Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler's 'This is Christmas' Launch Gig
Biritsh indie super-duo write their own album of festive cheer
We're here for a gig for the release of Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler's Christmas album, 'This is Christmas'.
It's Christmas, but not as we know it. It's a minor point, but anyone that walks onstage to Walking in the Air wearing sunglasses - I'm looking at you, backing band - should rethink their holiday attitude.
The thing about this gig is it could have been really good. As massive fans of Emmy and of Tim's old band, Ash, we should have been vastly pleased with a singalong version of carols done in their distinctive styles... But however compatible they are romantically, and it's very much the Tim and Emmy show in terms of flirtatious chemistry, their musical styles just don't mix well. The addition of jingly noises and the most luridly saccharine of 80s pop backing doesn't help; neither do the acoustics. (On a side note, it's a great looking place, all ornate white carving, lights and cheap blurry mirrors.)
The songs induce the occasional smile - it was only a matter of time until somebody made a Zombie Christmas song, after all. The pick of the bunch are 'Christmas Day (I wish I was Surfing)', which sounds like Ash, and John Pryne's haunting song 'Christmas in Prison' - which sounds like Emmy on her own. Itchy also enjoyed 'See You Next Year', which managed a genuine blend of the two voices (hurrah!) and sounded like a song they might have written seriously.
Of course, this was a fun Christmas effort and shouldn't be judged against the excellent standards of their other music. They tell a cute story about getting stuck in the snow last year and turning to music for entertainment... they looked like they were having fun too. And that's great. It's just that somewhere along the way, the audience got left out of the joke.