Harrogate Royal Hall
Forget mince pies. Forget mistletoe. If you yearn to be plunged into a Christmassy mood, go to see Kate Rusby. Her show sparkles with magic and an achingly bittersweet sense of Christmasses past. She sings the carols of South Yorkshire, still chorused in pubs like the Royal Hotel in Dungworth on frosty evenings between Armistice Day and Christmas Eve, with her own unique melodic style.
Accompanied by a brass section, Rubsy’s pure voice conjures up the spirit of those South Yorkshire folk – chucked out of church for singing too loud – belting out their words fit to raise the rafters of the pub roof. Harrogate’s Royal Hall remains intact, but there was a seriously well-earned standing ovation to the encore of Sweet Bells that might well have knocked off a few bits of plaster tonight.