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The Christmas Stick

by Bubble & Squeak

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From Bing Crosby and David Bowie to John Denver and The Muppets, the Christmas duet has always been a joyous staple of every holiday season, and this year it’s time to add a new festive duet to the Christmas party playlist. Bubble & Squeak are Poppy from Girl Ray and Jof from The Boy Least Likely To, brought together underneath the mistletoe by a shared love of all things Christmas and tongue in cheek indie pop.

Sweet and impossibly romantic, with a little nod to Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett and a cheeky wink to Nancy And Lee, the Christmas Stick is a misty eyed slacker pop masterpiece. It retells the story of a chance encounter on a lonely winter night between two strangers whose eyes meet across a bustling broadway before they’re both struck by a mysterious festive talisman and end up spending the rest of the holidays together and writing a Christmas love song all about it.

With sleigh bells and snowflakes and an omnichord twinkling away, it’s as hopelessly joyful as it is oddly melancholic. Kind of like Christmas itself. Poppy Hankin is the singer in seminal North London indie pop group Girl Ray, who released their own Christmas hit last year (I Wish I Were Giving You A Gift) This Christmas and whose debut album Earl Grey was released on Moshi Moshi to widespread critical acclaim. Jof Owen is the singer in The Boy Least Likely To, whose Greatest Hits album is released in November.

This is the fifteenth Christmas song he has recorded in his career. Both bands are readying new studio albums for next year, but for now this is Bubble & Squeak and The Christmas Stick, preparing to battle it out with Mariah Carey and the winner of X Factor for the Christmas number one with the most unexpectedly sublime Christmas duet since Fairytale Of New York.

It might just end up being the greatest story ever told.


Christmas can be a difficult time
When you’re feeling alone
Sitting by the window with a pack of mince pies
Listening to Nat King Cole

I only left the house to buy a bottle of wine
When I saw you from across the street
I was looking out at all the Christmas lights
When I saw you looking up at me

You never know that you’re gonna fall in love until you do
And it’s so unimaginable to think you will
Until it really happens to you

You’ve been hit by the Christmas stick
You won’t know what it is until you’re hit by it
Ooh baby there’s no better place to fall in love
Than underneath the mistletoe
There’s magic in the air, tinsel everywhere
It looks like it’s beginning to snow

You’ve been hit, you’ve been hit
You’ve been hit by the Christmas stick
I’m trying to fight it but I’m just so excited
They’re trying to fight it but they’re just so excited

Twelve days later and we’d fallen in love
Funny how it happened so fast
You were scared your friends would all be weird about us
And I was scared it wouldn’t last

But we’re still together and it’s Christmas eve
It’s the greatest story ever told
We just went and bought our first Christmas tree
From the corner shop across the road

You never know that you’re gonna fall in love until you do
And it’s so unimaginable to think you will
Until it really happens to you

You’ve been hit by the Christmas stick
I hope we didn’t end up on the naughty list
Ooh baby we should really try and get some sleep
Santa must be almost here
Would you take a look at us, hopelessly in love
I’ve really pulled a cracker this year

You’ve been hit by the Christmas stick
I never thought that this would be a Christmas hit
Ooh baby just imagine all the royalties
That we’ll be living off some day
We’ll buy your mum a yacht
Quit our stupid jobs
And buy a house in west LA

Christmas Spirit’s coming all around
I heard you say


released December 3, 2018
Recorded at Big Jelly Studios, Ramsgate
Engineered by Mike Collins
Produced by Poppy Hankin and Jof Owen
Mixed and Mastered by Rob Jones

Poppy Hankin
Vocals, guitar, organ, percussion, bass

Jof Owen
Vocals, percussion

Iris McConnell
Drums, percussion, backing vocals

Sophie Moss
Backing vocals

Rob Jones


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