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 […]

O’Hooley and Tidow: WinterFolk

In our minds, O’Hooley and Tidow are linked with Kate Rusby: we really admire what Rusby does, but her music is too glum for us to ever listen to. We saw her live once and she joked about her glumness in the run-up to announcing her next song, I Am Sad. Ho ho. Belinda O’Hooley […]

Sarah Darling: Winter Wonderland

Just as Shane Richie puts out a country album, genuine country music singer Darling puts out a Christmas album. They’re all well-known tunes done well, so the only question is how you feel about a set of slow but intimate covers delivered by Darling’s soft and sweet vocals. The album opens with an ok cover […]

Johann Schelle: Christmas Cantatasj

This programme of Classic FM-style sacred music is ideal for people who want some reverential music during the festive period, but don’t want massed choirs yelling “Gloria!” at the top of their lungs while they’re peeling the spuds (the people, not the choirs). Schelle (1648-1701) was the music director at the Church of St Thomas […]

Dolly Parton: I Believe In You

Dolly. It’s impossible to say anything bad about her: rose from nothing, written some classic tunes and knows the value of every single one, but not mean either — she gave the rights to I Will Always Love You (the best-selling single by a woman in music history) to her former manager Porter Wagoner, for […]