The Kecks – Lonely this Christmas

Posted: 5 December 2021 in Singles and EPs
Tags: , , , , , ,

27th November 2021

James Wells

What what what? Could The Kecks, who we’ve been raving about all year, be about to undo all their good work with not only – gasp – a Christmas single, but a cover, and a cover of a shmaltzy Elvis tune at that? When it landed it my inbox, I covered my eyes and pretended it wasn’t there. Poking myself to play it, I was so, so tempted to cover my ears while contemplating the challenge of the extent to which one can permit a transgression from a band you rate, and what constitutes sufficient mitigating circumstances.

It being Christmas is absolutely not adequate defence. In fact, it’s the opposite.

To be clear: I don’t hate Christmas. I just hate the faux-fun, the forced festivities, the fact that everyone feels the need to go crazy social, to overspend and overindulge, the fact that a Christian festival has essentially hijacked solstice celebrations and subsequently been repurposed as a shameful capitalist cash-in.

The foursome have been sitting on this a while: it was recorded back in 2019 and remastered last year, and I’d like to think they’ve been sitting on it until it felt that the time was right and they’d built enough of a name for themselves before putting this out, which I suppose is commendable and makes career sense, but it’s still a Christmas single at the end of the day.

Credit where it’s due, the band dubbed ‘The Strokes of Hamburg’ by Consequence Of Sound have delivered a version that’s less soft-focus and smooshy than either the original or Mud’s famous and faithful cover, injecting it with some vocal passion that gives it a lift and a bit of bite – enough to bring home the grim reality that is Christmas alone , no doubt something that will hit many this year, be it by breakup, bereavement, quarantine or lockdown. Lonely and cold, and unusually dark.

AA

The Kecks artwork

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