Advent Calendar 2022: Day 2 ⛄️

Welcome back. Or, if this is your first time here, hello. I thought I’d begin Day 2 of my Advent Calendar with another of my regular choices, and then follow that up with one I haven’t played before. So, at the risk of being obvious, here is the long time favourite:

I think I have played this one every year that I have been doing this, going way back before the current format. There are loads of versions of this song but for me this is still the best, the most iconic of them all. I’ve never had the pleasure of going to one of Bruce’s shows but I understand that this one gets played whatever time of year it happens to be – it is that much a part of his catalogue! If you’ve seen it here before, I hope you don’t mind seeing it again: for me, it epitomises what I think music should be about – fun.

Today’s second tune is by a band who have really made a name for themselves on YouTube as a covers band. I played them for the first time last year, with their version of Wham’s Last Christmas, and they were so well received that I gave you a second helping later on, with their cover of Let It Snow. They have made many covers of Christmas songs, and here’s another I like:

As you can see from the video, that is First To Eleven. They currently have over 1.48m YouTube subscribers: I’d call that successful, wouldn’t you? They released this one, originally by Brenda Lee, in 2019 and it has over 1m views. They add a rock dimension to their song treatments, which I really like: they are all talented musicians, and vocalist Audra Miller has a great voice, whilst being as cute as they come. I know some of you became fans of theirs after I played them last year, and I hope more of you will this year too. You may well be seeing them here again later in the month. Oh alright, scrub ‘may’ and insert ‘will.’

I mentioned yesterday that some companies have spent huge amounts of money on their Christmas tv ads. Here in the UK the gold standard for these was set by the John Lewis Partnership, who run department stores and the Waitrose supermarket chain. Some of their previous ads have become classics, with a blend of gentle humour and a sensitive message. Their past couple haven’t been all that great, to be honest, but I think they are right back on top of their game with this year’s. They are showing this on tv in edited versions – I’m guessing 30 seconds, though I haven’t put a stopwatch on them – but they first launched the ad in its full glory. See what you think:

I’d put money on you having started watching that and thinking, as I did the first time I saw it, that there wasn’t a Christmas connection. And then they hit you with the message. It is beautifully done, and makes such an important point that we should all remember, especially at this time of year. The background music is a slowed down version of Blink 182’s All The Small Things, which is done at 100mph in the original. This version is by Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, and if you’d like to see their version in full you’ll find it here.

That just leaves my image for the day to share with you. Again, trying to keep it vaguely tasteful, I give you:

See you again tomorrow, I trust 🧸