Caught by the River

Thankful Villages #11

Darren Hayman | 31st May 2016

Strethall, Essex – Thankful Villages #11 from Darren Hayman on Vimeo.

We are delighted to announce that the album Thankful Villages Volume 1 is coming out on our Rivertones label this coming Friday. The vinyl and CD (a limited number of which will be signed by Darren) are now available for pre-order.

The eleventh instalment of Darren Hayman’s Thankful Villages project

Strethall (Essex)

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.

View the previous Thankful Villages posts 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.

Further touring info can be found here.