Christmas Number One – by Black Box Recorder?

It’s unusual for us to quote a press release in full.

But, as email after email arrives announcing the most unlikely bands releasing Christmas songs – Asobi Seksu‘s Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) and Simone White‘s Christmas Makes Me Blue both dropped today – special mention is due for The Black Arts’ debut release, entitled simply Christmas Number One, which will appear through Fantastic Plastic.

The Black Arts, to explain, are Art Brut‘s Eddie Argos plus John Moore, Luke Haines and Sarah Nixey, aka Black Box Recorder. The collaboration on paper has us seasonally salivating. We’d never have said such things about Slade.


Christmas Number One

“We wrote it on the beach in August as the snow began to fall,
A Christmas Number One could be a blessing for us all…”

In an inspired meeting of minds, Black Box Recorder and Art Brut’s Eddie Argos have joined forces to form The Black Arts, whose first (and perhaps only) release is set to be this year’s essential Christmas single. Following in the tradition of such masters of the seasonal rocker as Wizzard and Slade, Christmas Number One once more unites sleigh bells, blazing guitars and children’s choirs for three and a half minutes of festive fun.

The song was conceived by Black Box Recorder’s John Moore, who having endured an utterly appalling summer, decided that the year must end on a blissfully high note. In a rush of optimism, the idea of a Christmas Number One seemed entirely plausible. Much of the song spilled out of the ether late one Sunday evening, sounding somewhere between William Burroughs and Slade. Turned over to Luke Haines for inspection and dissection, a towering middle-section was added, and quite properly, respectful references to Britain’s former-first men of Christmas – Noddy and Roy were added. The fecund glacial goddess Sarah Nixey was alerted and asked not to give birth until her mellifluous vocal frosting could be added, then with a final sprinkling of vocal magic from Eddie Argos, the song reached pure pop perfection.

The relationship between Art Brut and Black Box Recorder began three years ago when John witnessed an hereoically pissed Art Brut playing a tiny gig in Reading, and then bonded with Eddie backstage over a dog-eared copy of Just William. The relationship then developed to the point where a musical collaboration became inevitable.

Christmas Number One will be available as a download from 3 December and as a rather fetching limited edition eco-sustainable Christmas tree green 7″ from 10 December on ‘Fantastic Plastic’.

According to Luke Haines: “When you’re doing your last minute shopping at Woolworth’s and you’ve heard ‘Christmas Number One’ for the eleventh time in a row, don’t worry, it will all be over by January. The Black Arts are for Christmas, not for life’

Or are they? As Sarah Nixey reveals “ It was all over wasn’t it? I hadn’t the heart to tell them the truth.”

Christmas Number One will be released on 3rd December (download) and 10th December (limited edition 7″) on Fantastic Plastic Records.

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