Advent Calendar 2010 – Day Twelve – Paul Vickers Special


Today we have a triple threat of the weird and, hopefully, wonderful. We also have a real rarity – a song that I genuinely hate, but enjoy in this form.

All three songs today feature in one way or another Paul Vickers, as should have been obvious from the title.

Paul Vickers is best known to me as one of Dawn of the Replicants. I was really into them about ten years ago, before losing track of them somewhat. They were a great band, impossible to categorise, and we’ll have them down at the end.
Recording The Impossible describe them self as being “inspired by the likes of Ivor Cutler, the Jerky Boys, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Chris Morris and Tom Waits”, so you should probably be able to tell you won’t be in for something dull and mundane really. Today’s Christmas song of choice is there, well, unique, take on good old Silent Night.
Paul Vickers and The Leg are as difficult to describe as Dawn of the Replicants, so I’ll cop out by not even trying.
I was sure I’d never heard this song in my life until a couple of years ago, when an American friend included it on a mixtape for me. It’s been around for way over 50 years, originally performed by Gayla Peevey. Apparently my brother used to sing it to me when I was young, a memory I’d clearly suppressed.

Finally, Dawn of the Replicants. Round about the time of their debut album One Head, Two Arms, Two Legs. Also, fun fact, I used to talk a bit with co-founder Roger Simian in, of all places, a 2000AD newsgroup, many years ago.
As for the song… Well, this is a song which actually had the ability to make me violent. Years of working in retail, and therefore years of hearing it about a dozen times a day for all of November and December, will do that to you. Oddly enough, all other Christmas songs I’m fine with, even though I’ve similarly heard them a million times, it’s just this one that makes me want to punch people in the throat. Sorry Macca fans, but the song makes The Frog Chorus sound like a work of genius.
Fortunately, the Dawn of the Replicants version doesn’t make me want to punch folk. Though it can’t quite redeem the song entirely it does make it enjoyable, or at least tolerable.