Paul Hayes

Paul Hayes


Quirky song-driven folk-rock matched with thunderous live show. Think uhh...Elvis Costello meets Crazy Horse...?


Roaring out of New Orleans like a small hurricane, the Paul Hayes Band has started to get attention around the Gulf South.

Starting with well-crafted melodic songs, the band stands somewhat uneasily with one foot in the acoustic coffeehouse world and and another foot in a feedback-ridden world of sonic hurt.

Obviously, in this case, influences are many and varied. The guitars owe a big debt to Neil Young, and other "individual" stylists like Television's Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd; Brit folk guitar monster Richard Thompson and janglemeister Johnny Marr.

Hayes writes pretty songs with dark lyrics.
It's easy to believe he lives in a strange and dangerous world, at least in his own mind. He describes "The Back of Town" where the "circus clowns are psychopaths and the children there are vampires" and it conjures up the uneasy euphoria that is New Orleans. Anyone for "magic-realist gothabilly"?

Irish-born songwriter Paul Hayes formed the band around the recording sessions for his first album in 2003. Since then, the band has played mainly selected opening slots for touring bands in the NOLA area, and several well-recieved shows in Florida.

Mr Hayes lives in a shotgun shack in a restaurant parking lot in Uptown New Orleans, LA. He spends his spare time donating blood to mosquitos.

Matt Swiler, a native of Gretna, LA, is also a member of renowned Cajun band "Charivari". He has all his own teeth.

John Trahey is from Chicago, IL, and now resides in Kenner, LA. A devoted rockabilly fan, his mind resides in the mid-1950s.

Tom Marron hails from Champaign, IL, and now lives in New Orleans. He has survived playing with Mr Hayes for several years now.


The Back of Town

Written By: Paul Hayes

it's a mediocre place by an uninspiring steeple.
There are solid neon walls where they hypnotize the people.
There are lots of big machines and most of them are broken.
Words of love are screamed, everything is left unspoken.

And all the crucifixes are hanging upside-down.
And I'm waiting for you, darling, at The Back of Town.

The air was full of music as we swore our love together.
There were razors in our pockets, there was chromium and
We were hunted down like animals, we were everybody's
We were dancing to a music like the sound of wolfhounds

They say you left a package at the lost and found.
They were asking for you lately at the Back of Town

And the circus clowns are psychopaths and the children there
are vampires, and the virgins are all fakes who want to wrap
you up in barbed wire.
And love is a transaction with a cripple in the darkness.
Needles are the currency, a dowry for the princess.

You can see me at the seamy places, I'll be hanging
I'll be waiting for you darling at The Back of Town.

The sky was filled with blue regret, the flowers made of lead.
You said you had to leave this place before you wound up
You scribbled down a goodbye note, you left as I lay sleeping.
The background radiation was a hundred voices weeping.

I know you had your reasons, there's a rumor going
There's a price upon your head at The Back of Town

Bourgeois Girl

Written By: Paul Hayes

You're a moonbeam, you're a wildcat, you were always up to
You loved to spin in a social whirl.
In my mind's eye, you are smiling, you are pleasantly corrupt.
I used to call you the Bourgeois Girl

While I was loving you, you were tripping the light fantastic.
You loved to spin in a social whirl.
While I was loving you, always fell for the cheap theatrics.
I used to call you the Bourgeois Girl.

And your mother, queen of the suburbs.
She was pleasantly corrupt.
She never liked the look of me.
And your father, he wore a necktie on his pyjama top.
He was a sergeant of industry.


The Thing I miss is, your lovin' kisses.
They were French, golden and utterly malicious.
You were the apple of my eye.
In my mind's eye, you are smiling.
You are pleasantly corrupt.
Goodbye, my Bourgeois Girl, goodbye.


In my mind's eye, you are smiling, you are pleasantly corrupt...

Hatchet Man

Written By: Paul Hayes

I don't get much free time but I enjoy my work.
I hear you beg for mercy when you get a little hurt.
And you're talking of love and politics.
And there ain't nothing I can't fix.

'Cause I'm your Hatchet Man, I get things done.

Maybe you need some business, well I've got the
A friend of yours needs a pistol, I can get him one.
I always get what I want in the end.
Just be thankful I'm your friend.


Little man I see you, why don't you get out of my
You can stare all you want, but you'll need my help
'Cause from the bottom of the pile to the top,
I'm your criminal and I'm your cop...



Volume One: Love and Pain and the Whole Damn' Thing. Autocthonous Recordings ATN 24957. Released Dec. 03 '03.
You can hear samples and buy it at

Set List

Typical 90 minute show:
All original songs except where noted (c).
1. Lipstick Candy Apple Red.
2. Love and Pain and The Whole Damn' Thing.
3. The Jangley Guitar-Pop Song
4. Rake
5. Hatchet Man
6. Chainsmoker.
7. Teenage Kicks (c).
8. Walk Hand in Hand in the Morning.
9. Bourgeois Girl.
10. Unconditional Surrender.
11. Whole Wide World (c).
12. To Hell with Happiness.
13. Senseless Thing .
14. Gypsy, Lola and Kandy (with a "K")
15. Louise Brooks.
16. Pussywhipped.
17. Chainsmoker reprise.
18. The Back of Town.

Encores: depending on mood...
Cosmic Dancer/20th Century Boy (c).
Partner in Crime
Hey Hey My My/Like a Hurricane (c).
Nothing to do and all day to do it