18 new songs, written by SONY Radio Academy Award Winner Jez Lowe, inspired by the people and the culture of North East England, and presented in a radio cabaret style, in homage to the legendary 1950s BBC Radio show Wot Cheor Geordie. Jez Lowe presents a different sort of album entitled 'WATCHEOR', featuring The Bad Pennies (Kate Bramley on fiddle and vocals, Andy May on Northumbrian Pipes and keyboards, and David De La Haye on fretless bass) with special guests Benny Graham, Louisa Jo Killen, Hinny Pawsey, The Young Uns, Bert Draycott and The Tyneside Maritime Chorus. 18 new songs, written by SONY Radio Academy Award Winner Jez Lowe, inspired by the people and the culture of North East England, and presented in a radio cabaret style, in homage to the legendary 1950s BBC Radio show Wot Cheor Geordie. Wotcheor was a much-used greeting used in North East England, (as in What Cheer?, or How are you? and the cockney Wotcha!) until not so long ago, and which was adopted by the BBC in the late 1940s as the title to their popular weekly radio series Wot Cheor, Geordie. This programme, broadcast from Newcastle Upon Tyne throughout the 1950s, showcased comedians, story-tellers, and local personalities, alongside singers of Geordie folk songs, fiddlers and Northumbrian pipers, and did much to maintain the interest in North East traditional music and culture prior to the start of the so-called folk revival in the latter half of the decade. Its broadcast alternated with similar shows from Northern Ireland, and accounts for much of the cross-fertilisation of Irish and Northumbrian music that is evident in the region to this day. In 1999, when Jez Lowe was researching his BBC Radio Two series A Song For Geordie, he was continually being told by a certain generation of musicians on Tyneside about the influence cast by Wot Cheor, Geordie, and in recent years has set up two touring shows inspired by its format, A Song For Geordie in 2007 and The Winter Almanac Radio Roadshow in 2009. Now, on this new album, he presents a set of new songs, on disc this time, in that same style
A concept album of sorts, Lowe constructs songs inspired by his homes in North-east England presented in the form and spirit of an old radio variety show. It's great fun with some outstanding musical settings...while Lowe's colourful songs are always full of humanity..
-- **** Mojo