Caught by the River

Thankful Villages Vol. 3 #2

Darren Hayman | 25th August 2018

On to the third volume of songs resulting from Darren Hayman’s Thankful Villages project. The second village in this new volume is Ousby, Cumberland.

I visit Ousby whilst playing live shows for the first Thankful Villages album with British Sea Power. It’s odd to be moving into the last phase of the project whilst unveiling its beginning to people.

I stay just outside the village and visit it twice. There’s an open caravan park and a closed pub called the Fox. I find a small wooden shelter with a weather vane on top and fight against the wind.

A horse stares at me, a dog barks at me, another horse draws a carriage across the top of the green. The pub, church and community hall all look a little forlorn but the green is clean and neat with new playground equipment.

I shouldn’t play with my phone in these remote places but the garbled news gradually reaches me of a tragedy. It is the day that Jo Cox was murdered. Brexit was looming.


Thankful Villages Vols. 1 & 2 are out now on Rivertones. You can buy physical copies here, or listen on Spotify.

Thankful Villages Vol. 3 will be released on 9th November 2018, and will be available from

Darren joins our stage at next month’s Good Life Experience. He will also play a special daytime show at the Union Chapel in Islington, celebrating the entire Thankful Villages project, on 10th November.