SINGER/Songwriter Thea Gilmore is having a Christmas Party.

In 2009 Thea released ‘Strange Communion’ an immediately acclaimed collection of seasonal songs ranging from joyful to meditative, from introspective to darkly humorous. The album contained ‘That’ll Be Christmas’ which became the most played festive song on BBC Radio 2 that year and was described by Chris Evans as ‘the best Christmas song in years’.

Her 2018 acoustic Christmas Party UK tour will feature material from ‘Strange Communion’ laced liberally with the occasional diverse, highly individual versions of a Christmas classic. Enjoy the superb musicianship always on display from Thea’s band and at the heart of the show - Thea's spine-tingling, pure-toned voice guaranteed to leave you moved, exhilarated and spellbound.

Ahead of her three Christmas shows, Entertainment Reporter, Lawrence John at the County Gazette emailed Thea a set of questions, here are her answers:

Q: Which song has touched you or resonated with you’re the most and why?

A: Songs resonate with me for different reasons at different times. There’s no one song that I will go to and feel the same thing twice about. That to me is the fluid beauty of music.. it fills the spaces that are left behind from just living.. like water.. it’s seeps into the cracks. I can listen to Everybody Knows by Leonard Cohen and be blown away by the erudite, apocalyptic cynicism of it when I’m feeling tired of the world, then I can listen to Keep Your Head Up by Ben Howard and feel hopeful.

Q: When did you first hear music?

A: I grew up surrounded by music.. I couldn’t say when I first heard it.. just that it was as much a presence in my life as books and Tv were.

Q: When did you realise music was something you could create for yourself?

A: From the word go.. I was singing, writing, playing with music. If you mean when did I realise that I could make it a career, I don’t think I’m there yet!!

Q: How much did it releases from you when you wrote or now write your songs?

A: I think the point of all art is communication and the point of communication is release. Sharing what’s inside you with other people to build a community and try to understand each other. So when I write, I try to be honest and write my truth, which is a cathartic process to a point..

Q: You said in one interview you write about social injustice is this social injustice in these days getting worse?

A: I don’t know about worse. I think we are living in terribly worrying times and I’m aware that as a CIS, White woman who has a relatively secure roof over her head, I speak from a position of great privilege compared to a lot of people. I worry about the erosion of tolerance in our communities, I worry that we have forgotten how to disagree without abusing each other and I’m horrified by the current political climate. I try to ask questions with my work.. I’m a songwriter. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m pretty sure that kindness helps in most situations.

Q: What pleases you the most about your music?

A: The people identify with it and see themselves in it. That’s an honour.

Q: With your album Strange Communion how much of it do you think resonates today?

A: Strange Communion is a seasonal album and I think the world has become very hard and people are feeling the pinch so much that they are reaching out for the warmth of this time of year more than ever. I love Christmas, but I’m not blind to the conflicts that it can throw up and I think you can hear that in the album.

This is The West Country:

Q: How do you think Strange Communion stand up today? Do you think there is room for improvement with it?

A: Well, they do say in all art that nothings ever finished, just abandoned. That’s true for all my albums. Strange Communion is no exception, though it was made very quickly and I love albums that come together fast like that!

Q: Is Strange Communion a record of its time or do you think it would be something you could write today?

A: I continue to write Christmas songs, so I think I could have written it at any time.

Q: Do you feel you have fulfilled all you have wanted to do or is fulfilment for you making records, writing songs and performing them on stage?

A: I don’t think you ever reach a goal as a musician. The next thing will always be the best thing in your head.. otherwise work would stagnate and become a factory production line, which isn’t where good music comes from.

Q: In a press release it says of your songs: not only of extraordinary beauty, but of rare honesty and insight. Does this come with a price for you in terms of emotion?

A: Everything comes with an emotional price tag, so yes. But I wake up each day feeling incredibly lucky that I get to call this a job, so It’s all worth it.

Q: What three songs, not your songs, would you say encapsulate you?

A: Hmm..

I’ll give you 4

Tower Of Song

Don’t stand So Close To Me

Cemetery Polka

The Girl Can’t Help It

Thea Gilmore's Christmas Party Tour can be seen and heard on:

Tuesday, December 4

EXETER Phoenix

Tix £17.50 adv

Tickets at exeterphoenix.org.uk

Friday, December 7

BRIDPORT Electric Palace

Tix £17.50 adv

Tickets at electricpalace.org.uk

Friday, December 14

CLEVEDON Princes Hall

Tix £17.50 adv

Tickets at seetickets.com/venue/princess-hall-clevedon/10503