Last Wednesday afternoon we travelled over to Manchester. We called into the City Art Gallery to take a look at the Martin Parr exhibition currently showing there, then had a look around the Christmas Market. But our main reason for the visit was to see Kate Rusby’s Christmas concert at the Bridgewater Hall.
Kate Rusby is an award winning folk singer from Penistone in South Yorkshire, very well known on the folk circuit, who’s had a number of albums that have sold well and made the album charts. Her Christmas concert is based around old traditional versions of carols as sung around the pubs in South Yorkshire . Some of the songs were well known carols but sung to a different tune – for example While Shepherd’s watched sung to “On Ilkley Moor B’aht ‘at”. She performed 3 versions in all of this well known carol, all set to different tunes. Other songs included the familiar carols, “O little town of Bethlehem” and “Joy to the World”.
She played with her band – a guitarists (her husband), a bouzouki player, an accordionist, a double bassist (who also played a Moog synthesiser) and a drummer, plus a five piece brass ensemble. The brass band gave it a real northern Christmassy feel.
For someone who isn’t so tall (!) she has a big stage presence and twinkling eyes and a smile almost as wide of the stage and chatted away between the songs. She really did seem to be enjoying herself, a true performer.
As with other of her Christmas shows we’ve seen, the concert was in 2 halves, finishing, after the encore, at 10. So they were on stage in total for over 2 hours, but it didn’t seem that long. So another enjoyable night out. And Christmas starts here!