The Tyburn Tree is an epic song cycle that shines a lantern into the terrifying corners of London’s history. The infamous Tyburn gallows at Marble Arch, where convicts were hung in public, providing a gory spectacle for the masses; the dark labyrinths and alleyways frequented by Jack the Ripper, Spring Heeled Jack and other murderous legends. Followed by the plight of ordinary people in William Blake’s poignant visions and the trapped spirits behind the origins of nursery rhyme London Bridge is Falling Down… all provide compelling material for this new collection of songs.
Marc Almond is our ringmaster-style tour guide through these tales from the shadows. In turn darkly humorous and heroic, Almond’s unique voice combined with Harle’s pulsating score promises an overwhelming experience.
Almond is also the primary lyricist, bringing his own take on the dark London theme, creating lyrics that have both historical relevance and an ear-catching quirkiness. Alongside this, John Harle, whose canon of work to date includes his O Mistress Mine for Elvis Costello and the theme to BBC1’s Silent Witness, has written new music that proves once again that he is at the very height of his powers. For The Tyburn Tree, he draws on contemporary classical, electronic dance and ambient music to match Almond’s lyrics with punchy, bitter-sweet songs full of emotion, driving rhythms and black humour to create a cult masterpiece.
For tonight’s concert, John Harle and Marc Almond, will be joined by Sarah Leonard (soprano voice) and their musicians.
We all know that Marc Almond can sing but it still comes as a shock to hear his thrillingly drawn-out climax to Harle’s “The Arrival of Spring”, emoting words adapted from William Blake with operatic oomph
– The Independent