Thursday, December 24, 2020

The Soul Santas

You've probably heard about this album, 'cause it's doing the rounds on many music blogs. If not, and you like soul- and funkified Christmas instrumentals, yer in for a treat.
Christmas Crackers, Vol 1 sees funk-laden soul versions of hymns like ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, ‘We Three Kings’ and ‘Away In A Manger’, alongside more secular yuletide classics like ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer’. The Soul Santas = Portishead-honcho Geoff Barrow on drum duties, while fellow Beak> member (Barrow is also part of this band) Bully Fuller plays bass, alongside Ben Salisbury (keyboards) and guitarist Shaun Snook, a regular in the band of Portishead signer Beth Gibbons.
The Soul Santas apparently came together to play a Christmas School Fair in 2014 – their one and only show, despite being, in their own words, “a roaring success”. The project lay dormant until earlier a host of rehearsal recordings surfaced on a band member’s phone, inspiring them to record Christmas Crackers Vol.1 over two days at Invada Studios in Bristol in October 2020.
All proceeds from the album received this year will go to feed the homeless of Bristol.

Barrow and Beak> are not strangers to making Christmas music, this track is from 2017 and (with a little effort) you can hear the old funk 'n soul influence already there:
A totally great video for this: