Keith Christmas

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Keith Christmas


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In 1969 Keith Christmas recorded his first album 'Stimulus' at Sound Control in Chelsea, London when he was signed up by Sandy Roberton.  Mighty Baby were given the task of backing the tracks and partly because of this it has become a collector's item
 That same year because of the gigs he played as the main act at the Beckenham Arts Lab, then run by a rising star called David Bowie, he was asked to play the acoustic guitar on David's first album 'Space Oddity'. He played his Fender Palomino Acoustic guitar while David played his 12-string on Letter to Hermione, God Knows I’m Good and Occasional Dream
 That year he was asked by Michael Eavis to appear at a small festival in Pilton called the Glastonbury Festival. He made many appearances in the years that followed, some as a booked artist and some simply turning up and playing. 

In 1970 he recorded the album 'Fable of the Wings' and in 1971 he wrote and recorded the highly-acclaimed' Pigmy'.

That summer he graduated from the University of Bath. He finished lectures on Tuesday and by Friday was trying to convince a doorman at the Leicester DeMontford Hall to let him in as he was the support act that night for The Who.

Two highly-charged gigs later and he was on a UK tour firstly with King Crimson then straight after, Ten Years After. Throughout the 70’s as well as playing club and University goes all over the UK and Europe, he was also the opening act for Argent, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, The Kinks and was on Roxy Music’s first UK tour.

In 1974 after splitting with Sandy Roberton, he was signed by ELP’s house label Manticore and with firstly Greg Lake, then Peter Sinfield producing, recorded the album Brighter Day. Keith formed a band at this point as the music he was creating was heading further and further away from the folk genre but after some very successful gigs at the Roundhouse in Camden Town and the Marquee, together with his manager Jackie Krost of BKM, they decided to head to LA and write the next album there.

Keith settled into the famous Sunset Tower on Sunset Boulevard and in the 20 months that followed recorded Stories From the Human Zoo.

In 1976 he came back to England and after a few years stopped playing. He formed the blues band 'Weatherman' in 1991 with some friends and an album of the same name was released in 1992.

In 1996 he suddenly started to write a different kind of acoustic material which almost immediately led to the release of a new album 'Love Beyond Deals' on HTD records.

In January 2003 Keith released an instrumental CD, ‘Acoustica’. It got excellent worldwide reviews - ‘absolutely brilliant’, ‘this is a quite exceptional piece of work’, ‘lavish and overwhelming’, ‘a beautiful album’, and the opening track was used on the BBC documentary 'Hidden Gardens'.

In 2006 he recorded and produced his first ever solo CD called 'Light of the Dawn'. The magazine fRoots reviewed it “…the sound is fantastic and grabs the attention: the confident, gutsy guitar, picked or slide, has immediacy and intimacy in equal measure; and Christmas's urgent, hoarse vocals can't help but involve the listener in the moods and stories of the songs…a fine timeless album”.

In 2011 Keith released a 5-track solo acoustic EP called 'Fat Cat Big Fish' and in 2012 released his first live CD 'Live at the Pump’.

In June 2015, Keith went to France and started writing again. Two weeks later and seven songs started, he came back to England and finished the album in less than 10 months.

Since then, early versions of 8 songs that were posted on YouTube, SoundCloud and Fandalism have been played a staggering 47,000 times, 14,000 of them an appeal for tolerance to refugees, ‘Cross the Water’. All this without any publicity machine, minimal live gigs and no airplay.

‘Crazy Dancing Days’ was released in December 2016

Keith's new surge in popularity and sold-out gigs has been fueled by some stunning new songs such as "Love in the Gold', 'Born of God' and 'Book of Magic' - Life. LIfe' was released in September 2019

