Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Corporate Christmas Antidotes; ALAN NICHOL Brings You a Festive Roots Column This Week

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Corporate Christmas Antidotes; ALAN NICHOL Brings You a Festive Roots Column This Week

Article excerpt

THERE was a time when the week before Christmas was fairly quiet in terms of touring acts.

But this year continues the trend of artists tailoring shows specifically for the festive period.

The Sage Gateshead captures a handful of acts with themed events for the coming week.

Tomorrow night, the Oxfordshire singer-songwriter Thea Gilmore brings her Wintertide show to Hall 2. Thea has made a dozen or so albums since she emerged in the mid-90s but she has been particularly prolific of late.

This year alone she has released two albums whilst balancing a touring schedule, motherhood and married life.

The first of those two albums, John Wesley Harding, was released to coincide with Bob Dylan's 70th birthday back in May, a nod to Bob's sparsely majestic 1967 album of the same name.

The second one, released last month, is called Don't Stop Singing and uses the lyrics of some previously unreleased Sandy Denny songs with music and arrangements by Gilmore.

The album also features contributions by father and son John and Benji Kirkpatrick. John recorded with Sandy and Benji is currently a member of Bellowhead and Seth Lakeman's band.

Gilmore's Wintertide take on Christmas is likely to include several non-denominational songs from her 2009 festive album, Strange Communion, like Yoko Ono's Listen, The Snow Is Falling.

* ON Wednesday night, the same venue plays host to The Albion Band who, like Gilmore, perform their interpretation of the festive season - a show one newspaper called "the perfect antidote to the corporate Christmas".

By a neat coincidence, The Albion Band is an offshoot of Sandy's old band, Fairport Convention, and contains two founder members of the unit - bassist Ashley Hutchings and guitarist/singer Simon Nicol.

Completing the line-up is Kellie While on vocals and Simon Care on melodeon.

The Albion Band has a long history in folk music and there is not space here to list all of the ex-members.

But Ashley intends to relinquish control of the band in the New Year. …

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