British Sea Power / Darren Hayman

British Sea Power were joined last night by Darren Hayman (formerly of Hefner) at the Exeter Phoenix.

Darren Hayman performed songs from his Thankful Villages project, which involves him visiting and writing a song about every ‘Thankful village’, which is a village where all who left to fight in World War I returned alive. As Hayman told us, Arthur Mee wrote about them in the 1930s, believing there to be just 32 such villages. It has since been discovered that there were 53 villages, with none in Devon nor the whole of Scotland. Fourteen of the villages are considered as “doubly thankful”, as all who left for World War II also returned alive.

Self-deprecating, Hayman came onto the stage looking like he’d forgotten or misplaced something before explaining he had to make sure he had his capo with him. He proceeded to tell us that if his teenage self had seen him come on stage at the Kentish Town Town & Country Club with his irregularly tuned four string guitar, to play some indie-folk songs and worrying about his capo, he’d call him a “twat”.

Hayman told us of Knowlton cheating to be known as Britain’s bravest village, a tale of adultery from Strethall and was an even more delightful than expected, exemplifying British Sea Power’s astute ability to choose suitable supporting acts.

British Sea Power performed several new songs and made it hardly seem like it was three years since I last saw them here and the release of Machineries of Joy. Quiet between songs but energetic during them, they played several new songs amongst a setlist of crowd pleasing favourites.

British Sea Power


Machineries of Joy
Oh Larsen B
Ivy Lee
No Lucifer
What You Do
Remember Me
Rocky X
Wurzels Sun
Electric Kittens
The Spirit of St Louis
Carrion / All In It
Waving Flags
The Great Skua

Darren Hayman

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