John Kirkpatrick opens a kit bag of songs from the two World Wars in a programme that highlights two different kinds of material.
As you'd expect, there'll be a fair old smattering of the popular hits of the day - designed to keep the spirits high, to raise a smile, share a chorus, and provide a moment's respite from the horrors on every side, and find the heart to keep going. And threaded through these selections, John will also give an airing to some of the songs sung on the Front Line by the service personnel themselves – tunes sung on everyone's lips wedded to new words, conjured up far from home by an army of ordinary folk doing their best to be good soldiers. You'll hear how experiences on the front were dealt with and described with great directness, wit, robust humour, and, occasionally, very fruity language!
Following the huge and continuing success of his solo village hall shows "Carolling & Crumpets" – dealing with the songs and customs of Christmas and Midwinter – and "The Victorian Farmer's Year In Song" – based on his appearances on the popular TV programme Victorian Farm – renowned folk singer John Kirkpatrick marshals his resources into a stirring new programme engagingly presented with his usual panache and energy. Producing an alarming amount of volume for one person, John fills the room with music with a voice of great dynamic range and power, supported by his sparkling squeezebox playing. This is a heart-warming show, with occasional poignant moments in amongst the jolly choruses, celebrating the comradeship and spirit that allowed those previous generations to Keep Smiling Through.