It’s be­gin­ning to sound a lot like Christ­mas

Folk star Kate Rusby is al­ready gear­ing up for the fes­tive sea­son as she pre­pares for her lat­est Christ­mas tour, com­ing to Not­ting­ham next month. Here she dis­cusses her love of the hol­i­day and how she pre­pares to spread the Christ­mas cheer

Loughborough Echo - - MUSIC -

FOR most of your au­di­ence, the Christ­mas con­certs are one of the main highlights of their fes­tive sea­son and feel Christ­mas be­gins once they have been to one of your con­certs. Does the prepa­ra­tion vary from an al­bum tour?

To­tally, I love tak­ing the car­ols out there and singing them all around the coun­try. One of the amaz­ing things is that now when we go back to a town that we have played at Christ­mas be­fore, the au­di­ence sing their hearts out as they have re­mem­bered the songs. It al­ways makes me quite emo­tional to hear them all singing these South York­shire car­ols that we have taught them I just love it.

On the Christ­mas tour I like to make sure we have a lot in the set that the au­di­ence have heard as I know they want to sing along with them. I do al­ways have a few new ones in there too though, but I sup­pose that would be the main dif­fer­ence in my ap­proach. Also, we do go to a lot of ef­fort to make it look and feel Christ­massy too. A lot of thought is put into the light­ing and the sound too to make sure peo­ple come away feel­ing like Christ­mas has be­gun. TELL us about the south York­shire tra­di­tion that in­spired the al­bum.

The South York­shire car­ols are still sung ev­ery year, start­ing the Sun­day af­ter Armistice Day and con­tin­u­ing un­til new year. They are sung in a cer­tain se­lect few pubs in South York­shire, my favourite is The Royal in a lit­tle vil­lage called Dung­worth. I was taken there as a child and even though we were in a dif­fer­ent room play­ing and drink­ing pop and eat­ing crisps, we were all the while soak­ing up the songs. So learn­ing them through os­mo­sis re­ally. Thank­fully the tra­di­tion is show­ing no signs of dwin­dling, you only have to go to one of the sings for proof of this, it’s an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence, as the car­ols are sung with such pas­sion and gusto!

The car­ols are one you may not know, they were thrown out of the churches by the Vic­to­ri­ans for be­ing too happy, but the peo­ple who loved singing them took them to the pubs in­stead, that way they could drink beer too!

Some have words you may recog­nise but a dif­fer­ent tune so there are many dif­fer­ent ver­sions of the same carol. There are about 30 dif­fer­ent ver­sions of While Shep­herds Watched with each tune hav­ing a dif­fer­ent name, usu­ally named af­ter a road or place, some ver­sions have cho­ruses and some don’t.

There are also car­ols that are sung as solos, and they are sung by the same peo­ple ev­ery year. I sup­pose it’s a bit like a right of pas­sage, if you’ve been go­ing for a long long time and a slot be­comes avail­able you might be asked to sing one of the solos, even the po­si­tions in the room.

It’s a fan­tas­tic thing to wit­ness and hear of course, it’s such a pow­er­ful thing when so many voices are singing in har­mony all united in a small room, all smi­ley and

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