Watch Woodend, Northamptonshire, the latest video from English songwriter and former Hefner frontman Darren Hayman‘s forthcoming album Thankful Villages Volume 2 (Rivertones on 26 May). It’s one of the poppiest songs on the album (recorded with a full band) and the video features Darren in situ in the village. Whilst it was written on location in the village, the arrangement was fleshed out with a full band in the studio, with Ian Button (Papernut Cambridge) on drums, Dan Mayfield (Enderby’s Room) on violin and Rob Halcrow (Papernut Cambridge and Picturebox) on bass.
With Thankful Villages Volume 2, Darren Hayman continues his journey around the United Kingdom’s 54 Thankful Villages. A Thankful Village is a village where every soldier returned alive from World War One. An ongoing and hugely ambitious folk project, Thankful Villages is only partially concerned with the war itself, moreover, it is a celebration of British rural life. Darren pulls together first-person interviews, folk tales and songs, field recordings and his own personal experiences to create a vast patchwork depicting community, history and legend.
Darren shared the following about Woodend, Northamptonshire
Three planes crashed above Woodend in World War 2. Two came down but one still flew. I’m trying to imagine how three planes can crash in the air. In 2010 archaeologists found one of the pilots’ bracelets. A simple shrine and information panel overlooks an empty field.
Woodend is all gables and gravel drives. The Methodist Chapel is a now a house as they so often are. There is a neat row of green recycle bins outside a line of post-war houses. One has a huge ‘Help for Heroes’ flag in its garden.
Spring has just come to Woodend and Snowdrops, Daffodils and Hyacinths decorate the grass verges. I hide in a concrete bus shelter and collected together all the notes I had for Woodend. I strung them together and a made a list song.
Woodend had its arms around me.
Darren Hayman Upcoming Gigs
Friday 26 May – The Horse Hospital, London
Friday 2 June – Centrespace, Bristol