A One-man Folk Industry

Pete Coe press photo high resolution
Photo: Judith Burrows

“There’s a very good reason why Pete Coe’s career has been such a long and successful one: this is a man who never rests on his laurels and who is constantly looking for new angles from which to approach his music. In addition he’s an extremely competent singer, musician, arranger, step dancer and a stage performer of rare ability…”
John Waltham, Living Tradition.


I’ve now started my 48th year as a professional folk singer, dancer, and musician, and I’m looking forward to the various gigs I’ve got programmed in during 2019. I’m back on the road now, please look on my Upcoming Events page.

Big on my radar is “The Road to Peterloo” with Brian Peters and Laura Smyth; 2019 is the bicentennial year of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester.

“The Road to Peterloo” tells the story of one of the most notorious incidents in British labour history – the “Peterloo Massacre” in Manchester in 1819 – through some of the many broadside ballads that were printed around the time of the event. Together with Brian Peters and Laura Smyth we trace the story from its roots in the poverty and hunger suffered by handloom weavers in the early 19th century. Our songs describe the terrible events of the day itself, when mounted soldiers charged a peaceful crowd demanding votes for all and killed or injured many men, women and children by their indiscriminate use of sabres, and tell of later political developments inspired by the carnage.

Brian, Laura & Pete – The Road to Peterloo

In “The Road to Peterloo” we present a trove of freshly-discovered material, with ballads sourced from Alison Morgan’s new book on contemporary broadsides, and from our own research. Many are set to original tunes which we play on concertina, melodeon, bouzouki, guitar, cello and banjo, and we also intersperse the songs and ballads with period dance music from the Manchester area.

I’ve listed the performances of “The Road to Peterloo”  with my Tour Dates  HERE.

Keep up to date on the “The Road to Peterloo” website HERE.


Sales of “The Man in the Red Van” have exceeded my wildest expectations – thanks to everyone who’s bought one – and I’ve really appreciated the lovely reviews it’s had – see some of them on my REVIEWS page.
You can download a copy using the Bandcamp app:
petecoe.bandcamp.com
or buy a CD or Download from my DISCOGRAPHY page (you can also buy any of my CD’s from there).

Photo courtesy BBC Radio Leeds

Click on this image to hear me sing “King Henry” from the CD, live on The Durbervilles Folk & Roots Show (courtesy BBC Radio Leeds).

pete-coe


Pete Coe has had more than 50 years of music making on the English folk scene. His contributions include traditional song research, song writing in traditional style, the founding of several seminal bands (the founder member and visionary force behind The New Victory Band, Bandoggs and Red Shift) plus solo and duo performances, dance calling, recording, field research, local folk activism in Ryburn Three Step and teaching at various levels. Together with his wife, Sue, he received the Gold Badge Award from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) in 2016 for their outstanding contributions to folk dance, music or song.

Pete Coe celebrates narrative folk songs, rooted in English traditions, classic ballads & broadsides, rural yarns, travellers tales, and songs of love, loss & protest learned from the old songcarriers & songsmiths he’s met over a lifetime on the road. He performs with great skill, presents with authority & good humour & encourages audience involvement.

Watch Pete playing one of his compositions: “Joseph Baker”:

Click on the festival name to see Pete’s Shepley and Cheltenham Folk Festival performances on YouTube .