By Peter Hendra
The holiday season is a special time of the year for many, but it is especially so for The Good Lovelies.
That’s because it means the Juno award-winning trio of Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Susan Passmore will be hitting the road for their annual Christmas tour, which arrives at London’s Aeolian Hall Monday for a sold-out show.
“We’ve done Christmas as long as our band has been together,” said Brooks.
“Our first show [in 2006] was right around Christmastime, so we did some Christmas music that very first show. A big formative Christmas experience was, of course, the Vinyl Cafe Christmas tour in 2013. And that was a really amazing experience that also started at the end of November. So if we’re going to take cues from the best, well, Vinyl Cafe knew how to do Christmas.”
Brooks figures that part of the enduring appeal of their show is how the Lovelies’three-part, Andrews Sisters-esque harmonies complement those holiday favourites. Each of them has a background in choral music, and, combined, they’re like a “mini choir.”
“It’s like the singalong aspect of Christmas is pretty top of mind for people,” she suggested. “I think it’s a big way for people to experience Christmas is through the music.”
In addition to performing some Christmas favourites and originals – as the trio did on their 2009 record, Under the Mistletoe – the band will also perform some lesser-known Christmas songs and some of their own, better-known material.
“We add two new songs per year. We also mix in our originals,” Brooks said. “So we’re doing a lot of original Christmas music, original Good Lovelies music, too. We have this full mix. The show is varied; there’s a lot there. It’s not like we’re doing ‘Jingle Bells'[every other song].”
She paused. “Actually, we are doing ‘Jingle Bells,’” she laughed.
The Lovelies will also be blending in tracks from their newest record, Shapeshifters, which they released and toured earlier this year.
“The Christmas spirit of what we’re doing does sort of match our own playfulness on the new record, and also there’s some depth of emotion on the new record that I think really suits the feel of Christmas,” Brooks said.
The song “I See Gold,” for example, is about trying to see the light in the darkness, which is how some feel during the holiday season.
“I don’t think it’s a far stretch, and I think it gives a little break during the show from this sort of holiday feel,” Brooks feels. “And it’s super fun for us, too.”
One of the rewarding things about doing an annual holiday show for more than a decade, Brooks feels, is seeing the same people and families return year after year. Another is how audience members come up to them at the end of the show and express their gratitude for keeping their minds off their troubles, at least for a couple of hours.
“There’s a lot of turmoil right now,” Brooks said, “and I think music is going to get us through a lot of it.”
The Kingston Whig-Standard
IF YOU GO
What: The Good Lovelies annual Christmas tour.
When: Monday, 8 p.m.
Where: Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas St.
Tickets: Sold out, but tickets, if any become available, are $37.50 in advance, $42.50 at the door, available at the box office, online at aeolianhall.ca, or by calling 519-672-7950.
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