Observations: Rock around the Christmas tree

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The Independent Culture

Next week, I am joining my children Rufus and Martha Wainwright on stage at the Royal Albert Hall for a Christmas concert, to raise money for cancer research. We've done two family Christmas shows at New York's Carnegie Hall but this is our first time in London.

Rufus, Martha and I will sing "In the Bleak Midwinter" together. Rufus will do his standard "O Holy Night". It's his big solo. And Martha always does "I'll Be Home for Christmas". Then we do a little French song together about angels, although Martha sings the lead and I only sing harmonies.

I love performing with my children because it's a closeness we don't often get. A family show gives us a chance to be together. In the nitty-gritty of rehearsals, we don't have to ask each other lots of questions like other families do, because we are living it. I do invariably start to see Rufus and Martha as little kids and we tend to regress to behaving the way we used to behave 30 years ago.

I set up the Kate McGarrigle Fund in 2008 dedicated to cancer care and research after I was diagnosed in 2006 with a very rare form of cancer (clear-cell sarcoma). Some of this show's proceeds will go to Cancer Research UK as well. We've got special guests too, including Brian Eno, Boy George, Dawn French, Guy Garvey, Jennifer Saunders, and Teddy Thompson. A big highlight will be Sloan Wainwright, Loudon's sister, singing Queen's "Thank God It's Christmas".

'A Not So Silent Night', 9 Dec, Royal Albert Hall, London SW7. A limited number of exclusive VIP Packages including an after-show party and a unique goodie bag designed by Kate McGarrigle are available (0871 230 0333) See www.muhcfoundation.com/mcgarrigle