Given the bitter weather, it’s nice of Sarah, Bob and Pete to provide something to keep you warm: a Christmas-themed set that collects together previous fan club releases, 1994’s smash I Was Born on Christmas Day, and a half-dozen new additions.
Alongside well-selected covers of Cliff Richard (21st Century Christmas), Chris Rea (Driving Home for Christmas), Billy Fury (My Christmas Prayer) and The Doors (Wintertime Love), there’s the tinsel techno rave-up of Gonna Have a Party, the sizzling glam of Come on Christmas, the icy OMDness of Through the Winter and the instrumental interludes of Snowbound on the South Bank and Fireside Favourite. They finish off with their version of Harry Nilsson’s Snow, from 2003’s fan club disc.
There are no new takes on carols, nor any narky topical dialogues about the commercialisation of Christmas among this lot; instead, it’s a groovin’ assortment of magic and sparkle all the way.
A frisky, marvellous delight from beginning to end, A Glimpse of Stocking is firmly in the lineage of quality festive albums, to be filed alongside similarly themed releases by the Carpenters, Ella, The Beach Boys, Low and Phil Spector.
It is – albeit not literally; nobody wants a record exploding in their hands – a cracker.