MADDY PRIOR (The Queen of Folk Music) joins up once again with the Carnival Band during the Festive Season for their unique celebratory show “Carols & Capers”. 

Together, they 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. 

The combination guarantees a Christmas Party to remember at Carmarthen’s Lyric Theatre on Sunday, December 19.

Of all the festive traditions, few have stood the test of time better than the Christmas carol. Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band know this more than most, having been inspired by the music of Christmas for the past twenty-five years.

The very best of these have been brought together on one album now and for the first time. “The Best Of Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band” collects twenty-two tracks from across their career.

Along the way, you will find a mixture of the familiar and the less well known, all presented in a most unique style.

The singer and players guide us to beautiful places with extensive experience in folk, medieval, world, and classical music between them.

Telling the Christmas story in a variety of ways, the likes of “I Saw Three Ships.” ‘While Shepherds Watched’, ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ and ‘The Holly Ivy’ are revealed as versatile, striking pieces of music with words to match.

Maddy Prior told us how she got together with the Carnival Band

“It was in the early ’80s. The BBC had asked the Carnival Band to play on the programme “Pause for Thought”. This was an early morning slot each morning for five minutes.

“Towards Christmas, The Carnival Band were asked to play a carol a day for five days.

The producer John Forrest knew of me from Steeleye and suggested that I would be ideal for The Carnival Band.

“I was asked to sing “Angels from The Realms of Glory”. It was incredibly high and incredibly fast; it intrigued me, it was great.

“I sang with them that year, then the next and has done so ever since. We decided to record an album and follow that up with a tour. That was over 30 years ago now”.

Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band – Ding Dong Merrily on High

We asked what makes appearing with the Carnival Band special.

“They are all very skilled, mainly classically trained, musicians.  They come from a different way of playing to Steeleye or myself.

“It makes for a very interesting way of working.  I am a slow learner, and it takes me time to feel comfortable with a song, but once it all came together it was special”.

And what makes Christmas special for Maddy Prior?

“Like for everyone, it is about family and a particular atmosphere at that time of year. I always tour right up until Christmas, so I go to another member of the family’s house these days.

“Now the celebrations are for my grandchildren, notably for my 4-year-old grandson.  This year he will begin to understand what it is all about, which is very exciting”.

Celebrating Christmas after a long pre-Christmas tour must be tricky. How does Maddy Prior go about that?

“With family, but I also run a Christmas Weekend at Stones Barn between Christmas and New Year.  It is a course for people who love to sing.

“Some stay here, some locally and we all sing mainly less well-known carols, feast and generally have a great time”.

And a favourite carol?

“Angels from The Realms of Glory” is one of the most energetic carols, and the Carnival Band performs a fantastic arrangement. The lovely “Angel Gabriel” is also beautifully arranged.”

To book your tickets, ring the Box Office: 0845 226 3509 or visit https://www.theatrausirgar.co.uk/