Album #339: Chris Kamara -…And a Happy New Year

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Middlesbrough, England
  • Label: So What?/Silva Screen
  • Best Track: I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day

Well, why not? From journeyman footballer to bungling pundit, to TV presenter and all-round entertainer, Chris Kamara, the man who takes not taking yourself too seriously to a new level, is now locking horns with the likes of Bublé as he croons his way through a selection of seasonal ditties.

It’s not his first attempt either, as he reach the top 10 with his debut Here’s to Christmas last year, as you could probably have lived without knowing.

To be fair to Kammy, he does try to put his own spin on these numbers in this follow-up, introducing a lounge element to Greg Lake’s ‘I Believe in Father Christmas’, and ushering in a jazzy vibe on traditional hymns ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ and ‘Oh Come, All Ye Faithful’. He doesn’t sound a bad singer either – enough of his natural, recognisable voice comes through to have me believing these vocals haven’t had the hell autotuned out of them.

I’m not going to pretend …And A Happy New Year is a great listen, but you know what, Chris Kamara is testament to how far you can get just by being a nice bloke and a good character. A modest football career, a pundit who once didn’t notice a player had been sent off, a presenter who pisses himself at people falling over throughout Ninja Warrior, a passable if corny singer – none of it matters. We love him and he makes us feel happy, and isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

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