Curated by Monk
Ho ho ho. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, and all that oul shite! Yes, we’re normally grinches here at ÜRHQ, eschewing the tinsel for cobwebs and hoping the dog will eat the tree within two minutes of going up. But, if you’re a regular visitor to these miserable bah humbug fuelled pages then you’ll know that we love a good old-fashioned knees-up as much as the next person (and he’s the local knees-up Olympic champion), so let’s get in the Christmas spirit – and, no, we don’t mean the spiced rum, at least not yet – and declare the Singles Club open for a special festive special, shall we? Shall we? Oh, OK then… but the first drink’s on you!
And where better place to start our Yuletide revelries than in the home of the jolly red man himself? Yes, we’re boarding our musical present laden sleigh and heading to Finland to join those lovely lunatics Lordi, who seem to be evoking more the spirit of Krampus and Bad Santa than that of the fat bloke in the suit, by “resurrecting” (sic) this twist on the traditional carol, while at the same time paying homage to Greta Thunberg \m/
Despite what Mr Lordi and his band of merry monsters might say, we all believe in Father Christmas, right? Don’t we? Well, Greg Lake certainly did back in 1975, and 46 years later retro rock revivalists Cats In Space are showing that they do as well, with this imaginative and energetic, yet pretty faithful, reworking of this particular roasted chestnut, with all proceeds from digital sales going to Cancer Research UK:
Covers seem to be as symbolic of Christmas as unused stuffing and stale cranberry sauce on Boxing Day morning, and this year has been no exception, so we’re going to carry on that theme with our next batch of offerings. We’ve been bombarded with avalanches of the things, including multiple versions of “classic” Christmas crackers… hell, we’ve even been Whamaggedoned, not once but twice! By far our favourite version of this year’s takes on ‘Last Christmas’ comes from Japanese noise pioneers Boris (how appropriate), as part of their ‘Noël’ double header single, but it doesn’t come with an accompanying video, so you’ll have to settle with this version from cheesy Scandinavian tribute act At The Movies who, as their name suggests, specialize in rocking up songs from Seventies, Eighties and Nineties flicks. This version of ‘Last Christmas’ is a bonus track on the about-to-be-reissued first volume of their ‘Soundtrack Of Your Life’ series of albums – and if you love rock cheddar, I guarantee you’ll be salivating all over that and its successor, which is also due at the start of the new year:
Our next cover sees Devon Kay & The Solutions taking on the thorny subject of ‘Christmas Wrapping’. Their ska-fuelled reworking of The Waitresses’ Yuletide ripper is glorious fun, and just beat another version, an energetic pop punk rendition by The Aquadolls, to the finishing line for inclusion on our playlist:
Mariah Carey’s sickly-sweet and frankly vomit-inducing ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ was recently voted by one TV “music” channel as the greatest festive tune of all time… We hate to disagree, but we will. Nevertheless, we will mark the Canadian songstress’ accolade by sharing with you New York alt rockers Until I Wake on this timeless classic (yeugh!):
It truly is ‘The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ – except, of course, if you indulge a wee bit too much in the old Christmas spirt and forget not only what happened the night before the morning after but also where the fuck you left your trousers… but, then, that would make you something of a Classless Act, wouldn’t it?
OK, that’s enough of the cover versions, for now, at least. Some acts have brought out entire albums of Christmas songs… The Goo Goo Dolls did that last year, but now have only gone and re-issued the darn thing, complete with two new songs… yes, one is a cover but the other is an original, one which they promise they’re only going to inflict us with ‘One Last Song About Christmas’… aye, right on boys…
Well, on that note, I’m afraid we have a few more festive frolics left to hit the death decks, so why not turn up the volume and really get the party started… and who better to provide the soundtrack than Trucker Diablo, who have released a new version (in video terms anyway) of their seasonal staple… altogether now:
Also ‘Rockin The Holiday’ are Philadelphia’s Corners Of Sanctuary who are helping themselves to the egg nog – and the cheeseboard while they’re at it…
All this partying can get us a bit down, so is it any wonder that Billy F Gibbons is suffering from a dose of the ‘Jingle Bell Blues’?
Shining a light onto the darker aspects of the Christmas season, Celtic punk rocker Dab Finnegan is in somewhat melancholic and reflective mood as he takes us into his own personal hell and reminds us that not everyone shares the joy of being surrounded by family and friends, but nevertheless finds it within his heart and soul to wish us a ‘Happy Christmas’:
As we head into our final pair of selections, we can exclusively reveal that it wasn’t The Grinch who stole Christmas but the pirates, which is why we banished them… but those darn sneaky privateers have managed to sneak back in through the service entrance and are making a lot of noise as they quaff our rum and ‘Ring The Bells’ for last orders:
We’re leaving the last word to one of the original metal queens, Lee Aaron, who is reminding us (as if we needed it) that it is, indeed, ‘Almost Christmas’ – on which note we’ll sign off and wish you all the best this festive period… Remember, keep ‘er lit and keep ‘er between the hedges and we’ll see you all, safe and well, in the new year: