No monkey business in WWI musical show

Rosie and Rowan

Rosie and Rowan - Credit: Archant

Plenty of monkey business is promised next Friday, December 2, at a Folk at the Maltings concert focusing on a recently-published St Albans book.

Electro-folk storytellers, Harp and a Monkey, will be devoting the second part of the performance at the Maltings Arts Theatre to linking their show, The Great War: New Songs & Stories to the recently-published book St Albans: Life on the Home Front, 1914-1918.

The concert at 8pm will be opened by New Roots finalists Rosie and Rowan, who are about to launch their first CD, with Harp and a Monkey, aka Martin Purdy, Simon Jones and Andy Smith, performing some of their other songs.

Formed in 2008, their songs span a wide range of subjects from cuckolded molecatchers and a lone English oak tree that grows at Gallipoli to care in the community and medieval pilgrims.

The second half of the concert will be based on the band’s third album which was released in July, 2016, and part-sponsored by Arts Council England and The Western Front Association, to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The band’s singer, Martin Purdy, is a historian who has acted as a WW1 researcher and advisor for the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? magazine for many years.

Harp and a Monkey have written new material and re-worked traditional songs which strive to challenge stereotypes of the conflict.

Tickets are £10, with students £8 and under 16s £6, available on the door or in advance by booking online or by phone on 0333 666 3366 .