More hits than misses on this festive EP – Christmas with The Choir of Man
“Feigning joy and surprise
At the gifts we despise
Over mulled wine”
I’ve still yet to make it to The Choir of Man but whilst I muse the uncomfortable seats of the Arts Theatre, here’s a festive music release in new EP Christmas with The Choir of Man. As with any Christmas variety pack, the six-song collection here is a bit of a mixed bag, which will suit different tastes differently (you can always have my Bounty 😂). I’m largely allergic to spoken-word interludes and certainly to post-track laughter, Elaine Paige’s haunts me to this day, but neither can distract from Marcus Collins’ delightfully warm take on ‘This Christmas’.
The format of lead vocal supported by choir is used a lot (I think I thought they only sang altogether). The falsettos of The Darkness’ ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)’ plus the children’s choir really aren’t my bag, as wittily written and well sung as it is (lead vocals by Mark Beveridge). Original track ‘Spend the Rest of Christmas’, led by James Hudson, is pretty but the EP shines best when bringing the ensemble to the fore.
‘Driving Home for Christmas’ shimmers as co-leads Tom Brandon and Richard Lock lead the group having great fun. The egalitarian nature of the group’s harmonies really shine through on stalwart ‘The Christmas Song’ and a properly gorgeous interpretation of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ (forever co-opted as a Christmas song now though it is in the same ‘it’s just set at Christmastime’ category as Die Hard IMHO….) – Blume’s arrangements really coming into their own.