Darren Hayman announces solo tour and shares new track

English songwriter and ex-Hefner frontman, Darren Hayman announces a solo June tour with British Sea Power, and shares the track 'Bradbourne' from his forthcoming album Thankful Villages, Volume 1, due for a 3 June release on Rivertones.

You can listen to the track, then read about his album and tour below:

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. In addition to playing dates at the Thankful Village of Maplebeck on release day, 3 June and Cafe Oto in London on 4 June, he has been invited to tour with British Sea Power for their forthcoming summer shows, where he will be doing a solo rendition of his Thankful Villages set, with accompanying visuals and films.

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.


3 June – Maplebeck, Village Hall
4 June – London, Cafe Oto

5 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

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