25 December 2010
i've spent the last week or so working out my top one hundred christmas songs for this year. but in the end i had far too many to fit in and i was getting nowhere with it. it was just a long pointless list. i'm not sure if anyone would even want to read just a list of that many christmas songs. so i've shortened the list to a top forty. it seemed more manageable. and now it's christmas day and i haven't wrapped any presents yet and i haven't posted the list either so here it is. the christmas top forty. these are the christmas songs i've been enjoying most this year.
40. the lovely eggs - tyrannosaurus rex for christmas
39. lou monte - dominique the italian christmas donkey
38. deerhoof – little drummer boy
37. saint etienne – i was born on christmas day
36. the waitresses – christmas wrapping
35. chris rea - driving home for christmas
34. frank sidebottom - christmas is really fantastic
33. low – just like christmas
32. the beach boys - merry christmas baby
31. nat king cole - the happiest christmas tree
30. david essex – a winter’s tale
29. kermit the frog – have yourself a merry little christmas
28. the pogues and kirsty maccoll – fairytale of new york
27. elvis presley - santa bring my baby back to me
26. john prine - i saw mommy kissing santa claus
25. michael jackson - little christmas tree
24. claudine longet - i don't want to spend christmas without you
23. the crystals - santa claus is coming to town
22. rosemary clooney - suzy snowflake
21. slow club – christmas tv
20. summer camp - christmas wrapping
19. wham – last christmas
18. best coast and wavves - got something for you
17. the pipettes – santa's on his way
16. the ronettes - sleigh ride
15. heather noel - santa came on a nuclear missile
14. johnny cash and tommy cash - that christmasy feeling
13. bob dylan - must be santa
12. belle and sebastian – are you coming over for christmas?
11. the school - let me be the fairy on your christmas tree tonight
10. saint etienne - 21st century christmas
i've only just got the saint etienne christmas album so i don't even know if this will end up being my favourite song off it. but on first listen this is great. i'm looking forward to driving for a few hours on christmas day listening to it.
9. john denver and the muppets - christmas wish
i've been so obsessed with 'where the river meets the sea' off the john denver and the muppets christmas album that i've completely overlooked this song all these years. then my friend sent me a christmas compilation last week and this was on there. straight into the top ten. kermit sounds so troubled.
8. betty and the werewolves - jon's christmas make up
it sounds like the sort of christmas song marie would have written for kenickie. and as it's the closest i'll ever get to a kenickie christmas song, apart from the lauren laverne song on the xfm compilation, i'm embracing it lovingly.
7. caitlin rose - you never come home for christmas
caitlin rose sings everything so sweetly. i really like her album. this is on the columbia hotel ep that comes free with the album when you buy it from rough trade.
6. rodd and judy - santa fix my toys for christmas
i found this on the album 'daddy, is santa really six foot four?' the american song poem christmas album. for anyone that isn't familiar with the song poem phenomenon, these are songs that were recorded by record companies in the nineteen seventies. they would get people to send in lyrics and money and in return they would get a few copies of a song composed and arranged to the poems that they'd sent in. the results are usually odd. the heather noel song at number fifteen is taken from the same compilation. this song is like a really weird nancy and lee outtake. it's all about a child writing to santa to let him know he doesn't need any new toys for christmas. he'd be quite happy if he could just fix the ones he already had. it's kind of sweet.
5. dolly parton - hard candy christmas
just because it's christmas and it's dolly parton.
4. emmy the great - christmas in prison
it was in last year's top forty, but this year i've really fallen in love with this version and it's climbed all the way up to number four. particularly the bit when she sings the line "the search light in the big yard swings round with the gun and spotlights the snowflakes like dust in the sun". yep, christmas songs can be pretty beautiful sometimes.
3. allo darlin - will you please spend new years eve with me?
this song describes perfectly how i always feel on new years eve. i hate going out on new years eve. it's always so disappointing. this song is all about staying in and not going out when everyone else is out partying. watching harold and maude, making popcorn and playing nintendo. which sounds like a perfect new years eve to me. i love the line, "it's embarrassing to think that at twenty five i'm not doing something more wild with my life", because i feel like that every time i hear people talking about all the amazingly exciting things they're going to do for the new year when all i want to do is stay in.
2. eux autres - another christmas at home
i can't stop listening to this. an instant christmas classic. any song that begins with the line "touch down in fields of freshly powdered snow" is always going to be amazing. actually, any song that begins with the words "touch down" is going to be amazing. i want to listen to this everywhere i go. and i do.
