Broadsides and bangers

BROADSIDE ballads, the wild and gruesome “tabloids” of the 17th, 18th and 19th century, are brought to noisy and colourful life in Broadside Bangers, a new show from Cornwall’s post-ragtime punk-klezmer-swing band, Julian Gaskell and His Ragged Trousered Philanthropists coming to Dorset for three dates with Artsreach from 22nd to 24th March.

Described as a wild, haunting journey through a murky past to a dark future, and guaranteed to enthral, educate and entertain, the broadside ballads were printed on one side of a single sheet of inexpensive paper, with a song or rhyme, murder story or local gossip.

Julian Gaskell and His Ragged Trousered Philanthropists trio will perform an anthology of some of the most melodramatic, gruesome and supernatural broadside ballads from the 17th to 19th centuries, covering everything from funeral arrangements to cat food and rural insurrection!

Printed and sung in the Georgian and Victorian eras, many of these tunes have lain unrecorded and largely unperformed for the last 100 years. Indeed, many of their tunes have been lost to time, so the words have been rearranged and re-fitted with new music on piano, accordions, violin, drums, bouzouki, bass, banjo and guitar.

Broadside Bangers is at Chetnole village hall on Friday 22nd March, Cranborne’s Cecil Memorial Hall on Saturday 23rd and Broadmayne village hall on Sunday 24th, all starting at 7.30pm.