Telling the stories of Human Cargo: unique folk show heads to Mellor Brook

Human Cargo: narrator Matthew Crampton and musician Jeff Warner.
Human Cargo: narrator Matthew Crampton and musician Jeff Warner.
Share this article

Promising a show that gives a voice to slaves, immigrants, convicts, and other human cargo from the 18th an 19th centuries via a blend of rich storytelling and folk sounds, a unique musical duo are heading to Mellor Brook.

With smartphone pictures of modern day migrant boats abounding on social media, images are readily available, but putting a face and a personality to the footage and to those transported in the past is where Human Cargo - a combination of narrator Matthew Crampton and musician Jeff Warner.

Including personal testimony from those within the emigrant boats, convict ships, and slave vessels, the show shines a light on the lives of the masses rather than focusing on the more complete records left by the rich and literate, opening up a whole new world of voices reflecting the anonymous and authentic record of popular feeling.

Called a "compelling storyteller by The Guardian, narrator Matthew Crampton bring perspective and jokes, while "the best folk singer in America" according to Bob Bossin of folk group Stringband, Jeff Warner uses the evocative medium of folk music.

Promising a fresh, firm take on the matter of migration, the show - which takes place at Mellor Brook Community Centre on Saturday, May 12th at 8.00pm (doors 7.30pm) - includes migration stories local to the show's area, partnering with local refugee and migrant support group, People’s Enterprise and Empowerment Forum (PEEF), who will attend the show to chat about their work in the foyer.

Tickets cost £12.50 and are available in person from Britannia Gallery on Branch Road in Mellor Brook or online via Eventbrite at