perfect Day is a delight:

As usual there are lots of little vignettes about life’s key moments here, whether it be birthdays, Xmas, trips to funparks, travel or video party sleepovers. They gel reasonably well, but this is a little too much of a hodge podge to really delight. And I still want to hear When the Girls Get Here and the song about the drummer from that debut show.

File under: For completists and Fischer-Z fans

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