Folk band's Barnsley show to celebrate coal mining heritage

By Michael Upton | 11/10/2019

Folk band's Barnsley show to celebrate coal mining heritage
The Pitmen Poets

THE Pitmen Poets will “drift” into town this month on a tour celebrating the North’s industrial routes.

The folk band, featuring ex-Lindisfarne singer Billy Mitchell, award-winning songwriter Jez Lowe, singer and instrumentalist Bob Fox and Tyneside’s Benny Graham, play the Assembly Rooms at the Barnsley Civic at 7.30pm on October 25.

All four members of the group were brought up in the shadow of the colliery with their fathers and grandfathers working long days and nights at the coalface.

And their experiences and memories are represented in their songs, stories, and poetry, including The Pitman’s Dream, These Coal Town Days and Black Diamonds.

With every member coming from coal mining stock, they represent the first generation of their families not to take up the tradition of working down the pit. 

Billy Mitchell said: “Our parents all said ‘you’re not going down the pit, get a good education and do something worthwhile with your lives’.

“So now we sing songs and tell stories — about coal mining. 

“It’s quite ironic really but it's very important to keep the stories we all heard growing up in the form of songs for the next generation.

“We’re playing a lot of former coal mining areas and the songs will resonate with many people there who made their living from coal.”

Visit https://www.barnsleycivic.co.uk for tickets.