Christmas is coming and work parties are in full flow. Restaurant owners are rubbing their hands in glee and turkey juice whilst colleagues pull crackers and wear flimsy paper hats.
In a dingier part of town, men carry bunches of mistletoe in their back pockets in the hope that a predatory chance might present to tickle the tonsils of a drunken reveller. Strains of “You scumbag, you maggot, You cheap lousy faggot” can be heard blazing out of a nearby karaoke bar but the irony is lost amidst the cheap scent and puddles of piss.
You’ve got to love the build up to Christmas; the night-time economy in any town, whilst particularly unpleasant, is still much nicer than it is by day.
I can ignore it no longer. In a week it’ll all be over for another year. And many of us will be breathing sighs of relief whilst sucking on our humbugs. I’ll play the game and post a Christmas video to Sonic Breakfast.
But this isn’t any old Christmas song. In fact, it’s rather brilliant.
The Senti-Mentals are a new act to me. Their existence might have passed me by if it wasn’t for a PR company sending me a link to this fine animated video. “You show me yours at Xmas” sums it all up. It’s a gloriously sympathetic tribute to classic Christmas tunes of the past. Wrapped in a bow of Slade and Wizzard whilst moving the genre forward with healthy dollops of doo-wop, this is a tune that’ll raise the smiles and the party spirits. Here we have the faint whiff of optimism that we’re all encouraged to feel at this time of year blended in with a sort of knowing nostalgic nonsense that simply makes things feel right.
The Senti-Mentals have been going since 1998 when John Dobinson, a stalwart of the retro doo-wop scene, met up with punk-poet singer and songwriter, Paul Eccentric. They’ve gigged a fair bit but can hardly be accused of being prolific in their releases. Since 2008, Den Hegarty has also been part of the mix. Den was bass vocalist and founder of Darts back in the 1970’s. The first ever cassette I bought from a Woolworths (ironically with a Christmas gift voucher) was a Darts album.
I can only have been six or seven years old then and probably believed in the beauty of Christmas. Funny that.
Genuinely though, I do wish readers of Sonic Breakfast a happy holiday. Let’s have a glittery ball.