John Tams on the forgotten folk music of World War I

29 July 2014, 20:45

John Tams at the Bristol Proms 2014

The folk legend talks to Jane Jones about his Bristol Proms collaboration with the Erebus Ensemble.


John Tams, folk legend, actor, songwriter and now Bristol Proms performer: Classic FM's Jane Jones caught up with him before his show at the Bristol Old Vic.

The folk songs of World War I and the choral work of Herbert Howells form the unlikely middle ground for a concert from John Tams and the Erebus Ensemble, and it's all part of the 2014 Bristol Proms.

As Tams explains, sometimes the most unlikely combinations prove to be the most fruitful: "Maybe that combination, there's room for it at the Bristol Old Vic... we're not in competition with one another, they like what we're doing and we like what they're doing. If you put them together we'll see some sparks come off."

Tams, also a "paid-up vulgarian", also takes delight in some of storytelling of these sometimes-forgotten old folk songs: "We all know 'Pack Up Your Troubles'. We know the choruses, but we've forgotten the verses... they're little snapshots of time."

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