Field Music Binding Time

Label
Memphis Industries
Released
20th April 2024

For this year’s Record Store Day, Field Music will release Binding Time, a suite of new songs inspired by the formation of the Durham Miners’ Association and performed with musicians from the NASUWT Riverside band.

The songs for Binding Time were originally written as a commission for Durham Brass Festival and were due to be performed at Redhills, the home of the DMA in July 2021. Unfortunately, Covid restrictions at the time meant that this performance could not take place and the suite was eventually premiered at Durham’s Gala Theatre in the summer of 2022. Following this performance, Peter and David set about recording the songs at their studio in Sunderland.

Research for the project began back in 2020 with Peter and David tracing the growth and decline of mining in the region and the struggles of mining communities. “Growing up in the North East in the 1980s, you took for granted that mining was part of the landscape but I don’t think I really understood what it meant for the region. The whole area has been shaped by the coal industry; socially, economically, politically, even geographically.”

“We were looking for a balance between telling stories which someone with no prior knowledge could understand, whilst also threading in all these fascinating factual details. We felt it couldn’t just be historical. It had to be personal too.”

“Across the album we have songs that tell tales of miner’s being blacklisted for unionising, that touch on the barbarism of the yearly bond, where mostly-illiterate miners annually signed themselves into bondage for fear of being without work, and portraits of the hated 3rd Marquis of Londonderry, Charles Vane, who built Seaham Harbour to avoid paying keelmen on the River Wear, and Thomas Hepburn, whose selfless efforts to unionise his fellow miners in the 1820s and 30s left him destitute.”

This new collection completes a tryptic of Field Music releases with a socio-historical theme, following 2015’s Music for Drifters – written as a live accompaniment to John Grierson’s pioneering documentary – and 2021’s Making a New World, which examined the social and technological aftermath of the First World War. Tracklisting:
Binding Time
Busy at His Play
The Death of Blind Davy
Londonderry
Never Pity Me
Two Murders
After Hepburn’s Union
A Guardian at the Stables
Landless Forever
Ranter’s Prayer

Other Releases by Field Music