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Rob Reed in last-minute Christmas track

Rob Reed has launched a last-minute Christmas track which sees him working alongside Mike Oldfield collaborator Les Penning.

The duo recorded a version of the traditional Sussex Carol, featuring Penning on woodwind and Magenta mastermind Reed on other instruments.

He tells Prog: “Les Penning is heard in every shop and on the radio this time of year because of his collaboration on Mike Oldfield’s In Dulci Jubilo, the catchy Christmas instrumental, that’s played on rotation with Slade and Wizzard.

“Loads of people hear his work every year and whistle along, but he goes unnoticed and doesn’t get the appreciation he deserves. I met Les to arrange for him to play on my album Sanctuary II. We came up with the crazy idea of doing the song in three days, as it was getting close to Christmas.”

The resulting track is available via Bandcamp for a limited period. Reed, whose solo album Sanctuary is a personal tribute to Oldfield, will release the follow-up in March. He also recently unveiled his latest project, Kiama.

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.