Eclectic and traditional folk Christmas capers

Maddy Prior and her band at St Mary In The Castle for Christmas 2016 SUS-161128-084431001

Maddy Prior and her band at St Mary In The Castle for Christmas 2016 SUS-161128-084431001

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As is customary during the festive season renowned folk singer Maddy Prior leaves Steeleye Span temporarily to join up with the Carnival Band to present unique celebratory shows Carols at Christmas and Carols & Capers.

This wonderfully sparkly approach comes to St Mary In The Castle on Friday December 16 at 7.30pm.

Tossed together in 1984, on a let’s-see-what-we-come-up-with basis for a broadcast and what began as a one-off session in a village hall in Cumbria has lasted for over 30 years and is now a proper tradition in its own right.

Together Maddy and the band mix renaissance, modern and ethnic instruments with a refreshing cavalier attitude and plenty of humour, putting their inimitable stamps on a range of familiar and not-so-familiar festive fare...

“I love working with the band,” Maddy said, “it’s just so different and they’re so off the wall. Coming from a folk background I can relate to a lot of their dances and early music, but anything less like serious academic concerts you can’t imagine. When we go out at Christmas, it’s all streamers, balloons and lunacy.”

The Carnival band play a wild mix of instruments including the historical (shawm, flemish bagpipes) the exotic (‘ud, djembe) and the familiar (electric guitar, double-bass). A Carnival Band performance is a kaleidoscope of instrumental colours, musical influences and moods, sustained by superb musical skill and enlivened with humour.

Auditorium Seats (£24.50) from 01323 841414 and www.pavilionhailsham.co.uk, balcony Seats (£21.50) are on sale at Music’s Not Dead, Bexhill by calling 01424 552435, and Hastings TIC on 01424 451111.

Have you checked out our new Christmas section yet?

It’s packed with ideas and tips to ensure you make the most out of the festive season.

There’s recipes, suggestions for presents and everything from choosing your tree to recycling your packaging and paper.

Go to www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/christmas/