SORRY to be mentioning Christmas in springtime, but Barnsley folk nightingale Kate Rusby has announced she will return to Yor k Barbican on December 18 with her annual Advent offering of Yorkshire carols.

“When all the world is nesh, nights are dark and telly schedules are stacked up with seasonal specials old and new, there’s only one seasonal speciality to see you through Advent: the Christmas songs of Kate Rusby,” says the Barbican. “With over a decade of Christmas music under her belt, along with numerous mince pies and mugs of Yorkshire Tea, Santa couldn’t ask for a better little helper to get children and grown-up kids alike into the festive spirit.”

Rusby’s Christmas concerts perpetuate the tradition of Yorkshire carols, with each show evoking the spirit of a crowded pub singalong, as still happens each Yuletide in the hostelries of South Yorkshire and northern Derbyshire on Sunday lunchtimes from late-November to New Year’s Day.

The tradition goes back over 200 years, when communities first gathered to sing their own versions of familiar carols, frowned on by the church in Victorian times as “too happy”.

Raised in a family steeped in the world of folk music, Rusby would sit in the corner of a crowded pub when she was a child, painting her pictures, so the songs she brings to these concerts are in her bones, a deep seam of personal experience to be mined.

As an added incentive to acquire tickets, Kate, her band and her “brass boys” will be airing songs from her 2019 Christmas album. Box office: 0203 356 5441 or at