Emmy The Great + Tim Wheeler @ Bush Hall 14th December 2011

Christmas had come early in the form of Emma Lee Moss (AKA Emmy The Great) and Tim Wheeler. The duo had released This Is Christmas at the end of November. When they confirmed this intimate Christmas Party I snapped up a ticket straight away. It was no surprise that they all sold out because it was set to be an incredible evening. I arrived at the venue at 5.20pm and I was surprised to find that I was the first one there. Yes the 2 hours waiting outside was horrendous but it was bearable. So at 7.30pm the doors opened and it felt so nice being in the warmth. There were three guests on the night these being Nikesh Ulka whom read out a short story (everyone sat down for this), Bryan from Glasgow based band The Kittens and Grace Petrie. I actually thought Grace was extraordinary and her political songs actually reminded me of Billy Bragg.

At 9.15 the headlining duo took to the stage and a snippet of Walking In The Air served as the introduction . Opening up the evening was Marshmallow World. This was a short but sweet song which was delivered at a fast pace. I really enjoyed the fun lyrics to this song. “This band is called Sleigher” Emmy said before Tim went onto say “This one we got mixed up with Halloween and things”. The song in question being Zombie Christmas. This was a frantic paced song and you wouldn’t expect a track about a Zombie Apocalypse on a Christmas record. But it works in more ways than one.

“We’ve been festive since May” Wheeler went onto say before launching into the first song that they wrote for This Is Christmas. Sleigh Me was a warm song which was a duet between Moss and Wheeler. The song was sung to perfection. Up next was a take on Wham’s Last Christmas. Both Emmy and Tim alternated on verses. They definitely made this song their own. It was then onto another original and this being Christmas Moon. This was a chilled out song and the melody actually reminded me of Beauty School Dropout from Grease. Christmas Day (I Wish I Was Surfing) followed on and this song was extremely powerful. Actually this song sounded as if it could have been recorded for Ash. “I’m getting some feedback, it’s positive” Emmy said before launching into the soft and gentle Christmas In Prison. This song featured on the Chris Moss EP that was released via the Emmy The Great Myspace in 2007. Christmas In Prison was beautifully sung by Moss. It was then onto another song from This Is Christmas and this being Snowflakes. Despite the lyrics being placed on the floor, they got through this wonderful song without a hitch. Next it was onto my favourite songs from This Is Christmas. First up being the infectious (Don’t Call Me) Mrs Christmas. This song had an uptempo chorus and told a story from Mrs Claus’s perspective. Once over Emmy introduced the band Sleigher and gave them all Christmassy names. “This next song is destined to be Christmas #1 in Downpatrick, East Grinsted” Wheeler then said to the intimate crowd. “They don’t celebrate Christmas in East Grinstead, where I’m from, they’re all Scientologists” Emmy then said.

Home For The Holidays offered plenty of Christmas cheer and I especially liked the lyrics. This song was perfectly sung and I can see why it would be Xmas #1 in East Grinsted. “We didn’t write many Christmas songs and that’s all we got” Moss then said in regards to the fact they had come to the end of the set. See You Next Year was the closing number and if they did another Christmas Show in 2012 they would definitely see me again. Both Wheeler and Moss were left on stage singing this short but sweet Xmas song. After they both left the stage only to return moments later for the encore. “Hi we’ve got a few up our sleeve here” Wheeler then said before launching into Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. This then led into the powerful Jesus The Reindeer. Right at the end the song got a lot softer. Once over Emmy asked for Grace and Nikesh to take to the stage for Fairytale Of New York. “We’re going to leave you with probably one of the best songs ever written” Wheeler said to the audience. It is always tricky to pull of such classic songs but both Emmy and Tim did it complete justice.

SET LIST

Marshmallow World
Zombie Christmas
Sleigh Me
Last Christmas
Christmas Moon
Christmas Day (I Wish I Was Surfing)
Christmas In Prison
Snowflakes
Don’t Call Me Mrs Christmas
Home For The Holidays
See You Next Year

ENCORE

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Jesus The Reindeer
Fairytale Of New York

OVERALL: This event was extremely special. With it being the festive season you have the urge to hear or listen to Christmas music. Both Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler have created a truly wonderful Christmas album which will be the perfect gift for anybody. I really enjoyed this evening and I left Bush Hall in a Christmassy mood. All the songs were teriffic but if I was to pick a favourite I would have to say it would be (Don’t Call Me) Mrs Christmas.

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