Review Archive

‘A Christmas Caper: The Best Of…’ from Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band.

(December 10, 2012)

The main reason I enjoy Christmas isn’t so much for the presents or supposed ‘festive’ cheer (bah, Maddy Prior Christmashumbug!) but to hear the carols and songs performed at this time of year – cue ‘A Christmas Caper: The Best Of…’ from Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band. 

Increasingly, unfortunately carols are being pushed to one side but at least they have more longevity than say the excruciatingly painful ‘Mr Blobby’ which charted in 1993. I always remember visiting the local old peoples’ home (remember those?) bedecked in scarf and gloves singing for all I was worth with the junior church choir with the promise of blackcurrant juice and biscuits at the end of the night including rousing choruses of the most popular standards such as ‘I Saw Three Ships’, ‘God Rest You Merry Gentlemen’ and the a-pealing (sorry, couldn’t resist it) ‘Ding Dong Merrily On High’ all of which appear on this impressive twenty-two track album celebrating twenty-five years of mutual admiration between Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band.

There are moments on the recording that surprise including the gently drum-brushed, recorder (the instrument that is) led ‘Monsieur Charpentier’s Christmas Swing’ and although it’s rare for me to be torn between two festive offerings I think ‘A Christmas Caper’ just pips ‘Now That’s What I Call Christmas’ to the post.

‘A Christmas Caper: The Best Of…’  from Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band is a seasonal must have and a great stocking filler.

Reviewer: Pete Fyfe

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