Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas stuffing

One of my favorite duos, Hue And Cry, are about to release "Xmasday", their first ever, Christmas album. It's a stop gap between the soulful Scots' next studio album and "Open Soul", their recent, glorious return to the sophisticated, pop sound that launched them 20 years ago.

If you aren't familiar with Hue And Cry, I suggest you pick up a copy of "Open Soul" and be prepared to swim in a sea of blue eyed soul. Their well crafted pop songs are full of sharp wit and thought provoking lyrics. Definitely one for those that like their pop with a bit of lyrical bite.

"Xmasday" is currently available as a super deluxe edition box set which contains all sorts of Crimbo themed goodies. Take a look at what's inside! Better sit down, kids. They've crammed a lot of love into this festive set.

Firstly, you'll get the new album which takes you on an incredible journey through Christmas day from start to finish. The tracklisting for "Xmasday" includes the following ten tracks:

1. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
2. Players Of The Game
3. White City
4. Rockin' Robin
5. We Free Kings
6. Someday At Christmas
7. Auntie Claus
8. Two Little Boys
9. Spinning Top
10. All Kind Men

You will also get a bonus CD which includes two, additional tracks, "Let It Snow" and "What A Wonderful World", which were recorded during the "Xmasday" album sessions and have been specifically reserved for the gift box.

Then there's an amazing, bonus DVD! It includes the entire, live, audio recording of one of the band’s favourite concerts which took place at the Glasgow ABC on February 21, 2009. The setlist for that show includes the following:

1. Strength To Strength
2. Ordinary Angel
3. European Child
4. Long Terms Lovers Of Pain
5. Stumble Through The Dance
6. Headin' For A Fall
7. History City
8. Labour Of Love
9. Mother Glasgow
10. Violently (Your Words Hit Me)
11. Looking For Linda
12. My Salt Heart
13. Sweet Invisibility
14. The Last Stop
15. Back To Back
16. Crazy In Love

And if that wasn't enough, the DVD also includes five songs filmed live, selected by the band as highlights from their 2009 "Open Road" tour. Each clip was shot on location at a different venue. The five tour videos are:

1. Looking For Linda/Vera Drives (live from Academy 2 in Birmingham)
2. History City (live from the Gala Theatre in Durham)
3. Back To Back (llive from Whelans in Dublin)
4. My Salt Heart (live from the Picture House in Edinburgh)
5. Mother Glasgow (live from the ABC in Glasgow)

Also featured on the DVD are six videos of private stage performances which were previously only available on Hue And Cry's website. The private stage videos are:

1. Labour Of Love
2. Looking For Linda
3. Last Request
4. Crazy In Love
5. Back To Back
6. Stumble Through The Dance

Lastly, the band recorded a special video message that includes commentary relating to every track recorded during the "Xmasday" album sessions.

I'm exhausted just thinking about all the bumper crop of bonus material! It's going to take me days to sift through it all.

But wait! That's not all. The deluxe box set also includes a 28 page, full color, 2010 wall calendar with all new photographs of the band, a Christmas greeting card and a set of nine, different postcards from the "H" in Hue to the "Y" in Cry featuring new images of the brothers Kane and "Xmasday" design elements. They're even including a badge so you can wear you admiration for the band loudly and proudly. Plus you'll get a one-of-a-kind, ornament embossed with the Hue And Cry logo. Your Christmas tree won't be complete without it!

It's mighty impressive! If you don't believe me, let Pat and Greg tell you.


  1. bloody hell that's some Christmas gift. I'm eager to check this out, i haven't been following them for a while but did love them "back in the day". Thanks for the heads up!

  2. @Paul - They really know how to give their fans a real treat! Their first three albums for Circa are still brilliant. "Open Soul" is, without doubt, one my fave albums of 2008/2009. Pat has never sounded better. The songs are bristling with confidence and ooze with blue eyed soul. Definitely not on the hip tip for some. But they were always/still are one of my favorites.