Rag­ing against the Christ­mas schmaltz

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - COVER STORY - EMILY LONG­WORTH

Rage Against the Ma­chine’s Killing in the Name Of... moshed its way to the fes­tive num­ber-one slot this time five years ago. In a re­flex­ive re­volt to the X Fac­tor Christ­mas sin­gle, the lit­tle Face­book cam­paign that could went on to re­mind us that Christ­mas is re­ally a time for bring­ing down the man.

Cas­cades of spin-off cam­paigns have en­deav­oured to do the same in ev­ery year since (at a con­ser­va­tive es­ti­mate, there’s at least 15,000 of them) but in­vari­ably they’ve spilled them­selves on the prover­bial ice while try­ing.

Some­what crush­ingly for the droves of chart-re­sist­ing rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies, 2010 X Fac­tor win­ner Matt Car­dle (left) cov­ered Biffo Clyro’s Many Of Hor­ror. But it was a wa­tered-down stu­dio ver­sion, nau­se­at­ingly re­named When We Col­lide, so Biffo Clyro fans chal­lenged him to the num­ber one slot with the orig­i­nal. They only got it to num­ber eight, but it’s the thought that counts.

Most pop­u­larly, the Smells Like Christ­mas Spirit ef­fort in 2011 hit num­ber six in the charts. Other top cam­paigns have been for John Cage, Motör­head and the Trash­men, but the truly in­spir­ing at­tempted chal­lenges have come from the spoofers.

Quasi-fic­tional mu­si­cal enigma Count Tor­nado had a re­spectable fol­low­ing last year, and the Bleep test was a favourite in 2010, mak­ing the best pos­si­ble come­back that any as­pect of the PE cur­ricu­lum could hope to achieve in the Ir­ish sin­gles charts.

This year, a de­cent bid has been put in by Iron Maiden fans – they’re at 40,000 fol­low­ers, but are an­tic­i­pated to fail spec­tac­u­larly. ‘Tis the sea­son to fail bet­ter, all the same.

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