The nights are drawing in, and mini santas are already in the shops. For Coffee Housers who do their Christmas planning early, I’d like to extend an invitation: to The Spectator’s annual carol concert on 11 December – my favourite event of the year. Details are here. If you’re into London’s gorgeous Wren churches and Rutter-style choral arrangements then it’s a must. We serve up mulled wine and mince pies afterwards, then adjourn to the pub.
When I first joined The Spectator this was just advertised as an evening of carol singing. “You can rely on The Spectator to be in good voice!” ran the advert. It seemed odd to me: why would anyone want to get in a pew and belt out “O Little Child of Bethlehem” next to journalists, no matter how well they wrote? I hadn’t worked out, then, that St Bride’s church looks like this…
Nor did I twig that the music was sung by perhaps the best church choir in London (in picture, above). Here, for example, is a clip from Choir of St Bride’s arrangement of Little Town of Bethlehem:-
They also do a genius arrangement of the 12 Days of Christmas. Here’s the 7th day:-
They also have this Scottish-mocking vibe going on with the 9th day (ie, the pipers piping) which I’m certainly not going to share with you. The readings are from Spectator staff including Rod Liddle, Andrew Neil, Mary Killen (‘Dear Mary’) and yours truly. For subscribers, the tickets are £30 – not a giveaway price to be sure, but it’s a fundraiser for Cancer Research UK. To reserve your ticket, call our events team on 020 7961 0044. All Coffee House baristas will be there, so if you can make it, do come and say hi.