Yuletide means many things to many people. Sartorial’s Christmas Album All Ready For The 25th reflects this perfectly, from traditional readings of carols by saw-player David Coulter to chart classics covered by Department S (I Believe in Father Christmas) & Serious Drinking, a brilliant take on Human League’s December chart-topper Don’t You Want Me Baby (Jesus)?.
Mute Records latest signing Cold Specks (whose debut album was nominated for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize, Canada’s equivalent of the Mercury Award) make Mary Margaret O’Hara’s Christmas Evermore their own whilst original material includes Father’s Christmas by Porky The Poet aka Phill Jupitus and Sickmass by Psychic Pussies plus slightly left-field takes on We Three Kings Of Orient Are by The NJE and Good King Wenceslas by Maracapella.
Robyn Hitchcock’s cover of Beefheart’s There Ain’t No Santa Claus on the Evenin’ Stage is accompanied by fellow Soft Boys guitarist Kimberley Rew’s tune All I Want Is You For Christmas, not forgetting contributions from Missy Le Pink, Dear Thief and James Kyllo.
Sartorial head-honcho Terry Edwards has raided his address book for some top-drawer draws here. Several of his musical co-conspirators, in addition to those already named, jumped at the chance to contribute to a project which was guaranteed to be energetic, enigmatic and eclectic, including Tom Waits collaborator Bent Clausen, ex-Madness bassist Mark Bedford plus members of Gallon Drunk, Underground Railroad and Edwards’ first band The Higsons.
But make no mistake – this isn’t just a list of names. It is far more than the sum of its parts, and may well be the Best Christmas Album In The World – EVER!!