Noddy Holder narrates Christmas concert in Islington
Few voices can be as synonymous with winter celebrations than that of Noddy Holder.
The song Merry Xmas Everybody that he recorded with his band Slade in 1973 is a festive phenomenon, selling millions of copies all over the world.
It’s still played everywhere every December and charted as recently as last year.
Fitting, then, that it will be his dulcet tones that narrate that most famous of yuletide yarns, A Christmas Carol at the Union Chapel, in Islington, on Wednesday.
This is no ordinary delivery, however. Blending storytelling, theatre and song, Charles Dickens’ timeless tale is re-imagined in the music business.
Eddie Scrooge is a mean-spirited record label boss who is sick to the back teeth with music.
The ghost of his dead partner, Jake Marley, visits him to warn him of the error of his ways, before three seasonal spirits showing his past, present and possible future, to try and rekindle his love of songs.
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A band belt out a selection of Christmas classics as Scrooge struggles to regain his seasonal cheer.
“It’s a modern take on the story –Scrooge in the music industry,” said Noddy. “It’s quite appropriate as I have known a few Scrooges during my career.
“I am telling the story with some fantastic musicians, but it is very stripped back. We want to create an atmosphere like we are all in a living room together having a few drinks.
“It’s the total opposite of the kind of show I’m used to doing, but I have been around a long time and I always want to try new things.
“I am a big fan of Dickens and thought it was the traditional story. I asked to see the script first and thought ‘this is good’. I am not promising just Christmas cheer though –don’t forget Scrooge is in there.”
So how does a man with such a Christmas pedigree spend the day itself?”
“We tend to loll in our pyjamas. I am the cook so I will make a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Its an open house really, so family and friends will come and go.
“We often get the music on and have a bit of dance, we will get the Christmas tunes on, but not any Slade. Not that I am sick of it or anything – I am really proud of it, but I never play my own songs.
“People thing that I walk around in my top hat saying “It’s Christmas” and they are a bit disappointed when I don’t.”