Corey Mwamba


the worm

£10 or more

Dave Kane - bass Joshua Blackmore - drums Ntshuks Bonga - alto saxophone Alex Bonney - trumpet Arun Ghosh - clarinet Corey Mwamba - vibraphone, composer

the worm is a retelling the Newcastle folk tale of John Lambton and the worm, with parallels drawn between the "hero" of the story and the acts against society of the previous and current British administrations.

Many thanks to The Lit & Phil library ( and Schmazz ( for much valued inspiration in creating the piece.


Heir to a large fortune that he didn't have to work for, John Lambton cares little for the things around him and shirks his responsibilities. On his travels he catches something he later sees as insignificant, unworthy - a worm. He discards the creature down a stagnant hole. He is warned not to do this, but is mocking, arrogant. The worm, having been touched by Lambton, is now linked to him; feels bitter, rejected, and empty. It coils itself in a dark corner and waits.


The worm absorbs the filth it is left in and combines it with its hatred, eventually revelling in it; a dark joy envelopes it and it grows. Meanwhile, Lambton - to distract everyone from his lack of care - decides to go on a "holy" war that perhaps should never have begun in the first place.


The worm has grown to a massive size and is ravenous. It terrorises the land, draining it of life. People try to fight back, but they are unable; it eventually ends up on Penshaw Hill, near Lambton's home. Lambton's father appeases the creature by feeding it regularly.

ninefold returns

Lambton returns. He is made aware of his responsibility for the worm and told how to defeat it: and after he kills the worm, he must kill the first thing he sees, else curse the land for nine generations. A violent battle ensues. After hearing his son's victory shout, John's dad runs towards his son. Instead of honouring the agreement, they kill the family dog; and the nine generation curse is set on all of us.