FOUR lads who grew up on Canvey Island have written what they describe as “a love letter to the land”.

It comes in the form of a folk rock album and the creators are the band, the Long Run – Darren Jones, Gavin Jones, John Cordon and Ryan Love.

Front man Darren Jones said: “We all grew up on the island and lived only ten minutes away from each other. Me, my brother and Johnny went to the same schools, Ryan was on a different part of the island so he attended a different one.

“I’d had this idea for years to do a collection of songs about the island but wasn’t sure how to approach it. It’s been a dream for a long time.

“I spoke to my oldest best friend and band member John who was eager to be involved. We began writing songs and picked who would write about what subject, be it personal, history or folklore.

“We decided to do it with our band of 15 years, The Long run.”


The album is called The Land of Cana’s People.

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“The Canvey name comes from the word ‘Cana’,” explains Darren, “which was the name of one of the first settlers, hence, ‘the land of Cana’s people’ . This was the perfect name for this album as we are ‘Cana’s People’.

“There are 12 songs in total, all in the folk rock genre. Folk music is about storytelling, myths and legends so we wanted the songs to have a folky sound. There has been a lot of work involved, making all the instruments gel.”

Darren sings and plays guitar, violin, greek bouzouki, and mandolin; John is on guitars, banjo and bodhran, Gavin is on bass and Ryan, drums.


To emphasise the sound, special guests Sarah Goldsmith on woodwind and Hannah Whitbourn on cello are also on the album.

Darren added: “I love telling people I’m from a place that’s quite unique and sounds mysterious and I’m very proud.

“I loved playing down the seafront growing up and exploring the places that seemed untouched.

“The smell of the sea and to hear the boats engines quietly thudding when laying in bed, the sound of the Chapman buoy ringing out, and the silence in the dead of night is magical.

“We have tried to capture the essence of why Canvey is special on these recordings.”