Music-themed Christmas parties round-up
Festive shindigs on offer from Song, By Toad, Phantom Band, James Yorkston, Fence and more
This article is from 2011.
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas in Scotland's indie village without a bunch of our favourite bands getting together to chip in for mince pies and mulled wine and treat us to / inflict upon us some of their most diligently practiced seasonal covers. Yes it's the Christmas party season, and this year they seem to be more plentiful – and more inventive – than ever.
Those of us with longer memories might recall the long-defunct Silver Pill's party We Believe in Father Christmas, the Greg Lake-channelling home of the suspect but well-intentioned Chrimbo cover version, one incarnation of which saw a pre-fame Darkness perform. Well, this year it's back with a slightly incongruous Americana theme (Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Thu 22 Dec), hosted by the partially reformed Pill as The FiREBUGS and featuring The Deadly Winters and The Dirt.
Since the demise of the notorious SL Records December bash, we've been crying out for a definitive label knees-up to take its place. Given that the Song, By Toad do will have happened by the time you read this, the next felt-tip circled date on the calendar is the Fence Records' Secret Xmas Party (Saramango at CCA, Glasgow, Thu 15 Dec). Although if it's secret, how come we all know about it, we hear your fingers itching to type on a comments thread somewhere? It's the line-up that's the secret part, you see. Expect choice Fence acts, DJs and surprises.
Continuing the label theme, worth checking out is the Manky Bastard Xmas Perty (Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh, Thu 22 Dec), featuring Make Sparks, Sebastian Dangerfield, The Gold Lions and Sean Arnold. Or you might wish to consider the entertainments on offer at James Yorkston's Christmas Jamboree (Wellington Church Hall, Glasgow, Sat 17 Dec), a BYOB affair in association with Tracer Trails which also features The Pictish Trail and Lisa O'Neill, or Kid Canaveral's Christmas Baubles II (Summerhall, Edinburgh, Sat 17 Dec), an all-dayer featuring Slow Club, Standard Fare, Josie Long, eagleowl, Martin John Henry, Sweet Baboo and VERY SPECIAL guest carollers (capitals KC's own, so they must be good).
One institution that's still going strong is the Elvis Shakespeare Annual Party (Elvis Shakespeare, Edinburgh, Sat 17 Dec), which this year reaches its seventh birthday. A low-key afternoon in the Leith Walk record and book store, you can bring your own bottle for sets by The Fnords, Blueflint, Rodney Relax, My Electric Love Affair, Lord Rochester and more, and still be out in time to catch one of that evening's shows listed above. If bus fare is no option, you could even squeeze it in amidst the excellent-looking Phantom Band's Phestive Phantomime (Stereo, Glasgow, Fri 16 & Sat 17 Dec), which features local outfits Holy Mountain, Take a Worm For a Walk Week, Tut Vu Vu and Jacob Yates & the Pearly Gate Lock Pickers appearing alongside the Phantoms and some great DJs including Bobby Cleaver from Numbers.
Always fans of shying away from a conventional approach, the Phantom Band are working with art/performance collective 85A to make 'the most freaky-ish panto you're ever likely to witness'. The band will be play live on both nights with a number of special, secret guests (all-girl septet Muscles of Joy on Friday, and RM Hubbert for starters). There will be decor and visuals provided by Torsten Lauschmann, 85A and Rachel Maclean (who did their 'Everybody Know's It's True' video) and the nights will be dressed up as a 'proper' panto albeit with a weird and wonderful narrative.
Or if none of the above appeal, maybe you might want to have a punkish little Christmas with The Rezillos at Xmas (ABC, Glasgow, Thu 22 Dec; Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Fri 23 Dec): showing all these young pretenders how a party should be held since 1976 and still going strong.