In November 2021, the Outlaw Orchestra were on tour, opening for Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. After soundcheck in Nottingham, the boys ambled around the Christmas markets and the conversation turned to Christmas Songs. The long journey home to Southampton was soundtracked by every Christmas favourite rock/pop jingle, from the Darkness to Wizard, via Maria Carey, Bing Crosby, The Wombles and Slade.
The conversation continued as the band drew up a mental chart of the ‘must have’ hallmarks and tropes of the classic Christmas song. Somewhere between Coalville and Oxford someone said the inevitable;
“We should write a Christmas song……maybe not the greatest Christmas song in the world, but…..a tribute”
From January to April, Dave and Pete dove even deeper into the huge catalogue of Christmas songs and began working on The Outlaw Orchestra’s contribution to the tradition.
Banjo Pete said
“At one point my wife wandered into the studio where Dave and I were working and buried her head in her hands – It’s March for Gods sake why are we still listening to Christmas songs?!”
Dave replied all excited and proclaimed
“there’s only 39 Fridays until Christmas, we’re running out of time!”.
“We wanted the song to be classic Outlaw Orchestra, but we also wanted it to fit alongside all the Christmas songs we love. We’ve got it all, bells, a harmony guitar line, kids voices, a talking section….. even down to the vocal effect. We were searching for a specific sound synonymous with the old-school Christmas tunes – in the end I got in touch with Mike Batt of the Wombles who suggested we investigate the Artificial Double Tracking used throughout the 60s and 70s by Noddy Holder and John Lennon. As soon as we added that effect to the voices – we knew we were onto something” explained Rocker Dave.
Once the band had the song, it was time to shoot a Christmas video.
“We have played a number of gigs with Kris Barras, and I even brought a load of his old guitar pedals so we’ve kept in touch,”
“We’ve liked the videos he’s done previously for other artists and knew he was the man for the job.” Ryan Thundersmith on drums adds.
“It was the 14th August, the hottest day of the year, and we were wrapped up in our Christmas jumpers, woolly hats and thick coats rocking out underneath a snow machine with dog walkers in shorts and t-shirts watching on wishing us a Merry Christmas….in AUGUST. We knew we had a great song on our hands as we kept catching Kris whistling and humming the tune whilst he was setting up his lights and cameras”.
“Ha ha we gotcha Kris….you can’t stop singing it can you!”
A great big slice of Christmas-flavoured rock with a massive guitar hook and a catchy chorus that will have more than just Kris singing it. Done in the Outlaw style it’s thick with punchy guitars, the twang of a banjo and gritty vocals.
Check it out, here
Read our interview with the band here
- 4th November – HRH 15th Anniversary Camp HRH, Great Yarmouth (with The Darkness, Skid Row, Ugly Kid Joe, Gorilla Riot)
- 19th November – Country in the Afternoon Festival, The Half Moon, Putney
- 3rd December – The Bear Cave, Bournemouth
- 10th December – The Platform Tavern, Southampton
- 16th December – The Joiners, Southampton (with Black Water Redemption)
- 17th December – AmpliYuletide Festival, Gloucester Guildhall (with Bad Touch, Ryders Creed, Gypsy Pistoleros)
‘Outlaw This Christmas’ will be available on all platforms and there will be a limited edition special CD single available via the band’s website. The ‘Outlaw This Christmas’ single also has an exclusive new B-Side ‘Can’t Fall Over Straight’, which keeps the party going well beyond Christmas.