The Haywains soon became familiar faces on Bristol’s
thriving indiepop scene of the late 80’s. With a dual
boy/girl vocal delivery, the band’s live shows have
always been highly entertaining, usually smattered with
Jeremy's banter between songs, and a rough ‘n’ ready
charm to the music.
The band made their recording debut in September
1988 with “The Surfin’ Trowbridge E.P.” a flexidisc
issued with the Newcastle based fanzine “Woosh!”.
The following summer saw the release of the band’s
first 7” single – “The Fisherman’s Friend E.P.” A true
D.I.Y. effort, self-financed, bagged up and distributed
by hand, the single received some all-important airplay
from John Peel. The manufacturer’s of the famous
Fisherman’s Friend throat lozenges allowed the band
to replicate their iconic ‘ship’ branding for the record
Through the early 90’s, The Haywains played gigs
nationwide, notching up a string of singles for emerging
labels of the time including Elefant Records (Spain),
Blam-A-Bit (Germany) and Four Letter Words (USA).
The band ultimately signed to indie label Vinyl Japan,
releasing two albums to a wider international market.
By the mid 90’s, the UK indie scene was moving
mainstream and in a changing climate, the band called
it a day, announcing a couple of ‘farewell’ shows in the
summer of 1996.
Songwriter Paul Towler went on to form several other
bands – The Casswells (active between 1997-1998)
and The Westfield Mining Disaster (active from 2006
onwards). Singer Jer Hunt now co-runs punk label
Cider City Records. Original bassist Boyd Rodgers is
now a stage and TV actor.
The Haywains reformed in 2013 to mark the 25th
Anniversary of their birth. With four original members
on board, the band have been enjoying renewed
interest in their music, making festival appearances in
the UK, Europe and the USA.
Reassuringly, today’s line-up isn’t just about nostalgia.
The band have delivered four new singles since
reforming – 7” vinyl releases for Cloudberry Records
(USA), Snowflake Records (Netherlands), Dufflecoat
Records and Whoops! Records (UK). True to their
D.I.Y. roots, band members are still bagging up many
of these new records by hand!
Today’s live shows offer a healthy mix of songs both
old and new. Nearly thirty years on, The Haywains still
possess the raw energy of their youth, allowing
younger audiences to discover a vintage band still at
their wittiest and creative best.
PUNK IN THE PROVINCES
Nyez, Jeremy, Dave, Lee and Paul -
Midsomer Norton 1988
Rachel, Marc and Jeremy - Euston
Rails Club, London 1992
Rachel, Paul, Jeremy, Dave, Johnny
and Benny - Madrid 2013
Dave, Rachel, Paul, Jeremy and
Marc - Video shoot, Wells 1993
Paul, Jeremy, Johnny, Benny and
Dave - Brooklyn NYC 2014
Jeremy, Dave, Paul, Rachel, Hartley
and PS - Radstock 1990
Johnny, Rachel, Jeremy, Paul, Benny and Dave - Photo by Stew Black