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Ordsall Parish Hall

Postcode: DN22 7TU

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The Importance of Digging Holes - The Great War and More

Show Details

Presented by Harp & A Monkey

Performance date and time
Sunday, 17th March 2019
7:30 PM

Fronted by an easy-going raconteur and BBC 'Who Do You Think You Are?' historian, this acclaimed Lancashire folk-storytelling trio matches an excellent First World War folk set with humorous and melodic northern life story-songs. Lively, inventive folk music delivered in a down-to-earth manner. _________________________________________________________________

Martin Purdy: vocals, glockenspiel, accordion, harmonica, keyboards

Simon Jones: harp, guitar, viola

Andy Smith: banjo, melodica, guitar, electronics

Songs about cuckolded mole catchers, a lone English oak tree that grows at Gallipoli, care in the community and medieval pilgrims…

The harp 'n' banjo driven electro-folk-storytelling trio Martin Purdy, Simon Jones and Andy Smith imbue their first set with a deep Lancashire sensibility that shines through in their beautifully crafted and sometimes spooky vignettes of northern life, love and remembrance. The outfit, who have been friends for more than 20 years, channel the ghosts of summers spent in municipal parks and winters walking on the moors.

As part of an ongoing project (part-sponsored by Arts Council England and The Western Front Association) to mark the centenary of the First World War, the second set is new material and re-worked traditional songs which strive to challenge stereotypes of the conflict, and which focus heavily on forgotten aspects of the war (from the horror of being a postman, to the role of musicians) and also on the forgotten men - those ex-servicemen who came home, and their families.

'Undoubtedly one of the most vital and charismatic things happening in English folk music right now.' fRoots Magazine

Formed in 2008, Harp & A Monkey have been building up a loyal following via the old fashioned practice of relentless gigging. Regulars on the northern festival circuit, in recent years they have expanded their live outreach across the country, proud of the strength of their reputation as a quality live act and excellent rapport with their audiences.

'The two stipulations we made when we started were that we wanted to gig a lot and to sound 'British'. We're happy at how close we've got on both counts.' Martin Purdy

The trio's melodic and hauntological storytelling, underpinned by a firm commitment to classic songsmithery, has caught the attention and support of the likes of Steve Lamacq, Mark Radcliffe, Clare Balding and Mike Harding on BBC Radio 2, Lopa Kothari and Nick Luscombe on BBC Radio 3, Folk Radio UK and many more international, national and regional broadcasters.

Part of the First World War Centenary Programme (vibrant arts experiences connecting current and future generations with the lives, stories and impact of the First World War).

★★★★ 'Bold and brilliant.' The Observer

'Fantastic stuff – sensational!' Clare Balding, BBC Radio 2

'Rousing music and droll Lancashire humour.' The Telegraph

'Excellent.' The Guardian

'Brilliant.' BBC Radio 2

'Exceptional.' fRoots Magazine

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Running time
90 min + interval

Audience Type

Age Range

Ticket Prices
£12.50 Standard / £6.50 Under 16

Main Box Office Telephone Number
01777 706433

Available From
Peter & Shirley Thomas - 01777 706433 & Alison Thorpe - 01777 700220.

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Live & Local affirms that when a disabled person’s access requirements necessitate them being accompanied to a performance, that person and their personal assistant should be able to purchase two tickets at a total cost of no more than the cost of a one full-priced ticket. Promoters are advised that this is best practice that is now supported by an established legal precedent.

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This performance is supported by:

Arts Council, England