CHRISTMAS has come early for Phil Cunningham fans as his festive extravaganza returns in-person for the first time in nearly two years. 

The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall will play host to his Christmas Songbook on Thursday, December 16, bringing musical cheer that “will warm hearts and get toes tapping”. 

Having grown increasingly popular during its 15-year run, the event still managed to go last year for a Virtual Christmas Songbook, but Phil has told of his joy after getting the greenlight to take this year’s showpiece out of cold storage. 

Best known as an innovative instrumentalist, he will be joined by some of the best musicians from the Scottish folk world including Eddi Reader and Karen Matheson.

Phil said: “We can’t wait to hit the road again and bring the Christmas Songbook to Glasgow once more. 

Glasgow Times: Eddi ReaderEddi Reader

“Things were a little different last year with our first ever Virtual Christmas Songbook and I’m delighted that we’ll be back in full swing in front of live audiences again this year.

“The show has grown so much in the last 15 years and has become a seasonal staple for people across Scotland.”

The performances will feature modern and traditional Christmas music and “impeccable” musicianship that tugs at your heartstrings, as well as hearty anecdotes.

Phil is fondly remembered from his days with Silly Wizard and Relativity and as the quick-witted musical partner of the great Shetland fiddler, Aly Bain.

Also widely recognised from his television and radio presenting, he is a “true ambassador” for traditional music, having been involved in some of the seminal programmes that enabled Scottish music to walk tall. 

He will be joined by an impressive mix of lead vocalists, including Eddi, who has celebrated a career spanning over three decades and has developed into one of popular music’s most thrilling performers, as well as Karen, who is recognised the world over as the haunting lead vocalist of Celtic supergroup Capercaillie, and award-winning Orcadian roots singer and guitarist Kris Drever.

Glasgow Times: Karen MathesonKaren Matheson

The line-up also includes multi-instrumentalist John McCusker, one of Scotland’s most accomplished and versatile musicians, Ian Carr, known for his original and eclectic approach to traditional guitar music, and highly sought-after double bassist Kevin McGuire.

Phil added: “As always I’ll be joined by my old friends, who happen to be some of the best folk artists in the country. 

“We’ll be bringing festive cheer to Glasgow – we can’t wait to see people up and dancing!”

Tickets for Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, on December 16, can be purchased at