Christmas In Haworth Advent Calendar

Happy Christmas! We made it: twenty-four days, information pills sixty songs, and three videos, cheapest two short stories and one mixtape.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the advent calendar as much as I have – it has been great fun getting old friends involved and introducing their music to Darren and yourselves, and a huge pleasure in getting to listen to and discover the artists Darren has selected. Thanks to you all!
In case you missed anyone, here’s a quick index of who featured when (click on the date to go straight to the page).

All the tracks will stay available to stream and to download from the site for a while longer. At some point in the new year, I may package them all up into a nice easy download, but in the meantime, God Jul and have a happy new year!
Tom/Fika Recordings

1st December
The Wave Pictures and Darren Hayman Christmas Blues
Darren Hayman and The Wave Pictures Blue Christmas

2nd December
Paul Hawkins and the Bleak Midwinters Tonight I Will Be Santa
DJ Downfall Ooh Ah Just A Little Bit

3rd December
Lost Summer Kitten Jullåten
Stars In Coma Three Days Off
Lisa Bouvier Christmas Rain

4th December
Owl & Mouse Sandwich Day
Gavin Osborn Feels Like Christmas

5th December
Ralegh Long Christmas Eve
Josie Long I Wish That I Was Someone Else This Christmas

6th December
Slottet A Cold Christmas
MJ Hibbett & The Validators Thank Goodness For Christmas

7th December
David Tattersall Yes! Jesus Loves Me
Jeff Mellin Ain’t That A Rockin’ All Night
The Werewandas I Love You Santa Claus
World Of Fox ft Clair Horton Xmas Wrappin’
Meow Meow This Christmas
Coming Soon Last Christmas
Freschard Bad Year

8th December
The Mountain Parade Salvation Army Band
Two Fingers Of Firewater Douglas Fir

9th December
Enderby’s Room At Christmas Part One
Thirty Pounds Of Bone You Can’t Break Up At Christmas

10th December
Papernut Cambridge 93 Million and 1
Wooden Walls Winter’s Not So Long
Natalie Hudson The Bet

11th December
Les Étoiles Silent Night
Petter Seander How I Feel For It
Monster Bobby Silent Night

12th December
Rotifer December 12 2021
Yucca At Christmas Part Two

13th December
Moustache Of Insanity Jingle Moustache
Ardie Collins Happy Christmas, I Suppose

14th December
Emma Kupa Channuka
The Dream Of Horses Dress It Up In Tinsel

15th December
The Hardy Tree The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath
Dave Watkins Snowman Parts One and Two

16th December
The Near Jazz Experience We Freak Kings
The Understudies Midnight Mass

17th December
Bill Botting Mulled Wine
Bill Botting Acting Without Acting
Tigercats Santa Claus

18th December
Pete Astor Christmas Time
Winter Cabin Winter All Ove The World

19th December
Ballboy Merry Christmas To The Drunks, Merry Christmas To The Lovers
Cosines Winter A-Go-Go

20th December
Airport Girl Glitterball
Homescience (Drive A…) Snowplough Through Your Heart
Simon Love Santa Claus
The Butterflies Of Love Let It Snow
Scared To Dance Christmas Mix

21st December
Red Shoe Diaries San Francisco Snowglobe
We Show Up On Radar We’re Working Too Hard

22nd December
Jack Hayter The Anti-Santa
Travis Elborough vs Alexander’s Festival Hall Carol Of The Bowls
Alexander’s Festival Hall featuring The Birthday Girl Hey Santa Black Snow

23rd December
Benjamin Shaw and Fighting Kites This Christmas (I Just Want To Be Left Alone)
Broken Shoulder Stiller Night
Nosferatu D2 It’s Christmas Time (For God’s Sake)

24th December
Helen Arney & Paul Richards Never Built A Snowman
Helen Atkinson You Look Like Christmas
Darren Hayman January Sales

Download the entire advent calendar here.

