The TATP Selection Box – Part 3
Its time to remember those less fortunate than ourselves at Christmas – those poor, old podcasts who only get to be loved every December – and you can help. Simply send no money and listen to these three shows, starting with the third of Ben Baker and Tim Worthington‘s “Cult Bin Advent” programmes in which they discuss the things that have a distinct Christmassy feel without having that much to do with the season itself.
This episode deals with Advent Music (That Isn’t Actually Advent Music) in which you’ll learn about the cows agriculture forgot, when Brian Wilson was right, Martin Green and the rise of “Moogs Funks Breaks”, why “Heroes and Villains” was nearly an utter disaster, where the Family Ness were when John Cale was recording “Paris 1919″ (or halfway through The One Show), Glam Goose, The Adventures Of Don Quick, Lou Reed’s approach to etiquette, what Dave Lee Travis tapped his hairy feet to and and who or what ‘Eurofashion ’68′ might or might not have been…
The following year added the true spirit of festivity Phil Catterall to the chaotic Christmas countdown that was “Why Wont Yule”. This third show saw your audio pals putting up the decorations and tree like any normal person, watching ‘pre-Christmas limbo’ daytime TV and waiting for even the slightest bit of specially placed tinsel or baubles on Rob Curling‘s majestic “Turnabout”.
You’ll also find out which of us actually went carol singing and which of us always awaited delivery of a Christmas Hamper (read = a box with some corned beef in). Plus such standard diversions as a giant robot ant, a statistical breakdown of American vs. British sitcom characters’ retrieval of decorations, how hampers are apparently like an autopsy, why a Chocolate Orange is essential to Phil‘s family Christmas tree traditions and a lot more to boot… Jason, stop messing with that ”If You See God, Tell Him” playset and go help yer father get the cyber-decorations out of the eLoft!
Tim’s decade-decimating highlights of all things sparkling with “Christmas In The 80s”, a mix of music, comedy, TV and other misc clips for a certain generation in which it was all about late-night comedy and hints of slightly more interesting music poking through the all-pervading pop but still gets dewey eyed at a BBC1 Christmas Day rundown from 1985….
And here’s Tim with a more detailed look at the contents… “Starting with the legendary 1985 Telly Addicts Christmas Special in which reigning champions The Pains took on the Michael Grade-fronted ‘Aches’ its then onto the opening theme from state-of-the-art BBC children’s drama The Box Of Delights, The Housemartins performing an impromptu Christmas greeting to listeners at the end of a Peel Session version of Heaven Help Us All, Holly Johnson‘s phone-in contribution to the b-side of Do They Know It’s Christmas?, and from 1989, the unfairly maligned reworking of Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid II, which may not have worn well but is still infinitely more listenable than the dreary Band Aid 20.
Then there’s a bit of the Terrahawks special A Christmas Miracle, ‘Neil’ introducing the ‘Christmas Ripoff Mix’ of his flop second single My White Bicycle, and Band Aid II escapee Jason Donovan with his really rather good Christmas single When You Come Back To Me, with Roland Rat proffering greetings from his BBC debuting Yuletide Binge, and a bit of Dormobile-related seasonal angst from the Christmas Special of Ever Decreasing Circles. John Peel, from his famed Other Christmas Records show, introduces The Waitresses with Christmas Wrapping, and a couple of extracts from a Blue Peter behind-the-scenes feature on the Grange Hill Christmas Special where someone tried to steal the school disco, Mel Smith & Griff Rhys Jones‘ Home Made Xmas Video, and the oft-censored bit of Blackadder’s Christmas Carol. Then there’s a Woolworths ad, sadly in place of the Christmas ’82 (CHECKITOUT!) Today’s Tesco one, which I couldn’t find anywhere. I’m just off to the Zavvi! Meanwhile, Comic Strip Presents… spinoff heavy metal spoof Bad News turn in their one musically listenable moment with Cashing In On Christmas, followed by EastEnders (when it was good)’s celebrated ‘Happy Christmas, Ange’ ratings-topping shenanigans, XTC‘s frustratingly overlooked Thanks For Christmas, and an inexplicable ‘Psychedelic Christmas’ greeting recorded by XTC frontman Andy Partridge for his label’s seasonal promo CD. Shakin’ Stevens‘ Merry Christmas Everyone comes accompanied by a ‘Bad Girl Warning’, as there’s a bit of the Christmas Special of notorious bad behaviour blame-target Educating Marmalade over the top, and it’s followed by a hefty chunk of Radio 4′s commercial radio parody Radio Active, complete with Phil Pope‘s oddly-worded Wizzard parody Thank Christ It Isn’t Christmas Every Day, and its explanation-averse lyric “skin Roland Rat alive and shout hooray”. Aztec Camera‘s Walk Out To Winter and Alan Ayckbourn’s BBC2 play Season’s Greetings add an Observer reader-slanted touch to proceedings, and the Quality Street ‘All The Fun Of The Share’ ad adds all the flavours you don’t much care for but which are the only ones left in the tin. Mel Smith and Kim Wilde do their bit for Comic Relief with Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – in the little heard longer and indeed Griff-heavy version – followed by a bit of its ‘recording studio hijinks’ b-side Deck The Bloomin’ Halls over the top of Jona Lewie‘s Stop The Cavalry.
Spitting Image‘s controversial Chicken Song follow-up Santa Claus Is On The Dole is up next, followed by New Kids On The Block with Merry Merry Christmas, and late-night ‘computer generated’ pop show host Max Headroom‘s work of demented genius Merry Christmas Santa Claus (You’re A Lovely Guy), with a bit of encouragement from Channel 4′s charade-playing Christmas trailer robots. Then there’s an outro from a )Telly Addicts Christmas Special, ‘Dinners’ McCartney‘s incomprehensible phoned-in contribution to the b-side of Do They Know It’s Christmas, and French And Saunders and Raw Sex demonstrating the correct way to do a Festive version of your theme tune. And, thankfully, no room for Jive Bunny…”
So if you like all this nonsense, consider giving us the greatest gift – no, not an end to suffering and decay – I’ve got six already and they’re just cluttering up the shed – but a nice review and rating on iTunes *here* so other fellow festive types with excellent taste in podcast fun might find their way to TATP. Merry Even More Nearly A Bit More Christmas!