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Wikipedia Information


Keith Peter Christmas (born 13 October 1946, Wivenhoe, near Colchester, Essex, England) is an English singer and songwriter. He attended Bath University to read architecture but, because the Architecture School was, at that time, based in Kingsweston House, Bristol, he became part of that city's folk set.In 1969, his first album, Stimulus, was released on RCA Victor via a production deal with Sandy Roberton's September Productions, to whom Christmas was signed. Christmas played acoustic guitar on David Bowie's Space Oddity album and appeared at the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970. Through the 1970s he released albums on B&C and Manticore, while touring with and supporting bands such as The Who, King Crimson, Ten Years After, Frank Zappa, Roxy Music, Hawkwind, Captain Beefheart and The Kinks. Among the musicians who contributed to his recordings were Mighty Baby, Pat Donaldson, Keith Tippett, Gerry Conway, Shelagh McDonald, Rod Argent, Peter Sinfield, Greg Lake, Mel Collins, Cat Stevens, Adrian Shaw (Magic Muscle and, later, Hawkwind), and Michael Boshears.Although predominantly an acoustic guitarist, he was not averse to playing electric guitar and regularly jammed with Bristol-based, acid rock band, Magic Muscle. He can be heard on the retrospective compilation, The Pipe, the Roar, the Grid. The photograph on the front of his second LP, Fable of the Wings, was taken inside part of Magic Muscle's squat in Cotham, Bristol. In 1971, he released Pigmy, which included one side of acoustic songs, and one side of band pieces, which have a very free, jamming feel to the instrumental sections. The choral and string parts were arranged by Robert Kirby, better known for his arrangements for Nick Drake. The 2004 retrospective album, Timeless and Strange, was named after a track on Pigmy, which featured, then Bristol-based artist, Bob Stewart on psaltery. In 1972, he was voted one of six favourite international artists by writers of Sounds magazine. The irony was that he was effectively unsigned at this point because his record label, B&C, had recently ceased trading. He was signed by the recently formed Manticore label, which was set up by Emerson, Lake & Palmer and their manager, Stewart Young, for whom he recorded Brighter Day and Stories from the Human Zoo. He also sang on Danse Macabre, by Esperanto, in 1974, the connection being that the LP was produced by Manticore artist/producer, Pete Sinfield. A further Pete Sinfield connection is that Christmas wrote the lyrics for the English language release of Angelo Branduardi's Life Is the Only Teacher in 1979 - Sinfield had written the lyrics for Branduardi's previous English language release, Highdown Fair.In 1976, after recording Stories from the Human Zoo with Donald 'Duck' Dunn and Steve Cropper from Booker T. & the MGs, at Indigo Ranch Studios, in America, he came back to England and, with Manticore becoming inactive for new releases, after a few years he stopped playing. In 1983, his composition, "Fable of the Wings", was covered by 'folk-rock' supergroup, Brass Monkey, which featured Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick. In the late 1980s, he moved back to Bristol and began playing solo acoustic sets, as well as sets with his blues band, Red House. During this time he released two limited edition cassettes, one solo and one with the band. He formed the blues band, Weatherman, in 1991 with some friends and an album of the same name was released in 1992. In 1996, he started to write a different kind of acoustic material, which led to the release of an album Love Beyond Deals on HTD Records. In January 2003, Christmas released an instrumental CD, Acoustica. The opening track was used on the BBC documentary Hidden Gardens. In 2006, he recorded and produced his first ever solo CD called Light of the Dawn. The magazine fRoots reviewed it “…the sound is fantastic and grabs the attention: the confident, gutsy guitar, picked or slide, has immediacy and intimacy in equal measure; and Christmas's urgent, hoarse vocals can't help but involve the listener in the moods and stories of the songs… a fine timeless album”.In 2011, Christmas released a five-track solo acoustic EP called Fat Cat Big Fish and, in 2012, released his first live CD, Live at the Pump. In December 2016, Christmas released a new CD, Crazy Dancing Days. He also played at a fundraising festival, Bowie's Beckenham Oddity in Beckenham, to help raise funds for the Bowie Bandstand. The bandstand was the same edifice that Christmas performed on in 1969, as part of the Growth Summer Festival and Free Concert, (which was co-organised by David Bowie). Christmas performed at the 2017 and 2019 festivals. The Bowie Bandstand was given Grade 2 listed status on 16 August 2019, on the 50th anniversary of the original Growth Summer Festival.His latest album, Life, Life, was released on 1 September 2019.