This podcast is episode 1 of 2 featuring singer and song collector Chris Lawley. An eclectic mix of traditional folk, English music hall and First World War soldiers' songs from the mid 19th to early 20th century.
Chris has made sporadic appearances in folk clubs down the years but serious interest in traditional folk music is a relatively recent development. The subsequent discovery of music hall produced another rich source of songs, then the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War 1 gave further inspiration and material.
Chris and his younger brother Mark (also featured in this podcast) have been making a name for themselves as the uniformed duo The Pals who re-enact 'trench songs' about soldiers' experiences. The gallows humour found in these songs is part of the coping mechanism necessary on those hellish battlefields.
For a brief YouTube film of The Pals in action go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoN2X_wUMsU
Film courtesy of Tim Frost, Vision & Technology.