...or not if you loathe reality shows, especially the lowest bland denominator X Factor. This showbiz behemoth has dominated Xmas music sales for what seems like forever with it's soulless tat. That strange beast the General Public, who watch this show in their millions and then buy the trash it churns out can't be all wrong can they? YES THEY CAN. I've just watched the Robert Plant Electric Prom that was broadcast on BBC4 last week. Now over 60 and exuding a calm authority coupled with an ongoing enthusiasm for searching out new ways to present some classic old countryfied material, with the odd Led Zeppelin classic thrown in for good measure, this guy has something that X Factor contestants will never have unless they have already "paid their dues" or if they go on to forge an extremely unlikely 40 odd year career in music - soul. Call it mojo, feeling, spirituality, it's something a game show contestant whose only experience in music is squawking along to the latest R&B (new meaning - to me The Stones are R&B, not Rhianna (sic) and her ilk) hit in front of the bathroom mirror before being plucked from deserved obscurity by the dreadful Mr Cowell and his cohorts will never have. It's also something that seems entirely absent in Cowell's persona, which is just as well, for how could he live with this shite otherwise?
I may come across as a snob, if so, tough. Most people who claim to like music have zero idea of what actually constitutes the artform in the first place. Right I'll stop ranting now. This year there are a number of campaigns for alternative Xmas no.1's to whatever tosh is churned out by X Factor, and these are some top picks:
Wagner Carrilho - song to be decided
A Facebook campaign is underway to get a Brazilian former PE teacher with a horrendous mullet, who is a contestant on this year's XF, but awful in a tuneless and leery Working Man's Club way, to win the damned thing, thereby getting him a contract and Xmas record release on Cowell's label. This would undoubtedly annoy Cowell no end, as it would usurp his plan to get this year's pretty boy/girl combo to the top slot, so it has to be approved! Wagner has allegedly said "the show stinks like a set up", so he's not as daft as his haircut might suggest.
John Cage - 4'33''
The Situationists and indeed my fave - the idea of having over four minutes of silence at No.1 for Xmas is full of delicious irony, and not just as a poke in the eye for XF. The Facebook campaign goes under the name Cage Against The Machine, no doubt in honour of the successful ruse from last year when Cowell was suitably humbled by being told "F*ck You I won't Do What You Tell Me". Marvellous!
The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York
In honour of the tenth anniversary of MacColl's untimely and sad demise. A pretty straight campaign this one, but you can't argue with one of the best Xmas No.1s ever (or No.2 depending on which chart you believe) making a return.
The Trashmen - Surfin' Bird
The original 60s garage rock'n'roll classic, brought to prominence via the cartoon Family Guy. My first contact with this song was The Ramones' version from 1978, but this is better. Definitely the feelgood choice.
The Macc Ladds - Sweaty Betty
Has no chance, but is very funny in an unreconstructed fashion - the lyrics have to be seen to be believed! Not for the faint hearted.
The Wombles - A Wombling Merry Christmas Why?
Not a Facebook campaign, but in the running...
The Yeo Valley milk advert rap
According to right wing leave-your-brain-at-the-door rag, The Daily Mail, this in with a chance. Again, why? Bloody awful, but if it keeps Cowell's mits off the No.1 spot, all the better...
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