Knacker’s Yard performs at the Nanaimo Bar on Nov. 23 and the Corner Lounge on Nov. 30. (Photo courtesy Lumina Romanycia)

Victoria Celtic band Knacker’s Yard play the Nanaimo Bar and Corner Lounge

Band’s new album includes song about Nanaimo’s No. 1 Esplanade Mine explosion of 1887

Wolf Edwards is putting history to music.

The singer and banjo player for Victoria Celtic group Knacker’s Yard is endeavouring to marry “Dublin-style street-folk” with songs about Vancouver Island history.

“There’s a lot of rich history on the Island here that I wanted to expose through folk music,” Edwards said.

Knacker’s Yard’s latest album, this summer’s Gangers, Chancers and the Craic, features their first musical history lesson: The Milton Street Mine Disaster, which tells the story of Nanaimo’s No. 1 Esplanade Mine explosion of 1887.

Edwards said he learned about the explosion while doing a research project for a professor at the University of Victoria.

“What struck me most was that a good portion of the miners that died in that disaster were Chinese workers, and I noticed in the paper in the obituary there was a whole list of names of the miners that died and then it just said, ‘…and 60 Chinamen,’” he said. “And I was like, ‘Man, someone’s got to write a song about this and talk about that kind of stuff.’”

Edwards said his next historical song will cover Ginger Goodwin, the Island labour agitator whose controversial shooting death triggered the Vancouver General Strike of 1918.

“We go up and down the Island all the time. Playing really rural, remote areas, you get to meet people from families of theses sorts of characters, which is interesting…” Edwards said. “People come to us and start talking to us about it because when we perform we talk about the history of the songs.”

WHAT’S ON … Knacker’s Yard performs at the Nanaimo Bar on Friday, Nov. 23 at 9 p.m. $10 cover. They also play the Corner Lounge on Nov. 30 at 9 p.m. $10 at the door.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATE: Northbound lanes open 20 minutes at a time on Malahat after small rockslide

Traffic backed up from Goldstream, clean-up crews on site

Kris Kringle Craft Market making its return to Nanaimo

Self-taught craftspeople join trained artisans at seasonal sale Nov. 21-24 at Beban Park

Idea of free student bus passes will come to Regional District of Nanaimo board table

Tyler Brown, RDN transit committee chairman, hopes to explore fully subsidized bus passes for youths

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Neighbourhood around supportive housing disrespected

Supreme Court’s ruling a mean-spirited example of establishment versus the people, says letter writer

Nanaimo school district starting from scratch on testing water for lead

Health Canada changed acceptable levels to 0.005 mg/L in March, prompting re-testing at schools

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Most Read