Gear up for the silly season
Whether you like it or not, Christmas is looming right around the corner, which means we’re all in for an influx of sweaty afternoons, awkward family functions, copious amounts of coldies and an absolute mess of wrapping paper to contend with on the big day.
For music snobs, it also means that there’s a stupid amount of tepid Christmas tunes lurking just around the corner, waiting to bore you to death with their overly formulaic song structures, cliched choice of instrumentation and irreverent icy themes – that is, unless you’re fortunate enough to wake up to copy of Kingswood’s new Christmas album in your stocking.
Bunkering down in Melbourne’s Newmarket Studios alongside Guus Hoevenaars, A Kingswood Christmas sees the beloved Aussie rockers try their hand at a number of jazzy festive standards from Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. In addition to being a good excuse to show off their understated jazzy chops, A Kingswood Christmas also sets out to serve another purpose for the band, with all proceeds from the record being donated to Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service – what a bunch of champions.
To get behind the record, we’ve teamed up with Kingswood’s Fergus Linacre to find out how to shake those festive blues, and live it up to enjoy the quintessential Aussie Christmas this holiday period.
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1. Backyard cricket
For me, it’s very important to have my brother and cousins all together playing some backyard (or wherever we are) cricket. It must be competitive, there must be a winner, people will get hurt, the ball’s going to smash one of the little kids in the head at some point, but would it be Christmas without some tears? Tape up the ball and let her rip!
2. The beach
Usually a day before or after the big day, but a beach trip but certainly needs to be on the itinerary. If Christmas night can kick into a beach session Boxing Day morning with the guitars and the sun coming up, you’ve nailed it. Then, you can go nap on the couch watching the Test match, and eat leftovers all day long.
If I went to a Christmas do and there wasn’t delicious, perfectly cooked pork crackling… Well, I guess I’d just have to smash the place up.
4. Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly must get a run on Christmas day – not just ‘How to Make Gravy’. All of Paul Kelly’s music just feels like Christmas to me now. It goes well with beers in the sun, cricket, standing cooking, and napping: all boxes ticked off!
5. Bowls of lemon slices
I swear this only happens at Christmas. Also, I much prefer prawns cooked in some garlic and butter, not steamed or however they are cooked when you have them at Christmas. I do love me a bit of fancy sauce though…
Some love it, I do not, but I am a master at telling whichever oldie made it that it was the most delicious pud I’ve ever had. Even when they light it on fire, my enthusiasm fills the room. I just end up with ice cream and custard, happy days.
7. Fire pit
Although the days can be long and hot the night can get chilly and there’s no better way to end the night than playing guitars around the fire. Getting through the red, havin’ a dart with cousin Aaron and Mum saying ‘Fergus!!!!!’ But then trying to play it all cool ‘oh, I know you smoke sometimes, I know I know’.
8. Don’t let Uncle Tony play the guitar
My Uncle did not get the musical genes. He did, however, get the family heirloom 1942 Gibson acoustic that clearly should have been given to me by now, but no, he has it, and he always brings it to Christmas and tries to play along. Bless him though; one Chrissy, he practised hard and sang ‘I Was Only 19’ and he had us all in tears. We were quite drunk though.
9. Prank presents
Make sure you put some pressies under the tree for the teenage cousins, VHS porn tapes, dingers and lube – you get the gist. Something they have to open in front of the whole family.