Festival Calendar

The festival in commemoration of Wilfred Owen and of the armistice will run from September 15th to November 17th. Below you will find all events that will be held during this period. If you wish to navigate between months then please follow the link at the top of the calendar. For more information about a particular event please click on the event to view a detailed information page.

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War Stories – Harp and a Monkey

November 4th @ 7:30 pm


War Stories – Harp and a Monkey

War Stories by Harp and a MonkeyWinner of the folking.com Best Band of 2016

To mark the ongoing centenary of the First World War, the award-winning modern folk music and storytelling trio Harp and a Monkey have been performing a new show (and recorded an album in conjunction with it) called War Stories. The project has been sponsored by the Arts Council England and the Western Front Association.

The performances feature both original songs and re-workings of traditional songs of the day, field recordings of people who lived through the war (British and German), and the poignant, tragic and humorous anecdotes of band singer and bona-fide First World War expert Dr Martin Purdy.



Martin 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, wrote a pocket-book guide for them in 2008 (republished in 2013) and is the co-author of the critically acclaimed WW1 books Doing Our Bit and The Gallipoli Oak. A Doctor of Philosophy, he has published numerous academic papers on the conflict and is in high demand as a speaker and lecturer who expertly blends the poignant and the informative with the humorous and entertaining, Martin regularly appears in the national media and on BBC radio documentaries.

Harp and a Monkey, who specialise in poignant, humorous and melodic short stories about life, love and remembrance, have been described as “bold and brilliant” by national British newspapers like The Observer, “fantastic” by leading BBC broadcasters like Mark Radcliffe, and “inventive” by international music magazines like Mojo. Such is the outfit’s reputation as a quality live act, they have twice been invited to appear at the annual international showcase (The English Folk Expo) that highlights the best English folk acts on the circuit. They were also named ‘best band’ in the annual folking.com awards in 2016. The trio, who have been friends for decades, enjoy a fantastic rapport with their audiences and are renowned for their intriguing projects, which have seen them working with museums, art galleries and universities.

War Stories reviews:-

Mark Radcliffe: BBC Radio 2 Folk Show: “Brilliant.”

Clare Balding: BBC Radio 2 (Good Morning Sunday): “Fantastic stuff sensational!”

The Observer: “Bold and brilliant”

The Guardian: “An excellent set”

Folk Roots: “An exceptional work of storytelling”

Folk Radio UK: “Truly individual… courageous, often demanding and ultimately satisfying.”

Songlines: “Their songs resonate with a strong sense of history coupled with a sharp eye for tales of lives less ordinary.”

R2 Magazine: “There have been all manner of commemorations of the First World War, musical and otherwise, but this is one of the most captivating.”

Roots World (USA): “An extraordinary album – a unique and unmissable sonic monument to the First World War.”

Alt Country (Germany): “The most beautiful songs ever made on this theme.”

Folkall: “Insightful… thoughtful and thought provoking.”

Bright Young Folk: “This wonderfully crafted album is an affirmation of the human capability for survival.”

Folk North West: “A record of distinction.”

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November 4th
7:30 pm
Event Category:


Peter Humphries Centre
Oswestry School
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