wed 24/07/2024

CD: The Wurzels - The Wurzels Christmas Album | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Wurzels - The Wurzels Christmas Album

CD: The Wurzels - The Wurzels Christmas Album

Professional bumpkins plough over the same old fields, this time in a seasonal mood

A gaudily wrapped present from the West Country

In truth this probably deserves one star rather than two but it’s all about expectations, isn’t it. A Yuletide outing from the professional bumpkins who hit big in 1976 with "I've Got a Brand New Combine Harvester", replete with a dopey-eyed cartoon cow angel floating on the cover and Christmas dinner on the CD itself, is hardly claiming to be vanguard art. If you buy this, you know what you’re getting – daft yokelised versions of creaky Christmas perennials.

And they really are all the most predictable songs imaginable, with the possible exception of orchestral pop composer Leroy Anderson’s 1948 easy listening staple “Sleigh Ride” which, while well known to Americans as a “winter holiday” favourite, is not the usual Brit in-store tannoy fare.

I have seen The Wurzels perform live on numerous occasions and they’re a bundle of fun, putting on a show that winks knowingly at their preposterous cider-addled Somerset farmer shtick, and is filled with good cheer and gags. The two lead Wurzels, Tommy Banner and Pete Budd, have been at it for 45 years and long stopped worrying about their critical status. That’s not what they’re about. They’re one long drunken pub barn dance without a postmodern bone anywhere in its sozzled frame.

The only two songs that sound like anything other than Wurzels-on-autopilot are the aforementioned version of “Sleigh Ride” - perhaps because, after “White Christmas”, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Merry Christmas Everybody”, it isn’t so gratingly overfamiliar – and a ska version of “Winter Wonderland” that channels something of Baloo the Bear from Disney’s The Jungle Book, albeit with added “ooh arr, ooh arr”s.

Just to put things in perspective, though, I’d take The Wurzels’ “Winter Wonderland” any day of the week over Justin Bieber’s cloying, carefully market-researched, Asda-price Christmas R&B. So there!

Watch the video for "Sleigh Ride"

One long drunken pub barn dance without a postmodern bone anywhere in its sozzled frame


Editor Rating: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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the drummer really doesnt know whats going on lol

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