Advent Calendar Day 6

It’s Sunday, in case you hadn’t noticed: the days of the week tend to blend into each other in the Year of Covid, don’t they? I’m not particularly religious, but over the years I’ve been sharing Christmas songs I’ve tried to give you carols on Sundays. However, if you’re looking for angelic choristers with treble voices, I’m afraid I’m about to disappoint you. Today’s two songs are both fairly recent versions of traditional carols, done in markedly different ways.

The first one is fronted by a singer of whom I’ve long been a fan:

Maddy Prior has been a part of the English folk music scene since the late Sixties, and was a founder member of Steeleye Span, one of the two bands (with Fairport Convention) at the forefront of the development of our folk-rock tradition. She is still in the band but each Christmas – apart from this year, for obvious reasons – she has also been with the Carnival Band, who do a series of gigs putting their own slant on traditional carols. This is a typical example: they have a lot of fun doing these shows, and from the roar at the end it seems our typically stuffy British audiences enjoy them too! As a side note, the fiddle player is Giles Lewin, who was a founder member of Bellowhead: I featured them on Day 4.

I recently reblogged a post from 2019, Under The Covers, in which I gave you examples of exceptionally good cover versions of some of my favourite songs. One of the bands I featured in that was Foxes And Fossils, who have become something of a YouTube success in the past few years. They originally shared videos of live performances but in the past year or so, even before the pandemic started, they have concentrated on studio recordings. Over the years there have been three ‘Foxes,’ though only two at a time, but the studio versions have enabled them to include all three. Last December they shared their version of a carol:

If you don’t think that is lovely, then I’m afraid you might need to get your hearing checked! Tastefully understated playing, and beautiful vocals. A couple of their videos have recently passed the 3m views mark, and they have been gaining new subscribers to their YouTube channel at a rate of knots. Not band for a semi-pro band, really! They have a growing collection of videos and if you like good music I can highly recommend visiting them on YouTube.

I’m having difficulty restraining myself with my image of the day: many of those I’ve collected over the years are a little (or a lot) risqué, and I wouldn’t want you to think any worse of me than you probably already do. Especially as it’s Sunday, a vaguely religious one for you:

I hope you have a peaceful and enjoyable day, and I’ll see you again tomorrow.