Edward II 7th November 2009

EII are recognised as being roots music pioneers, successfully fusing diverse styles and instrumentation.

Emerging initially as a loose, fluid collective — a self styled “mutant calypso/reggae/African style English dance band” — from the vibrant roots melting-pot of Cheltenham’s Victory Club during the mid-80’s, the band (then called Edward II and the Red Hot Polkas) firmed up personnel and shifted emphasis a few years later, establishing the twin poles of their sound in the Morris-flavoured traditions of rural Oxfordshire, and the dynamic dub-reggae scene of Manchester’s Moss Side.

From there, whilst this dual core developed into an recognisable signature, the band roamed freely over the expanse of new territory their music opened up, bringing in dashes of jazz, soul, rap, and Celtic dancing styles. By finding the shared dancing pulse in the diverse beats they bring together, EII delivered a genuinely innovative fusion.

For some years the band’s touring schedule resulted in over 200 gigs a year and they won favourable reviews across the UK and Europe, US, Canada, India, Brazil and Sri Lanka.

After a decade apart, the band band re-formed in 2009 ‘for one year only’ to perform a handful of dates including 7th November at Band on the Wall when this excerpt was filmed by the venue’s AV Unit.

Distributed by Tubemogul.