Santa is English

It’s been a tough year for bands.

It’s been a tough year for everyone.

We hit some real form with great shows at What’s Cookin’ and The Birds Nest when the curtain unexpectedly fell in March. We girded our loins and learned how to fake a live-but-beaming-in-from-different-locations video, which served us well for a couple of online festivals (and a massive shout out is due here for Joe Solo, Matt Hill and Pete Yen for getting WSO Isolation Festival not only off the ground but out in front of anyone else hosting online festivals, including the big corporates).

As soon as the noose loosened a little, we started the occasional socially-distanced park meeting with instruments and shot our video for the, now online, Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival in a little-known Walthamstow beauty spot.

Slightly less restricted again, we were able to just about stay two metres apart in Steve’s house where we played a few online gigs, either live or pre-recorded, and took advantage of the fine summer weather to enjoy each other’s company in the garden over a drink or two.

But then London went from tier two to tier three to lockdown to tier three and now tier four. Face-to-face ain’t happening but undaunted while more than a little disappointed, we thought we’d find out just what we could do together in isolation. Although The debased street music of the vulgar was all recorded at Steve’s house, this track had to be recorded in five houses on equipment ranging from mobile phones to inexpensive USB interfaces, free software and, in some cases, our employer’s laptop (shh!).

So here it is, our Christmas gift to you. We hope you like it. Keep smiling, keep fighting, and we’ll see you in the flesh soon with any luck.

Solidarity, brothers and sisters!

Russ, Lol, Simon, Andi & Steve

P.S. Get your free download here.

A Christmas Message

Xmas MessageThe Queen’s widely previewed but rarely watched Christmas message will be delivered in a royal blue 1 cashmere dress by Angela Kelly adorned with the sapphire and diamond brooch given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1840. In it she’ll encourage the country to put past differences behind us by referencing D-Day and describe the unveiling of her favourite son as a rapist and a liar as “quite bumpy” 2. Essential viewing for fans of carefully guarded language and calls for unity from super-rich folk who will do little else to achieve it.

Boris Johnson 3 meanwhile, clearly didn’t get the memo about national unity and focuses his Christmas message on Christians alone, referencing them three times in a 350-word statement while addressing a country whose own census data recognises several other major religions, Christianity’s declining popularity, and a rise in the number of people declaring themselves to be of no religion.4

On the subject of the census, Herod the Great’s Christmas message is that it, along with the Massacre of the Innocents, is just fake news.

We have yet to hear from Donald Trump, the festive season has gifted us impeachment after all, but his Christmas message will no doubt follow a similar pattern:

  1. A Christian message.
  2. Gratitude to the armed forces for freedom, democracy, etc.
  3. Gratitude to the police 5 and any other public servants working on Christmas Day.

Jeremy Corbyn, of course, bucks the trend by using his Christmas message to point out that Baby Jesus’ instruction to love thy neighbour isn’t reflected in the doubling of rough sleeping in the UK over the last six years of austere Tory rule.6

And that’s our message to you too this Christmas. It’s a tough old world out there that looks set to get tougher, so look after yourselves and each other and, however you identify, however you celebrate, if you’re a victim of the system, their system, we’re on your side, making music to bring hope, healing, encouragement, entertainment and outrage.

Hold your loved ones close this Christmas if you can, and think about those that can’t. Let’s all come out fighting in the New Year.

Merry Christmas!

Steve

Xmas Fist

 

1. Obviously.

2. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50895486. And listen out for Air Miles Andy, at gigs and hopefully on record soon.

3. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-minister-boris-johnsons-christmas-message-24-december-2019

4.https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/religion/articles/religioninenglandandwales2011/2012-12-11

5. Always the police, followed by nurses. Rarely do the other services get a special mention.

6. https://jeremycorbyn.org.uk/articles/jeremy-corbyn-my-christmas-message/index.html