Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Ocean - 3. Episode 3

THE OCEAN - 3. EPISODE 3 (320kbs-m4a/68mb/29mins)
BBC Radio 6 Music broadcast: 6th April 2017

Richard Hawley continues his tour of the coast. He investigates how jobs in seafaring industries have produced a wealth of music - from sea shanties to workers union songs sung by a shipbuilders' choir and communist pop songs. Richard travels from Cornwall to Aberdeen stopping off in Liverpool and north Yorkshire.

In Liverpool he meets shanty singer and ex-frontman with 60's band The Spinners, Hughie Jones, who explains the different types of shanty that relate to jobs on board ship. In Cornwall Richard speaks to local historian Tony Pawlyn about the history of smuggling in Falmouth. Tony also describes how piracy affected the southwest coast, particularly the invasions by Algerian corsairs, who captured whole towns and villages in the 18th Century. In the sleepy fishing village Robin Hood's Bay, broadcaster and writer Ian Clayton introduces us to a song about press gangs and the practice of capturing men for forced labour in the British Navy.

In Aberdeen Richard visits the maritime museum to find out about the importance of shipbuilding to the local area. We hear recordings of the Hall and Russell shipyard male voice choir, which were recorded in the late 1930's. We also speak to Soft Machine's Robert Wyatt about his song Ship Building, which was written by Elvis Costello and released around the time of the Falkland's War. It's an ode to the predicament of the British working class who were becoming expendable both on the battle field and off it, in the ship building industry that expanded to support the war. Finally we meet Richard's old bandmate Jarvis Cocker. Together Jarvis and Richard once recorded a sea shanty, A Drop of Nelson's Blood, and Jarvis explains how it came together.

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