Skip to main content

Sat 25 Mar 2023


Hack-Poets Guild: Blackletter Garland

Folk House

Access priority booking Buy Membership
Book Tickets

£17.50 incl. booking fee

Three people stood back to back

Marry Waterson, Lisa Knapp and Nathaniel Mann present a vivid new album and tour.

Three of the UK’s most innovative and prestigious folk artists present Blackletter Garland, a brand new album and live tour.

Inspired by historic broadside ballads – daily song sheets sold for pence from the 16th to 20th centuries – Marry, Lisa and Nathaniel rejuvenate and reinvent these stories. Fascinating interpretations and original compositions tell intricate tales of birth, love, conflict and death, with all the imagination of the folklore on which they’re based.

Arguably the forerunners of our modern news media, broadsides (also known as broadsheets) often contained ballads and rhymes, which were sung daily in Britain’s streets and inns. Although part of living traditions of folksong, popular art and literature, these illustrated printed sheets are now rare and preserved in only a few libraries. They offer a vivid insight into the past whilst striking a chord with universal themes still relevant today. Songs about love, loneliness and kindness are interwoven with intriguing, humanist and dark stories.

Delving into the inky archives at the Bodleian Libraries and beyond, Marry Waterson, Lisa Knapp and Nathaniel Mann lead a five-piece band bringing broadsides vividly to life for a new generation and offering a rare insight into Britain’s history.

Presented by Bristol Beacon

Produced by Sound UK. Commissioned by Sound UK and OCM.
Funded by Arts Council England. Supported by the Bodleian Libraries.

Seated event

Age: 14+ (Under 18s to be accompanied by an adult)



Marry Waterson – voice
Lisa Knapp – voice, fiddle, autoharp
Nathaniel Mann – voice, bowed banjo, electronics and meat cleaver
Barney Morse Brown – cello w/ pedals
Laurence Hunt – percussion

“I saw folk music’s future. It was an exciting glimpse of an alternative, fresh and vital approach to presenting traditional music”

Ken Hunt, Music Journalist, on the 2017 tour (named ‘Broadside Ballads’)

The venue

Bristol Folk House

Covid-19 Safety Measures

If you have Covid-19 symptoms or have been asked to self-isolate you should not attend this event.

  Wear a face covering at all times

  Register with NHS Test and Trace app

  Follow one-way signage

  Card payment only, contactless preferred

  Be respectful of other people’s personal space

You may also like