Freddie Matthews writes from London: This time – looking at the past week we start with an occasion just over a month away. Yes, it’s Christmas and this time around in 2012 marks 25 years since the original release of The Pogues’ classic Christmas song, Fairytale of New York, featuring Kirsty MacColl. The Bookmaker Paddy Power has surprisingly tipped the reissue of the single to be the 2012 Christmas No.1 single. After all, as I reported last week, The X Factor have pulled out of that race with their show ending two weeks before Christmas. It’s incredible that Fairytale of New York has made an appearance in the UK Top 20 every year since 2005. However I’ve also been tipped off on another potential Christmas No.1 favourite, in the form of The Justice Collective-He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother. This single has the backing and contributions from some of the most influential names in current music, including Sir Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams, Paloma Faith, Rebecca Ferguson, Mel C and Beverley Knight to name but a few. So it is in with a very good chance and especially as it’s not available to buy until the week before Christmas.
You may have seen or even heard about one of the X Factor favourites being booted off last weekend’s programme. I also tipped her as one of the favourites to win the show in last week’s look at the UK music week. In fact everyone thought she’d at least make it to the final 3 contestants but for some reason that wasn’t to be. However with hindsight it could be a blessing for her. Now there’s a huge feud among record companies to sign Ella Henderson. Naturally, the slime that is Simon Cowell thinks he’ll get her to sign for his label SYCO. Also in the running are his fellow Sony label mates, Columbia Records, Epic and RCA who are also bidding to sign the 16 year old talent. Ella has already been rated as one of the best X Factor singing voices since Leona Lewis, and look how successful she’s become. Fortunately Ella’s father, who acts as her manager, is in charge of whatever deal she signs but that news won’t be announced until the current X Factor series ends next month. Let’s just hope he knows something about the business.
Remember the albums No Angel and Life For Rent? It’s been a while since we last heard from Dido. Well 2008 to be precise but now Sony have confirmed that a new Dido album will be released early next year, called Girl Who Got Away. The provisional release date is 4 March although that could change as the album was completed on 2 November and is presently in the mastering stages. Dido fans will be looking forward to her 5th album to date, especially as it’s also been 5 years since her last one.
The BBC Radio Head of Music, George Ergatoudis, has made the music press this week and it’s about time this information was revealed. BBC Radio 1 is anticipating the arrival of a barrage of popular new British guitar bands in 2013. There’s been a drought of successful new guitar acts in the last few years, with our airwaves mostly dominated by pop, dance and urban artists. Whatever happened to good old rock’n roll bands singing about how sh*t Britain really is for the working classes?
And finally in a new week behind the British music scene, I’m pretty sure she’s taking one of the longest breaks from the music industry known to man, but pregnant (again) singer, Lily Allen, fainted while Christmas shopping in Harrods earlier this week. Best known for her UK No.1’s Smile and The Fear, she luckily knew exactly what was needed and that was, erm… a cheese & ham toastie? They’re great. You should try one sometime. The pub grub put Lily back on track and she continued shopping not long afterwards. Have you been to Harrods? You have to be on pop star wages to shop there and a cheese & ham toastie is probably about £20. I wouldn’t be surprised if she fainted while looking at the menu in the first place.