Haydon’s Place – The Hobgoblin, Staines APR 01

Absurdly good looking Surrey band Haydon’s Place (named after a charming street in Guildford) brings to mind those influential Canadians “The Band” or even the sixties legends “The Byrds”. Their top-notch quality folk-rock sounds seem to be driven by those old style “collegiate folk” melodies and harmonies.  So easy to slip into. Like a big duvet full of sensual sound. Restful and relaxing.

The skillful combination of rhythm and blues fused with American folk melodies and soulful harmonic style country-rock is evoked by Christian on keyboards and vocals, Antonio on joyful lead guitar, Steve on percussion and Terry on bass.

Christian is tall and lanky, curly mopped and smiling – and brings to mind a more serious ‘Mika’. But his voice sounds very much like Welsh rock band ‘Budgie’ lead singer Burke Shelley (check out the Budgie classic “Parents” to see what I mean.)  Or even Rush’s Geddy Lee, if that kinda thing floats your boat. Christian’s distinctive honey sweet eagle soaring voice complements and adds soulful relish to each masterful song.

Antonio plays in an unhurried and confident style, his licks gracefully arching and falling like an exalted crane. No technical wizardry but sweet, quiet and lovely instrumentation.  Bass and percussion are played superbly, with great feeling. But even if there are no obvious fireworks or whooshing rockets of sound, this is not mediocrity – it is fulfilled and controlled musicality full of passion and creativity.

The dirtied up pure folk-rock sound provides ample opportunities for some swaying, cuddling-up and gentle pecking. Their warm-hearted songs- sung with grace and satisfying clarity-  often vividly embody luminescent peaks of sound  and gentle choruses, to warm those hard-up cockles. The crowd at The Hob Staines, just lapped it all up like Cheshire cats on the cream.

A jubilant audience found themselves swaying and dancing in the aisles. And the queue (at the end of the performance) for the band T’s and CD’s twisted round the Staines venue like a python ravels itself around an exotic dancers thigh.  This band is gonna be big.  Mark my words.

Haydon’s Place is all jangly, sure-footed, run-out-and-buy stuff – this music is played with a sweet heart  and an enthusiasm for highborn Americana – crafted with love and genuine emotional attachment.  My only negative criticism is that the lads new single  ‘Distance ‘  is a tad too obvious and far too cheesy for my taste … in fact all I wanna do is  “runaway runway”  each time  I  hear  it  . . .

Joyful pop for a new beat generation.

© Neil_Mach
April 2010

Next live at:

Apr 30 2010     8:00PM  Plantation     Guildford



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