Music from North Eastern England

The Trimdon Grange Disaster: the deadly cost of coalmining and a fitting musical testament

CLICK ANYWHERE ON THIS PARAGRAPH TO EXPLORE THE FULL COVER STORY SERIES - COMPARING DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THE SAME SONGS AND SOMETIMES TUNES My Sunderland AFC losing 6-0 today will be labelled a disaster. It is nothing of the sort.... Read more →


'Banners of protest, banners of hope.' Ed Pickford captures the spirit of the Durham Miners' Gala in song

Colin Randall writes: By very welcome coincidence, Andrew Curry's fascinating article on the role of music and humour in the story of coalmining appeared just before Ed Pickford posted at Facebook his song about the Durham miners' gala, a great... Read more →


Before the miners’ strike—telling the miners’ story in songs, jokes and sketches

The long history of the miners’ fight for better pay and conditions was brought to life by Alan Plater in Close the Coalhouse Door. The songs of Alex Glasgow were central to the telling of the story. Read more →


Death in the mines, more thoughts on the Trimdon Grange explosion - and the Unthanks' excellence

Back when hacking was an adjective for a certain kind of cough and phone-tapping was something only spies did, Mike Amos got me my first job as a journalist and taught me how to be a reporter. It is no... Read more →


At last: the Pitmen Poets singing The Workers’ Song. And how to resolve the winter of discontent

Just when I thought I had one solution to the failure of my attempts to showcase Ed Pickford's noble anthem in appreciations of ordinary people, The Workers’ Song, as sung by the Pitmen Poets, a much better one popped along.... Read more →


Song and performance of the year: Pitmen Poets and Ed Pickford's Workers' Song

I do not always nominate a best-of- year album or other piece of work. This year, I feel bound to do so. I have heard nothing better all year than the Pitmen Poets' rousing and timely rendering of one of... Read more →


Sorrow and solidarity in the coalfield, with Bob Fox, Benny Graham, Jez Lowe and Billy Mitchell

Jagged forks of lightning tore across the sky above Marseille as I began a two-hour drive home from the airport, listening to the opening tracks of Bare Knuckle, a copy of which had been waiting for me on a fleeting... Read more →