Living Advent Calendar Doors 5-8: Blues, Cabaret, The Archers & Yodelling!

5 Dec – Ma Bessie Goes Down by the Riverside

Classic blues and jazz by Ma Bessie and Her Pigfoot band were the surprise act at The Angel on the Bridge on day 5 of the Living Advent Calendar.  Julia Titus and Matt Foste performed a fun set of some 30’s blues, Elvis, Nina Simone and some festive classics, finishing aptly on “Down By The Riverside”.

Richard Rodway from the Living Advent Calendar said, “I am again delighted to be able to bring such a quality new local act to the event” said organiser Richard Rodway. When Matt got in touch following their 5 star reviews at the Reading Fringe I was really impressed with their repertoire and had to find a good fit somewhere”. “They did so well despite the freezing temperatures!”.

The audience enjoyed Copas turkey baps and winter Pimms supplied the hosts and the evening was raising money for Headway Thames Valley.

6 Dec – Baroness Maria Performs Hilarious Christmas Cabaret

Maria “The Baroness” Hackemann, brought her hilarious vintage-style cabaret show to Hotel du Vin on Tuesday.  She was making her third appearance at the Living Advent Calendar. Maria not only has a great voice but she mixes her fluent German with English with such ease. She joked with the audience about learning some German after the Brexit vote, “You might like to visit, they’re taking anyone these days!”  Maria got the audience moving, quite literally, when she asked for a few audience members to come and help her with certain performances, including a rather unique Tango.

The evening was raising money for the Henley Festival.

7 Dec – Christmas Carol by The Archers

Day 6 of the Living Advent Calendar was sponsored by the Henley Literary Festival and saw local actors Simon Williams and wife Lucy Fleming, both who have featured in the Archers read an extract of Charles Dicken’s classic, The Christmas Carol on board the New Orleans, Hobbs of Henley Boat.

Afterwards, local musician Laurence Beveridge led the singing of Silent Night and We Wish you a Merry Christmas.

The Chocolate cafe supplied delicious mince pies and the hosts, Hobbs of Henley provided Mulled Wine.

The evening was raising money for the Chiltern Centre for Disabled Children.

“Just when we think there can’t be a more idyllic setting or special Living Advent occasion, this happens” beamed event organiser Richard Rodway. “It’s great to be back on the New Orleans, and for the weather to be kind enough to allow us to go open air for the first time is just fantastic since it does just give the event that extra festive look and feel, and sense of special moment”.

8 Dec – Yodelling Affair

The Living Advent Calendar went back to its roots last night at Swedish Bank, Handlesbanken offices in Greys Road car park.  This was the first time the venue had been used and Richard Rodway from the Living Advent Calendar reminded the audience that in 2011, the then chair of the Henley Business Partnership, Julie Perigo brought the idea back from Sweden.

The surprise act was mother and son Lynne Butler and George Campbell who opened with Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker and went on to include Dedicated Follower of Fashion, Hotel Yorba by the White Stripes and Hallelujah before singing a German drinking song during which Lynne got yodelling!  This was their second performance together, the last being 5 years ago.

They finished their set with Shakin Stevens, Merry Christmas Everyone and Slades’ classic We Wish you a Merry Christmas which the crowd joined along to.

The refreshments were provided by Pachangas, Mexican restaurant and the evening was raising money for Camp Mohawk.

Hotel du Vin Website

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