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Friday 05 April 2024

What A Racket: Joe Jackson Is Set To Revive The Songs Of English Music Hall Artist Max Champion @ Brighton Dome

Following the newly released album, Mr. Joe Jackson presents: Max Champion in 'What A Racket!' – reviving the songs of enigmatic early 20th-century English Music Hall artist Max Champion – renowned musician and producer Joe Jackson announces a Brighton date for his Two Rounds Of Racket Tour.

The Brighton show will be in two parts: a solo set by Joe Jackson of his original songs, and a set based on the album What A Racket! – the first performance in more than 100 years of the songs of forgotten Music Hall genius Max Champion, with Joe and a nine-piece band.
 
Max Champion was born in 1882 in London's East End and is thought to have been related to the great Victorian entertainer Harry Champion. 

As an up-and-coming performer he shared the stage with big stars such as Gus Ellen and Vesta Tilley, but his career (much like the Music Hall era itself) was cut short by the First World War, and his songs faded into obscurity. 

That is, until 2014, when Max Champion sheet music started to surface: first in Malta, then in England, and, intriguingly, in Belgium, where Max probably met his end in the trenches. 

By 2019, enough songs had been recovered for Joe Jackson to resurrect them with a 12-piece orchestra. 

 
According to producer Joe Jackson: 

"These were wonderful songs in their time, but they're surprisingly modern, too. Sometimes it's almost as if Max is speaking, from his London of the early 20th century, directly to us in the early 21st."
 
A newly released documentary now sheds light on the early 20th century artist from England. 
 
Music Hall originated in 19th-century London, transitioning from pubs and street performances to grand theatres by 1900. 

It attracted a diverse audience, spanning from commoners to aristocrats. The songs in this genre depicted life in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, often infused with humor, satire, sentimentality, patriotism, and occasionally darker themes like jealousy and murder. Some songs were also risqué but cleverly expressed.
 
The Two Rounds Of Racket Tour visits Brighton Dome on Sunday 6th October 2024. CLICK HERE for tickets.

by: Mike Cobley




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