Sir Cliff Richard is set to release his first dedicated Christmas album in nearly two decades.
The eighty-one-year-old already has a number of festive smash-hits under his belt, including ‘Mistletoe And Wine’, ‘Saviour’s Day’ and ‘The Millennium Prayer’.
And while his last Yuletide album ‘Cliff At Christmas’ was released nineteen years ago in 2003, Sir Cliff is evidently ready to get back into the Christmas spirit with the arrival of his brand new festive album.
‘Christmas with Cliff’ will be released on November 25th, and will feature a mix of old Yuletide classics and some new tracks.
The singer will be ‘bringing together an album of classics’ with his latest music venture, including songs like ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’, ‘Sleigh Ride’, ‘Joy To The World’, ‘When A Child Is Born’, ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ and more.
New songs on the album include ‘First Christmas’, ‘Six Days After Christmas (Happy New Year)’, and ‘Heart Of Christmas’.
Sir Cliff said of being back behind the mic: “I have always loved being in recording studios ever since Studio 2, Abbey Road, in 1958.
“I recorded this album in Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida – 4,427 miles away from Abbey Road – and once again I felt that I was in a world of my own.
“I had the help of two producers, Sam Hollander and Chris Walden. They guided me through the ‘well known’ Christmas songs and freed me to sing them my way.”
And hinting at something a little different, the singer added: “They had differing approaches to the songs that I asked them to produce for me, and they gave this album the dynamics that I had hoped for.
“This album is not just mine – it belongs to all of us involved in creating it, and I hope that we add a little something special to your Christmas season.”
Christmas With Cliff will be on sale from November 25th.
Spice Girls 2023 tour confirmed as Mel B tells fans ‘we’re back’
Lives are set to be spiced…
The Spice Girls are seemingly heading back on the road as Mel B tells fans ‘we’re back’.
Taking to Instagram this week, Mel B – known as Scary Spice in the band – shared a video montage of the Spice Girls’ best moments over the last twenty-five years, alongside a brief caption, “We’re back”.
She wrote alongside her post: “To ALL our fans get ready for #spiceworld25 yippppeeee [sic] its here at long last!!!! Boom”, adding the hashtags ‘#girlpower’, ‘#friendshipneverends’ and ‘#spicetour2023’.
While no exact dates were revealed, fans were very excited by the cryptic announcement.
One person commented: “Omgggg. WUT”, while another gushed: “You are the best! Yes, please! #spicetour2023”.
A third noted: “I need to be there!”.
The iconic ‘90s girl band reunited back in 2019 for a huge UK tour, which included several sold-out gigs here in Manchester, though they were without former bandmate Posh Spice, aka Victoria Beckham.
It is not yet known if Victoria will be joining the band on next year’s tour.
Mel B has previously discussed the prospect of a Spice Girls reunion, with her revealing that the band had been in talks to get back on the road before the Covid pandemic.
While hosting Steph’s Packed Lunch in September last year, the singer said: “We did our last tour and Victoria respectfully ducked out, and you have to respect when someone doesn’t want to go on tour.
“I’m always pushing to have a Spice Girls reunion and we were in talks last year  but then Covid hit so it pushed everyone’s plans.
“I think we’re hopefully on the same page together.”
Courteeners announce HUGE homecoming gig at Heaton Park
The band will be playing the iconic St. Jude album in its entirety
Courteeners will be returning to the place where it all began next year for a huge homecoming anniversary gig.
To celebrate fifteen years of their seminal debut album ‘St. Jude’ next summer, the rock band will be coming home to Manchester to headline a landmark show at Heaton Park.
In what will be the band’s third headline appearance at Heaton Park following sold-out nights in 2015 and 2019, Courteeners will be playing the celebrated album in full alongside some of the greatest hits from their career.
Released in 2008, ‘St Jude’ catapulted the band to global fame, and today remains as one of the pinnacle albums to soundtrack 00s Britain.
The album’s top anthems include ‘Not Nineteen Forever’, ‘What Took You So Long?’ and ‘No You Didn’t, No You Don’t’ as well as beloved classics such as ‘Cavorting’, ‘Please Don’t’ and ‘Fallowfield Hillbilly’.
Speaking about the special ‘St. Jude’ Heaton Park show, Courteeners frontman and founder Liam Fray said: “They grow up so fast… Can’t believe our darling ‘St. Jude’ is fifteen next year.
“Think it’s time for a celebration and we all know that great things come in threes… The Star Wars Trilogy, Sooty, Sweep and Soo and now, here we are, with the third instalment of ‘Courteeners at Heaton Park’.
“June 2015, June 2019 and now June 2023. I can’t think of any better way to celebrate than to make the pilgrimage to Heaton Park with like-minded souls and lose ourselves like it’s 2008.
“And, because we’re good like that, we’ve remastered the original album… God bless the band. God bless the fans. Omne Trium Perfectum.”
The homecoming gig will take place at Heaton Park on Friday June 9th 2023, with tickets going on sale from 9am this Friday, September 2nd.
Courteeners sold out their Emirates Old Trafford gig to over 50,000 fans in just ninety minutes last year, so fans are encouraged to snap up their tickets early to avoid disappointment.
For more information and to get your own tickets on Friday, visit the official Courteeners website here.
Aitch launches free train travel scheme for young people
What a brilliant idea!
Award-winning rapper and local lad Aitch has launched a brand new travel scheme for young people.
The Aitch-S2 is an initiative providing hundreds of people with the opportunity to enjoy a ‘summer without limits’ – giving them the chance to travel the country and experience various cultural events.
Created in partnership with Relentless energy drink, the new Aitch-S2 will run for eight weeks offering under 25s free train tickets to UK festivals, gigs and nightlife between July and August.
Aitch is passionate about supporting regional scenes, talents and cultures, and under the new alternative travel scheme young people will have the chance to apply for funding to cover rail travel costs to events in different cities.
The aim of this is to help rebalance cultural accessibility outside of the M25 and spotlight new and exciting music scenes across the UK.
The rising cost of transport and living is set to make travelling to events difficult, with the initiative hoping to make a difference by removing some of the financial barriers that might restrict people from making the most of the first summer since the lifting of restrictions.
The Aitch-S2 travel scheme will run for eight weeks from July 5th to August 26th, and under 25s from anywhere in the UK will be eligible to apply for free travel across the national rail network – with travel vouchers worth up to £100 allocated on a weekly basis.
Speaking on his involvement in the Relentless Aitch-S2 scheme, Aitch says: “I’m really excited to launch The Aitch-S2 with Relentless – there’s so much amazing culture around the UK, but for young people to experience it, they need to break out of their city limits, which is hard to do when it’s so expensive to travel outside your hometown.
“I don’t want anyone missing out on what is going to be a summer to remember, so this initiative will help young Brits get back out there and have fun, no matter the location.”
Head over to the website, here, to find out more about the scheme.