Glasgow band Tom McGuire & The Brassholes take on the madness of Christmas in new charity single Rad Santa - Sunday Post

The Glasgow band's new song Rad Santa, with a tinsel-tastic accompanying video, uses some festive frolics about buying and receiving gifts to focus on cutting the waste of Christmas.

And it'll also help raise funds for Shelter and Centrepoint, two charities helping the homeless at one of the most difficult times of year to be living on the streets.

"We knew we wanted to do some sort of Christmas song and hopefully successfully deliver a message," Tom, the band's leader, says.

"It's about the commercial madness that everyone falls into at this kind of time. An ingrained habit of feeling the need to show the ones you love that you care through reciprocal giving of gifts.

"The waste during Christmas is quite apparent to me so I tried to step away from that kind of habit and instead focus my energy on spending time with people I love.

"I had this sort of philosophy so I thought I'd try to inject that into this song in a light-hearted way and deliver a different sort of message than the normal Christmas song message."

With cameos from familiar Glasgow faces Leo 'The Silent Raver' and The Wee Man, it's hoped that after seeing the video, people will opt to download the song for a small fee.

That money will go towards helping those who will find Christmas and the winter period a particularly difficult time.

Tom says: "If there's some sort of giving that should be done it should be to people who are in need rather than frivolous spending on daft wee things that nobody really wants.

"I think it's quite important to consider in this time of festive waste those who might not have anything and perhaps just readjust our values a little bit."

The fact the video is filmed on the streets of Glasgow is fitting as it's where Tom McGuire & The Brassholes first came together.

The group - who are now used to the funny looks as they head out and about in full costume - started out as buskers, and were a regular sight as individuals on the streets of Glasgow around the time of the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

"Some of us knew each other from jam sessions but a lot of the members came together in a spontaneous, organic way on the streets of Glasgow during the Games," Tom says.

"That was the first time a lot of us met and just joined together. We ended up becoming basically lifelong friends and embarking on this journey that brings us to this point now. We're having a satisfying and fruitful time making music and showing it to the world."

The world is certainly starting to take notice, with Rad Santa racking up thousands of views so far.

But the festive effort is not the first video by the group to catch eyes across Scotland, and the world.

Back in September, the group's tribute to wrestling legend Ric Flair was a worldwide sensation, even catching the eye of the 'Nature Boy' himself.

Love This! Thanks For The Respect! WOOOOO! @brassholes https://t.co/sf6Eyl0xKA

- Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) September 19, 2018

Tom says: "That was incredible! Everything that's happened since we released that single has been way beyond our expectations.

"It all started with the reception to the video. Some kind of pipe dream of ours was that maybe he'd get to see it. We never imagined he'd share it!

"We thought that maybe it was a turning point, something special. We've been riding that wave, it's been exciting."

2018 has seen the group play several live shows as they look forward to releasing a debut album next year and launching it as part of Celtic Connections.

And they'll be supporting DJ Craig Charles at his Funk and Soul club night on December 28 at Glasgow's O2 Academy.

"It's great, he's someone we've tried to get on the radar of," Tom says. "He's definitively influential in the funk soul environment which is definitely the one we want to inhabit."

We've got a special announcement tomorrow! Just in time for the festive season. Watch this space!

Posted by Tom McGuire & The Brassholes on Thursday, 6 December 2018

With eight members, the group takes Tom's original song ideas and adds layer upon layer to create that finished funk product.

"I write the bare bones and bring it to the rhythm section and they build the skeleton of the song and put the meat on the bones," Tom explains. "That's where the groove and the beat come from.

"It then goes to the brass section, and all four of them are trained jazz musicians, so they've got great arrangement skills. They bring in this whole extra dimension to the composition.

"It's kind of an electric feeling, they put a whole layer of incredible stuff that I could never hope to produce on top of my original idea. It's not a writing environment I've been in before so it's still quite exciting for me."

Next on the agenda is the debut album, due for release next month.

Having been working musicians for the past few years, mostly at weddings and functions, the group decided to take a step back from that in 2018 and dedicate a lot of their energies into producing their own music.

As he spoke to The Sunday Post, Tom had just received a test pressing of the record.

"I can't wait for it to be in people's hands," he says. "The reason I'm up for all that extra work is because I know the product we've made is absolutely fantastic and I can't wait for the world to hear it.

"No matter how it's received I'll know I've made a very worthwhile and valuable piece of art, music. I really hope it'll go places. You have to put in a lot of hours and that's what I'm doing."

Rad Santa by Tom McGuire & The Brassholes is a charity single for Shelter and Centrepoint - visit https://tomandthebrassholes.bandcamp.com/album/rad-santa to download