Emmy The Great + Tim Wheeler @ Scala 20th December 2012

Last year Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler recorded an extraordinary Christmas album called This Is Christmas. This then resulted in a sold out show at Bush Hall a year later they announced a show at the Scala. This was titled as Zombie Christmas which was the 2nd single that had been taken from that album. The date fell on the same day the Mayan calender ended. I was outside the venue at 5pm and I was lucky enough to meet Mr Tim Wheeler. Supporting were Nimmo and the Gauntlets and Emperor Yes. The headline set started at 9.30pm.

“Welcome to our festive show” Tim Wheeler said after himself and Emmy had made their entrance to the Aled Jones’s Walking In The Air. What was to be performed were tracks from the Christmas album that they both released last year entitled This Is Christmas. The first song on the night was Marshmallow World which was originally a hit for Bing Crosby/ Ella Fitzgerald. This was a short but sweet song which was delivered at a fast pace. I really enjoyed the fun lyrics to this song. “Thank you for you all coming down and spending your last few hours with us” Wheeler said before saying that the next song went out to all the zombies. This song was Snowflakes and it was extremely beautiful. The lyric content was spectacular plus there was even sleigh bells played throughout. 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. “This is a really really sad song. This one’s for Mrs Santa all alone at the North Pole shagging an elf no doubt” Emmy said before (Don’t Call Me) Mrs Christmas. This song had an uptempo chorus and told a story from Mrs Claus’s perspective. “Don’t call me Christmas, I don’t love you any more, Gave my whole life to you, and what do I get, I’m just so lonely, Go spread your happiness, around the globe, But you should know that I won’t wait for you, You’ll have to get a new, Mrs. Christmas”. “Our album we made last year is quite a short record. So we’re gonna go off on a little tangent now and do some covers” Tim said before saying the next song was their favourite version by The Ronette’s. The song in question being Sleigh Ride and it was mainly sung by Emmy. The thing I like was the fact that it sounded a lot rockier. I found this cover to be superb and it is always nice hearing other Christmas songs. “Was anyone at Bush Hall last year?” Tim then asked the audience. It was then onto Last Christmas which was originally sung buy Wham. Both Emmy and Tim alternated on verses. They definitely made this song their own. Last Christmas is a song that you can’t help but sing along to. The verses and chorus were contagious and both Emmy and Tim delivered it to perfection. “This is our big hit single from last year called Home For The Holidays. Christmas Number 1 in Downpatick, Northern Ireland” Tim Wheeler said before the cheerful Home For The Holidays. This song was beautifully sung and it was mellowing/ entrancing. Sleigh Me was next and it was the first Christmas song that Tim Wheeler had written. It was this tune that got the ball rolling and ended up with more festive tracks. Sleigh Me was a warm song which was a duet between Moss and Wheeler. The song was faultlessly sung. Zombie Christmas was the next to be played. You could feel it brimming with darkness and it did have that end of the feel to it. 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. During the song a couple of Zombies appeared on stage which resulted in Emmy letting out a high pitch scream. After the 2 Zombies came into the crowd. Kate Nash may have been the Vampire Slayer at her Halloween bash but at this gig Emmy was the Zombie Slayer.

“How’s everyone doing after that?” Wheeler said before tackling Julian Casablanca’s version of I Wish It Was Christmas Today. Now I have never heard this song so I cant really compare it to the original. This was a rocky song with some really infectious lyrics. “We had a marriage proposal in our gig yesterday. It was beautiful. It was totes successful” Emmy said before they played Blue Christmas which was originally sung by The King himself Mr Elvis Presley. This sounded rather mellowing and they definitely made it their own. It was then straight onto See You Next Year. This was a short but sweet Christmas song which was superbly delivered. It was over in a flash. This was an ideal song and I would definitely see them every Xmas. With the supposed Apocalypse you were left thinking would there be a next year. “This song is for Brian Harvey” Emmy said before they launched into something cheesy. Both Tim and Emmy sat on the stool for the beginning of this hypnotising song. “Thanks for not going to The Pogues” Emmy then joked. This was an outstanding take on the East 17 song Stay Another Day. The band then leave the stage only for them to return for the much expected encore moments later. “We have more Christmas songs in the bank. Last night we played this with Johnny Marr. Unfortunately he’s not here tonight. He’s too busy fighting zombies somewhere in Manchester” Wheeler said before they embarked on there version of Elton John’s Step Into Christmas. Tim mainly sung this and it sounded brilliant. I really liked its verses. They definitely made it their own. “Our managers daughter got into trouble when she went into nursery school and was asked to name all the Reindeer’s. She started with Jesus. So we feel we owe Daisy an apology. This song’s for her” Tim then said to the audience before the short Jesus The Reindeer. This was a powerful romp which they blitzed through. Right at the end this tune got a lot softer when they sang about Asshole the snowman. Infused to the ending was another Christmas cover and this being Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight). “I hope the world doesn’t end tonight” Emmy then said with Tim then saying that they would like to make their festive show an annual tradition. It was then onto Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. It was superbly delivered and it was ever so enchanting. The ending was then infused to the most well known Christmas song and this being Fairytale Of New York (when I say well known I am basing that on the fact it always appears in the Official Top 40 charts each Christmas). Tim sang Shane’s parts whilst Emmy took on the late Kirsty McColl’s parts. Still this was a stunning song to end such a spectacular set on. Fairytale Of New York is Christmas through and through.

SET LIST

Marshmallow World
Snowflakes
Christmas Moon
Christmas Day (And I Wish I Was Surfing)
(Don’t Call Me) Mrs Christmas
Sleigh Ride
Last Christmas
Home For The Holidays
Sleigh Me
Zombie Christmas
I Wish It Was Christmas Today
Blue Christmas
See You Next Year
Stay Another Day

ENCORE

Step Into Christmas
Jesus The Reindeer
Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Fairytale Of New York

OVERALL: At this time of year I really like shows like this. They get you in the festive mood. Now I adored every single song performed and This Is Christmas is an album that you would put on repeat during the Christmas period.

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