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BBC NOVEMBER 21, 2009 - by Elizabeth Alker
WAINWRIGHTS' FESTIVE SHOW
Martha and Rufus invite their famous friends for Christmas.
The Wainwrights are pulling out all the stops for another one of their family Christmas shows this year.
Rufus and Martha have recruited the services of Brian Eno as well as French and Saunders, Boy George, Elbow's Guy Garvey and Ed Harcourt for "A Not So Silent Night", which takes place at the Royal Albert Hall.
Speaking to 6 Music News Martha Wainwright revealed how it was all coming together behind the scenes: "I think it's going to be a big love-in", she said.
"I think it's going to be three or four days of intense rehearsal, where we're going to try and sound like professionals, which doesn't often happen. We're also getting some help from Brian Eno who is going to be leading the choir. We're actually going to be in his choir, so that will be really cool."
This year the gig takes place on December 9, but it's an event that the Wainwrights organise every year.
The seeds of the tradition can be traced back to their mother, folk singer Kate McGarrigle, who made it mandatory for the family to sing during the holidays in Quebec.
Martha explained why they'd roped Brian Eno in help them this time: "He has a choir that get together at his house every couple of weeks or something.
"We heard about it through Joe Boyd, who is also helping us with this project. Joe Boyd is a great, famous English folk music producer. He does this thing so we thought, 'we need a choir, why not bring in Brian Eno?'"
The theme is Christmas but it's probably no surprise that the Wainwrights' take on Christmas isn't a typical one: "My family as least has a tendency to stay away from anything that is too known, of course", said Martha.
"There'll be some stuff in there that people will recognise but it's also about trying to find special gems and about doing things in a different way. There'll be no Jingle Bells, let's put it that way."