Wintry specials with guitar virtuoso Richard Durrant

Richard
Richard

From the oldest song in the Oxford Book of Carols to Fairytale of New York on ukulele, Shoreham-based guitar virtuoso Richard Durrant will be offering the Ropetackle a triple dose of Christmas on his Candlelit Christmas tour.

Richard will be performing at the venue on Friday, December 2 at 8pm.

He will then be returning for two more shows on Saturday, December 17.

Richard is also playing All Saints Church, Cissbury Drive, Findon Valley on December 22 at 7.30pm.

It all adds up to a Christmas tradition with plenty of musical midwinter charm and a programme featuring Renaissance, Christian, pagan and folk music, plus Richard’s own tunes. Richard’s delight is that his wintry happenings will be a million miles from the more commercial aspects of Christmas. You certainly won’t be getting White Christmas here, Richard pledges. The schmaltzy, Americanised 50-style Christmas is anathema to him.

Instead, he will be offering purer pleasures.

Amongst the wintry solos Richard is joined by his special guests: Amy Kakoura, a singer with Greek/Irish roots and Nick Pynn, composer, multi-instrumentalist and one of Britain’s greatest folk fiddlers.

“It’s that time of year when it is all about introspection and family and community at the end of the year, a time when you look back,” Richard said. “It’s like the whole world closes up as the nights close in. I love doing it. I am so chuffed that these Christmas tours have become such a big thing for me.”

Richard will be drawing on his Christmas albums A Quiet Word from the 13th Century and Christmas Guitars, which are available online and to buy at venues on the tour.

“A Quiet Word was quite folky. That’s one of the reasons I got Nick in. He is one of the best players in the country.

“And with Amy, this will be the first time it will be the three of us. She is an amazing singer. I have played with Nick going back 20-25 years on various occasions. He is exactly the same age and we get on great. I have known him for a long time. We have played a lot of folk music together over the years. It’s lovely to be performing with a musician you feel such affinity with. I just love the way he plays folk music. When he picks up his fiddle, it just fits in with my guitar. It’s very, very beautiful. We play a lot of music from the British Isles, and it very much feels like home. I think I am at heart a folkie. When we play folk music, it feels like I have crawled back into the womb. Folk music is in my DNA. It just feels very, very appropriate to be playing it.”

Together they will be offering something wintrily paganistic.

“There will be quite a lot of early music. Some of that will be solo – a big chunk of the show is just me on my own. And there are some early carols, including the oldest carol in the Oxford Carol Book. It is just so beautiful. There is no harmony. It is just a unison line, and Amy has got a wonderful folk voice, but also a wonderful early-music voice that is just so right. It’s a very stark, a very wintry piece.

“I was introduced to Amy three and a half years ago when I recorded my first Christmas album. I had written some songs and needed to find a female singer with just the right folky vibe and early-music vibe, which is quite unusual. I searched around, and somebody recommended Amy. I listened to some demos, and I immediately knew that she was the one.”

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