21st December – Red Shoe Diaries and We Show Up On Radar

Red Shoe Diaries are five friends from Nottingham who write pop songs for messed-up grown ups. I first met their bass player Rob while he was DJing at the bar I worked at, website probably some 7 or 8 years ago. It was like most bar work – fun with the right people, hospital intolerable with the wrong. Those nights Rob turned up with the Don’t Start Feeling All Romantic DJ crew were always the best.
When Fika Recordings kind of got going, visit web Red Shoe Diaries were one of the bands I wanted to get involved. They’re a bunch of lovely people and have recorded some absolutely beautiful songs, so it was always going to be easy. It was their determination for vinyl that got me out of my cassette comfort zone, for which I’m grateful now (though in the midst of the stress and chaos of getting it all together, there was probably a time where I’d have put that 10″ where the sun don’t shine…!)
So if you’ve not picked up a copy of their 10″ EP, When I Find My Heart…, head here to buy a copy. There’ll be more from Red Shoe Diaries in 2012 – expect a download only single and video for Ice & Snow, along with a couple of brand new b-sides… In the mean time, enjoy their download and the video!

Red Shoe Diaries – San Francisco Snowglobe

Here’s what Tom (Red Shoe Diaries) has to say:
San Francisco Snowglobe , the working title of which was Don’t Stop Believing (in Father Christmas), is the first bit of home-recording that we have released. Fittingly fuelled by mince pies and mulled wine, and recorded this Sunday before watching Gremlins, it is several stories woven into one song about friends in far flung places, whom we miss at this time of year.
It’s a song of little snapshots of christmastime in different places. We like the thought of sunnier climes dressed up in faux snow and Christmas trees at this time of year, and snow-globes from places where it doesn’t really snow. We hope you enjoy the song.
Happy Holidays!

On to more Nottingham based Christmas fun from We Show Up On Radar.

WSUOR is Andy Wright. He’s a good chap, a funny one too. He writes somewhat surreal nursery rhymes; a balance of the dark and the twee. He’s got an album coming out in the new year. And he’s got a few shows with Anxieteam in London and Nottingham in January. He’s ace.

We Show Up On Radar – We’re Working Too Hard

We Show Up On Radar

11th December – Les Étoiles / Petter Seander / Monster Bobby

Today we’ve got three songs for you, medical with two of those (rather quite different) versions of Silent Night.

The first is from Les Étoiles. I first came across Dave and his music via the creative commons label Records On Ribs, set up and run by two of my best friends in Nottingham. His albums (available to download for free from RoR) are beautifully sparse and intimate, almost whispered in delivery, as is this track.

Les Étoiles – Silent Night

Recorded by Dave Fitzpatrick
Mixed and Mastered by Tim Wright
Ghost Noises by Tim Wright
December 2011
Photograph by Lisa Marie Kingo Hostick
Tim Wright
Lisa Marie Kingo Hostick
Les Étoiles

The second track today comes from Sweden’s Petter Seander. He released an EP on Fika Recordings back in the spring, complete with elderflower tea and a special Swedish recipe for hazelnut cookies. Lisa Bouvier, who helped set the label up at the start of the year, had played live and recorded with Petter back in Sweden, so it seemed natural to get him involved with the label, and now, with the advent calendar.

Petter Seander – How I Feel For It

Buy Petter’s Destroyer cassette on Fika Recordings
Petter Seander

On to our second version of Silent Night today from Monster Bobby. You might know Bobby as the man behind The Pipettes or as the founder of A Little Orchestra. Or you might know Bobby as the man who seemingly spent most of Indietracks this year climbing through, under and over hedges (don’t ask). He’s a lovely chap though; here’s his contribution to the advent calendar…

Monster Bobby – Silent Night
Monster Bobby

8th December – The Mountain Parade and Two Fingers Of Firewater

After yesterday’s seven song extravaganza, side effects we’re back to normal split single service today, symptoms with tracks from The Mountain Parade and Two Fingers Of Firewater.

I always find it hard moving to a new city. I like the adventure of discovering new places but always find it hard to meet the right people at the right shows for a new place to start to feel like home. Even more so when the place you’ve just moved to is Swindon, viagra 60mg where you’re lucky to get anything more than the local builder playing Led Zeppelin covers acoustically in the dodgy pub down the road. So it was a relief to be introduced to The Mountain Parade by a mutual friend, Rose, and get to know them and their side projects in both Oxford and Bristol during my time out west. Bands and people like these make these places special.

