Edward II, the English roots band that uniquely blend the rhythms of the Caribbean with traditional songs from the British Isles, have been secretly working on a totally new project and will be back in 2015. Temporarily turning away from the rural songs of the middle England, this time around the band has been delving deep into a repertoire of songs born of the industrial revolution, specifically of their home town, Manchester. Still upbeat, and with rock-steady rhythms, blazing horns, fabulous harmonies and fiery melodeon melodies, this will be a new set mixed with some of the old favourites and a familiar sound for the faithful.
The new repertoire features such unlikely classics as ‘Victoria Bridge on a Saturday Night’ and ‘A New Song on the Great Demonstration, which is to be made on Kersal Moor September 24th, 1838’, and give remarkable insights into the lives of our those living through a time of great change almost 200 years ago. Not surprisingly, many of the themes are still relevant today with songs of love, loss, poverty and political rights featuring heavily, but in the hands of Edward II, these have been turned into an uplifting celebration of the working people who really forged Manchester and transformed Britain into an industrial powerhouse.
The songs have been completely reworked into modern roots reggae classics, featuring Glen Latouche’s seductively honeyed lead vocals at the fore and a rock solid rhythm section led by T Carthy providing the irresistible force at the rear. Of course, the band still roam free across the musical spectrum, bringing in dashes of jazz and soul alongside the reggae and folk, but always with an air of good humour and, more than anything, a desire to make you dance.
The Picturehouse Cafe Bar is open beforehand for delicious food and drinks.