KATE Rusby At Christmas, her annual folk-spun South Yorkshire carol-singing service with fairy lights, Ruby the Reindeer, guest Brass Boys and a fancy-dress finale, will not be celebrated at York Barbican on December 20, ruled out by the Covid Grinch.
This rotten year, however, the Barnsley voice of Christmas past, present and yet to come is still determined to bring the joy of her usual Christmas tour to the comfort of tree-lit homes with the special delivery of a full-length concert, streamed worldwide on Saturday (12/12/2020) at 7.30pm GMT.
“Everyone will have a front row seat for Kate Rusby’s Happy Holly Day,” promises Kate, who has been counting down to her festive stream with a Who’s Behind The Window Today? teaser on a daily virtual Advent Calendar video with musician-husband Damien O’Kane since December 1. In a roasted chesnutshell, tickets are available now at katerusby.com.
In August, Kate achieved her highest-charting album to date with Hand Me Down, her Lockdown 1-recorded recorded collection of cover versions, from Manic Monday and Friday I’m In Love to Shake It Off and Three Little Birds, all newly embossed with the Rusby folk alchemy.
Debuting in the Official Album Charts at number 12 – number three in the CD album chart and number four in the Independent release chart – Hand Me Down will have a second life on vinyl from January 15 2021. Pre-orders can be made at: https://purerecords.net/collections/kate-rusby-vinyls
Come Saturday night, this incurable Christmas reveller, Kate the Holly Head, will cherry pick from her five Yuletide albums, Sweet Bells, While Mortals Sleep, The Frost Is All Over, Angels And Men and last year’s Holly Head, with their double act of Victorian tut-tutted South Yorkshire carols and Rusby winter originals.
For more than 200 years, from late-November to New Year’s Day, South Yorkshire and North Debyshire communities would congregate on Sunday lunchtimes, in their local public house, to belt out their own versions of familiar carols, an act of appropriation frowned upon by the church in Victorian times for being “too happy”.
Such happiness, nevertheless, will be encouraged to the brim this weekend on Kate’s night of virtual wassailing. For a video trailer of Kate Rusby’s Happy Holly Day, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myM2ieabVlU
Looking ahead, Kate’s cancelled 2020 York carol concert must now do Covid-enforced cold turkey for a year, re-scheduled for Sunday, December 19 2021. Tickets already bought will transfer to the new date.