Intimately moving over and returning to a valley and fields to the south of Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire, Red Bank raises and interleaves versions of history and experience, amongst them that of a teenager in a school for young offenders in the late 1960s and the battle of Winwick Pass, 19 August 1648. Red bank stands in a nexus of vision: between the costly, oblivious masquerades of Charles 1 and his execution, between the psychedelia of the Beatles and the desire by generations of teachers to help the children in their care, amongst them Mary Bell. The music of the three sections is initiated by memories of ‘Penny Lane’, ‘Get Back’ and ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ respectively, and the poem’s progress as dream-like as the coincidence of the Beatles’ last rooftop concert with the simultaneous laying of flowers by crowds on the site of the Stuart king’s execution.
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