One of the few reasons to look forward to Christmas is the regular festive Matinee ep or album. This year's offering is called the Matinee Holiday Soiree, and when you've got the combined talents of Northern Portrait, Math and Physics Club, Strawberry Whiplash, Bubblegum Lemonage and Champagne Riot then the end result is going to be pretty special.
Northern Portrait kick off things with 'Leave the Trees Alone', a paean to the humble fir which we gaudily dress each year. It's so Christmassy that you feel like breaking open the sherry.
Strawberry Whiplash's 'Santa Needs a Holiday' continues the pretty obvious theme, and sounds a little like 'Twisterella'-era Ride. And there's very little wrong with that. Take a break, Santa!
This is the first time I've heard Champagne Riot, and whilst 'Xmas Safari' isn't as instant as the two tracks before it, the refrain of "the same routine" hits the spot perfectly.
Bubblegum Lemonade are on a roll right now, and 'White Noise Christmas' is a lovely piece of dronepop - the sort of thing you want on your headphones to drown out the Queen's Speech at 3pm on Christmas Day. Or is it 2pm? Whatever...
Math and Physics Club bring a touch of decorum to proceedings with 'It Must Be Christmas', a reflective piece which namechecks all the right things, but comes off sounding deliciously cynical. Christmas again already, eh? Math and Physics seem to be longing for summer.
So, when your around your folks house on 25th, and your Mum tipsily suggests putting on that bloody Cliff Richard* album for the 15th year in a row, pour her another glass, sit her down and out The Matinee Holiday Soiree on the stereo instead. She'll thank you for it.
Download Strawberry Whiplash's 'Santa Needs a Holiday' here. And then go and buy the ep here.
*Of course you could also tell her about that Cliff Richard cover that Northern Portrait did, but that's properly best forgotten...