Geoff Barrow’s Beak deliver festive album as The Soul Santas

Rudolph and his mates get all funked up by Barrow and co’s alter ego

Beak, the band formed by former Portishead man Geoff Barrow, have revealed a seasonal album by their festive alter ego The Soul Santas.

Christmas Crackers, Vol 1 sees funk-laden soul versions of hymns like ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, ‘We Three Kings’ and ‘Away In A Manger’, alongside more secular yuletide classics like ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer’.

Barrow takes on drum duties while fellow Beak> member Bully Fuller plays bass, alongside Ben Salisbury (keyboards) and guitarist Shaun Snook, a regular in the band of Portishead signer Beth Gibbons.

The Soul Santas apparently came together to play a Christmas School Fair in 2014 – their one and only show, despite being, in their own words, “a roaring success”. The project lay dormant until earlier a host of rehearsal recordings surfaced on a band member’s phone, inspiring them to record Christmas Crackers Vol.1 over two days at Invada Studios in Bristol in October 2020.

All proceeds from the album received this year will go to feed the homeless of Bristol.

Hear Christmas Crackers Vol.1 here