In the 90s, Darren Hayman was the frontman of Hefner, one of the indie band adored by John Peel. Since the band’s demise in 2002, his musical path has become ever more idiosyncratic – defined by a series of ambitious projects that blur music and obscure corners of British history. So we’ve had an album based on 17th-century English civil war songs and a record on William Morris’s 1899 book of verse Chants for Socialists.
For his latest project, Thankful Villages, he visited all 54 English and Welsh villages that lost no soldiers in the First World War. Part musical album, part snapshot of rural life, it’s a unique and original story and a true work of art. On stage, these stories come alive with his wry wit and musicianship making for a fascinating show.