The Bells Of St Wystans
6. June 2023 By Walter Price 0

PHIL MATTHEWS The Bells Of St Wystans

Phil Matthews a.k.a. the Village The Bells Of St Wystans is available on Bandcamp, Apple, Spotify

The Bells Of St Wystans

by Walter Price

Brimming with heartache, fond memories, and dedication for a mother who’s left this world, veteran UK singer-songwriter Phil Matthews a.k.a. the Village’s “The Bells Of St Wystans” is a warm and beautiful farewell.

But this personal single is Matthews’ story and in a quote sent to the GTC, the songwriter shares, “My mother died 4 years ago at the age of 98, and as a result of emptying her house of a lifetime of her possessions I started to mull over her life. She was born and raised in the village of Repton, which is best known for having a public school whose famous pupils include Jeremy Clarkson, Graeme Garden, and Roald Dahl. My mother was always very excited that the original movie version of Goodbye Mr Chips, starring Robert Donat was filmed there, and many of her school friends were extras in it.

“The song reflects on her childhood growing up in a village a century ago. St Wystans is the parish church for Repton and is the central theme of the song, my mum was married there and some of her siblings were bellringers there while many of her family are buried there. The lyric was a labour of love which I had to research extensively to ensure that the memories that my mother had frequently told me were in fact accurate. Unlike most of my songs which are based on fiction, I know that any inaccuracies would be picked up on.”

“The Bells Of St Wystan’s” is from the storyteller’s brilliantly raw and picturesque LP by the same name. And you can stream the single as well as the full album, here at the GTC. (Pour a drink and perhaps grab a tissue or two as well)

PHIL MATTHEWS The Bells Of St Wystans

Artwork, bio excerpt, and artist photo via Bandcamp // Quote courtesy of Welsh Connections

All songs written, by Phil Matthews. All instruments played and recorded by Phil Matthews.

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Album number 7 from Phil Matthews a.k.a. the Village. The title track references the early years of his late mother’s life growing up in the small village of Repton. Other songs discuss Phil’s own early years, in the song Childhood and the adventures of a gnome called Jerome. There is also a nod towards 1950s B movie sci-fi with This Island Earth, and a tribute to one of Phil’s favourite singers – Gary Brooker – in Elegy For GB, not forgetting The Marmalade Cat which was inspired by Phil’s pet ginger cat Brian.” – bio

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