Steve Blood | The Hollow – The Last Xmas | Theme From The Hollow (Bad Dads Club)

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Out Now

8.5 / 10

Composer, producer and remixer, Steve Blood, releases a festive single. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.

Steve Blood is no stranger to music, he’s worked with Afrika Bambaataa and written many a contribution to a movie soundtrack, all this and releasing music under the name of Bad Dads Club.

His new release goes under his own name but once again features the vocals of Andy Lee, himself no stranger to the world of pop. The Last Xmas isn’t a cover of Wham, but is instead quite literally a lament of the final festive period for man as the apocalypse begins.

It’s a sad and chilling tale made up of just voice and piano – “where were you when the lights went out at Christmas” – which is both memorable and starkly beautiful. Whilst The Last Xmas is less immediate than previous Bad Dads Club efforts Good to Be Loved and Sometimes, its lower sense of commercialism at the most commercial time of the year makes the track endearing and poignant.

Two other remixes accompany the radio favoured Classic Vocal Mix. Audiotrips Space Dub has little dub (as roots reggae fans would know it) but instead consists of atmospheric echoes in a minimalist backing. The Armstrong Funky RMX somehow manages to turn the original into an electro funk track with some great basslines and additional synth breaks.

The theme of piano-led tracks is continued with another of Steve’s side projects, The Hollow. Again with just piano and strings, this sees Blood performing in a classical style. Theme From The Hollow is the first of twelve tracks that will be released monthly to create a virtual album.

Said to be an old song that pre-dates the wonderful work of Michael Nyman for The Piano, it avoids the use of any of Steve’s characteristic dance beats and electronica. Conjuring up images of running through a magical forest, the track is enjoyable and uplifting, often building with the aid of a string section and increased piano use.

If the first release is anything to go by then the eventual release of the full collection could well be one of the highlights of 2015.

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The Last Xmas micro-site is here. The Hollow micro-site is here. Follow Bad Dads Club on Twitter here and like Steve on Facebook here.

All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here. You can also follow him on Twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news.

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Born and bred in Lancashire, currently residing in the Rossendale Valley. Father, Husband, Blogger, home-brewer, poet, chicken-keeper, tweeter - @hiapop. Keen to be green. Childhood ambitions to be a pop-star thwarted due to being unable to sing. Instead, began listening to music of every type. Everything deserves one listen, but, not necessarily a second. Only (ex-Community) DJ to ever play Nat ‘King’Cole followed by Nine Inch Nails, and, eat Fish and Chips live on air. Helping to Save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire from the BBC cuts – Twitter @SaveOnTheWire. Blogs at http://www.hiapop.com

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