It made a welcome change to a conventional Christmas concert to go and hear in the North Sea Radio Orchestra, supported by Wilderthorn, last Friday. The venue—St Olave’s—is a beautiful church right in the heart of the City. All the prerequisites for a festive event were in place: Christmas trees up, mince pies, mulled wine and a raffle, and a full and supportive audience. Wilderthorn, who is the singer Jon Bilbrough, opened the evening with a set of his own songs that not only showed his strong vocal but his music is imbued with influences from his earliest musical experiences touring and performing in Sri-Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and India. Jon was accompanied by the violinist James Underwood who added sensitive colouring to Jon’s guitar playing. The opening song was full of features that characterised much of his material; a soaring vocal line often coloured with ornamentation one might hear in Indian Classical singing, interesting harmonies, inventive guitar riffs and a keen ear for subtle timbres. “The Lion’s mane” made use of the loop pedal to sustain a pattern that was not unlike the tambura drone found yet again in Indian Classical music with James’ playing always blending beautifully with Jon’s. Wilderthorn’s work focuses on strong lyrics-lines like “swam all day to drown you out” in “The Spell” but all the songs presented were similar in character and mood tempo wise. Most impressive was his vocal ornamentation through all his set.