The race for the festive No 1 is on, and as ever there’s a lot of spurious old festive rubbish chucked out in the name of Christmas, starting with X Factor winner Louisa Johsnon doing very bad things to Bob Dylan.
Our alternatives may not be set to rival past festive chart-toppers like Bob The Builder and Leon Jackson. But they should make a break from the endless parade of charity choirs and novelty sing-ups following in Simon Cowell’s wake.
Loose Tapestries – Can’t Wait For Christmas
Wonky comedian Noel Fielding and Kasabian guitarist Serge Pizzorno have long been mates, and their likeminded approach to all things far out have seen them inevitably team up for Can’t Wait For Christmas. A suitably deranged affair, it also features a rap from Idris Elba. Which is less predictable. We’re not sure if it’ll go down well with everyone, but it makes for a suitably mental and festive few minutes.
Sparks – Christmas Without A Prayer
The Mael brothers are no stranger to the Christmas single, having first entered the realm of the festive singalong back in 1974 with Thank God It’s Not Christmas. The brothers have had one of their most high-profile years to date, with their splendidly-named supergroup FFS with Franz Ferdinand. There’s probably not enough Sparks fans to lift this into the Top Five, but don’t bet against it turning up somewhere in the Christmas countdown.
Courteeners – Winter Wonderland
Courteeners are bigger than you think they are. You may not be able to name many of their tunes at gunpoint, but Liam Fray and chums still manage to sell out the occasional stadium and have a high hit rate of albums doing the business. It’s not actually THAT Winter Wonderland, alas, but a perfectly decent new tune. All proceeds will be going to Shelter, so that’s nice.
Stormzy – Shut Up
A last minute surge could see the prospect of a grime Christmas, as Stormzy has barged into the race. He’d previously hit the charts back in September with WickedSkengMan #4, and could quite easily rally supporters into lifting him into the Top Ten at least. Bookies have come out and offered 10/1 on it, so let’s see if this is the one to upset The X Factor charabanc.
Bob Dylan – Forever Young
He may have had his eighth No 1 album in 2015, but Dylan looks set to make his first Top 40 singles chart appearance since 1995 with his original version of Forever Young. However, Dylan’s tune doesn’t appear to be part of a Facebook campaign by those who demand REAL MUSIC at the top of the charts each Christmas, even if they’d struggle to name any other chart-topper from the previous 12 months.
Loaded’s deputy editor John Earls has covered entertainment and sport across a range of national newspapers, plus several football and music magazines, since 1990. Follow him on Twitter at @EarlsJohn