Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Christmas 1979 by Wild Billy Childish & the Musicians of the British Empire

Christmas 1979 cover art

Artist: Wild Billy Childish & the Musicians of the British Empire
Title: Christmas 1979
Catalogue Number: Damaged Goods DAMGOOD296
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2007

What is the world coming to? Shopping malls and fake Santa's, that's what! Bluesbunny sought out a saviour to wipe the memory of hypocritical good will to all men that is enforced upon us at this time of year. The name of our saviour this year is Billy Childish (actually Wild Billy Childish and the Musicians of the British Empire) and the album that will cure us of saccharin overload is "Christmas 1979".

You want attitude? You got it in all its lo-fi splendour. They ain't hanging about either. Managing to include statutory rape in the intro to the first song on the album ("Santa Claus") pretty much indicates that this band are not courting us.  With everything cranked up to the max, a determined effort is made to direct us away from politeness and civilised behaviour. Hitting us in the face is the surf flavoured "Knick Knack Paddywhack" before the grunge hits the wall (so to speak …) with "Father Christmas is Dressed in Green". Barely pausing for breath, "A Poundland Christmas" rips through the realities of celebrating Christmas in the less prosperous parts of this land. Punk energy crackles out of the speakers with "Mistletoe" before we undertake some ill tempered, time travelling, back to the fifties rock & roll "Dear Santa Claus". Never has consumerism made us feel like dancing (bring back the Nolans!). That special time of the year (i.e. Christmas - pay attention!) when the madness of killing in the name of national pride loses its appeal is celebrated in "Merry Christmas Fritz". Bloody Jim's well hard blues harmonica leads us into a grungy "Christmas Hell" before the album ends with a riotous revisit to "Christmas 1979". The floor shaking energy of punk never died and never will - "Merry Fucking Christmas to You All".

Using the festive season as a cover for putting out some loud, proud, punk flavoured rock 'n' roll is just fine with us. A damnably refreshing change from sleigh bells and sugar overload, it made Christmas bearable for us this year. Thank you, Wild Billy Childish and the Musicians of the British Empire!
Review Date: December 30 2007