Phil and friends return to Glasgow with their Christmas Songbook

Phil Cunningham's Christmas Songbook is an event you don't want to miss.
Phil Cunningham's Christmas Songbook is an event you don't want to miss.

Following the huge success and popularity of Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook over the last 10 years, he is delighted to announce they will be returning once again and this time taking to the road for six shows in Aberdeen, Perth, Stirling, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Teeming with jovial anecdotes, modern and traditional Christmas music, Phil makes these concerts appear as if they’re being held in your very own living room. The man has an uncanny ability to grab his audience by the arm and lead them along this festive pathway he has created - it all appears very personal, and it’s none the worse for that!

Phil will be joined by some of the finest musicians on the Scottish folk scene including: Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson, John McCusker, Kris Drever, Ian Carr and Kevin McGuire along with a special guest Brass Band.

Phil spoke exclusively to reporter John MacInnes, and, quite coincidentally, found they had a lot more in common than just traditional Scottish music. A love of photography and nature winds its way through their past as did clay pigeon shooting. Aye, it’s a small world indeed.

What can you say about Phil Cunningham, a superb innovative instrumentalist, with not simply the fastest fingers in the West but some of the most sensitive ones, too! He is fondly remembered from his days with Silly Wizard and Relativity and as witty musical partner of the great Shetland fiddler, Aly Bain.

Also widely recognised from his television and radio presenting, he has been involved in some of the seminal programmes that have enabled Scottish music to walk tall, a true ambassador for traditional music.

Phil is a raconteur, a humourist, his breezy banter can have a 2000-seat hall falling about in the aisles in minutes.

Commenting on the Christmas Songbook, Phil said: “This will be our 11th year of doing this and it’s one of the highlights of my year. I get to meet up with a lot of good friends, we have a great laugh, we play some tunes, there’s a bit of banter - OK, a lot of banter goes on, and even an odd dram gets consumed. But, as long as the audiences keep coming, I’ll keep doing it - I love it!

“There’s a generosity of music, kinship and spirit, and surely we should all be able to take a wee bit of time out of our fairly hectic schedules to chill out, relax and simply enjoy all that the festive season can offer. It’s been remarked on in the past that The Christmas Songbook is the perfect way to lead into some quality family time together over the holidays.”

Phil often keeps high company and no less is true for this year’s special Christmas gathering. A powerful mix of lead vocalists include the inimitable Eddi Reader, who has celebrated a career spanning over three decades and has effortlessly developed into one of popular music’s most thrilling and affecting performers. With an MBE for outstanding contributions to the arts, three BRIT awards, a number one single and eight critically acclaimed solo albums under her belt, Eddi is a true professiuonal who knows how to give the audience what they want.

Karen Matheson OBE, is recognised the world over as the haunting lead vocalist of Celtic supergroup, Capercaillie and one of the finest Gaelic singers in Scotland.

Kris Drever, the young Orcadian singer and guitarist is part of the backbone of today’s contemporary roots scene and is widely admired as a solo artist, collaborator, and member of folk superstars, Lau.

Also joining Phil are multi-instrumentalist, John McCusker, a hugely accomplished and versatile musician in any genre who has worked with artists as diverse as Mark Knopfler, Paul Weller and Patti Smith, Teenage Fanclub and Billy Connolly.

Ian Carr, who is best known for his original and eclectic approach to traditional music guitar has established an instantly recognisable sound that has influenced countless musicians.

And to top it all off, Kevin McGuire who is a highly sought after double bassist has performed with the likes of Karine Polwart and Kate Rusby.

Make sure to oil your vocal chords and bring the family along with you for a night out to remember!

Catch Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook on their forthcoming December tour:

Fri 16th Dec: STIRLING – The Albert Halls -

Sun 18th Dec: PERTH - Perth Concert Hall -

Mon 19th Dec: ABERDEEN – Beach Ballroom -

Tues 20th Dec: EDINBURGH - Queen’s Hall -

Wed 21st Dec: GLASGOW - Glasgow City Hall -

Thurs 22nd Dec: EDINBURGH - Queen’s Hall -