My Music DNA: Kellie While of The Albion Christmas Band Reveals Music Inspirations Ahead of Aviemore Folk Festival

Located at the MacDonald Aviemore resort for the second year in a row, the Aviemore Folk Festival runs over four nights and three days, offering a wide and varied selection of music from traditional folk music to the upbeat rock steady Jamaican folk rhythms of Edward II.

“Harmony Voyages offers something different to the traditional festival” says Director, Angela Schofield.  “We take care of everything, including accommodation, festival tickets and even excursions out to local places of interest.  With pre-reserved seating in the 650-person theatre, a warm comfortable bed, and evening meals plus breakfast included what’s not to love?!”

This year’s Aviemore Folk Festival will feature some of the United Kingdom’s finest musicians, including Eddi Reader, Shooglenifty, Fara, Lindisfarne, Janet Dowd, Tim Edey Edward II and The Albion Christmas Band.

The Albion Christmas band will feature at Aviemore festival 2022

Guests can buy a pass for the whole week which includes onsite accommodation, and great food at the McDonald Aviemore Resort, or local residents can opt for a day pass.

Here, The Albion Christmas Band’s Kellie While reveals her music inspirations to Andy Howells.

Tell us about your latest music release?

It’s All Are Safely Gathered In, the new album by The Albion Christmas Band. We are a four-piece acoustic band which has toured together every December for over 20 years. The album is a mix of traditional songs and tunes as well as original songs and covers and spoken word. We are based as far apart as Canterbury and Rochdale, so this album was made in our homes, recorded by a mobile engineer/producer.

What was the first song that made an impact on you?

If I’m being completely honest, it was probably Tomorrow or It’s The Hard Knock Life from the film Annie (1982). I was obsessed with the soundtrack and I think it was what made me want to perform. When I was a bit older, two songs – Ethiopia by Joni Mitchell and Why by Tracy Chapman had a massive impact as it was the first time that songs had made me think about other people and their lives.

What was the first single /download you bought?

The first single I bought was Uptown Girl by Billy Joel. A couple of years later, my mum [the folk singer, Chris While] bought me a double cassette of his greatest hits, which I listened to obsessively for years. I loved his music then and I still love it today.

What was the first album you owned?

REM’s Out Of Time, purchased from Our Price in Southport. The album had everything – folk, rock, jangle and pop in equal measure. It had anguish, weirdness, bop-around-the-living-room, harmonies, a mandolin and a harpsichord and a cool girl guest singer. Perfection!

What’s your constant go to track?

You Get What You Give by The New Radicals. That’s if I want to feel cheered and energised.

What’s your constant go to album?

Ron Sexsmith’s self-titled debut album. If I really had to pick one all-time favourite album, then it would be this.

Who’s your latest music discovery?

Sigrid. I saw her sing Don’t Kill My Vibe live and instantly burst into tears. I can’t remember the last time I was moved by a live performance in that way.

What’s your own track that best defines you as an artist?

I’ve never considered myself to be much of a songwriter, and much prefer to sing songs by other people. I also love to sing two-part harmony, especially with my mum. So, with those things in mind, I’d choose Wisteria, a song written by Richard Shindell which I recorded with my mum on our album Indigo. It’s a song I love, given the kind of treatment I love, performed with a person I love.

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