The Mountain Parade (2008-2010) were a middle-sized band from Oxford. They toured with The Middle Ones, recorded an album and then split up. This is their Christmas song.
Roxy currently plays as herself, Jamie is in The Cooling Pearls, Ric and Mark play with Matt Winkworth and Steve is in Boxcar Aldous Huxley and I Know I Have No Collar.

The Mountain Parade – Salvation Army Band
The Mountain Parade

The other side of today’s split single comes from Two Fingers Of Firewater.

Here’s what they have to say about it:
“Sometimes it feels like Christmas is a tree to hang the months from. The rituals and traditions may remain unchanged from year to year, but the people we celebrate it with are both temporal and fragile. Maybe a sibling will leave their spouse, maybe another will have a baby; one enters as another leaves. But there are changes beyond our mere numbers. As we compare one another to the people we were twelve months previously, we can spot differences that aren’t explainable by circumstance or fortune.”

Two Fingers Of Firewater – Douglas Fir
Recorded and Written by Two Fingers of Firewater on the 19th November 2011 at the Packhouse.
Two Fingers Of Firewater

7th December – Where It’s At Is Where You Are – Seven Swans

Today we hand the reins over to John Jervis, tadalafil of WIAIWYA and Hangover Lounge fame. He’s gone the whole hog with seven Christmassy selections… over to you John…

HELLO visitors to Haworth!

It’s 7th December, buy so why not sit back and tuck into SEVEN SWANS – the wiaiwya selection box, a CELEBRATION for HEROES on QUALITY STREET…

First up let’s unwrap the caramel swirl of David Tattersall, with a beautiful instrumental blues hymn, YES! Jesus Loves Me and then, because they’re moreish, the peanut cracknell of Jeff Mellin playing a South Carolina Spiritual, Ain’t That A Rockin All Night
World of Fox and Clair Horton will have you chewing on the toffee penny, a gold wrapper for their cover of the Waitresses’ Xmas Wrappin’ next up the Werewandas are the purple one, these rockin’ boys and girls Love You Santa Claus what’s in the blue wrapper?, ah, yes, it’s the coconut eclair of Liverpool’s Meow Meow, desperate for a film they haven’t seen This Christmas we’re nearing the end of today’s treats, but there’s always room for Coming Soon, and the vanilla fudge of Last Christmas and saved for last, the strawberry creme of Clemence Freschard, but sadly she’s had a Bad Year

Make sure you don’t put the empty wrappers back in the tin, and hope the christmas shopping is going well… thanks to all the bands and Darren & Tom for having us along…



6th December – Slottet and MJ Hibbett & The Validators

When I started Fika Recordings, viagra sale the goal was really just to get music I enjoyed out there for other people to hopefully enjoy too. I discovered Slottet (based in Sweden) about the same time as the label got going, and having enjoyed a few mp3s they’d sent out to blogs, thought maybe I should take the plunge and help them get something physical out there. It was the first time I’d approached someone out of the blue and was slightly apprehensive – would they shoot me down or laugh at the prospect of putting something out on cassette tape?
I needn’t have worried – Marcus was delighted to have been asked and a pleasure to get to know once we started forming plans for Fika’s 6th cassette release in the spring.
This track brings a welcome dose of warm synths to the advent calendar; if you enjoy it, please do consider buying one of the remaining copies of the Servants cassette, which comes with download, tea and a cake recipe.
Buy the Slottet – Servants cassette on Fika Recordings

Slottet – A Cold Christmas
Written and recorded by Slottet November 2011
Special thank to Per Jonsson for the drums
Slottet / Facebook / Spotify

Today’s second track comes courtesy of MJ Hibbett & The Validators. When Darren and I first started talking about putting together this advent calendar, Hibbert was the first person I thought of asking to get involved. He’s not released anything with us yet, but I can’t fail to love a man who writes songs about science, dinosaurs and indie discos. He’s a bloody treasure that man, which all made me a little bit too excited when he sent over his track – another Christmas corker.
Here’s what the man himself had to say:

Hello, Hibbett here!
The idea for this song came many years ago when I was sharing an office with a South African. She’d never had a Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere before so was initially dismissive of the whole idea. To her it meant grumpy family barbecues and cards of snowy scenes exchanged on a beach, just fake emotion and pointless present exchanges. However, as November got darker and colder she began to see the point of a massive festival of twinkly lights to keep everyone going during months of gloom, and gradually began to appreciate that there might be a point to it all. By the time advent began she had her own calendar and when we broke up for the holidays she was bedecked in tinsel, singing carols, and necking a big old mug of mulled wine. I didn’t necessarily learn the true meaning of Christmas that year, but by golly I realised why we need it!
I had every intention of making a video for this song, but The Validators were all in different parts of the world (everyone recorded their parts at home, so we have piano from Loughborough and backing vocals in Mauritius!) and I was occupied on various attempts to get our new album made properly, so we didn’t quite find the time. To make up for it I present a picture of a happy Leytonstone snow man, taken by The Pastry On My Mince Pie a couple of years ago. Merry Christmas!

