Eliza Carthy* & Jon Boden** join forces to release their first duo album and launch their first UK duo tour, Glad Christmas Comes is a collection of some of their favourite traditional and modern festive songs. The album will be toured throughout the UK in November and December 2023.
Glad Christmas Comes was recorded in Sheffield earlier this year, it features songs with Waterson:Carthy luminaries Emily Portman (The Furrow Collective) & Tim van Eyken (War Horse), Morris dancing from Ewan Wardrop, Brass from Yorkshire’s own Backstage Brass and was produced by long-time collaborator Andy Bell.
The album features traditional Sheffield carols Mount Zion and The Holly & The Ivy from Jon’s local pub ‘The Royal’ in Dungworth, Winter Grace, suggested to Eliza & Jon by Eliza’s Mum Norma whilst they rehearsed in the living room, a version of the Stanley Brothers ‘Beautiful Star, a folky version of the Pogues’ Fairy-tale of New York featuring Morris dancing and a Christmas Hippopotamus even gets a look in!
‘Christmas in the Carthy and Boden households is a serious business. Comfort is sacrificed to ramming them chock-full of as much greenery / bling / tat as is humanly possible. Often our respective children are forced to camp outside for the duration so that their bedrooms can be given over to mechanical nodding reindeer, life size inflatable Santa’s and industrial mince pie production facilities.
Official carol-singing season chez Carthy and chez Boden is, of course, Sep 1st to Feb 1st and within that timeframe any other material is frowned upon.
There are some who believe that the full weight of the human need to mark the passing of the seasons with a series of regular customs throughout the year, has been overly focused in modern times upon the single folk custom of Christmas to the great detriment of the broader customary calendar and leading to the cultural overburdening of the Christmas ritual.
To this we say…. baubles. Bring it on. The more Christmas the better. In fact having launched (due to Covid rescheduling) our Christmas show in July at the Union Chapel Islington, we strongly urge the adoption of a second “hot” Christmas so that all artificial constraints can be removed and life can at last become one long Yuletide bonanza.
With this in mind we decided that we should try to translate our Christmas obsessions to disc form. We hope it may bring you much seasonal joy and festival merriment.’
*Eliza Carthy is one of the most recognisable faces in British folk. She has received an MBE; numerous BBC R2 Folk Awards; two Mercury Prize nominations; was the first English traditional musician to be nominated for a BBC R3 Award for World Music, and in 2021 became President of the English Folk Dance & Song Society. Born into a formidable musical dynasty, her mother Norma was one of The Watersons and her father Martin Carthy is a hugely influential singer and guitarist, the incredible range of traditional and contemporary musicians who were part of the extended Waterson/Carthy world helped her develop her own unique approach to music.
**Jon Boden has become a stand out performer of his generation of traditional folk artists, but one whose repertoire extends far beyond the boundaries of the genre. Most recognisably he is the lead singer (and one of the principal arrangers) of the multi-award winning Bellowhead one of the most exciting live acts of recent years. Since 2009 he has also performed with his own band The Remnant Kings, performing both traditional folk music and Jon’s own work featured across a trio of post-oil concept albums.
Glad Christmas Comes is released on Hudson Records on 24/11/23 on CD, double Blue LP vinyl and all digital platforms. The first single ‘Beautiful Star’ featuring Emily Portman & Tim van Eyken and the album pre-order launch is on 27/10/23.
Catch them live on the following dates:
9/11 Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
11/11 Playhouse, Oxford
22/11 Huntingdon Hall, Worcester
23/11 St George’s, Bristol
24/11 The Haymarket, Basingstoke
25/11 Revelation, Ashford
26/11 Stables, Milton Keynes
27/11 The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
7/12 Brewery Arts, Kendal
8/12 Stoller Hall, Manchester
9/12 Philharmonic, Liverpool
10/12 Pavilion Theatre, Whitby
11/12 Halifax Minster, Halifax
12/12 Cadogan Hall, London
21/12 The Fire Station, Sunderland
22/12 Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh