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Angeline Morrison: ‘Unknown African Boy (D. 1830)’ video, Jools Holland and tour news

Angeline Morrison releases a brand new video along with huge news about her forthcoming appearance on Later with Jools Holland.

Angeline Morrison, the Cornwall-based traditional folk singer who releases The Sorrow Songs: Folk Songs of Black British Experience today, has also released a brand new video for ‘Unknown African Boy (D. 1830)’ along with news of an appearance on long-running BBC music show, Later with Jools Holland. She will embark on a tour to promote the album throughout the end of October, Black History Month.

The video, which you can view above, was created by the multi-talented visual artist and singer, Marry Waterson, whose cousin, Eliza Carthy, produced and performed strings and backing vocals on the album. The video is in the beautiful, digital mixed-media style that fans of Waterson’s work have come to expect and admire.

As we said in our review of the new album, “‘Unknown African Boy (D. 1830)’ is the tragic lament of a mother who has lost her young son to English slavers, “with a cudgel blow and a pointed gun”, longing that the earth sees fit to keep him safe from further harm. Setting this tale of unfathomable English cruelty against a stately piece of English folk-inspired music takes us straight to the heart of the world that The Sorrow Songs explores. It’s an incredibly powerful technique, lulling folk listeners with tunes they can nod along to, used to seeing the world from their familiar folk club seat, and then presenting them with the horrors of an entirely different perspective, forcing them to face their own bloodstained past.”

“This was the very first of The Sorrow Songs,” Morrison told us earlier this year. “It came to me as I paced up and down my local beach, wrestling with the tragic story I had just read. Many slave ships passed by the Isles of Scilly during the era of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (1526 – 1867 approx). The tricky waters in this area meant that many ships were wrecked. In the case of this ship, the exhausted captain mistook the Day Mark of St Martin’s for the lighthouse of St Agnes, and the ship went down. A local newspaper article of the time lists some of the items washed up on shore. The list includes palm oil, several hundred elephant tusks, a box of silver dollars, two boxes of gold dust, and the body of an unknown ‘West African boy’, estimated to have been around 8 years old. The boy is buried in St Martin’s churchyard, Isles of Scilly. This song is from the perspective of his mother.”

Angeline Morrison on Jools Holland

Angeline Morrison’s appearance on Later with Jools Holland takes place on BBC 2 on October 15th. She will also appear in an interview on Mark Radcliffe’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Show on October 12th, and she will be the next guest on The Old Songs Podcast, talking about the traditional song, ‘Shallow Brown’ [Roud 2621]. Her UK tour dates can be found on the Tradfolk events calendar, and are also listed below.

The Sorrow Songs on tour

● October 16th, Bristol, The Wardrobe Theatre
● October 18th, Cardiff, Seligman Theatre
● October 20th, London, Cecil Sharp House
● October 22nd, Cornwall, Redruth Drapery