The Sweet Liberties project saw its launch back in November at the Speaker’s House, Palace of Westminster (read our live review here). It featured BBC Folk Singer of the Year Nancy Kerr and singer-songwriters Martyn Joseph, Sam Carter, Maz O’Connor and musicians Patsy Reid and Nick Cooke. Commissioned by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), Folk By The Oak and partly funded by the PRS for Music Foundation they were tasked with writing new songs in relation to the pursuit of democracy and the events that have made a difference to our liberties. The good news is that Sweet Liberties are recording an album this Spring and will be taking to the stage again at this year’s Folk by the Oak on Sunday 24 July 2016 where copies of the album will also be available before general release later in the year.
We have the pleasure in premiering a live video of ‘Broad Waters‘, performed by Maz O’Connor whose latest album, The Longing Kind, is one of our Featured Albums of the Month (read our review here). This was performed at Cecil Sharp House, London on 28th November 2015 and recorded by London Folk Music.
Broad Waters’ is a song about a miscarriage of justice in 1985 which saw 3 men wrongfully convicted for the killing of a police constable Keith Blakelock on Broadwater Farm in Tottenham. P.C. Blakelock was killed by rioting residents of Broadwater Farm, a social housing estate which had seen building tensions between the police and the largely black residents throughout the 1980s. After an investigation which saw the arrest of around 1 in 10 men living on the estate, 3 men were convicted on evidence given by young men and boys. These men were acquitted years later, and this case became a famous example of police racism, leading to an updating of the Race Relations Act in 2000 to include public bodies. The song is a dialogue between a police man and one of the young boys pressured into testifying against the most notorious of the suspects, Winston Silcott.
Also joining Sweet Liberties at Folk by the Oak are Afro Celt Sound System, Lau, Cara Dillon and Friends, False Lights, Martin Simpson & Dom Flemons and Emily Portman & The Coracle Band.
Folk By The Oak is held at Hatfield House, Herts on Sunday 24 July 2016
Find out more here: www.folkbytheoak.com