PB​:​093 Mick Thomas & the Roving Commission: Christmas Day At Spencer Street

by Popboomerang

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Christmas Day at Spencer Street

Finally Mick Thomas releases an actual Christmas album. After a career of playing full fledged national tours pretty much every Christmas, Mick and long time cohort Mark Squeezebox Wally felt it was time to make a really simple fun record that would be good to play on the road. And as there were a whole load of songs they had been revisiting - right back to the dawn of Weddings, Parties, Anything - that had never been recorded it seemed a reasonable idea. And so with a minimum of planning and preparation they found themselves in a local studio for a few days with pretty much all of the Melbourne chapter of players that currently call them selves The Roving Commission.

It was a simple process but one that has produced an interesting and cohesive piece of work. Initially muted as an EP or mini album, Christmas Day at Spencer Street weighs in at a healthy thirty three minutes. It's a great natural sounding record, one that promises to translate to the stage easily. And while all the tracks don't deal with strictly yuletide subjects there is enough wry observation there concerning the goings on at December's end to make this the perfect stocking filler.

Couple that with the far weightier and formal work of the Vandemonian Lags project that spawned a double album, concert DVD, not to mention sell out shows as part of the inaugural Dark Mofo Festival earlier in 2013 then Mick's output for the year is as healthy as ever and that Christmas Stocking may in fact be running over.

Christmas Day at Spencer Street is out now on Popboomerang Records (CD, vinyl, digital).

Vandemonian Lags DVD and double CD also out on Popboomerang Records.

Available online, at shows and at select record stores.

For more information go to:


Contact Scott Thurling


released December 1, 2013

Christmas Day: song by song

- Christmas Medley
(The Adulterer's Christmas Carol/Jolly Old Christmas Time): These two bona fide Christmas songs only ever appeared on WPA B-sides and live records. It was great to finally give them full band treatments and a big thanks to Pete Lawler who was quick enough to contact Mick as he was finishing off the vocals for his track Jolly Old Christmas Time to remind him of the penultimate line " Drinking port wine from a milk shake glass".

- New Moon Cafe: Penned by Andrew Viney this is a song people may remember from Mick's first post WPA offering Under Starter's Orders - which was a solo live rendition. Strange how a song can just stay with someone for decades.

- In the Wars and The People You Meet were both written for the yet to be staged musical theatre piece based on the ABC commissioned website charting Peter Pinney's rip roaring travel saga Dust on My Shoes. Expect to see the play sometime in the next couple of years as it's all pretty much good to go.

- Australian Flag Bikini: This seemed a walk up start for a record released in an election year. A song that came from a disastrous show at the Australian Open Tennis Tournament some years ago and a sporadic live favourite.

- The Castleford Ladie's Magic Circle: - Written by Yorkshire balladeer Jake Thackray Mick learnt this at the folk club in Geelong back in the 70's and strangely enough had only ever played it a few times through the years. His strongest memory is playing it for his parents who called it simply " the witches song ".

- Girl (at the Other Side of the World): Recorded as a tribute to Mick and Wally's sadly departed buddy Ron Verhoef - a fondly remembered Dutch accordion player that seemed to somehow traverse the gap between Amsterdam and Melbourne with ease.

- The Foxy Devil: A song written by Galway Joe Dolan, Foxy Devil was an early WPA favourite that strangely enough never made it onto a recording.

- Christmas Day at Spencer Street: The only appearance this ever made was on a Christmas Card that the Weddings had produced one year for their fan club. Brought up to date with a new final verse Mick recited this into an iPad walking around the platforms of Melbourne's Southern Cross Station.


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Popboomerang Australia

Australian music label founded by Scott Thurling and releasing its first CD in 2002 with over 80 recordings to date.

Specialising in melodic pop, jangle, folk and rock and predominantly working with Australian bands with the aim to building their careers locally & internationally.

Artists include Skipping Girl Vinegar, Georgia Fields, The Aerial Maps, Celadore, Bon Scotts, Tamas Wells & Tim Reid
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