Arts & Culture

Merry Christmas songs everyone … West End band shows there is alternative way

By Ian Marland at

They never seem to change – it’s the same tunes year after year.

But those ubiquitous Christmas songs – you know, I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day, Merry Christmas Everyone – may, just may, have met their match.

Away from the bright (Christmas) lights, a group of West End musicians has been quietly plugging away at the genre.

Band: Scunner have been playing festivals and venues across Scotiand for several years. Photograph taken from Scunner Facebook  page.

Band: Scunner have been playing festivals and venues across Scotiand for several years. Photograph taken from Scunner Facebook page.

Their latest offering is currently gathering views on Youtube – although you are unlikely to have heard it while shopping in the supermarket or in the town.

According to its Facebook page, Scunner are “a genre-hopping theatrical odyssey”, a “glam-pop-electro-folk” outfit playing “showtunes or cabarock”.

For the last few years, the band has been penning Christmas tunes to offer an alternative melody to the mainstream.

Iain Mutch is one of the band members, who has recorded his own Christmas compositions, and who makes music videos for Scunner and other Scottish bands.

He told Glasgow West End Today the art of writing Christmas tunes was not to labour on the theme, and to take the first idea that comes.

Video: Musician Iain Mutch featuring in one of his Christmas songs.

Video: Musician Iain Mutch featuring in one of his Christmas songs.

“My personal remit is I like to get them all done in two days tops – that’s writing, recording and the video.

“If I can’t, I discard them. First thought, best thought and things can get overworked and stale.”

Iain and Scunner have recorded five or so Christmas songs.

Iain says: “There’s plenty more in the pipeline.”

Iain makes videos for bands under the pseudonym walkerandwilliam.

“I’m not an indigenous Westender. I come from Macduff but ended up here by accident in 1997 and fell in love with it.”

As well as music and video, Iain also works at the Gartnaval Hospital.

He goes by the moniker The Lunatic Engineer in Scunner but also uses the name “Iain mutch and the absurdist monks” on Youtube.

His other incarnations include “Post punk papa” and “The Simon and Garfunkel Sensation” for his tribute duo.

Scunner played a number of local festivals last year including Kelvingrove Bandstand.


Watch: Scunner’s latest Christmas offering Xmas Song (The Beekeeper’s Daughter).



Watch: A Christmas tune from Iain’s back catalogue.


Watch: An early hit from Scunner, from 2006.

Again according to their Facebook page, Scunner cite influences as “Dada, silent films, wonky machines, glam, butteries, stories, Jim Jarmusch, Crispin Glover, Laurel and Hardy, Jim Henson, Tractors, love, Carnivale.”

Hope that helps. Merry Christmas everyone!