Darren Hayman is back, with a second volume of songs resulting from his Thankful Villages project. We’ve stepped a little out of order this week, as the track for Woodend, Northamptonshire – the 17th Thankful Village on the album – has just been released as a single.
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 recycling 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 hid 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.
Thankful Villages Volume 2 will be released on Rivertones on 26 May. Preorder a copy here.
Darren plays a special release day gig at London’s Horse Hospital, with support from Luke Turner, Spaceship Mark, and DJ Frances Castle. Tickets are available here. He will also play Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, on 2 June — tickets here.