7-14 August 2020   |   Broadstairs, Kent Buy Tickets Buy Programme

Pete Coe, Laura Smyth, Brian Peters

‘The Road to Peterloo’ tells the story of one of the most notorious incidents in British labour history – the ‘Peterloo Massacre’ in Manchester in 1819 – through some of the many broadside ballads that were printed around the time of the event.

Three singers and musicians from North West England –Pete Coe, Brian Peters and Laura Smyth – trace the story from its roots in the poverty and hunger suffered by handloom weavers in the early 19th century. Their songs describe the terrible events of the day itself, when mounted soldiers charged a peaceful crowd and killed or injured many men, women and children by their indiscriminate use of sabres, and tell of later political developments inspired by the carnage.

Laura, Brian and Pete present a trove of freshly-discovered material, with ballads sourced from Alison Morgan’s new book on the broadsides of the day, and from their own research, with many set to original tunes. Between them they offer three fine voices and instrumental skills on concertina, melodeon, bouzouki, guitar, cello and banjo, and add to the mix period dance music from the Manchester area.

Dates appearing

Monday 12 August

2:00pm at Queens Road Baptist Centre

The Road to Peterloo. Telling the story through street ballads and folk songs of the time, this is a moving and passionate concert performance to mark the 200th anniversary of Manchester’s notorious Peterloo Massacre, presented by first-class singers and multi-instrumentalists Pete Coe, Brian Peters and Laura Smyth

Book tickets

Other artists at the festival

View all artists