LOCKDOWN has been bleak for artists and performers - but a Barnsley impresario and his musical collaborator have found a ‘silver lining’ amid the clouds.

Jack Land Noble has reunited with Holmfirth musician and composer Rob Cooper to record The Coalfield Symphony’s debut album, ‘Virtue and Villainy’.

With their diaries unfortunately cleared - Jack had been looking forward to a number of projects at the Lamproom Theatre - the pair found the flame reignited for their musical project, formed two years ago.

“It’s borne out of the climate we’re in,” said 31-year-old Jack.
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“The lockdown blues started in March. But the unexpected downtime that came about gave us room to work on a more substantial project.

“It’s fair to say it just arrived organically. I started saying this word ‘pro-art-ivity’ - if you have that creative capability, you’ve got to be proactive.

“You can’t sit idly by and wait for things to come back around again.”

The duo have always had an ear for traditional orchestral arrangements, Jack’s vocals reminiscent of crooners such as Matt Munro.

But as he wrote more, each song delving into the life of one of a cast of imagined characters, the songs became more driven - and Rob’s compositions started to gesture more towards the symphonic pop-rock of the 1970s and 80s.

The album artwork, by Rosie Masters, nods to an overarching narrative - depicting those characters in situ in the Boatmans Rest pub, Worsbrough.

“It’s been made with a respect for classic songwriting and timeless arrangements - you could be listening to these songs in the 1960s as well as the present day,” said Jack.

“Rob and myself are healthy perfectionists, and we hope that comes through.”

The two have been joined by a number of guests, including vocalist Sam Dyson, saxophonist Sam Reid, and members of Barnsley Youth Choir.

They plan to release seven songs from the album as singles - the first, ‘Symphony’, on November 6 - before the album drops early next year.