The Christmas bonus edition

Singles Bar 26When RALPH McTELL wrote ‘Streets Of London’ it was a song of its time. Everyone, but everyone, sang it. In the intervening decades it became a song that we heard but didn’t really listen to and, of course, Ralph had to sing it everywhere he went. The thing is, nothing has improved in the last fifty years and Ralph has returned to the song with a new version featuring ANNIE LENNOX and THE CRISIS CHOIR released as a single for the benefit of the homeless charity Crisis. If that doesn’t convince you to spend 99p on it, there’s Richard Thompson on guitar, too. Download from:

‘A White Cliffs Christmas’ is the new single by folk collective 51:13. It was written by Nick Esson who says that “my hope was to ameliorate the vibe of the 1970s Christmas song with the contemporary experience of being a parent and grandparent at this time of the year”. You might expect a measure of cynicism but no, this a genuinely joyful song even though “the turkey’s frozen and I don’t like greens”. It’s really uplifting and half the profits will go to the Dover Soup Kitchen. Buy from:

If you’re looking for cynicism look no further than PROSECCO SOCIALIST, a new trio featuring a gravely Dave Rotheray, Eleanor McEvoy at her hard-bitten best and Hull’s “living legend”, Mike Greaves. ‘This Dog’s Just For Christmas (Not For Life)’ attempts to answer John Lennon’s famous question: “And so this is Christmas, and what have we done?” and Dave’s list involves seventeen Guinness extra-cold and a Jaegerbomb, not to mention a jaffa cake vodka shot. It’s a great song with the witty, acid lyrics you expect from Eleanor and it really is our sort of Christmas!

JARROD DICKENSON is mellow and nostalgic on ‘Christmas Time In The City’. It’s a country song topped off with steel guitar and packed full of Bing Crosby, coloured lights, freshly fallen snow and couples in love. American audiences will love it but it’s only just on the right side of parody. The bluesy, piano driven, ‘Please Come Home For Christmas’, written by Charles Brown more than fifty years ago is more like our idea of nostalgia.

ALEX HEDLEY’s new single is ‘Let It Roll On’ and it has nothing to do with Christmas. Alex is the frontman of Dorset band Saturday Sun and the single comes as a taster for his solo EP, This Life, released next month. The single is built on acoustic guitar and harmonica and you might label it Americana except that it has a decidedly British feel of existential misery. Alex has been likened to many other artists but you might be hard put to find the common ground – he really is an original.