Trio brings a close to excellent season

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Acclaimed folk trio “Harp and a Monkey” play Wadsworth Community Centre on November 14 bringing to a close a season which has hosted sell out gigs including Phil Beer, Martyn Joseph and recently O’Hooley & Tidow.

The harp ‘n’ banjo driven electro-folk storytelling of Martin Purdy (vocals, glockenspiel, accordion, harmonica and keyboards), Simon Jones (harp, guitar, viola) and Andy Smith (banjo, melodica, guitar and programming) is imbued with a deep Lancashire sensibility that shines through in their beautifully crafted and sometimes spooky vignettes of northern life, love and remembrance.

Renowned for their modern twist on traditional storytelling, Harp and a Monkey will take on some unusual themes during a two-set performance; one of which will feature new World War One material and the other songs from their first two albums.

Formed in 2008, they are regulars on the national festival circuit.

The band’s frontman Martin Purdy is a historian, broadcaster and author who works as a WW1 advisor to the BBC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ franchise.

“We have always been committed to storytelling and the celebration of the extraordinary things that ordinary people do, and this remains the theme of our First World War show,” said Martin, who will also give a brief talk on the conflict prior to the band striking up. .

“It will actually be an uplifting show,” he added

Harp and a Monkey have enjoyed national radio support from the likes of Steve Lamacq, Mike Harding and Mark Radcliffe on BBC Radio 2, FolkRadioUk and many more.

And the Lancastrian’s most recent album, ‘All Life Is Here’, saw them described by the influential fRoots magazine as “Undoubtedly one of the most vital and charismatic things happening in English folk music right now”

You can find out lots more about the band at their website on

An added treat for concert goers is the usual locally sourced real ale and organisers promise a tasty supper will be available too.

Tickets are £10 from 01422 344458/364917, or from

The doors open at 6.45pm and the show starts at 7:45pm.