Ipswich’s Thomas Wolsey statue has become the unlikely star of a music video produced by Suffolk based folk/rock band The Silburys.

Put together last summer, during Covid-19 lockdown, the video is based on one of their original songs Thomas Wolsey. Band members are keen on local history and heritage and much of their original material is inspired by local characters and events. The words of the song take us at a gallop pretty much through Wolsey’s entire life beginning with his birth and upbringing in Ipswich, through his rise – under Henry VIII – and fall, being unable (or unwilling) to secure a divorce for the King. All in less than 4 minutes!

The video takes the form of an animation and is largely the brainchild of band drummer, Martin Linford, set to a recording of the song made for a BBC Radio Suffolk session. Martin designs computer animations and games for a living and has an eye for detail. An early morning photoshoot of the statue from every conceivable angle means that we can see Thomas get to his feet and move around the Saints area of the town. We see a butcher – Wolsey’s father! – sharpening his knives and a ship of the period passing in the distance. Local people will also recognise Wolsey’s gate, St Peter’s Street, and other scenes from Wolsey’s home town.

Inevitably, the action moves to national scenes. Henry VIII, Ann Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell all get starring roles as does Hampton Court. Band members can all be spotted in various guises and there are brief shots of the band performing the song live from the deck of the Sailing Barge Victor (more local heritage) with a special guest who shows up to play lute!

The band is delighted that a number of local and national arts and music organisations were happy to give the video a platform. In particular it was featured during the autumn as part of Ipswich Arts Association’s ‘Art in Celebration’, a virtual music and arts festival which could be accessed through IAA’s website.

You can still watch the video for yourself on the band’s own website (www.thesilburys.com) where you can also discover more of their lockdown video projects with a local theme including, Dunwich Bells, and Through Edmunds Eyes and more of their audio work.

David Stainer

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