Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Friday, 19 December 2014

Car Boot Christmas Countdown - Day 5

Welcome to Part 5 of the Car Boot Christmas Countdown.  Yesterday's post featured one of my festive favourites, so today as contrast I bring you a brace of indigestible Christmas turkeys. Let's start with the There's No-one Quite Like Grandma Hitmakers; I give you St. Winifred's School Choir and Christmas For Everyone:

St. Winifred's School Choir - Christmas For Everyone (1982)

Kindly (?) given to me by my big sister Clare who works in a Sue Ryder charity shop (where she paid £1 for it), this album is a collection of 14 carols and school assembly Christmas songs.  The choir of 8-11 year-olds had a Christmas number one in 1980, and they present this seasonal number two (or Yule log, if you will) under the supervision of trainer and director Miss Terri Foley who was a teacher at St. Winifred's Roman Catholic Primary School in Stockport.

Although the arrangements aren't terrible and the budget instrumentation can be forgiven, the album is largely a helium-fuelled saccharine nightmare thanks to lead soloist Dawn Ralph (not the kid on the cover), whose sickly vocals must only appeal to the most sentimental of grannies.  On solo-free songs things are more tolerable, and even quite amusing in the case of Calypso Carol (thankfully no Mike Reid-style dodgy accents) and the clippy-clop of primary school fave Little Donkey, so I was able to pick out a rather sweet example to include in the Christmas cloudcast.

No such luck with this next record, whose contents utterly fail to match its cheery cover. Luckily I didn't pay for this LP either - it was found lurking under the stairs among some of my bloke's old records during a recent clear-out (that's a whole other horror show).  He claims it belonged to his parents and I'm inclined to believe him:

Chas & Dave's Christmas Carol Album (1986)

Chas & Dave's Christmas Carol Album is a grave disappointment.  Whether it's your cup or tea or not, the boys' piano and banjo-led rockney is always good-humoured and made with a knees-up in mind.  Of course carols are another matter, but since the backing here is provided by the Cambridge Heath Band of the Salvation Army (and very good they are too), the lack of pace and jollity reveals the downright dreariness of their vocal style.

Either they were phoning it in, or their nasal voices just aren't right for straight-ahead carols, but when they couldn't even inject some joy into Wassail Song or Hark! The Herald Angels Sing I'm afraid that I skipped through Side 2 pretty quickly, only giving each dirge a cursory listen in a futile search for a song to include in the Car Boot Christmas Special.  It's back in the stair cupboard now.

Listen to the cloudcast here:

It's a Chas & Dave-free zone.

Come back tomorrow (Sat 20th Dec) for part 6 of the Car Boot Christmas Countdown and a pair of seasonal delights.

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