It’s The Spectator’s annual carol concert on Wednesday night, my favourite event of the year, and I’d like to extend a warm invitation to Coffee Housers. 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 not by drunken Rods but perhaps the best church choir in London (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 Rod Liddle, Melissa Kite, Andrew Neil, Clarissa Tan, Mary Killen (‘Dear Mary’) and yours truly. The tickets are £30, not a giveaway price to be sure, but it’s a fundraiser for Cancer Research UK, a cause which has special poignancy for us at The Spectator at the moment. 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.