MJ Hibbett & The Validators – Thank Goodness For Christmas

M.J. Hibbett & The Validators

3rd December – Lost Summer Kitten / Stars In Coma / Lisa Bouvier

Hi! This is Tom here, prostate I’m the one behind Fika Recordings. I thought this first Fika-centric day of the advent calendar would provide a good opportunity to babble on about how the label started, pharm in particular, how the three Swedish bands featured here were pivotal in getting Fika Recordings off the ground.

Let’s start at the beginning, four or five years ago. I stumbled upon a track from a female Swedish duo on the internets, Lovesong #1 by Lost Summer Kitten, which quickly became a staple of mixtapes I’d make for friends, my radio shows and melancholic Sunday evening DJ sets. It was a heartwrenchingly tender song and impossible to get hold of a physical copy in the UK. One day I thought, I should try and help release songs like this, songs I just want to play to as many people as physically possible.
Fast forward to London Popfest 2010. I got chatting to a couple of Swedes who’d flown over for it in the pub. Talk turned to the mixtapes we’d put together for the swap box… and that song was still being a fairly regular feature of my tapes. Turns out these girls, Amanda and Matilda, were Lost Summer Kitten.
A couple of months before that, I’d come down to London to catch up with some friends and head to the Twee As Fuck night, where Stars In Coma were playing. This was where I met both the band, and Lisa Bouvier, who was playing keyboards and flute with them at the time. We kept in touch and got to hang out at popshows in Sweden, in Berlin and at Indietracks.
But it wasn’t until the summer, sat outside an East London pub in the sunshine with Lisa Bouvier, that the decision was made to start a record label. Beer had been consumed and it all seemed so simple to do… Let’s put out a few cassettes, hand-make them with care and affection, and get some of the bands over to play in London. Plus both she and Lost Summer Kitten had unreleased songs, so why not? Over the next 6 months, Lisa helped shoot down some of my more ridiculous ideas (though tea and cake with every release met with firm approval), I bothered Horowitz and Moustache Of Insanity to release cassettes with us too, and come February 2011, Fika Recordings was go.

From there, it has been consistently busy at Fika Recordings. The first four cassettes have all sold out, another four cassettes came out in late spring (from Amida, Slottet, Ed Greene and Petter Seander) and then the move to do a few vinyl records, with an 10″ EP from Red Shoe Diaries, a 12″ LP from Moustache Of Insanity and onto the Christmas In Haworth 10″ EP with Darren Hayman. There’ll be tracks from many of those artists coming up later in the month, but first, on to today’s free songs from Fika’s Swedish friends…

The first is Jullåten from Lost Summer Kitten.

Lost Summer Kitten – Jullåten

Written by Matilda Hjärtstam
Recorded at Kulturmejeriet, Lund, Winter 2007.
You can also download their sold out cassette on Fika Recordings, Not Another Sad Song. It is available on a pay-what-you-feel-like basis.


Stars In Coma – Three Days Off

Written, recorded and produced by André Brorsson in Moonport Studios between October – November 2011
Stars In Coma 


Lisa Bouvier – Christmas Rain

Played by Lisa Bouvier
Strings by Henry Western’s Trio
Recorded by The Producer’s Chair at Hendon Cathedral 2011
Lisa Bouvier

Photos Like Postcards

Today sees the official release of Darren Hayman’s Christmas In Haworth EP on Fika Recordings. To kick things off for the advent calendar, mind here’s a video for the penultimate track on the EP Darren shot of himself and Beluah exploring Haworth last Christmas.

You can buy the EP now here.

Keep an eye on the website from the 1st of December, when the advent calendar starts revealing it’s Christmas surprises…