Blast From The Past presents A Brief History Of Music

Blast From The Past presents A Brief History Of Music

Reviewed by: Ben Macnair / Photography by Dave Carter (

Music fans had more than their money’s worth when Blast From The Past returned to play at the Lichfield Guildhall. The show – part concert, part music lecture, part music history and stand-up show – contained music from 1260 until 1913 in a packed, educational ninety minutes.

Presented by Lichfield Arts in association with Staffordshire Archaeological and Historical Society, A Brief History Of Music attracted a large audience. Chris Green and Sophie Matthews each played a variety of instruments and sang music from Mediaeval times, Victorian times, the Renaissance and even Music Hall.

The concert started with ‘Summer Is A-coming In’, the oldest recorded song in the English folk tradition, before a shawm was added to the mix for the Mediaeval love song ‘Merry It Is’. Blast From The Past played a number of instrumentals including a Scottish Dance known as a Brawle played on Crumhorn and Virginal – a type of keyboard instrument. Mandocello and Recorder were featured on a number of maggots (a catch-all term for a popular tune). An early type of guitar, the Vihuelle, was matched with Sophie Matthews’ pure soprano voice for a reading of John Dowland’s ‘Come Again Sweet Love’. The eerie ‘Bedlam Boys’ and the lighter drinking song ‘Who’s The Fool Now?’ featured European Bagpipes and Rauschfeife respectively.

Photography by Dave Carter (

The second half included more well-known tunes, whilst the narrative folk song – a staple for many writers, was shown in the Broadside Ballad ‘Billy Don’t You Weep For Me’. The well-known standard ‘Keep The Home Fires Burning’ allowed for some enthusiastic audience participation as did the encore medley ‘Daisy,Daisy’, ‘Pack Up Your Troubles’ and It’s A Long Way To Tipperary’.
The preparation and research put in by Blast From The Past to produce the show was well rewarded an appreciative audience.

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