You’re all either doing one of two things at the moment; you’re being ‘rebellious’ and instead of going to bed at a reasonable hour and awaiting old Saint Nick’s arrival, you’re in the pub about to down a Glitterbomb, wearing a Santa hat, before being wheeled home in a trolley to your front door, while your friends sing a hiccuped version of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Or…having popped open a tube of Pringles and eaten them all before the six o’clock news, you’re watching your third or forth Christmas film of the day before sinking into a Quality Street and Hot Chocolate-induced coma.
Usually at this time of the year, I would have just got home from work having spent the day helping the last minute shoppers *cough* men *cough* to find their perfect last minute present for their loved one and would probably have been on the verge of hitting myself over the head with a coat hanger after hearing Jamelia’s version of “Last Christmas,” for the hundredth time.
Not this year though!
I’m gradually starting to find my inner Christmas spirit, which I thought I’d lost about five years ago and found myself singing along with my mother yesterday to Michael Buble. My outer Grinch-ness has started to melt and I found myself scheduling my TV for the day, starting off with “A Muppet Christmas Carol” and ending with the aforementioned Dr Seuss classic, with a Thorntons tray and hot chocolate to hand. I still, however, draw the line at hearing The Greatest Christmas Classics of All Time.
This week has been busy to say the least with not one but TWO gigs and two Christmas soirees courtesy of the office and the loveable rogues that are my friends at our local.
Being an absolutely avid fan of the XFM radio station, I was excited beyond belief to have got tickets for their Winter Wonderland gig at Brixton Academy. The line-up especially brought back some nostalgic memories of the uni days, when I used to miraculously manage to get to my 9am lecture on a Friday, after getting in at 4am from the night before.
Hosted by the brilliant Danny Wallace (who sadly aired his last Breakfast show on Friday) there was an energetic set from the up and coming Theme Park (Check out “Two Hours“) a mellow Lucy Rose who has all tapping our feet to her acoustic set, the Temper Trap sent shivers down my spine during the opening chords of “Sweet Disposition,” while The Courteeners brought back some awesome memories with “You’re Not Nineteen Forever” and we were covered in green confetti during an extended version of “Papillon” from Editors. Other highlights included Work Experience Steve who managed to pull off his challenge of learning guitar in a matter of weeks with sponsors Rocksmith and treated us to a rendition of Blur’s “Song 2” while Mumford & Sons made a surprise appearance (to our delight!) to present XFM’s Inspiration award to the long-serving and legend that is John Kennedy (disappointed that they didn’t go full-pelt into “Little Lion Man” but hey). I emerged a happy XFM fan from that gig, despite ending up with crippled feet because of a poor shoe choice on my behalf (never wear tan loafers to a gig!).
As if Monday’s escapades weren’t enough, we headed to Koko in North London on Saturday night for our second gig of the week and all in aid of charity, on behalf of Bombay Bicycle Club.
If you’re not familiar with the band, then the best words I would use to describe them would be ‘mellow indie,’ the sort of music I usually stick on my headphones when I’m not quite ready to go to sleep yet and just want to chill out to. Seeing Bombay Bicycle Club live, however, is an entirely different kettle of fish and I had been pre-informed by my friends that had seen them at Reading Festival in 2011, that a fellow gig-goer had broken her leg during their set.
It all started out very mellow, their opening song being “Beg,” followed by the likes of “How can you Swallow so much Sleep” and during “Ivy and Gold,” frontman Jack Steadman broke into a chorus of “We Wish You a Very Merry Christmas.” All very tame, mellow, safe…
When the opening bars of “Evening/Morning,” began though, the nice chilled bopping crowd turned into a sweaty free-for-all that pretty much set the bar for the remainder of the gig. I ended up with half of someone’s pint over my head so much so that I looked like a sweaty, emo boy with my fringe stuck to my face and panda eyes to match. It’s always worth it though just for my pure love of music. The surprise of the rowdiness and madness that ensued was an early Christmas present indeed…I’m just glad I wasn’t another statistic in the broken limbs category.
January currently is an empty slot for gigs at this precise moment and it is one of my New Year’s resolution to get involved in some sort of live music event at least once a month. If anyone has any good shouts for the month of January, feel free to post on here, I will be turning 23 next month afterall….eeeek!
For now, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and may your day be filled with laughter, love, food and goodies. A special salute to all those working over the festive period in particular and for those of you who are on your fifth Glitterbomb, Santa’s watching y’know…