News catch up…
Now streaming on BBC Sounds is the 2010 Radio ballad, “The Ballad of the Miners Strike”, broadcast as a one-off programme on BBC Radio two to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the UK Miners Stike of the mid-1980s. This programme was the first not to be released on CD – the previous six were released by Gott Records when the first series went out in 2006. Artwork for a “Ballad of The Miners Strike” CD was designed but the release never happened. Jez composed two songs for the programme, THE JUDAS BUS and ARTHUR MY DEAR, the second of which remains unreleased, and refers to the Miners Union leader Arthur Scargill. THE JUDAS BUS has become one of Jez’s best known songs, recorded by The Bad Pennies on the “Wotcheor!” album (with Louisa Killen on duet vocals) and by The Pitmen Poets on their first CD. This Radio Ballad made a big impact when it was broadcast,and is worth checking out again… Jez was due to be songwriter in residence at Halsway Manor’s “Give Voice!” song weekend in October, but predictably this, and all other workshop weekends at this venue, has been called off. Plans are to reschedule in 2021, but whether Jez will be involved then is not known… Following the recent on-line review of Jez’s debut novel “The Dillen Doll” which we mentioned last time, we’ve now been sent a review of his second book, “The Corly Croons”, by writer Susan Deary –
Jez Lowe’s second novel, “The Corly Croons”, is a nineteenth century Geordie “Whee-did-it?”, where minor characters from his first book, “The Dillen Doll”, twenty years later, are still tramping the quaysides and alleyways of a rapidly developing city in the grip of the emerging Industrial Revolution. Enter a London police officer, bewildered by the language and customs of this strange northern town, yet also captivated by its songs and music. His furtive investigations into a political plot accidently uncover a much more local scandal, with danger, murder and malevolence at every turn. Jez Lowe’s narrative is subtle and sharp, his evocation of the Tyneside music scene of those days bursting with melody and rhyme, and his sense of drama keeping the reader guessing until the very end.
We like the “Whee-did-it?” reference, a new Geordie expression for us. And by the way, Chapter Six of “The Dillen Doll”, read by Jez, is now available on his You Tube Channel… Don’t forget Jez’s second on-line concert is due to take place on July 9th on Facebook at 8.30pm. Requests are invited. We promise to pass them on to the man himself.