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CHARLOTTE PETERS ROCK - The Peaceful Weavers Of Peterloo 

CHARLOTTE PETERS ROCK - The Peaceful Weavers Of Peterloo 
Private Label 

Charlotte Peters Rock is a seasoned performer, songwriter and poet who’s well-regarded in the north-west and a mainstay of Chester Folk Festival. She specialises in historical subjects, particularly those concerning industry, working people and protest, and the present 200-year anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre is a natural choice for her. The Peaceful Weavers Of Peterloo is a full-blown “dramatico-sung performance”; a veritable solo tour-de-force that’s meant to be listened to in one single span, it both demands and commands your continuous attention.

Charlotte’s writing is refreshingly unpatronising and free of cliché, displaying a clear respect for her protagonists (and her audience), and her expressive voice proves an ideal vehicle for putting across the visceral physical and deeper emotional impact of the events she’s retelling. She imparts a passionate and naturally theatrical quality to her singing and speaking (although to be fair, you need to get used to her pronounced vibrato). Her regional accent convinces, and the whole performance exhibits a strong sense of presence, the recording itself being close and truthful (aside from some passages on the first song which suffer from artificial distancing and reverb). The songs themselves are folk-idiomatic rather than stagey, telling their stories with a compulsive economy, and Charlotte’s resolutely a cappella mode of delivery enables both greater intimacy and concentration.

Charlotte has clearly done her homework and more, having closely researched her subject, and this production will be invaluable to our understanding of the events that occurred at St. Peter’s Field on 16th August 1819.

David Kidman


This review appeared in Issue 131 of The Living Tradition magazine