Those of you in search of an alternative batch of Christmas songs could do a lot worse than check out this group of festive funslingers, and what’s more, all proceeds from sales of the mini-album go to those fine folk at Brixton Soup Kitchen, kindly providing an essential service for the needy and vulnerable at a time they will surely require it the most.
It’s a real mish-mash of musical gems, opening with the quietly introspective ‘Ice Cream‘ by Jerskin Fendrix and Black Midi, comparable to Shane MacGowan‘s drunkenly optimistic ramblings at the beginning of ‘Fairytale Of New York‘ but ending with a joyous cacophony of voices.
Best of the bunch for me is Ham Legion‘s ‘We’d Better Start Dinner‘, obviously drawing influence from Sparks in its composition and a real riot throughout. And you’ll be hard pushed to find a more downbeat Christmas song than Scud FM‘s ‘Christmas Crime‘, if all the plastic smiles are getting too much for you, as our protagonist is burgled in the run up to yuletide, and robbed not only of all the presents, but also his canine four legged friend. I don’t like to give away spoilers, but for those of you wondering what the inevitable happy ending is on this particular number, trust me, there isn’t one.
Probably the best known act here, Alessi’s Ark contribute a lovely, stripped back number with the gentle refrain “Oh to see the snow kiss your face“, while ‘Christmas Present‘ by Bad Parents is like a drug addled Phil Spector producing The Moldy Peaches.
All that remains is for the brilliant Hot Sauce Pony to close proceedings with ‘Christmas In Prison‘, which lies somewhere between Young Marble Giants, Sandy Denny and John Martyn. Overall, It’s Briiiiiimaaaaaas! is a quite compelling listen – a charity record that you’ll actually want to listen to on repeat after you’ve bought it. Now there’s a first.
It’s Briiiiiixmaaaaaas! is out now on Brixton Hillbilly