Kaiser Chiefs to headline unique fundraising Christmas carol service for music therapy charity, Nordoff and Robbins

  • Special guest performance from Ayanna Witter-Johnson completes the line-up at the intimate service on Tuesday 12 December at St Luke’s Church, London
  • Tickets still available for one of a kind spectacular

Indie pop legends, Kaiser Chiefs will be headlining this year’s annual Christmas Carol Service for the UK’s largest music therapy charity, Nordoff and Robbins. The magical evening of classic Christmas carols, superstar performances and festive readings from a host of celebrities will take place at 7pm on Tuesday 12 December in the stunning surroundings of St Luke’s Church in London’s Chelsea.

Fans will have the opportunity to see the stars up close as they perform a stripped back set of hits in the intimate setting of the 300 year old church, with tickets available from Nordoff and Robbins priced at £55.

Kaiser Chiefs’ performance at this year’s Carol Service marks their long standing support for the music therapy charity which began when they received the Best British Act at Nordoff and Robbins’ 2006 O2 Silver Clef Awards, continuing with a fundraising gig in 2016, breaking ground at the charity’s first music therapy centre outside of London in Newcastle in 2017 and performing as part of the Nordoff and Robbins virtual Christmas Concert in 2020.

Recognised as one of the leading bands of their generation since their formation in Leeds in 2003, Kaiser Chiefs have released 7 original studio albums selling more than 8 million copies. Fronted by the charismatic Ricky Wilson with Simon Rix on bass, Andrew ‘Whitey’ White on guitar, Nick ‘Peanut’ Baines on keyboards and drummer Vijay Mistry, the band have had a string of anthemic hits such as ‘Oh My God’, ‘I Predict A Riot’, ‘Ruby’, and ‘Everyday I Love You Less and Less’. Ricky also wowed prime-time audiences with his three series as a coach on BBC 1’s talent show, The Voice and currently presents Virgin Radio drivetime. The band’s 8th studio album is coming in March 2024 alongside a UK tour.

Also joining the evening’s line-up is singer, songwriter pianist and cellist, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, who scooped the Classical Award at Nordoff and Robbins’ O2 Silver Clef Awards earlier this year, which raised over £600,000 for the charity’s essential music therapy. An acclaimed and celebrated multi-talented performer, Ayanna has collaborated with artists including Anoushka Shankar, Nitin Sawhney, Andrea Bocelli, Jools Holland and Peter Gabriel.

Supported by Hipgnosis Songs Fund and Hipgnosis Song Management, the one-of-a-kind event will be hosted by the Queen of British Soul, Beverley Knight, alongside UK Jazz chart topping singer-pianist Joe Stilgoe. BAFTA award winning broadcasters and vocal coaches Carrie and David Grant will also share the importance of Nordoff and Robbins’ work during the service.

Ticket sales and donations will raise vital money for the charity, helping it to continue to break down barriers through the power of music, creating space for some of the UK’s most vulnerable people to express themselves and find connection in society. 

Nordoff and Robbins’ trained music therapists work with children and adults with extreme life challenges, including injuries, disabilities and terminal illness. In 2022, Nordoff and Robbins music therapists held 46,453 therapy sessions reaching 11,807 individuals throughout the year. The charity also worked with 359 partner organisations such as schools, care homes and hospices to provide much needed music therapy.

Ricky Wilson said: “We’ve played a lot of memorable shows as a band, including a brilliant, intimate gig for Nordoff and Robbins a few years back, but this one really stands out. We can’t wait to be a part of this festive institution and rock the pews at St Luke’s Church with some of our anthems. Music has been such an enormous part of our lives for the past 20 years and what Nordoff and Robbins’ music therapists can do with music’s power is remarkable. They are able to reconnect people who may otherwise feel isolated from the world – whether a young person with a life-limiting condition, those living with dementia, or somebody rebuilding their lives after an accident. We’ve been long-term champions of the charity’s great work and we’re proud to be continuing our support at this incredibly special Carol Service.”

Ayanna Witter-Johnson said: “Performing at the Nordoff and Robbins Carol Service is the perfect way to round off my year, after taking home the Classical Award at the O2 Silver Clefs Awards this summer. I’m thrilled to continue my support for this fantastic charity and its transformative work in helping some of the most vulnerable people in society.”

Sandra Schembri, CEO of Nordoff and Robbins said: “We’re excited and grateful for the incredible artists who are supporting this year’s Carol Service. As well as marking the festive season, we are coming together to celebrate the power of music in offering inclusion and belonging to people who might otherwise feel isolated. We believe that music is a superpower, and for clients like six-year-old Emmie who has Down’s Syndrome, sessions with her music therapist Nicky have helped her gain confidence – giving her the opportunity to express herself and develop her creativity.  People like Emmie and her Mum, Lauren, are at the heart of everything we do and thanks to the money raised through the service, we can deliver music therapy to more clients across the UK, including some of the most vulnerable people in society. We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone to the spectacular setting of St Luke’s Church in London for this truly magical and uplifting evening.”