Thanks to international super-group Keane, the East Sussex towns of Battle, Bexhill and Hastings will forever be remembered collectively as “Strangeland”. Through Strangeland, the band’s fifth consecutive number one album, Keane revisit the places and spaces of a youth spent growing up in Battle and share the geographic and emotional journeys that helped shape their lives.
Now, thanks to a local initiative in Battle, a trail with a potentially international audience has been launched which proudly spotlights the individual places name-checked on the album. The Battle Marketing Group, funded by Rother District Council in collaboration with 1066 Country Marketing, has created a geographical tour of the Strangeland album which has already been greeted enthusiastically by the group’s fans. With support and input from Keane band members and their management team, this intuitive and well informed website connects Tim Rice-Oxley’s lyrics with the actual landmarks they refer to. An exclusive Keane Trail interview with lead-singer Tom Chaplin and drummer Richard Hughes reveals an enlightening encounter with Roger Daltry in Battle and both discuss their memories of the band’s acoustic gig at Battle Memorial Halls in 2004. Richard recalls the first time he met Tim Rice-Oxley in Marley Lane while Tom tells of his annual Christmas shopping trip to Battle.
The website’s online map clearly indicates the location of each landmark and provides postcodes for Satnav users. Coupled with a downloadable PDF map, it’s now possible to walk in Keane’s footsteps and take a tour of their Strangeland. Fans are encouraged to take the tour and later interact with the trail via its Facebook and Twitter accounts, posting their own photos, videos and stories from their tour.
A spokesperson for 1066 Country Marketing said: “It’s always good to come up with original ways of marketing 1066 Country to potential visitors, and we are delighted to have been involved in this initiative from the Battle Marketing Group. Keane’s supergroup status means that they have a wide international appeal and a loyal band of UK followers too. We look forward to welcoming their fans to ‘Strangeland’ and in particular their home town of Battle and thank the band for their support.”