The Road to Peterloo

2019 is the bicentennial year of the ‘Peterloo Massacre’ in Manchester, and together with Brian Peters and Laura Smyth I’m working on a project entitled ‘The Road to Peterloo’ to bring the importance of this event into the public eye.

‘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.

Brian Peters, Laura Smyth and Pete Coe

Three singers and musicians from North West England – Pete Coe, Brian Peters and Laura Smyth – trace the story from its roots in the poverty and hunger suffered by handloom weavers in the early 19th century. Their 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.

Laura, Brian and Pete present a trove of freshly-discovered material, with ballads sourced from Alison Morgan’s new book on the broadsides of the day, and from their own research, with many set to original tunes. Between them they offer three fine voices and instrumental skills on concertina, melodeon, bouzouki, guitar, cello and banjo, and add to the mix period dance music from the Manchester area. ‘The Road to Peterloo’ will be touring the UK during the bicentennial year 2019.

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and watch this space for details of the tour dates and venues in 2019.

See Pete near you in 2018

Look out for the Man in the Red Van at a venue near you.

Here’s a list of the folk clubs, concerts, workshops and festivals I’m booked to play during 2018. The full details for each are on my EVENTS page (just click on the date). I hope to see you somewhere along the road.

28 September – DUBLIN – An Goilin Traditional Singers’ Club – Teachers’ Club
29 September – BRAY – Singers’ Circle

5 – 6 October – CORK – Folk Festival
7 October – CORK – Secret Song Sessions – Levis Corner House
11 October – BELFAST – Sunflower Folk Club – The Sunflower Pub
14 October – CUSHENDALL – Ballyeamon Barn

10 November – PORTSOY – Folk at the  Salmon Bothy
14 November – EDINBURGH – Edinburgh Folk Club with The Fisher Lassies – The Pleasance Cabaret Bar
16 November – DARNICK – Rolling Hills Folk Club – Smith Memorial Hall