Join a torch-lit procession and glorious Mediaeval merriment as the Mediaeval Baebes’ Christmas concert weaves story-telling magic with music, dance, carols, folksong and theatre on Monday 18th December.
The procession culminates at St Mary’s church and exalting the true spirit of Christmas once again, once inside the Mediaeval Baebes will showcase well-known Christmas carols and traditional folk songs, alongside tracks from their latest seasonal album ‘MydWynter.’ And, with captivating storytelling uncovering the origins and folklore hidden in the lyrics, the spirited choral music will also include innovative settings of ancient and romantic poetry.
If you haven’t come across the Mediaeval Baebes before, they are one of the most successful female-led, early music and folk ensembles in Europe. Their music can be described as an experience like no other! They formed in 1996, and their first gig was in a derelict church. They handed out flyers and lit the way with tea lights. Gig goers had to climb through a hole in the fence to get there.
It was all part of their slightly irreverent, slightly Gothicesque adventure-seeking back then which also included breaking into Boudicca’s Grave (a fenced-off area of Hampstead Heath) and playing in the full wrath of a thunderstorm. But don’t be fooled by these antics, because as a band they are unbelievably talented and successful.
As a group, they’ve produced 11 studio albums, won an Ivor Novella Award for their performance on the BBC serialisation “The Virgin Queen” and received two Emmy nominations and a Royal Television Society award as the featured artist alongside composer Martin Phipps for the theme tune of ITV’s hit TV show “Victoria”. But that still doesn’t really do them justice. Because they are, quite simply, unique.
Their music is hard to sum up. Their genre is best described as a mixture of Medieval and folk music that is haunting, romantic, ethereal, evocative, emotive, spellbinding and utterly atmospheric. It quite simply lifts you from wherever you are and transports you back through the centuries to another time and place like almost no other experience.
Katherine Blake is a founding member, as well as a singer, and musical director of the group. She writes most of the material and she simply oozes with energy and a sense of fun and charm. When I caught up with her I wanted to know more about her how and her why.
“When I’m writing new material, I’ve got a large library of ancient poetry books and I scroll through them until something catches my eye. Working in an ancient language such as Medieval Spanish, Italian or Welsh adds something – a touch of mystery, depth of character. I work with a specialist in whatever language I’m writing in. Ancient texts have something fantastical about them too, a mixture of mythology, romance and history which make them compelling – a bit like the Game of Thrones, it just draws you in. It’s a period in time that was dark, philosophical and yet romantic too.”
The Procession starts from The Causeway in Horsham at 6.55 pm. You can book tickets here: https://www.mediaevalbaebes.com/live