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Shake the Chains

A commission with Folk by the Oak, supported by Arts Council England, Help Musicians and Folk Alliance International.

Shake the Chains is a project exploring the history of the role song has played in social change, resistance and protest.


From the industrial revolution to Rock against Racism, fights for universal suffrage to the slave trade, The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament to the Miners’ strike. Protest song is as old as the history of organised resistance.


Taking this as their starting point

Greg Russell
Nancy Kerr
Findlay Napier
Hannah Martin
Tim Yates


delved into the rich archive of protest song, writing and performing their own responses alongside classic protest songs from across the world.

Completed dates

Wed 31st January 2018
Celtic Connections, Glasgow
w. Karine Polwart

Thu 1st February 2018
Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
w. Martin Simpson

Fri 2nd February 2018
The Met, Bury
w. Commoners Choir


Sat 3rd February 2018
London, St John's Bethnal Green 

w. Leon Rosselson and Grace Petrie

Sun 4th February 2018
Birmingham Town Hall
w. Steve Knightley and Grace Petrie



Thu 23rd February 2017
Bristol, St George's
w. Steve Knightley

Fri 24th February 2017 
Sheffield, Firth Hall 
w. Martin Simpson

Sat 25th February 2017 
Snape Maltings (Britten Studio) 
w. Chris Wood


Sun 26th February 2017
Derby, Guildhall 

w. Boff Whalley

Mon 27th February 2017
London, St John's Bethnal Green 
w. Peggy Seeger

Sun 16th July 2017
Folk by the Oak, Hatfield

Building Ships - Shake the Chains
Poison Apples - Shake the Chains

4* live review in the Guardian here

Shake the Chains CD is available here


For Shake the Chains queries, please contact us

Nancy Kerr, Greg Russell, Tim Yates

Shake the Chains sneak preview 28/10/16

Westminster Hall, Parliament

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