Charity's Christmas Tree Sessions returns for second year at London's Union Chapel
Paul Weller was among the performers at Save The Children’s Christmas Tree Sessions last night (Dec 5) at London’s Union Chapel.
The event, hosted by BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne and in aid the charity’s Syria Crisis appeal, also saw performances from The Moons, Gaz Coombes, Tim Burgess and special guest Holly Johnson of formerly of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, who closed the evening with festive hit ‘The Power Of Love’.
Weller performed a new song ‘Gravity’, alongside ‘Wild Wood’, ‘You Do Something To Me’ and ‘The Pebble & The Boy’ from 2005 album ‘As Is Now’. He said: “‘Gravity’ is a song I’ve had for a while now, and I don’t know what to do with it. I’m working on a new album, writing and collecting songs, and hopefully it’ll be out next year. It’s what I do, write songs and record them, so I just want to get on with it.”
Barring The Moons, each act was accompanied by the London Metropolitan Orchestra, meaning special arrangements of famous songs. Tim Burgess performed a stripped-down acoustic version of The Charlatans breakthrough hit ‘The Only One I Know’ and ‘White’ from last year’s solo album ‘Oh No I Love You’. Burgess was then joined by Myleene Klass, who played harp on ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ and electric piano on ‘Let It Snow.’
Gaz Coombes performed three songs, one of which was a string-heavy acoustic version of Supergrass’ hit ‘Caught By The Fuzz’. Coombes has recently finished a tour of the UK on which he played rearranged versions of songs from his back-catalogue. He said after his set that it’s a good way of breathing new life into the songs before moving on to his second solo album.
“I can’t stay out of the studio at the moment, much to the annoyance of my family and friends,” he said. “I’m hoping it’ll be out in the spring or early summer. It’s moved on from ‘Here Come The Bombs’, sound-wise, and in the approach to record. I don’t know if ‘Buffalo’ is anything to go by, but it’s going to be on the next record,” he added, referring to the new song he unveiled in October.
He also said the new album would feature songs called ‘To The Wire’ and ‘The Girl Who Fell To Earth’, which is inspired by his daughter. “She has autism, so it’s inspired by her among other things, and the way we look at different people and all have our own ideas of what normal is. What is normal, you know?”
There were also readings of Charles Dickens extracts and comedy from BBC 6 Music’s Shaun Keaveny, Caitlin Moran, Chris Addison, Dom Joly and Peter Serafinowicz, who performed his version of ‘Let It Be’ dressed as Paul McCartney, in which he only sings the first letter of each word in the lyric.
Find out more about Save The Children’s Syria Crisis appeal here.