THE season to be jolly will well and truly be under way when some of the biggest names in British folk music return to Wigan Parish Church.
The Albion Christmas Band will make its fourth trip to the historic town centre place of worship for an evening of songs, carols, readings and humour.
The group, made up of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and Albion Band founder Ashley Hutchings, Fairport convention founder member Simon Nicol, Albion Band singer Kellie While and musician from Edward II and Albion Band Simon Care, will explore the meaning of the festive season on their One For The Road tour on
The band is playing up and down the country supporting a new live album recorded during last year’s gigs, with the show reminding audiences of some of the simpler pleasures and values of a traditional Christmas.
Promoter David Cartlidge said: “For some people in Wigan the arrival of the Albions marks the start of the Christmas season proper.
“It’s not specifically religious, it’s more of a seasonal celebration.
“The songs they do cover about 400 years and the readings come from Dickens and all sorts of other things.
“Kellie While has a terrific voice and I particularly like the way the members play off each other.
“There’s songs, carols, readings and occasionally Simon Care is prone to do a bit of dancing as well.
“There are quite a few seasonal roots shows but this is certainly the original, as this is their 16th year, and in my opinion it is also the best.”
The Albion Christmas Band started out as a series of special shows for the festive season put together by the final line-up of The Albion Band before former member Simon Care suggested bringing the four-piece line-up together to present a tour through the old customs of Britain.
The group’s show mixes traditional seasonal songs with self-penned tunes to create a celebration which is suitable for music fans of all ages.
The Albion Christmas Band’s appearance also brings the curtain down on the 2014 Acoustic Roots season of performances, with the show taking place in the main parish church .
The Albion Christmas Band will play at Wigan Parish Church on Friday December 12.
Tickets are £15 in advance, available from David on 01942 824291 or Symphony Music, or £17.50 on the night.