Pitmen Poets bow out as farewell tour visits Barney
A SHOW which celebrates the songs, humour and culture of the region’s coal mining past is returning to Barnard Castle for one last time.
The Pitmen Poets played to a sell-out audience at The Witham and the venue is included in the quartet’s 23-date farewell tour.
The Pitmen Poets comprise ex-Lindisfarne and Jack The Lad singer and writer Billy Mitchell, Song Man from London’s West End musical Warhorse, Bob Fox, leading exponent of Tyneside song Benny Graham, and BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominee songwriter Jez Lowe.
Once again, they will be taking the audience on a journey through the centuries of a once-great industry, from the songs that saw it thrive and dominate, to those that recorded its demise and the resulting aftermath.
After two albums and several hugely successful tours, the band has recorded a final album to accompany their farewell tour.
With every band 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 explained: “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.”
He added: “Life in the pit was tough and to reflect that, our songs aren’t all happy tunes as we look at the terrible tragedies that affected whole villages when disaster struck.
“But there’s also humour too in great doses in our songs as that’s how families got through the bad times.
“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.”
The Pitmen Poets will perform at The Witham on Sunday, November 3, 7.30pm. Tickets are £20 in advance and £22 on the door. Call the box office on 01833 631107.