Rachel Dawick is a New Zealand folk artist whose previous album, ‘The Boundary Riders’, was finalist for the NZ Tui Award Folk Album 2015. She returns after living in London for the last four years with her new folk album and book ‘London Labour, London Poor’, based on Henry Mayhew’s work from the mid 1800s when he took to the streets to interview east Londoners, releasing these interviews as part of a series of articles in the Chronicle Paper and later as a four volume book. The songs focus on the voices of the people themselves – ranging from Jack Black, the Queen’s Rat Catcher, the teenage Mudlark, the Punch & Judy Man to recreate a snapshot of life on the streets. This socio political work by Mayhew is a fitting album for today’s times as the same issues arise, voices that seem to echo the past. This album will be released in New Zealand over March-May 2024 before being released in the UK.
Dawick’s previous album & book ‘The Boundary Riders’ explored the ‘hidden voices’ of the working class women who left the UK to NZ in the 1800s. This three year research into local archives and hidden stories of NZ’s working class women was released on 19th September 2014 (NZ Women’s Vote Day 1893). The album took her on a musical journey from Tui Award finalist for best NZ Folk Album in 2015 to being selected as one of forty Musical Theatre at the BEAM festival in London on 8th & 9th March 2016 – a showcase of emerging British Musical Theatre Writing. Since 2017 she has been part of BML (Book Music Lyric) as a lyricist and composer in London developing her skills in Musical Theatre Writing, before finding herself in London during Covid teaching in schools. It has been here that she has developed her material and developed a picture of London past and present.