This review starts from the premise that “Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)” is probably the greatest Christmas single ever released. It’s got everything: sleigh bells; choirs of children; heartbreaking story; and (if you watch the video) bad acting; comedy slips; and a happy ending. Having nailed the Christmas single so perfectly in 2003, The Darkness might have been tempted to rest on their Christmas laurels and let the festive royalties build them a nice little pension fund… but no! Here they are again, with “I am Santa”.
Is “I Am Santa” as good as “Christmas Time…”? Hmm! Tricky. Sleigh bells? Check! Clanging bells (of doom)? Check! Catchy, earworm-style hook? Double check with Christmas bells on. Choir of children? Curses! No children’s choir. There are however, some inspired lyrics. Two of my favourites are:
All I see is tinsel and despair
I am Santa! The bringer of joy
I am Santa! Manufacturer and distributor of toys
There is no doubt though that the video is up there with their previous offering. Rufus Taylor (their new drummer) throws himself into the spirit of things with great enthusiasm and acts Ed Graham (their original drummer) off the snow covered stage. Though to be fair, the model Santa head that “speaks” at the end of the video out-acts Ed. (Sorry Ed. Loved your drumming but you are no Robert De Niro.)
The video does raise some questions though. Specifically: What is Frankie Poullain wearing and why? No, seriously. What is Frankie Poullain wearing, and why? And finally, you have to ask, what is Frankie Poullain wearing… and why?
In conclusion, this is a more than worthy addition to the canon of great Christmas music. It is available as a single but the boys from Lowestoft have also added it to a deluxe addition of their most recent album, Last Of Our Kind, along with three other bonus tracks. Get it now and enjoy for the rest of advent.
Merry Christmas everyone. And thanks for the cookies!