Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, shepherds are washing their socks, Batman smells and beware of yellow snow!i
Another Christmas themed album out this year from German Celtic-Punk band Fiddler’s Green that manages to pack in a song from every Christmas genre imaginable!
Last Sunday we featured the first of a duo of Christmas themed album’s released this year from Pittsburgh’s Bastard Bearded Irishmen and today is is the turn of German Celtic-Punk legends Fiddler’s Green to spread some yuletide cheer. This time two years ago we were reviewing their 30th anniversary greatest hits album 3 Cheers For 30 Years packed to the rafters with classic German Celtic-Punk.
Just like everything that comes out of the Fiddler’s Green camp Seven Holy Nights is everything you would expect from Fiddlers Green. Polished, well played, catchy Irish music played through the filter of people from outside Ireland but with a love of its music and culture. The vast majority of songs here will be well known to most of you but it’s no surprise that one of the album’s stand out tracks is a self penned number. Of the covers here you’ll hear most of them played through the speakers in your local supermarket but as always it’s how you interpret them that counts. To breathe new life into common or popular songs and this is something Fiddlers Green have no problem achieving.
The album begins with the first of a dozen stonewall Christmas classics. ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ was a big hit in 1985 for the Welsh Elvis himself. Shakin’ Stevens was a superstar in our house growing up with my Mum adoring him and my brother such a big fan his nickname at school was Shaky! The youngest children of 13 children he’s still performing now aged 74. Next is the #1 Christmas song, Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’. I think it’s between this and Wizard and though both are great people always go with Slade. The band keep to the main tune and style throughout the album of the originals but add so much more to them than just replaying the songs with a fiddle. They sound like they had a great time doing it and play with all the passion we expect from Fiddler’s Green. Wings ‘Mull Of Kintyre’ slows things down a wee bit and then it’s time for a series of proper traditional Christmas carols with ‘I Saw Three Ships’, ‘Twelve Days Of Christmas’, ‘God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen’ and ‘Lord Of The Dance’. All played respectfully and with great beauty. Next up is the Oscar winning ‘White Christmas’. The version of which by Irish-American Bing Crosby is the world’s best selling single that has sold in excess of 100 million. It is one of my Uncle Pat’s favourite stories how he searched every store he could find trying to buy it for my Nan and had no luck and had given up but then on Christmas Eve he found a lone copy left in Woolworths. ‘Danny Boy’ is up next and included not because it’s a Christmas song but because it’s brought a tear out of many a poor immigrant over the festive period. You sometimes forget what an amazing song it is as it is so overplayed but Fiddler’s Green version is simply outstanding and I think I have something in my eye…
Jona Lewie’s ‘Stop The Cavalry’ follows and with it’s apt anti-war message and given a bit of Celtic-Punk oompf is very timely. Now it’s time for a couple of silly songs and ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ steer us towards the end. So after a dozen fiddled about with Christmas classics it’s time to say goodbye with the self penned and title track ‘Seven Holy Nights’. Describing a Christmas celebration that begins in traditional style before bursting into more traditional Celtic-Punk.
With a line of merchandise that would make Ferocious Dog jealous the band themselves have sold out of CD’s but their are some still available at the various links below and you can still get the vinyl version from them (on green vinyl of course!) and the special ‘Limited Fan Edition’ with advent calendar, memo game, gingerbread, Christmas ornament and cloth bag sold out ages ago. A great Christmas romp and perfect for those who would rather spend their Christmas Eve in the pub than with Aunt Erna or Uncle Willi under the Christmas tree but then I think Aunt Erna and Uncle Willi would get a huge kick out of Seven Holy Nights as well.
Buy Seven Holy Nights From The Band (Vinyl)
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Tagged: Fiddler's Green