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Kate Rusby at Forum Theatre, Malvern

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Festive fare from folk favourite
Yorkshire folk singer Kate Rusby loves Christmas – and it's a passion she wants to share with her fans.

Kate has released five albums of festive tunes, the most recent being 2019's Holly Head, and this December she is on the road for a series of seasonal shows. The tour includes a Midland date at Malvern's Forum Theatre on December 16, 2021.

Kate Rusby, Christmas tour, Rorum Theatre Malvern, Yorkshire Carols, Holly Head
(Picture credit: David Lindsay)

Joining her on stage will be the brass quintet affectionately known as The Brass Boys and, as ever, her band of musicians, Damien O'Kane on guitar, electric tenor guitar and banjo, Nick Cooke on diatonic accordion, Duncan Lyall on double bass and Moog and Josh Clark on drums and percussion.

Kate's Christmas concerts turn the spotlight on the tradition of Yorkshire carols, specific songs sung in the crowded pubs of the county. Kate sat in the corner of those pubs as a child, so the songs she brings to these shows are in her bones. From late November to New Year's Day, North Derbyshire and South Yorkshire communities would congregate on Sunday lunchtimes, in their local public house, to belt out their own versions of familiar carols, tunes that were often frowned upon by the church in Victorian times as 'too happy'.

Kate Rusby, Christmas tour, Forum Theatre Malvern, Yorkshire Carols, Holly Head

Kate says: "I adore Christmas, I'm sure it's a lot to do with me being a Christmas baby and even more to do with the lovely family Christmases we had when we were young. They weren't over the top and lavish as we didn't have much money, but they were magical and luminous.

"I try to make sure that's what Christmas is like in our house with my daughters. In fact, in 2015 my mum and dad did up a dolls house that they made nearly 40 years ago for me and my older sister, Emma. They had kept it all those years and secretly worked on it and it appeared on Christmas Day! Oh, my word, I wept when I saw it, so beautiful and precious, We've never been about diamonds and jewels as family heirlooms, more like grandad's old leather pit belt and a homemade dolls house. The best way to be."

Kate Rusby, Christmas tour, Forum Theatre Malvern, Yorkshire Carols, Holly Head
(Picture credit: David Lindsay)

Talking about her Christmas concerts, she adds: "I love the traditional carols that we have here in my beautiful South Yorkshire. Hundreds of these are sung across the county and I have been learning them since I was tiny, when we were taken to 'sings' by our parents. We would be in the tap room with the other kids, colouring and eating crisps but all the while the songs were seeping into our brains without us realising.

"A few years ago, I finally got it together to take some of the carols around the country showing them off to places less fortunate than South Yorkshire, to share them and to teach them to others. Here we are, years later… It gives me so much pleasure to re-visit a town, miles away from home and for the audience to remember a carol from the last time we visited and begin singing away at the top of their voices with the wild, wild abandon only found at Christmas. I love it."

Fans agree that there is no better way to kick-start the festive season than to attend a Kate Rusby Christmas concert!

Kate Rusby's December 2021 UK tour dates:

Dec 12: Harrogate Royal Hall;
Dec 14: Bradford St George's Hall;
Dec 15: Sheffield City Hall;
Dec 16: Forum Theatre, Malvern;
Dec 17: Sage, Gateshead;
Dec 19: Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham;
Dec 20: York Barbican;
Dec 21: Jolly Holly Wrap Livestream.

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Why? Look forward to Christmas with traditional tunes
When: Touring December 12 - 21, 2021
Phone: 01684 892277
Where: Forum Theatre, Malvern, and touring
Cost: £30 plus fees
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