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’) and 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 make Mary Margaret O’Hara’s ‘Christmas Evermore’ their own, whilst original material includes ‘Father’s Christmas’ by Porky The Poet aka Phil Jupitus and ‘Sickmass’ by Psychic Pussies plus slightly left-field takes on ‘We Three Kings’ 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.
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!!
All Ready For The 25th is out 3rd December on Sartorial Records.
Sleeve notes by Paul Morley.