Bristol-based Avant indie pop outfit Modesty Blaise are ending 2021 in a blaze of Christmas delight with their new single ‘I’ll Be Home For Xmas’, out on November 26. They present their festival message in a buoyant poptastic festive video, produced by Dorothy Collins with support from cinematographer M.M. Van Dyke, and filmed at various locations and Factory Studios in Bristol.
Modesty Blaise have always wanted to make a Xmas record. Steeped in the traditions of the Spector/Wizzard school of huge productions, recording started in July 2021 at the height of summer, as all good Xmas records should. Many instruments and sessions later, this single came to fruition in late October as days grew shorter. Now it’s ready for you. Are you bringing the snow?
This release follows up ‘The Modesty Blaise’ LP (February 2021), their third release via German label From Lo-Fi to Disco! and first long-player in 20 years, having released their head-turning ‘Melancholia’ LP in 2001.
Modesty Blaise mastermind and vocalist Jonny Collins is joined here by David W. Brown (bass), Gregory Jones (guitars), Mark Bradley (drums), Alastair Jenkins (guitars) and Roger Huckle (violin).
“We’re not just making a tune for 2021, this is a conscious decision to make a timeless tune. All great Xmas records are timeless, from Wizzard to The Wombles, we play them every year. They do not age; they invoke Proustian memories of festive seasons past. We want to be part of your Xmas – so we’re coming home,” says Jonny Collins.
“I always thought that nothing says Xmas quite like 2 drum kits, a massive tune and a baritone sax. We think this is the best Xmas record that you’ll have heard this side of the millennium, we’ve tried to make something timeless and we hope you agree. We want to be part of your festive season this year and in years to come.”
Modesty Blaise have been around since 1993 in various guises. In that year, they recorded their debut single ‘Christina Terrace’ with Edwyn Collins at the helm, garnering them immediate success with a live appearance on ITV and inclusion among many end-of-year top music rankings. This acclaim however was not enough to quell the kind of internecine warfare that Modesty Blaise have become famous for. Line-up changes and deteriorating personal circumstances delved into an all-too-familiar spiral and it would be years until a full reformation.
Oher Modesty Blaise career highlights include supporting Robbie Williams at London’s O2 Arena, inclusion in a Rough Trade compilation, an ITV company documentary on Jonny Collins, and a BBC Radio session involving seventeen people.
On November 26, ‘I’ll Be Home For Xmas’ will be released digitally via German label From Lo-Fi to Disco! with distribution by Broken Silence. It will be available everywhere, including Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp, where ‘The Modesty Blaise’ LP can also be obtained. Physical albums can also be ordered from Rough Trade in the UK, hhv in Germany, Disk Union in Japan and directly from the label.