…except for the non-shitty Christmas music which I do like.
Okay, so Sharks Took the Rest, whom I saw earlier this evening, weren’t really a Christmas band, but the fourth Sunday in Advent is as close to Christmas as “damn-it” is to swearing and they were utterly awesome. Three quarters of a string quartet, a guitarist, pianist and Becky Owen singing her heart out and banging a big bass drum – this band had me grinning ear to ear, almost crying, and going ‘hmmmmm’ within the space of a couple of songs. They claimed it was only their fourth real gig – on the strength of tonight’s performance, we should be hearing an awful lot more from them.
Last year, Glasvegas recorded a Christmassy EP. ‘A Snowflake Fell (and it felt like a kiss)’ is a wonderful little recording – a fragile, ugly, beautiful, angry and (ultimately) hopeful piece of miserablism, it begins with the (very sweary) story of a relationship breaking down irreparably, and moving through the consequent homelessness, it climaxes with the final verse of the title track:
The ringing from the bells keeps screaming out love
As snow fell from heavens above
Directionless no more
Emptiness no more
Now I don’t feel so all alone in the cold – wondering where I’m going today.
Then a snowflake, and it felt like a kiss.
Now I’m OK
Christmas at its best brings healing and wholeness where it is most needed, and I would argue that that is the whole point.
Oh, and ‘Fairytale of New York’ is still one of the best Christmas songs ever.