I’ve been very lucky with Christmas music being sent for review so far this year. It’s started arriving later than usual, seems to be fewer in number and of a much higher standard than usual. And the best of the bunch so far is this jolly pop gem from Bristol-based, avant-Indie music wranglers, Modesty Blaise.

Modesty Blaise main man, Jonny Collins says that he set out to write, not just a Christmas hit, but an all-time classic and I for one reckon that he has done so. The song is driven by the same lilt and jingle, pop and infectiousness that have kept everyone from Wizzard to Slade, The Wombles to McCartney an important and welcome part of the collective seasonal soundtrack.

It gallops along driven by breezy brass punctuation, seductively simple grooves and effortlessly sing-along lyrics. And that is about all you need. You can keep those who try to overthink the Christmas classic…yes, Greg Lake, I’m looking at you…the winning formula is everything that you find in this song.

New Christmas songs abound throughout December, most disappear without leaving so much as a footnote in the annals of music history but that isn’t the case with I’ll Be Home For Xmas. If this song doesn’t become part of the seasonal music canon from now on, as essential as the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast, garish jumpers, Brussels sprouts, mistletoe snogs, enforced mirth and arguments across the dinner table, then I will eat my Santa hat!

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