Connect with us


Carols and Capers at the Lyric



Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band

MADDY PRIOR (The Queen of Folk Music) joins up once again with the Carnival Band during the Festive Season for their unique celebratory show “Carols & Capers”. 

Together, they mix renaissance, modern and ethnic instruments with a refreshing cavalier attitude and plenty of humour, putting their inimitable stamps on a range of familiar and not-so-familiar festive fare. 

The combination guarantees a Christmas Party to remember at Carmarthen’s Lyric Theatre on Sunday, December 19.

Of all the festive traditions, few have stood the test of time better than the Christmas carol. Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band know this more than most, having been inspired by the music of Christmas for the past twenty-five years.

The very best of these have been brought together on one album now and for the first time. “The Best Of Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band” collects twenty-two tracks from across their career.

Along the way, you will find a mixture of the familiar and the less well known, all presented in a most unique style.

The singer and players guide us to beautiful places with extensive experience in folk, medieval, world, and classical music between them.

Telling the Christmas story in a variety of ways, the likes of “I Saw Three Ships.” ‘While Shepherds Watched’, ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ and ‘The Holly Ivy’ are revealed as versatile, striking pieces of music with words to match.

Maddy Prior told us how she got together with the Carnival Band

“It was in the early ’80s. The BBC had asked the Carnival Band to play on the programme “Pause for Thought”. This was an early morning slot each morning for five minutes.

“Towards Christmas, The Carnival Band were asked to play a carol a day for five days.

The producer John Forrest knew of me from Steeleye and suggested that I would be ideal for The Carnival Band.

“I was asked to sing “Angels from The Realms of Glory”. It was incredibly high and incredibly fast; it intrigued me, it was great.

“I sang with them that year, then the next and has done so ever since. We decided to record an album and follow that up with a tour. That was over 30 years ago now”.

Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band – Ding Dong Merrily on High

We asked what makes appearing with the Carnival Band special.

“They are all very skilled, mainly classically trained, musicians.  They come from a different way of playing to Steeleye or myself.

“It makes for a very interesting way of working.  I am a slow learner, and it takes me time to feel comfortable with a song, but once it all came together it was special”.

And what makes Christmas special for Maddy Prior?

“Like for everyone, it is about family and a particular atmosphere at that time of year. I always tour right up until Christmas, so I go to another member of the family’s house these days.

“Now the celebrations are for my grandchildren, notably for my 4-year-old grandson.  This year he will begin to understand what it is all about, which is very exciting”.

Celebrating Christmas after a long pre-Christmas tour must be tricky. How does Maddy Prior go about that?

“With family, but I also run a Christmas Weekend at Stones Barn between Christmas and New Year.  It is a course for people who love to sing.

“Some stay here, some locally and we all sing mainly less well-known carols, feast and generally have a great time”.

And a favourite carol?

“Angels from The Realms of Glory” is one of the most energetic carols, and the Carnival Band performs a fantastic arrangement. The lovely “Angel Gabriel” is also beautifully arranged.”

To book your tickets, ring the Box Office: 0845 226 3509 or visit

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Vet completes epic 980 mile cycle challenge from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of charities



A CARMARTHENSHIRE vet has raised over £8,000 by taking on the mammoth challenge of cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats in aid of the Wales Air Ambulance and The DPJ


Cath Tudor a farm vet at ProStock Vets, Carmarthen set herself the task of cycling nearly 1,000 miles as a challenge to do before she was 50 and to mark the ten year anniversary of ProStock Vets.

Cath, 50, from Llangynog, has always enjoyed cycling and raised £5,076 for the Wales Air Ambulance and £3,000 for the mental health farming charity – The DPJ Foundation.

Reflecting on why she decided to raise funds for the charities, she said: “I picked Wales Air Ambulance as it is an essential service for us living and working in rural communities, and as a family the Wales Air Ambulance came out when my brother, Richard Tudor, died in a tractor accident on the family farm in Mid Wales in April 2020. My brother was killed when the tractor rolled on a steep slope when spreading fertiliser. 

“I chose DPJ Foundation as well due to it being a local charity which helps farmers struggling with mental health.”

The vet is no stranger to getting on her bike for charity, in 2016 Cath cycled the length of Wales for The Stroke Association and in 2018 she also completed a charity ride around Montgomeryshire for the Royal Welsh Show and a bowel cancer charity.

Wales Air Ambulance offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’.

The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care.

Now operational 24/7, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year to keep the helicopters flying.

Cath at Land’s End

A delighted Cath is extremely grateful to everyone who donated to the fundraiser, she said: “A massive thanks to everyone who has sponsored me and encouraged me to do the challenge. The support and reactions from everyone has been overwhelming.”

Despite having days when the fundraiser was challenging, Cath experience many highlights including seeing every area of the country and making friends for life.

