Edward II, are an English roots band that uniquely blend the rhythms of the Caribbean with traditional songs from the British Isles. Back in the nineties the band was signed to Cooking Vinyl Records and Rhythm Safari in the US. They worked extensively across the globe touring world music, reggae and folk festivals on almost every continent before finally calling it a day in 1999. (In fact the band toured so extensively they got a mention in the Guinness Book of Records!)
Despite the constant touring the band always remained close friends and in 2015 came back together to record and perform a new repertoire of songs born of the Industrial Revolution, (specifically of their home town Manchester), known as the Manchester Broadsides, and released a brand new CD called ‘Manchester’s Improving Daily’
These songs feature such unlikely classics as ‘Victoria Bridge on a Saturday Night’ and ‘A New Song on the Great Demonstration, which is to be made on Kersal Moor September 24th, 1838’, and give remarkable insights into the lives of our those living through a time of great change almost 200 years ago.
Not surprisingly, many of the themes are still relevant today with songs of love, loss, poverty and political rights featuring heavily, but in the hands of Edward II, these have been turned into an uplifting celebration of the working people who really forged Manchester and transformed Britain into an Industrial powerhouse.
Now the band do occasional gigs featuring songs old and new and special events but are also contemplating a new set of songs which, with a bit of luck, should be recorded and released at some point in 2019, 20 years after the band originally split.
Still upbeat, and with rock-steady rhythms, blazing horns, fabulous harmonies and fiery melodeon melodies, the band continue to amaze audiences across the UK and Europe.