Yaniv d’Or: Exaltation

We went to a wedding in Turkey the other weekend — as you do — and then spent a week listening to Tatar music, with artists from Mongolia down to Poland. And all the time we were hunting out exotic sounds we had this on the desk. It’s a programme of music from Medieval and […]

New Vic: Wind In The Willows

The latest Christmas production at the New Vic, Newcastle, is a re-telling of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows — 110 years old this year — the tale of anthropomorphised animals in a pastoral version of ye olde England as progress, in the form of motor cars, arrives. It’s the best Christmas show the […]

Engelbert Humperdinck: Warmest Christmas Wishes

Hump’s first Christmas album in almost 40 years (since A Merry Christmas With Engelbert Humperdinck, but you knew that) is so sweet it’ll make the brandy butter taste as bitter as the tears of Bambi’s mother. His last album The Man I Want to Be was pretty good (it’s Engelbert Humperdinck, we’ll never play it […]

Cilia Petridou: The Mystery of Christmas Greek Kalanda (carols)

This is a collection of songs for the festive season although, as it doesn’t sound “festive”, you get year-round value. The lyrics are Christmas-related but sung in Greek (translations provided). The sleeve/Press notes say that there is a tradition among the Greek people of the singing of carols (kalanda) on Christmas Eve. The notes reference […]

Paul Mosley and The Red Meat Orchestra: Wintertide EP

We receive some albums as links to downloads, and they can go missing. Such is the case with this release, which to our embarrassment (admittedly not much) is a Christmas EP. Never mind, stock up ready for Christmas 2018, and it’s a nice EP if you ignore a few references to the season of Santa. […]

Alexander Armstrong: In A Winter Light

  We were expecting to mock this: a cursory play through, a pithy review, job done. Unfortunately, it’s pretty good; if it was more Christmassy, it’d come with free reindeer poo and tinsel. We played it about six times on the run. Armstrong is not only the voice of Dangermouse, he went to St Mary’s […]

The Septura Ensemble: Music for Brass Septet, Vol.5

This is not really a Christmas album, but it’s Christmassy. Septura (not to be confused with the Brazilian metal band from Belo Horizonte)  brings together a number of London’s leading brass players. It’s a brass septet and thus has no traditional repertoire, and is creating its own, recording a series of 10 CDs of different […]

Simon Callow with the Brighouse and Rastrick Band: A Christmas Carol

As a Christmas treat this is great. Fans of audible books know that a good reader can make the difference between a good and bad book (that Jane Austen we once listened to will never be forgotten, with its mispronunciation and poor edits. And poor edits./ This version of Dickens’s classic is as luxurious as […]

Treasure Island at the New Vic Theatre

The New Vic Theatre’s Christmas production (it’s not a panto) (oh no it’s not) is a new adaptation of the famous RL Stevenson book Treasure Island. The book created much of the modern mythology of pirates (maps, Xs marking spots, pieces of eight and wooden legs) and all the trademark piratical images are seen on […]