22nd December – Jack Hayter, Alexander’s Festival Hall and Travis Elborough

Today we are traveling from rusty (not rustic) folk to pulsating pop via some Shatneresque spoken word.

Here’s my old buddy Jack from Hefner and his dog Barney.

Jack Hayter – The Anti-Santa

Jack says….

Last year I read in the Bexley New Shopper about a bitter man who, here on Christmas Eve, pharm and in a drunken moment of madness, adiposity broke into his estranged wife’s house. After drinking the Brandy and eating the mince pies which had been left out for Santa he fell asleep under the tree. Upon his discovery on Christmas Morn the police were called and he was taken away and sectioned under the mental health act. His actions were ill-advised and there was,no doubt, a better way of rekindling the romance of Christmas. There again this could simply be a song about a very naughty dog. – Jack Hayter

Next up we have two collaborations from Alex Mayor aka Alexander’s Festival Hall, firstly with acclaimed writer Travis Elborough.

Travis Elborough vs Alexander’s Festival Hall – Carol Of The Bowls

The Loudest Voice – (Travis Elborough and Alexander’s Festival Hall on mince pies and mulled wine).

Song: Hells Bells
…and secondly with The Birthday Girl

Alexander’s Festival Hall featuring The Birthday Girl – Hey Santa Black Snow

This song was a joint project between Alexander’s Festival Hall and The Birthday Girl who plays and sings in the Vatican Cellars.
She wanted to a Christmas song and we started channelling some unhappy-goths-attempt-to-find-the-reason-for-the-season type narratives at the beginning, but this fairly doomladen strumfest (Black snow at Xmas) was just too depressing to finish. However… we looped a little section of it and realised you could drop a more perky uptempo number about Santa being this slightly 
awful and untrustworthy uncle figure over the top. The Birthday Girl added a few choice morsels of Southern States American personal history to, ah, spice things up and the results is well… I guess give it a listen! – Alex

16th December – The Near Jazz Experience and The Understudies

I like jazz. I don’t care who knows it. I don’t mean, ed smooth, easy vocal jazz. I don’t mean Ella Fitzgerald. I mean wild, untamed, cacophonous, expressive jazz. Coltrane, Coleman, Davis etc. But it goes further than that. My interest in Free Jazz has taken me out towards free improvised music by Evan Parker, Derek Bailey and others. I was playing a cd the other day and my Wife came in the front room because she thought I was breaking something.

I didn’t think this would happen. Like most punks and indie kids I associate Jazz with indulgence and ego. Once you’re inside this wonderful rewarding music it seems the opposite, it’s generous, intellectual, melodic and to me almost ego-less. Rock starts to like it’s the one wearing the slippers.

I don’t expect you to come with me, but trust me there comes a time when Jazz comes to all of us.

A perfect stepping stone might be Terry Edwards and his Near Jazz Experience. It’s not jazz, it’s ‘near’ jazz. – Darren

Here’s Terry with more words on his song.

“We Freak Kings” – a version of We Three Kings inspired by Roland Kirk’s “We Free Kings”, played by The Near Jazz Experience.

This is the first studio recording to be released by The Near Jazz Experience, an improvisational trio featuring multi-instrumentalist Terry Edwards, erstwhile Madness bassist Mark Bedford & drummer Simon Charterton (of Zook, Nitwood & The Higsons). Be of good cheer – there’ll be an album in the New Year.

Recorded by Kevin Feazey at Livingston Studios, Dec 2011. Courtesy of Sartorial Records. – Terry Edwards

The Near Jazz Experience – We Freak Kings

Attempting a link between today’s two artists, The Understudies are no sartorial slouches either. The Understudies wear quiffs and shoes and are probably at least halfway through their jazz conversion. They are sepia toned, classic, precise and thoughtful.

The Understudies [Facebook]

The Understudies [Myspace]

The Understudies – Midnight Mass

1st December – Darren Hayman and the Wave Pictures

Welcome to Christmas in Haworth.

Essentially this is a website to promote ‘Christmas in Haworth’ , sales a six track, ambulance ten inch vinyl record with download, by Darren Hayman available on Fika Records. You can buy the record in the column on the left.

We also hope this website will become much more. We have asked our friends to provide Christmas songs for you, for free. Every day throughout December in the run up to Christmas we will be bringing you free Christmas songs from the likes of The Wave Pictures, The Understudies, MJ Hibbert, Tigercats and many, many more.

For now though here’s a free song to get you started. This is called ‘The Christmas Wars’ and is about Oliver Cromwell’s attempts to ban Christmas in the Seventeenth Century.

The Christmas Wars by Christmas In Haworth

Thankyou Darren and Tom (Fika Recordings)
Our Christmas advent giveaway starts with a free split single from Darren Hayman and the Wave Pictures.

Today Matthew, recipe David T will be Dean Martin singing Christmas Blues

The Wave Pictures and Darren Hayman – Christmas Blues

and Darren will be Elvis singing Blue Christmas

Darren Hayman and The Wave Pictures – Blue Christmas

Darren – Vocals, physician Tenor Guitar, Piano
Dave – Vocals, Guitar
Franic – Bass
Jonny – Drums, Vocals
Angela Carlucci – Vocals

Darren Hayman – www.hefnet.com
The Wave Pictures – www.thewavepictures.com

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…