Favourite Christmas song: ‘Cool Yule’ (Louis Armstrong) – “lay a lick on a peppermint stick” Best. Lyric. Ever. ;-D
Favourite Christmas movie: ‘Die Hard’ – I find it warms the blood with unparalleled joy, as one gives thanks for Bruce Willis, and all that he achieved in that tower.
Any Christmas traditions: I wear a Red Reindeer jumper… and that’s all … no other clothing is required on Christmas Day. I used to watch ‘Empire Strikes Back’ every Christmas as a kid. As Samuel Johnson dug, “Claret is the liquid for boys, Port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink Brandy”. Having encountered and consumed all three life-affirming impostors, I can usually be found invoking the deities of Nashville through gauzy Fender-Dobro and Vocal hallucinations of a Country Christmas.
Favourite Christmas album: ‘When My Heart Finds Christmas’ (Harry Connick, Jr.) – put your Buble down and listen to the real deal – all arrangements for orchestra, big band and quartet penned by Connick, plus many great originals and killer playing from all throughout.
Any Christmas gigs booked in: I can be found making noise at the Archduke with Nick Pini on Sunday afternoons – with my traditional Festive knees-up taking place there on the 13th December. I will also be finishing off my ‘Antony & Cleopatra’ Opera before the curtain falls on 2015, ready for an enthusiastic splurge of related endeavours in the new year.
Stocking fillers: Same thing I ask for every year… a pocket-sized James Titshall to take around with me on a day-to-day basis and let me know I’m doing ok … alas, this has yet to materialise. Any recordings by Troyka, Toy Rokit, Nick Cave or Ryan Bingham, an advance copy of Dr. James D. Boys’ new book “Hillary Rising”, and a veritable embarrassment of Sound Generation paraphernalia.