The Victorian Hall has its origins in the 17th century and evidence is found in the records of Samuel Pepys in which he describes a visit to a Musick House in Greenwich where he enjoyed the entertainment they had to offer. Admission to these Musick Houses was free. You paid for the food and drink, and if the musicians impressed then you gave them a tip. Gradually these halls evolved, and each musical item would be introduced by a individual known as the Chairman. He dressed flamboyantly, and usually sat at a table with his back to the stage and elaborated, with exuberant language, the merits and personality of the performers. He was an entertainer in his own right, and his role continued through to Victorian Music Halls of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
By this time there were many Music Halls with names such as The Palace, Tivoli, Hippodrome, and Empire and were found in many towns and cities throughout the country. Many of the songs had catchy tunes, instantly appealing to the audience who would whistle and hum them in the following weeks, and indeed are instantly recognisable today. The words reflected the lives of the Victorian families in their day to day experiences, and as such, promote the culture of The Music Hall Age.
The cover design is based on a painting by Lindsey Goodbun.