Driving Under Stars – Marika Hackman

It can’t have escaped your notice that it’s now December and the statute of limitations on Christmas music is well and truly over.

Our first Listen Outside Christmas song is Driving Under Stars by Marika Hackman. It’s a real talk, mellow, non-cheery version of Chris Rea’s Driving Home For Christmas. As we nomadic youth all make our way to wherever we’re spending the festive season, I think we’ll all feel what’s evoked in this song. There are jingle bells, but they’re deployed with the utmost taste. The song is from Marika’s Christmas EP which also features some lovely chill versions of traditional songs.

Marika Hackman has a website


Game on: England vs Iceland

Tonight, it’s Iceland, who’ve warmed everyone’s hearts and made loads of friends during this tournament against England who, um, haven’t. Both of these nations have traditions of epic poetry, incredible word play and partying as if the world was ending and that’s what we’re reflecting in tonight’s song choices.

For England, we have eleven minutes of intense bleakness from Richard Dawson. This song, The Vile Stuff, is the sound of Northern working class lives spinning out of control against a background of alcohol and violence.

For Iceland, we have an incredible party anthem from Stykur about going out in Reykjavik. The wordplay and sounds of the Icelandic rapping is just amazing. When she goes into the double speed section in the second verse, my head reels.

Whose song did you like more? England's or Iceland's?

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The Vile Stuff- Richard Dawson [Intense bardic nihilism]

Reykjavik – Stykur [Massive bouncing party tune with incredible wordplay]



Game on: Slovakia vs England

This is tonight’s rock match, we’re getting a bit weird.

For Slovakia, we have the charming young people who call themselves Morbid Pig and their song about the restorative powers of a specific Slovakian brand of tartare sauce. It’s great. And that’s just the sauce.

For England we have Derby’s own Biscuit Mouth who make the most incredible rhythmic noises and shout wonderfully. As you can see from their video, they can also dance a little.

What did you like more - Morbid Pig or Biscuit Mouth?

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Tatarska omaska – Morbid Pig [Noisy paean to specialist condiment]

That’s some cool change, sonny, for sure – Biscuit Mouth [Disconcertingly danceable thrashing about with intense rhythms]


Game on: England vs Wales

I’m not sure how this happened, but this is how it is. It’s England playing Wales in Euro 2016 and I’m going to make you listen to Mutya Keisha Siobhan (the original and best set of Sugababes) and Gwenno.

You’re familiar with the concept of the Sugababes, but I feel like Flatline never got the recognition it deserves, so that’s England. You might be less familiar with the concept of Gwenno, but she’s ace, so that’s Wales. Both of these are very good pop songs. Game on!

Whose song did you like more? Mutya Keisha & Siobhan's or Gwenno's?

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Flatline – Mutya Keisha Siobhan [The best English girl group since Bananarama with their best single since Overload]


Fratolish Hian Perpeshki – Gwenno [Angular yet dreamy electronic pop stuff from a hopeful alternate future]

Game on: England vs Russia

And tonight’s last match is England vs Russia, where we’re going to get the guitars out and start rocking a bit. For England, we have Black Moth from Leeds and for Russia we have СЛОТ from Moscow. Two female fronted heavy bands. Which one do you like more?

Which song did you like better, Black Moth or СЛОТ?

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Blackbirds Fall – Black Moth [Female fronted doom metal from Yorkshire]

БОЙ! – СЛОТ [Female fronted heavy doomish metal]