Concerts by The Night Watch can be a pick and mix of mediaeval, renaissance and baroque music, or themed to suit a festival, music club or concert series.
Below are the themed programmes we currently offer. More will become available. If you have a special request for a programme to suit your event, just ask.
Musical History Tour
What does it mean to be “in love up to the elbows”? Why is the earliest known English song complaining about the weather? Why did followers of the Virgin Mary get bladdered “for Our Blessed Lady’s sake”? How could Henry VIII write such a beautiful love song while being so vile to his wives? And why didn’t he write Greensleeves? Why was a well-known Christmas song never sung at Christmas? Why was farting so enjoyable in the 17th century?
Drive the Cold Winter Away (formerly Winter Warmer)
The Night Watch play ‘early music’, songs and dance tunes from the 12th century to the end of the 17th century (mediaeval, renaissance, and early baroque). Back then, people’s experience of winter was very different to ours: no central heating, often a shortage of fresh food, and no Christmas adverts on TV from July onwards.
The Food of Love — Shakespeare’s Music
In preparation to be performed in 2014 onwards.
The plays of William Shakespeare — arguably the most influential author and playwright in the English language — are full of contemporaneous songs ands references to the songs and dance tunes of his day. Music was integral to Elizabethan and Jacobean life: this was the heyday of the broadside ballad, the golden age of the lute and lute songs, a time of invention to create new musical instruments, and the age when any self-respecting man or woman of society knew how to dance. So Shakespeare, surrounded by music, used it to create moments of comedy and light relief; tension, menace and madness; tragedy and tenderness.