Deciding to jump on the ever divisive Christmas song bandwagon, Samantha Fish has delivered not one, but two of the bastards. I guess people could be forgiven for believing that artists abruptly stopped recording Christmas songs at some point in the mid-90s as the same twenty or so “hits” seem to play ceaselessly; regurgitated as they are in the form of muzak in stores, at Christmas parties, TV ads, and so on, in what always feels like an inordinately lengthy build-up to the festive season, each and every year. It’s almost like some sort of precursor for Punxsutawney’s Groundhog Day in early-Feb. Anyone else feel the Phil Connors 'Groundhog Day' affect with the same, tired-old annual Christmas playlist, like some sort of mandatorily imposed musical sadism that invokes an overwhelming sense of anti-yuletide purgatory?
Okay, that might all be a little over the top. I am a sucker for a decent Christmas tune (the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl are, perhaps, the pinnacle of great festive music, for me), but I do tire of the same old shit. So, enter Samantha Fish with some new shit. Good shit, I hasten to add. And she’s not merely jumped on the Christmas song bandwagon, as she’s given the tried-and-tested a fresh facelift within the context of her own artistry. So, we have rootsy, bluesy, sultry new versions of ‘Run Run Rudolph’ and ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’, chock-full of Fish-isms.
Competing with the likes of Sir Cliff Richard, Mariah Carey, Wham and, of course, Noddy’s traditional throaty holler, whereby he declares, “IT’S CHRISTMAS!” (just in case people hadn’t picked up on weeks of hints), I guess she’ll find it hard pushed to get her yuletide tunes heard through the mire of recycled Christmas nonsense. That’d be a shame, as what we have here, with these two tracks, is fantastic. And they’re indubitable proof that it is still possible for a musician to record Christmas music worthy of attention post-Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’. As such, I fear they’ll fall by the wayside, and people will be content to subject their ears to easy listening pap like the new Christmas-themed album by that perennially overrated plagiarist and generally irritating man-child, Robbie Williams. Forget Slade, forget Wizard, forget Carey, forget Wham… and most definitely forget Williams, for Samantha Fish is where it’s at this festive season.
RUN RUN RUDOLPH / CHRISTMAS (BABY PLEASE COME HOME)
Review by Mark Holmes
15th Nov 2019
1) Run Run Rudolph
2) Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...indubitable proof that it is still possible for a musician to record Christmas music worthy of attention..."