Arts Alive have two live performances this week from the award-winning modern folk music and storytelling outfit – Harp and a Monkey. The trio have previously caught the attention and support of the likes of Steve Lamacq, Mark Radcliffe, and Clare Balding on BBC Radio 2, and are now touring with their fourth album – The Victorians.

On August 12 and 13 the band will be performing near Bridgnorth and Ludlow respectively, with their brand-new show titled, ‘The Victorians: Songs, Stories and More.’

The group have revived songs of the Victorian era (popular, music hall, folk, work, and street songs) and reworked them for contemporary ears. The songs have been chosen to shed light on lesser-known aspects of Victorian life – from the poignant to the humorous.

The stories behind the tunes are delivered by the band’s singer and raconteur Martin Purdy, an acclaimed historian, author, and broadcaster. Talented multi-instrumentalists and long-standing friends, the trio guarantee a heart-warming performance of foot-tapping tunes, great conversation and laughter suitable for all ages.

Cerin Mills, Live Events Programmer at Arts Alive, said, “Harp and a Monkey are experts in bringing to life poignant, humorous and melodic songs and stories. They are a quality live act who consistently attract critical acclaim.

“They describe themselves as ‘purveyors of quality original and traditional songs and stories.’ Martin Purdy (vocals, glockenspiel, accordion, harmonica and keyboards), Simon Jones (harp, guitar, viola) and Andy Smith (banjo, melodica, guitar and programming) are experimentalists that beautifully craft vignettes of life, love and remembrance.”


Mark Radcliffe on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show, describes the album as, “Interesting sounds and great stories.”

The show will be performed at the Alveley Parish Memorial Hall near Bridgnorth on Thursday, August 12 at 7:30pm. Tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for children and £25 for a family ticket. They will also perform at Bitterley Village Hall near Ludlow on Friday, August 13 at 7:30pm. Tickets for that show are £12 for adults and £6 per child. Buy tickets at

Harp and a Monkey