Darlingtown is an anthem for Darlington, its charms, quirks and oddities as relayed to me by the people who live here, have grown here or moved here and settled. I am a singer songwriter who has roots in the Folk Tradition but these days I sing less of the Traditional material and work more as a field researcher, listening to peoples stories, the way they tell them, the golden nuggets of their truth and making songs out of it.
The information gathered for Darlingtown came a little like a train, picked up in the form of questionnaire answers about favourite places I had never heard of. Wonky broadband connections which meant that I got snippets of this and that from someone and reems of description from others like a map, recited. Apart from the obvious railway connections I think this method in the madness of 2020 is what drives the song like a train. Darlington is moving forward, no matter what people think about that.
I come from Teesside so I know a little of Darlington. My mum always said it was posh. It was where people I knew went to look for a wedding dress. I live in rural County Durham now and my work takes me across the whole of the North East and I am particularly fond of finding out the stories of places I think I know. You can travel but a few streets down and the story will be different and told in a different way. There is so much Pride in our places.
The song is unlike anything I have written before in its sound and its style. But Darlington is so much in a relatively small space which people tend to pass through, whizz past, steam along and I hope that this is captured in some way.