Gabriel Bruce: It’s Chri-i-i-i-istmas!

There’s no real reason that the music you are instinctively drawn to at Christmas should be the chirpy ‘n’ cheerful 70s hits that are pumped out 18 hours a day in your local Starbucks, you know.

Don’t get me wrong: I love the Xmas Classics of Slade and Wizzard, et al, and I especially love the former’s total disregard for grammar.

But I’ve always found myself drawn to very specific albums at this time of year – Spiritualized’s Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating In Space, Talking Heads’ Remain In Light, and other dark, hazily spacious albums.

The melancholic musings of Gabriel Bruce comfortably slip into the dark and spacious bathtub of gloom. And there’s a curious, icy midwinter beauty frosted all over Sleep Paralysis.

Lead-heavy and corspe-cold, Sleep Paralysis has the unstoppable morbid momentum of a funeral cortege, with all the inevitability, and sobriety.

And yet this is a song of humanity, warmth and life – all of which stems from Gabriel’s dry, broad baritone; demanding attention and getting it. And so here’s the other side of Christmas: a collection of lives and loves past, present and future.


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