Award winning singer brings Christmas tour to St Helens church

Gareth Davies-Jones
Gareth Davies-Jones

A Sony Radio award winning singer/songwriter will bring his annual ‘Christmas Acoustic Tour’ to St Helens in December.

Hailed as “one of UK music’s best kept secrets” by Properganda Magazine, Gareth Davies-Jones is a seasoned professional following 15 years as a recording and touring musician.

The concert will be held at St John’s Church on Crossley Road in Ravenhead on Wednesday, December 11, starting at 7:30pm

His music has earned him airplay on BBC radio and television, positive reviews and writing commissions from The Mining Institute in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

His lyrics are laced with references to the aesthetics of his native Ulster and adopted home in Northumberland, but Gareth finds a particular interest in the musical traditions of Christmas.

“I am constantly inspired by the many different ways that all round the world, the Christmas story is drawn down into the local tradition,” says Gareth, adding “Its message of new birth, hope and reconciliation can be understood by setting it against the backdrop of our everyday, our landscape, our seasons, even our weather.”

It was this perspective that has brought Gareth to tour the UK each December for the past decade – recording two albums of Christmas material along the way – placing before his audiences something of the musical traditions of the season and how they came to be part of our annual customs.

“I’m trying to create a simple musical retreat - a space away from the hustle, bustle and busy of what Christmas might have become, but what it was never meant to be,” Gareth explains, “with a variety of instruments and a selection of stories and anecdotes, you’ll be taken on a journey through some of my favourite songs and carols of Advent and Christmas.”

The concert will be held at St John’s Church on Crossley Road in Ravenhead and, for the church, this Christmas holds a special significance.

“In December 2019, we’re celebrating our church’s 150th anniversary,” says concert organiser Paul Henry.

“This concert comes just over two weeks before the anniversary date itself and we’ve been holding special events throughout the year to mark the occasion.

“Gareth’s concert is a wonderful way to approach both the Christmas season and the building’s anniversary. It will be ideal for anybody who wants to escape the bedlam of the run-up to Christmas Day for a couple of hours and reconnect with the songs, stories and traditions that make this time of year special.”

As part of the concert, Gareth will present many of the traditional Christmas carols that have been sung throughout the centuries, while adding his own seasonal compositions and melodies.

They will be interweaved with what R2 Magazine described as Gareth’s “rich, soulful vocals, a fine ear for melodyand masterful acoustic guitar playing,” to produce a family-friendly evening of Christmas music.

The concert will take place on Wednesday, December 11, starting at 7:30pm with the doors opening at 7pm.

More information and tickets (£3 each) are available from www.sjr150.org.uk, email gdj@sjr150.org.uk, or by telephone on 07877 784589. Any remaining tickets will be available

on the door. Refreshments will be served during an interval and Gareth’s CDs will be on sale during the evening.