Reveals Video for “Strethall (Essex)”
Featuring Dave Tattersall from The Wave Pictures
New album Thankful Villages due out on Rivertones on 3 June
Watch video for Strethall (Essex) here
Darren and his band will be launching the LP with a show on 3 June in the Thankful Village of Maplebeck (Notts)
On Saturday 4 June, they play London’s Cafe Oto with support from label mates July Skies. tickets can be bought here
Other tour dates, including solo shows with British Sea Power, below
Continuing his video series which accompanies his forthcoming album Thankful Villages Volume 1, due out on Friday via Rivertones, Darren Hayman reveals this clip from the beautifully mournful song “Strethall (Essex)”, which features guests including Dave Tattersall from The Wave Pictures, Darren’s regular keyboard player Emma Winston (Deerful) and Donal Sweeney on double bass. Darren explains:
Strethall is the only Thankful Village in my home county of Essex. This time I took a group of friends with me, David, Emma and Donal. It was a cold and golden day. We were lit by a winter sun.
I had gained permission to record in a thousand year old church. We hung microphones from the rafters. We threaded leads around the altar.
St Mary the Virgin Church can be dated back over 1000 years and for this song I found a story from the parish records from 1607.
Robert Parker and Agnes Ewens had committed adultery and were to have a child out of wedlock. The cost of raising the child would fall upon the parish unless responsibility could be laid elsewhere. Robert’s father John was called to account. Many babies were lost in childbirth at the time and an illegitimate child could ruin lives and reputations. This was time without a welfare state.
I thought about the possibility of a village secretly wishing a baby out of existence.
A black dog came and visited us. We all sang with full voices between the pews. The low sun made the chapel yellow.
More info about Thankful Villages here:
English songwriter and ex-Hefner frontman, Darren Hayman will release his enthralling and ambitious new folk project Thankful Villages Volume 1 via Rivertones (the audio arm of Caught By The River) on 3 June.
A Thankful Village is a village in Britain where every soldier returned alive from World War I. Darren Hayman visited each of the 54 Thankful Villages and, focussing on village life, made a piece of music and a short film for every one. Some take the form of instrumentals inspired by the location, some are interviews with village residents set to music, others are new songs with lyrics or found local traditional songs.
This is the first (of three) volume of the project and contains the first 18 villages that Darren visited during 2014/15. The pieces do not necessarily refer to the Great War, rather they portray the village and it’s communities at many points in history. One of the most catchy songs on the album is the final track, “Bradbourne”. Written at a low point for Darren, the song is nonetheless an uplifting collage of vocal harmonies about how, despite not being religious, the churches in the Thankful Villages acted as a refuge from life’s troubles.
Many pieces are instrumental, with Darren sitting on a blanket in a graveyard, teasing out melodies on old wooden instruments amongst bird song and the soft braying of cattle. Lyrics also appear with Darren writing on old church organs and weaving the local congregations into his songs.
Thankful Villages is a collage of Britain’s hidden places. Rich in history and community, Thankful Villages is a further chapter in Darren’s journey through the country underbelly. Recent records include laments for lost Lidos, re-imagined 19th Century political chants and a tale of terror set in during the English Civil Wars.
Please join Darren for a beautiful walk through Britain’s Thankful Villages.
Full Tour Dates Here:
3 June – Maplebeck, Village Hall
4 June – London, Cafe Oto
15 June – Hebden Bridge The Trades Club (Sold Out)*
16 June – Carlisle Brickyard*
17 June – Stoke Sugarmill*
18 June – Newcastle, Mining Institute
19 June – Manchester, Gullivers
22 June – Tunbridge Wells Forum (Sold Out)*
23 June – Bournemouth Fire Station*
24 June – Exeter Phoenix*
25 June – Gloucester Guildhall*
16 July – Ramsgate, Ramsgate Music Hall
30 July – St Germans, Cornwall, Port Eliot festival
7 August – London, Caught by the River Thames festival
*Solo With British Sea Power
Other dates are Thankful Villages shows with full band