“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” (… for live music that is!)
It’s better to read this and hear it in Andy Williams’ voice than be present with me whilst singing it in the office, trust me. Have you got the song in your head? Are you swaying and thinking of fun festive frolics? Good then we can crack on with what has been happening the past few weeks around this Oh-So Christmassy city of Cambridge.
You were probably wondering where everyone was on Saturday 6th December. You may have been walking around the Market Square seeing no familiar faces, just all tourists. Well my pedigree chums they were on the other side of town at the annual Mill Road Christmas Fayre. The atmosphere was not too dissimilar to The Grinch’s Whoville, but with a tad more tipples of our favourite mulled drinks. Everyone who’s everyone was strolling down the blocked off streets enjoying everything The Mill Road Fayre had to offer. All of our favourite Brick Lane-esque shops had turned their establishments inside out to provide the punters with an eclectic mix of food and bric-a-bracs from all around the world. If that isn’t enough for you they had a massive array of different foods in their own little food market.
Are you a Jazz fan? How about Classical? Maybe some hip-swaying salsa music? With busking stages located within 4 minute walks between one and another, you had more music choice than a 90’s pub jukebox. One of the closing bands before the punters got run over by the beeping taxis were The Gravy Train… or should I say the Groovy train. See what I did there? Although by this time the sun had set and unless you had a mulled wine or cider in your hands you were likely to freeze, the Gravy Train still ploughed through their set flawlessly. Ian Griffith was more than happy to be as energetic as possible to keep the tight tunes together whilst sitting in only his t-shirt at +1 °. They constantly play their funk fusions around the city so follow and listen!
If you weren’t all danced out from the Mill Road Christmas Fayre, the Corn Exchange managed to host a fantabulous choral treat on Sunday evening, The Dowsing For Sound Christmas Cocktail. My musical accomplice and volunteer at the Dosoco Foundation managed to receive an invite sitting very close to the front, which meant we were blasted by a wall of sound when the first harmonious chord hit. More than a hundred voices shot through the nervous systems of a full house in the audience with goose pimples all around and instant smiles on faces. With well-known tracks from Mumford and Sons, Sigor Ross and The Proclaimers there was no wonder the crowds formed a rocking conga line to 500 Miles. Their encore of Fairytale of New York caused a Mexican wave of standing ovations throughout the whole of the Corn Exchange, which must have made Andrea Cockerton proud to be a part of such a successful music group. All this with La Raza’s team of Cocktail Shakers providing winter treats for all that attended. Now I have been to a many diverse musical spectacles this year including Strawberry Fair, Cambridge Folk Festival and Oxford’s (boooo) Wilderness Festival but nothing could compare to the emotions I felt by being a part of The Dowsing For Sound Christmas Cocktail. Please be aware of the Dosoco Charity, for more information please click here. Well done to all involved and for anyone who couldn’t attend, please keep an eye out for future gigs.
Talking about cocktails, you all know we have been plugging our very special Winter Warmer Tours with Slankets & Hot Chocolates, which have proven to be very popular this year, well… We had a few requests of Mulled Wine to be provided. Now this is a very well-known festive drink but as you are getting the Hot Chocolates as an added bonus here are some hot chocolate cocktails to think about to make your family occasion or work outings a little more interesting (over 18’s only, obviously):
Terry’s Chocolate Orange: Contreau & Hot Chocolate
After Eight Mints: Peppermint Schnapps & Hot Chocolate
An Irish Treat: Baileys & Hot Chocolate
The Nutella Nicety: Frangelico & Hot Chocolate
As we draw to close of this blog and the days before for Christmas, I’d just like to welcome back some of your favourite chauffeurs from the summer. They have been working hard at university and are now back to join us in some Christmas sing-a-longs to celebrate another fantastic year for Let’s Go Punting. Simon and Caroline have worked very hard to make Let’s Go Punting the most respectable and customer focused punting company in Cambridge, as recognised by Tripadvisor (Certificate of Excellence 2014) so a big well done to them. We’ll be sure to let Santa know how good they have been, maybe a cheeky Sonos system for Simon might come along as wished for. Caroline’s happy to make space at home for the new baby, so our new tourist shop is just a part of her Christmas present.
Right my lovelies, this is it from me (Mister E) until the New Year. We hope to see you down The Punter Pub for Carols In The Courtyard! on Christmas Eve from 7pm to join many familiar faces. Enjoy the munch of their very own German market plus musical treats from ‘The Faun & The Folk’ and of course your merry selves.
In the cute words of Tiny Tim, “Where’s my NHS funding? Im sick of this crutch!!”
Or Shakin’ Stevens…
“Merry Christmas, everyone!”