Category Archives: Blog

Dancing Tunes

Edward II return with a brand new album, ‘Dancing Tunes’, which will get a physical release through Cadiz Music on 12 March 2021 and available as a beautifully packaged CD bolstered with fastidiously researched sleeve notes and featuring all the lyrics. 
‘Dancing Tunes’ is a selection of traditional songs from Jamaica and the Caribbean as collected by Walter Jekyll and recorded by Louise Bennet, the celebrated singer, folklorist and activist for Jamaican dialect.    Of course, while these songs are regarded as uniquely Jamaican, they were all written and sung in English, or the Jamaican street dialect known as Patois.  Full of wit and irreverent humour, if anything these songs demonstrate that folk music is first and foremost about telling stories and entertaining each other using song and dance – a very human practice!
Since the 1950’s Mento (Jamaica) and Calypso (Trinidad) have become conflated into a broad genre of Caribbean music, commercialised since the 1950’s and generally referred to as Calypso for marketing purposes. Pioneered by Lord Flea, Harry Belafonte, Lord Burgess and others, culturally and musically, it is clear that Calypso is the precursor to Reggae, Ska, Dancehall and all the subsequent sub-genres that have followed.
Of course, with ‘Dancing Tunes’, the band have imparted their own unique take on the songs, re-interpreting, blending and referencing some of the English tunes which no doubt added to the original mix. Working alongside dub producer Paul ‘Lush’ Morris of Nucleus Roots, on this album Edward II have purposely recreated a British urban dub sound, using drum machines and beats intertwined with the live performances and instrumentation that has always been part of the bands unique style.
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.
Despite the constant touring the band always remained close friends and, in 2016, 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’.  The album received a plethora of positive reviews, including Four Stars in both Mojo magazine and The Guardian. 
‘Dancing Tunes’ finds Edward II 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. For more info contact Chris Hewlett PR on 

Edward II. New Music Release.

Available to Listen or download


To support our live performance on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards on 16/10/19, where we opened the show with new single ‘Linstead Market’.

The song is a traditional Jamaican folk song gathered from the collection ‘Jamaican Song and Story’ by Walter Jekyll (1907) This release pre-empts the bands new album release (mid 2020) that presents a collection of Jamaican working songs in new light.

From early deals with Cooking Vinyl, Pure Bliss and Zomba Records the band is known with their extensive touring schedule in the 80’s and 90’s which saw them headline festivals around the world.

Mark Radcliffe hosts the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – the annual ceremony (celebrating its 20th year this year) that celebrates and rewards the very best in folk, roots and acoustic music. The show will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2.