Your Christmas playlist sorted: 12 CQ musicians share their favourite Chrissy tunes

Planning a playlist for Christmas day?  Looking for some classic Christmas tunes, or just sick of the usual suspects assaulting your ears in every shop?  (So help me God if I hear Must Be Santa one more time I will not be responsible for my actions...)

Rocky Street Press asked 12 movers and groovers in the Central Queensland music community about their favourite Christmas songs.  Whether you're looking for a familiar classic or a more out-there choice, we've got you covered.

Sophie Rose

Sophie's heading back into the studio in the new year to work on a new album, and keep an eye on her Facebook page for news of local gigs.  The Rockhampton-based singer-songwriter kicks off our Chris Kringle on a classic note.

I love Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. It has beautiful vocals and writing and the music is so incredible. Its a really fun one to sing with a sweet message.
— Sophie Rose

Shane Ward

Shane has a busy 2018 in the works, performing as a soloist, as one half of Not Even Steven, and with brand new band Overdrive.  Follow his adventures online, with a gig guide on his website.

My favourite Christmas song is Happy Christmas (War is Over!) by John Lennon.  It always brings back memories of my childhood, and I love the message of hope and unity it contains.
— Shane Ward

Kate Mahood

Fresh from a busy run of festivals in 2017 culminating at Yeppoon's recent Festival of Small Halls, alt country/folk artist Kate Mahood is working on her debut EP - something to look out for in 2018!  She's nominated a modern Australian classic for her spot in our Christmas playlist:

Paul Kelly is the master lyricist: this song is a story, it’s a conversation, it’s authentic and relatable. It continues to build and expand musically throughout the whole song as the narrating character takes you through a range of different emotions in under five minutes.
— Kate Mahood

Cat Schwarten

One of the stars of Rockhampton Musical Union's Les Misérables, Cat's nomination rekindles a childhood memory:

My favourite Christmas song is Feliz Navidad - it’s just so happy and funky, and I think it stems back from the days when I loved the Wiggles.
— Cat Schwarten

What the hell, it's Christmas, let's get our Wiggle on...

Jason Spence

Father and son duo Bordaline are locking in dates for 2018, with regular adventures in Gladstone as well as appearances in Tannum Sands and around Rocky including the Frenchville Sports Club.  Keep an eye on their Facebook to see where they'll rock up next.

We love Reliant K’s 12 days of Christmas. It covers a wide range of styles, and shows the band’s versatile.
— Jason Spence

Janet Stevenson

Musicologist, Unisong Community Choir conductor, musical mastermind behind The Optimist, Janet has a vast musical background and nominates a fond memory as her pick for the list:

I had a Christmas job at Lucas’, later known as Reid’s, where the Kern Arcade is now located. Every time I walked down East Street, I would hear Bing Crosby crooning out Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian Christmas Song).
— Janet Stevenson

Tony Belz

Musican, actor, singer and songwriter, Tony Belz was part of the ensemble for RMU's production of Les Mis this year, and in 2018 he's upping his musical theatre game to play Brit in Rockhampton Regional Council's production of We Will Rock You.

I’m a complete sap for a good ballad, and Josh Groban is one of the best male singers the world has still living. Though he didn’t compose this one, the sheer weight and emotion Groban can convey through his voice is a perfect compliment to the already exceptional music score.
— Tony Belz

Kate Schlick

This year Kate has turned her own quest for wellness into a podcast and community project, Hey There Happiness, helping others learn tools and tricks to increase the joy in our lives.  She also took the CQU Legend and the Locals Tour across a vast expanse of regional Queensland, bringing the joy of music to small communities.  Her pick for the list is sure to bring a smile to your face, too.

I’ve always loved this song but this version makes my shoulders bop. I find myself shimmying around the kitchen with my daughter and it just makes me smile. I challenge you to listen and not bop! Impossible!
— Kate Schlick

TJ Hollis

Rule 34 frontman (iTunes) (Spotify) has a new side project: TJ Makes Drinks, where he documents his adventures in mixology.  Follow along for new cocktail recipes twice weekly, but be warned - it might just lead to an increase in your own booze collection because some of those drinks look gooooood.

My Christmas song of choice is Skank for Christmas by Reel Big Fish, because what the holidays in this country obviously need is more ska.
— TJ Hollis

Bec Ellen

Singer/songwriter Bec Ellen is working on new material in the new year, following up from this year's sweet and sad Love Isn't Easy - the film clip for which was picked up by the Music Video Underground competition in the US.

I love Good King Wenceslas as I feel the choir format maintains the community and togetherness seen within Christmas time. I also love the mood it creates when performed in a chapel, due to the echoes. I’s both peaceful and haunting.
— Bec Ellen

Wendy Davis

Bundaberg-based violinist and writer, Wendy is one half of Kate & Wendy, and has two new creative projects primed for 2018: Sometimes Wendy Writes is a new home for her writing, and Winifred Bell: Tiny Writings is a monthly mailed (actual postal mail, not email!) delivery of fiction, nonfiction, journalling, and other writerly doings.

Santa’s Beard by They Might Be Giants is an anti-Christmas tale of marital deception set to guitar, accordion and jaunty beats.
— Wendy Davis

Narelle Schirmer

Narelle's busy wrangling singers ahead of Saturday night's carols at Tanby Gardens.  When she's not spreading Christmas cheer she's teaching at Facets Music & Performing Arts Studio, or belting out big jazz sounds of her own.  Her nomination is a favourite version of a song they'll be doing at the carols: