Murder ballads: on record, no one can hear your (female) victims scream

There is a long history of murder ballads in folk music and its offshoots. These are songs in which people get killed – deaths born of rage, drunkenness, avarice, mistaken identity… The list goes on.

See more ↝

Palermo: markets, migrants and anti-mafia music

Sicily is probably best-known to foreigners as the land of pizza and mafia, and there's a reason why: the pizza is delicious and the mafia remain an everday fact of life, one way or another, for pretty much the entire population of the island.

See more ↝

Fire in the Mountain: Santy Anno, 4 June 2016

At Fire in the Mountain festival in Wales, standing on and around a landlubbing ship called Boaty McBoatface, a crowd of people assembled and starting singing sea shanties. This one is called Santy Anno, Santayana, Santianna, or any one of several other names.

See more ↝

Barcelona: Fanfarrai, 7 February 2016

Fanfarrai are a band from Barcelona that plays Balkan music (it's a broad term but it does the job). In fact they're one of several bands from Barcelona that play Balkan music, it's popular here. They're very good.

See more ↝

Dublin: Corn Potato String Band, 14 October 2015

A chance encounter with the Corn Potato String Band in Dublin in mid-October 2015. Dublin was cold and damp, the Corn Potato String Band were dry and warm. And they know what they're doing with fiddles.

See more ↝

Barcelona: Correfocs and Diables del Poble Sec, 19 July 2015

"What do you like to do in the summer?"

"Oh, everyone in the neighbourhood throws a party and some people go into the square to set off explosives."

See more ↝

1 2 3 4