GreenMatthews and Jude Rees will be taking us on a whistlestop tour through 600 years of festive music history on Sunday 28th November with A Brief History of Christmas. We caught up with them to find out more about their passion for music history and what they’ve got in store for us!
We’re really looking forward to A Brief History of Christmas! For anyone who hasn’t come along before, what can they expect?
There will be a variety of modern and ancient instruments, some familiar songs and some more obscure ones, a ton of cracking tunes and a general air of not taking the whole thing too seriously!
You’ll be covering a whopping 600 years of festive music history – what are your own favourite musical periods from across that time?
We waver between the Renaissance and the Victorian. The Renaissance because of all the exciting musical developments that are taking place – the Victorian because they have all the best carols!
You play a really wide range of instruments between you – which do you enjoy playing the most?
Chris: Mandocello. It’s my go-to instrument when I don’t know what to play on a song – it’s been described as my third arm!
Sophie: My English border bagpipes.
What inspired you to have an historical element to your shows?
It’s always mystified us how folk musicians can play traditional music and NOT be interested in the historical context of the songs and tunes they play. To us, you can’t really have one without the other!
It’s been a hugely tough time for musicians over the last couple of years – what did you get up to when you weren’t able to tour?
Like a lot of musicians, we moved a lot of stuff online – thanks in no small part to Live to your Living Room and others. Sophie also did online lectures for The Arts Society on Music in Art and Chris composed a new score to the silent film Nosferatu. It’s surprising how productive you can be when all the pubs are shut…
How have you found the shift to online gigs?
Initially we were concerned that it wouldn’t be as good as live gigs, but we quickly realised that they’re two entirely different things and it takes a different performance style for each medium – a bit like theatre and film. As far as we’re concerned, they’re here to stay!
What’s next for GreenMatthews?
We hit the road with our Christmas tour – we’re on the road from 2nd December with 20 live dates across England. Full details at www.greenmatthews.co.uk/christmas.
GreenMatthews: A Brief History of Christmas takes place on Sunday 28th November at 8pm GMT. Tickets are available here!