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‘I Was Born On Christmas Day’ by Saint Etienne Featuring Tim Burgess

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“Ha ha ha… roll the tape!”. Over-fringed Indiepop Christmas Fun as Pete, Bob and Sarah celebrate a year of minor success with retro-futuristic pop songs laced with proto-Cream reference points by teaming up with the beleagured Charlatans frontman, hardly likely to want to celebrate a year of dwindling record sales, band members being arrested for accidentally taking part in armed robberies, and Andrew Collins being mean about him in Select. The result? A sparkling ode to ‘getting groovy after halloween’, full of upbeat Christmassy sentiments quite at odds with the titular implication of Jesus-style ‘combined present’ woe, and complete with video-bound excursion into Quality Street/BBC Globe ‘Victorian = Christmas’ iconographic inexplicableness (and we’ve not even got started on the huge quantity of not-particularly-Yuletide-worthy cats lurking around the sleeve of the ostenible ‘Xmas 93 EP’, in other words a listenable-ish Billy Fury cover and a couple of ponderous instrumentals). Within months, The Charlatans were back where they belonged and that pesky ‘indie’ was getting nearer and nearer to the top ten.

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