The band was very busy over the Christmas period, and we had a "splinter" easy listening group for a couple of gigs, as well as our usual charity Christmas concerts, this year held at Casa Arkati in Mosta and Id-Dar tal-Providenza in Ghar Lapsi.


On 30th November, the Four Jays - Jenny on keyboard, Jane on cello, Jonathan on flute and Jaqui on vocals  - were joined by Duncan as our "Little Drummer Boy" at the Intercontinental Hotel to provide background music for the afternoon. Thanks to Steve who managed our sound system. Our repertoire for that one consisted of Christmas songs - from White Christmas to "Walking in the Air" with a finale of community carol singing around the Christmas tree. We tried to include as many languages as possible, so ended up with French, Catalan/Spanish, German, Italian and English carols. Our resolution to stay "dry" foundered at the first hurdle when we found the mulled wine bar!

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It was a charity event, so when a chance remark suggested we put out a hat, we upsized and used a red bucket with a big gold bow. Thanks to the efforts of Helen Golden who touted the bucket every half hour on the premise that the punters would have recycled by then, we raised €250.

They have asked us to perform again next year for them. May try to be a bit more ambitious with the material! If Duncan is going to be a fixture, then perhaps we should be the DJays.



This was the second concert we have done for this elderly residential home. On 3rd Dec, we were in the new dining room which was filled with 100+ residents, most of who joined in with all the carols from our community carol sheet. It went very well and the highlight of the day was "Ninni la Tibkix Izjed" a traditional, very well known Maltese carol, the equivalent I suppose of our Silent Night The audience all burst into such strong voice that Jaqui was able to sing the descant against them. It was so good we repeated it as our finale. Again we were acoustic with only the singer amplified. Duncan's wife Julie, our general factotum, did a splendid job cheerleading and had 2 proposals of marriage from the residents!

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This was the following day on 4th Dec and was just the Four Jays. It was a traditional service with readings and popular carols. We added "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Holy Night"as items performed just by the band. One of the readings was an explanation of the history and provenance of "Holy Night"which was unplanned but dovetailed very nicely.



This is a most wonderful establishment, run by the church as a residential home for those with severe mental and physical handicap. It has the most modern equipment and hydrotherapy pool, and a theatre. However for this concert we played in the chapel which was large enough to hold our audience of around 100.

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The event started dramatically when two minutes before the start of our performance, Jaqui tripped over a cable and fell face-first into a chair, cutting her upper lip. As the singer, this posed a bit of a problem as it bled rather a lot.

We ignored the cut and Jax did a Pavarotti impersonation except it was not sweat she was mopping with a handkerchief, it was blood, which thankfully soon stopped flowing.

Again, the residents really participated, banging, bashing and shaking the percussion items we distributed and singing the words if they knew them or could read from our carol sheets. "Ninni" was once again a great favourite, but had the added complication that one of the residents right in front of us sang it all through the concert, independent of what else we were singing at the time. Definitely a challenge to the vocalist!

We were treated to tea and cake afterwards, which was very welcome.

We all felt we had made a contribution to the spirit of Christmas with this concert and Casa Arkati.