The Liberty of Norton Folgate (Expanded Edition)

Compact Disc (2CD)

BMG Rights Management UK


United Kingdom


It instinctively sounded like a great song title, something Syd Barrett might have come up with in his psychedelic pomp.

In a second-hand bookshop, Suggs found This Bright Field by William Taylor. The cover art showed a Max Wall-like character singing to the moon, with an intriguing byline, “a travel book in one place.” The chapter that caught my eye was titled The Liberty of Norton Folgate. It’s the tale of a trainee vicar being sent to Shoreditch by the Bishop of Oxford, who had suggested it might be an excellent place to do a little ‘exploring,’ as he put it, to test his vocation. He ended up living and working there for seven years and went on to become the chaplain at Guildhall University. So, the test was obviously passed.

The book narrates the story of a man who tried to find his ultimate calling while learning about the people and history of Spitalfields. He worked in the fruit and vegetable market and as a bartender at the Jack The Ripper pub, now known as the Ten Bells. The book is a delightful read full of anecdotes, culture, and dialogue, written by a middle-class man trying to understand working-class culture. Spitalfields, once a landfill outside old London, is now a place of transformation. It served as an entry point for newcomers arriving by boat at the Shadwell and Lime House Basin docks. Spitalfields is a place of great historical significance, offering firsthand accounts of the incredible changes that have taken place in this ancient part of London.

Eventually, the area became an unofficial town of its own, independent of the city’s conventions. It was a place where anything and everything was allowed and where the Notables from inside the walls would slip out quietly on an evening to conduct their own nefarious activities. Even after the walls came down and generations of immigrants made new lives for themselves in the ever-expanding city, a small area of Spittle Fields remained outside the usual restrictions and laws of the rest of London.

Built up as a collection of courts and alleyways off Bishopsgate, The Liberty Of Norton Folgate in the 1700s had its own school, church, hospital, and almshouses for destitute silk weavers, the main occupation of the day. It even had a daily rubbish collection! Utterly self-contained and well-run by a group of trustees, it was nevertheless a refuge for actors, writers, thinkers, louts, lowlifes and libertines, outsiders, and troublemakers. It sounds like our kind of place does not!

Having had a great deal of fun going back to our Dublin Castle roots a couple of years ago and making an album of ska and reggae covers as The Dangermen, we felt it was time to make a great British pop record in the best traditions of our previous work. We planned a concept album about London. To add a historical context, we aimed to write a song about a particular street or area, revealing the layers of history and artefacts from the past to the present. Peter Ackroyd’s book, A Biography Of London, inspired us.

Why do certain areas seem to retain their distinct personality through centuries of time and the passing of generations of different peoples?… We need to peel back the layers and see what’s right there beneath our feet to know that the dust blowing around them is the same dust they skipped in.

We’re all dancing in the moonlight; we’re all on borrowed ground.


Territory: United Kingdom

Release Date: March 29, 2024
Format: Compact Disc (2CD)
Limited Edition: No

Label: BMG Rights Management UK

Catalogue Number: BMGCAT882DCD
Barcode: 4099964026153

Manufactured: Germany

Disc Colour: Silver
Pressing: Original Pressing
Release Type: Bootleg


Peak Position: 100
First Chart Date: 30/11/2023
Weeks in Chart: 1
Position DatePosition
30/11/2023 100


NW5 01/14/2008
Dust Devil 05/11/2009


1 1 Overture 2023 Remaster 1:06
1 2 We Are London 2023 Remaster 3:39
1 3 Sugar And Spice 2023 Remaster 2:51
1 4 Forever Young 2023 Remaster 4:36
1 5 Dust Devil 2023 Remaster 3:44
1 6 Rainbows 2023 Remaster 3:21
1 7 That Close 2023 Remaster 4:10
1 8 MKII 2023 Remaster 2:26
1 9 On The Town 2023 Remaster 4:30
1 10 Bingo 2023 Remaster 4:07
1 11 Idiot Child 2023 Remaster 3:18
1 12 Africa 2023 Remaster 4:18
1 13 NW5 2023 Remaster 4:13
1 14 Clerkenwell Polka 2023 Remaster 4:19
1 15 The Liberty of Norton Folgate 2023 Remaster 10:10
2 1 Let’s Go 2023 Remaster 3:28
2 2 Mission From Hell 2023 Remaster 3:49
2 3 Seven Dials 2023 Remaster 2:54
2 4 Hunchback of Toriano 2023 Remaster 3:10
2 5 Fish & Chips 2023 Remaster 2:42
2 6 One Fine Day 2023 Remaster 3:58
2 7 The Kiss 2023 Remaster 4:07
2 8 Bittersweet B-Side NW5, 2007 2:44
2 9 The Roadette Song B-Side Dust Devil, 2009 3:36


Mike Barson Piano Band
Chris Foreman Guitar Band
Lee Thompson Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone Band
Mark Bedford Bass Band
Daniel Woodgate Drums Band
Graham McPherson Vocals Band
Cathal Smyth Vocals Band
Rhoda Dakar Vocals Special Guest Vocalist
Joe Auckland Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Cornet Session Musician
Steve Turner Saxophone Session Musician
Mike Kearsey Trombone Session Musician
Jim Parmley Percussion Session Musician
Amber Jolene Backing Vocals Session Musician
Sasha Paul Backing Vocals Session Musician
Steve Hale Piano Session Musician
Julian Leaper Violin Session Musician
Emil Chakalov Violin Session Musician
Martin Burgess Violin Session Musician
Sue Briscoe Violin Session Musician
Chris Pitsilledes Viola Session Musician
Nick Holland Cello Session Musician
Mark Brown Clarinet Session Musician
Dave Powell Tuba Session Musician
Sirishkumar Tabla Session Musician
Andy Findon Turkish Clarinet, Zorna, Duduk Session Musician


Producer, Mixed Clive Langer
Producer, Mixed Alan Winstanley
Producer, Engineer Liam Watson Initial Production on 'Rainbows', 'Bingo', NW5', 'Sugar And Spice', "The Kiss' and "The Liberty Of Norton Folgate.
Engineer Finn Eiles
Cutting Engineer Tim Young
Producer Madness 'Bittersweet' and "The Roadette Song'.
Engineer Steve Muster 'Bittersweet' and "The Roadette Song'.
Recording Studio The Bunker 'Bittersweet' and "The Roadette Song' (2005)
Orchestrator Steve Hale Strings Arrangement and Direction.
Orchestrator Mike Kearsey Millennia Strings Arrangement.
Orchestrator Gavyn Wright London Session Orchestra Direction.
Photographer Paul Rider Band & Main Photography.
Artist, Graphic Design Nik Rose Retouching Assembly (PDQ Bungay).
Artist Gabriel Oscar Gracian Conceptual Design.
Artist, Graphic Design Martin Callomon Original Art Direction and Design.
Artist, Illustrator, Graphic Design Paul Agar This Edition Layout / Additional Design.
Remastered By Phil Kinrade This Edition Mastered at Air Studios.


Phonographic Copyright ℗ Stirling Holdings Limited Copyright © 2007-2023, 2024
Copyright © Stirling Holdings Limited Copyright © 2007-2023, 2024
Licensed To Union Square Music Ltd., a BMG Company.


Record Label BMG
Publisher Copyright Control
Publisher West Bank Songs Ltd. Track 2-8 ('Bittersweet')
Publisher Universal Music Ltd. Track 2-8 ('Bittersweet')
Publisher MCA Music Ltd. Track 2-8 ('Bittersweet')
Publisher Chappell Music Ltd. Track 2-9 ('The Roadette Song')


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ReferenceSource Website Website