Songs for a London Winter

Christmas with Croydon Municipal

Croydon Municipal is the record label run by Bob Stanley of the pop band Saint Etienne. The label specialises in carefully curated compilations of pop's hidden gems and curios. Just in time for the Festive Season, out on Croydon Municipal we have Saint Etienne Present Songs for a London Winter — tunes selected by Bob and fellow Saint Etienne members Pete Wiggs and the delightful Sarah Cracknell.

Bob says of the label, 'Croydon Municipal is an attempt to make sense of the analogue pop era in a digital world. It digs deep to find wonderful old pop music you may have never heard before.'

The tracks on Saint Etienne Present Songs for a London Winter are all UK recordings from the 60s, a bit of easy listening, a bit of rock n' roll, a bit of jazz — all a bit different from same old Christmas songs blaring out of every available speaker right now.

The introductory track on the compilation by Nina and Frederick, Christmas Time in London Town, sets the mood splendidly. But my favourite track might be Give Us a Kiss for Christmas by the late, great Lionel Bart. Of course, this doesn't mean I'm condoning open displays of affection over Yuletide. There's a time and a place — and there's nothing wrong with a firm handshake under the mistletoe.


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