Janice Burns & Jon Doran will be treating us to a cosy evening of some of their favourite winter folk songs on 15th December. We caught up with them to find out more about what’s in store, how they choose their seasonal songs and what they like most about this time of year.
It’s so great to have you back at Live to your Living Room again! What do you have in store for us this time?
Every winter, we go on the hunt for traditional winter songs to arrange and sing. We’ll be performing these festive songs for you, alongside some old favourites from our EP, and a few new ones that we plan to record in March for our debut album.
Festive gigs seem to be something of a tradition for you! What do you enjoy about gigging at this time of year?
We actually hate winter – it’s cold and dark, but the songs help us get through it. We’re also fans of knitted jumpers, hot beverages and anything that makes you feel cosy!
How did you go about choosing your seasonal songs?
We find our songs through a number of sources – memories from childhood christmases, CDs, books, broadsides, archives and so on. We usually play through a few until we find one that inspires us. Alcohol is sometimes involved in the decision-making process too!
What’s your favourite festive folk song of all time?
Ooh, that’s a hard one. I’d say between the two of us, we think Tim Van Eyken’s version of The Twelve Joys of Mary is an absolute corker, although it’s not actually on a Christmas album and technically talks more generally about the life of Jesus until the ascension. We like the pots and pans.
What are your favourite Christmas traditions?
Those parties we had at 10 Downing Street were mega!
Janice: My parents used to have a party every year starting in the early afternoon and continuing into the wee hours, which consisted of lighting a fire, drinking lots of mulled wine and eating mince pies. The idea was that anyone could drop in at whatever time suited them for however long they liked. That was always a highlight for me.
Jon: I love a good walk on Christmas morning. We used to pick my grandparents up on the way, then have christmas dinner together at my parents’ house.
Mulled wine or Baileys?
Janice: Mulled wine! Or mulled cider if there’s any going.
Mince pie or Christmas pud?
Jon: I prefer meringue at Christmas. Is that weird?
What’s in store for you next year?
We’re starting our year at the beautiful Halsway Manor for a few days to make some new music, then we’ll be heading up to Glasgow for some gigs at Celtic Connections. In March, we’ll be further up north, recording our new album in the West Highlands with Andy Bell, then playing some gigs and festivals through the spring and summer. Finally, our album release tour is planned for November. We’re really looking forward to it and hope to see some of you there!
Janice Burns & Jon Doran: Winter Folksong is on Wednesday 15th December at 8pm GMT. Book your ticket here, and we’ll see you soon!