She added: “There was a fabulous group of us, with everyone helping one another and I made friends for life.”

Katie Macro, Campaigns Manager for the Wales Air Ambulance, said: “Cath has raised an incredible £8,000 for two essential charities. It is heart-warming to hear the reason behind Cath’s fundraiser, sadly she knows first-hand the importance of the Wales Air Ambulance, especially in rural Wales.

“Cath set herself the challenge of cycling nearly 1,000miles and her determination to raise funds for both charities is evident. Thank you to everyone who has supported Cath and donated to the Wales Air Ambulance, you’re all helping us be there for the people of Wales when they need us most.”

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance.

These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via 

Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.

Continue Reading


Red Dot brings the Christmas joy



Red Dot staff

TODAY saw the team from Red Dot Independent Financial Services in Llandeilo bringing Christmas Joy to Bocs Bwyd Llandeilo (formerly known as the Llandeilo Food Hub):

40 bags of Christmas gifts including games and an activity book , reindeer food and sweets, to be given out to families in need.

“We’re so grateful for this kind gesture,” says volunteer Catrin Thomas. “Thanks for putting so much thought and time and effort into these wonderful parcels of Christmas joy, and thanks for the wider support you’ve been given to our initiative.”

But the joy doesn’t end there. 

40 bags will be given to families in need

“Festive reindeer food (not suitable for humans) is available for children to call in and collect from our office on 72 Rhosmaen Street,” says Steph Jones from Red Dot. 

“We also have a donation box for food and a money pot  for anyone who wishes to donate when collecting. 

Also, anyone who takes out a policy with Red Dot there’ll be a £40 donation for The Food Hub.”

“Bocs Bywd / the food hub is still in need of all kinds of food,” explains committee member Christoph Fischer. 

“Regular, large donations from official sources have ended with the last phase of the pandemic, yet food poverty is still a problem and we rely on private donations more than ever. All food donations are welcome.”

You can drop off food and cash donations with MaryEllen@139 on Rhosmaen Street, Tue – Sat 10 am until 3pm or at Red Dot Mon – Fri 9-5pm 73 Rhosmaen Street

Continue Reading


Greatly respected Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant crowned Police Officer of the Year



DESCRIBED as a ‘perfect example of an exemplary Dyfed-Powys Police Officer’, Sergeant Gemma Davies wins the Police Officer of the Year title at the force annual awards. 

The Dyfed-Powys Police annual awards are a celebration of talent, offering individuals and teams the chance to be recognised and rewarded for their commitment, hard work, achievements and success.

Held at a virtual ceremony on November 18, the awards have showcased some of the force’s outstanding work, with a focus on those who have made an exceptional contribution to policing priorities.

Sergeant Gemma Davies from the Ammanford area, has served with Dyfed-Powys Police for 14 years and was nominated for the award by her manager and her team members – of which there are 33 that she currently supervises in the Carmarthenshire Neighbourhood Policing Team. 

Acting Sergeant Ian Roach said: “Gemma is a fantastic police officer. She’s compassionate and really listens, and cares for the communities she serves, but also her team members. 

“Her standards as an officer are second to none – she’s the best Sergeant I’ve ever worked with. She puts so much work and effort into ensuring communities are safeguarded, and that priorities are met. 

“We deliver as a team as a result of Gemma’s enthusiasm and drive. She is so thorough – no stone is left unturned when she’s looking to resolve a problem.” 

The Police Officer of the Year award recognises excellence, dedication, and initiative within the role.

Not only has Sergeant Gemma Davies scooped this award, but she was also a finalist in the Inspiring Leadership award and nominated in the Here for You category in this year’s annual awards.

Inspector Dawn Fencott-Price said: “Gemma will take on any challenge with a smile and positive attitude – which is infectious and in turn is reciprocated by her team and colleagues from partner agencies.

“She is innovative – one example being where she introduced online virtual meetings for key individuals in the community at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, which proved invaluable in ensuring our communities were kept informed, updated and reassured at such an uncertain time. This was in fact so successful that it was adopted and replicated across the force area.

“She has also instigated many multi agency operations in response to community concerns to tackle the supply of drugs in Carmarthenshire, one notable example being in Bynea last year, which resulted in the seizure of a large number of cannabis plants with a street value of more than £300,000.

“Previously recognised for her relationship building and intelligence gathering in hostile environments by the Senior Management Team, she is passionate about promoting and adopting a problem-solving approach to ensure they get to the root cause of problems.  I have witnessed Gemma’s professionalism first-hand and continue to do so on a regular basis.”

Acting Sergeant Ian Roach concluded: “Gemma is excellent – you couldn’t ask for a better Sergeant. Everyone looks up to her, she is a shining light that motivates everyone she works with.”

Continue Reading