Cerys By Candlelight

Published: 6 Dec 2012 05:300 comments

Christmas is coming, the first hint of snow is in the air, and thoughts are turning to tinsel, carols, roaring fires and family celebrations. Musician and BBC 6Music presenter Cerys Matthews is perhaps the ultimate fan of the festive season, and now the former Catatonia frontwoman wants to share her dream Christmas experience with you, through her new touri, Cerys By Candlelight.

The show will be an exploration of traditional songs and carols, in a magical candlelit setting, as Cerys explained: "I love this time of year, I love it when the nights draw in and I love candles and real fires. I love the old stuff, the crackers and the silly jokes and the hats you have to wear and lighting the Christmas pudding. The traditional Christmas that we always dream of. It's a season so full of hope and also renewal, with the new year, I want to celebrate it, and celebrate it in the company of good people.

"It goes very well with the kind of night I will be trying to create, with a lot of singing but a lot of history behind the songs too. There is a lot of amazing history behind the songs, some of it is very bloody and gory and tragic - they have amazing stories. They may start in Scotland or England but they travel over to other places, particularly to America.

"I have been wanting to do this for ages - just go out on the road on my own with my guitar and banjo and harmonica and a mountain of poetry books, and books in general."

The tour ties in Cerys new album, Baby It's Cold Outside (a nod to her 1998 duet with Tom Jones), which includes her own versions of traditional ditties including Jingle Bells, Deck The Halls, O Tannenbaum and The Little Drummer Boy.

"I just love the idea that you get the family together round the piano and sing carols at Christmas," Cerys told The Guide. "I was the one who was forced to play carols at Christmas and I played them so badly, because I was a child. So it's nice to go into the studio and go back to the classics, to present them quite simply. They are brilliant, brilliant songs, the lyrics are amazing. I did not realise I would fall in love with them as much as I have done! The show is for children but also for people who are still children [at heart]!"

Cerys By Candlelight is at Arlington Arts Centre, Newbury, on Saturday, at 8pm, Tickets cost £23.50. To book, visit www.arlingtonarts.co.uk or call 01635 244246.

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