1. the boy least likely to – george and andrew
oh my god. this is so unexpected. i never thought we'd do it. i want to thank everyone for going out and buying the album and for all the nice things that have been written about it and thank you to everyone involved in making the video too. when i think about it, it does seem like an odd thing to write a song about. i'm still not completely sure why i wrote the lyrics. i know i wanted to write a lyric about an enduring friendship, one that's always there and that two people always come back to no matter how far apart their lives grow. i suppose george and andrew have always had a friendship that fascinated me, because their lives went in quite different directions after the band split up. and it turns out that i know quite a lot about what happened to andrew afterwards. i always wonder if andrew missed being in wham! and if he ever felt like it finished too soon. i wonder what it must have felt like after their final concert, knowing that things would never be the same for him, and that even though george would still have a pop career, for andrew that dream they'd shared since they were at school was pretty much over. i've aways wondered if he was ready for that. he seems so happy and contented now whenever i read about him and i suppose george still seems troubled in some way. i guess that adds another layer to the lyrics. when i heard the music that pete had written to the words i was so happy. he captured so perfectly the sentiments that i was trying to get across. it's so exciting to be christmas number one.
23 December 2010
we've been so busy all week getting ready for christmas but along the way we took time to go into some radio stations and spread a little bit of christmas cheer. hopefully it was cheer.
first we went over to absolute radio to perform some songs on the geoff lloyd hometime show. we had a lovely time. there were even warm mince pies. and we performed a special christmas cover version. and it wasn't a song written by george michael for once. you can listen to the whole thing again here.
and then we sat around in soho for a bit. listening to jazz and watching people who work together celebrate christmas in an all bar one. at eleven o clock we went over to xfm to play some songs and talk about stuff with john kennedy. we had the loveliest time and even though there weren't mince pies there were some delicious homemade biscuits. you can listen to all the fun again here. just click on listen again and scroll down to xposure with john kennedy and choose the show from 21st december.
oh and before you go, we have another exciting treat for you. if you've seen the video for george and andrew, you might like to watch our dear friend rob, who was george in the video, compete in a quiz show. it's lovely to see him on there and reminds me what an amazing time we had making the video and what a lovely man he is. click here to watch it.
oh god. it's nearly christmas day. so exciting. the snow is a worry though.
16 December 2010
oh no. it's over. and we were really enjoying it too. oh. i feel really sad that our little christmas tour has come to an end. thank you to everyone that came out to share a little bit of christmas with us. we had such an amazing time and we hope you did too.
the winchester show on saturday night was lovely. i hadn't been to the railway inn for about ten years and it was so nice to be back there. i think it's becoming a really great venue and winchester is an amazing little city. like a big village with a cathedral. i was so excited on stage at the show that i broke a guiro with a drumstick. clean in half. now it looks like this. which is really sad, but also makes me look quite strong. so.
on the way back home after the winchester show i lost the christmas feeling though. i don't know what happened. it just disappeared. i was worried that maybe i peaked too early and that i'd just used it all up at the beginning of december. i was panicking a bit. thinking that perhaps i wouldn't have any left for the rest of christmas and we had our london show on the tuesday night and i was going to need it for that. i spent the whole of monday wondering where it had gone. i couldn't find it anywhere. i was looking all over, but everywhere i looked it was as if no one else had even started thinking about christmas yet and it had started to rub off on me too. i spent monday night at home waiting for it to come back but it didn't so in the end i just went to bed. worried. when i woke up on tuesday morning and it still wasn't back i decided to take matters in to my own hands. i was going to need something pretty special if i was going to pull myself out of this slump. so on the train in to london on tuesday morning i put the charlie brown christmas soundtrack on my ipod and i closed my eyes and fell asleep. i don't know what happened over the next forty minutes because i was asleep, but when i woke up in marylebone it was back. stronger than ever before. that christmas feeling. it was back. and now that it's back i'm not letting go of it. i can't ever let that happen again.
the london show was everything i hoped it would be. we had an amazing time. i hope everyone there enjoyed it as much as we did. i felt a bit sad having to say goodbye to the candle thieves, who had supported us on all the dates on the tour. they were the sweetest people and i wish we could have gone on a longer tour and taken them with us. my favourite memory of them is from manchester when they did an impromptu version of have yourself a merry little christmas, which sounded even cuter than kermit's version. so amazing. i'm so glad they did the tour.
and now here i am. not on tour. i put my christmas tree up earlier and two out of the three sets of lights didn't work. so now i'm just sitting on my sofa next to a rather disappointing christmas tree watching twenty four hour news on tv. oh hang on a minute, it's the weather. i don't suppose this will be very exciting.... oh um, snow! snow!! SNOW!!!!
uh oh, here we go again.