soundCHECK 79 – December 30th 2010

Given the weeks and weeks of build-up as well as the pressure retail and the media place on one and all to have the perfect Christmas, it’s amazing anyone actually has any fun on Christmas Day. If annual pre-Christmas hyperbole continues on its current trajectory, we’ll all be spending our Christmases in a terrified stupor by 2015; preferring to spend Christmas morning in a wide-eyed hypnosis rocking back and forth in the bed sheets rather than risking the shame of taking part in a ‘celebration’ that is anything less than The Best Ever Christmas Ever. EVER!

But Christmas has now passed. We can all exhale in unison a sigh of relief as we get to grips with trying to be normal again, right?


Sure, the main event may have been and gone, but there’s still plenty of Christmas left to celebrate! Twelfth night is but a speck on the horizon! So recalibrate that fun-o-meter and return that sullied Santa hat to that beautiful brain of yours. And if your festive fire really is in its dying embers, make use of the flammable properties of that ‘special drink’ you’ve no doubt got earmarked for tomorrow night and rekindle that Christmas spirit, damn it!

Proving with admirable stoicism that celebrating Christmas is indeed all about staying power are North Devon-based independent filmmakers, RAMUK69. To mark the build-up to Christmas they made a new song available for download from their website every day. A kind of MP3 advent calendar, I guess. All for free, of course.  And in true indie style, nearly all of the bands featured were local.

Now, not only is each of the songs still available to download for free, RAMUK69 have zipped up all the songs into one great big compilation. And guess what? That’s a free download too. Featured local artists include Jim Jones, Peter Buffery, Tequila Rockin’ Bird, Shade Valley and Rural Jazz Alliance. Eclectic mix then! They’re joined by bands such as Serpico, who played at Download Festival in 2009 as well as artists from as far away as Brazil and Canada.

Ryan Martin, founder of RAMUK69 said of the free songs: “It’s like a Christmas present for site visitors. It gives the bands some publicity and opportunities for networking too.” There you go. RAMUK69: the gift that keeps on giving. You can snaffle up your free copy at

Happy New Year.


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