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Music

15 perfect Christmas presents for music lovers

@TomTaylorFO

Christmas is fast approaching and for those of us yet to even think about buying gifts, the pressure is on. While we can’t be blamed for leaving it this late because owing to the wildly unprecedented impact of Covid-19, years are seemingly only about four months long these days, the time to move is now.

In an era where next day delivery is possible so is the inevitable slide towards leaving things far too late and handing over something plucked from the garage, wrapped up newspaper. Unless your recipient has been dreaming of a jerry can and a Lion bar, that might go down worse than a Christmas cracker joke. Thus, I reiterate, the time to act is… well technically a few weeks ago… but otherwise now!

Thankfully our editor has kindly let me turn that grisly evening of trawling around the web into an article that might just save you the hassle. I’ve searched high and low in the world of next day delivery for the sort of products any music fan would love no matter what your budget is.

From music books to gadgets and the best box sets around, we’ve collated the finest gifts on the market this Christmas and dropped them in a hamper for you to peruse below. 

15 perfect Christmas presents for music lovers:

John Cooper Clarke: I Wanna Be Yours 

Seeing as though the doctor wasn’t technically a musician, his memoir could be classed as a biography owing to the many bands he encountered on his poetic journey immortalised in sumptuous stories. With anti-decadent tales of Joy Division in Australia and equally opulence-reversing reveries on his days with Nico, the whole swirl of music history is wrung out in his sui generis kaleidoscopic tones from the unglamorous ground level. 

His tome of musical history is the sort of life savouring journey that led Nick Cave to remark: “Check out John Cooper Clarke and have your faith in humanity restored. A brilliant, brilliant man.”

Buy on Amazon here for £7.49

(Credit: Amazon)

JBL GO 3: Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

While I can’t vouch for it being the absolute greatest portable speaker on the market, it has never let me down and the sound quality is of the highest fidelity imaginable for such a low price, with a slew of snazzy design features to boot. 

This is the ideal product for the music lover who might be prone to bashing things about a bit or accidentally dropping a speaker into the sink. Purposefully hardwearing, easy to use and fuss-free, if you want good portable sound on the cheap then this is an easy win. 

Buy on Amazon here for £28.99

(Credit: Amazon)

Booze & Vinyl: A Spirited Guide to Great Music and Mixed Drinks

Music and alcohol are the ultimate happy couple. However, there are layers to a successful relationship. As any fool could tell you, Frank Sinatra’s croon simply sounds better an Old Fashioned in hand, the desert rock of Kyuss cries out for a Margarita and Bobbie Gentry near enough orders you a daiquiri.

Part book, part night-in checklist, this book is far from a novelty. It genuinely takes the craft seriously and turns the perfect listless Friday into a perfect celebration of Ziggy Stardust or some modern indie classic.

Buy on Amazon here for £15.31

(Credit: Amazon)

Paul McCartney: The Lyrics

The tagline for the book does all the work when it comes to this one: “A self-portrait in 154 songs, by our greatest living songwriter.” If that sounds like something the recipient of your gift might like, then have at it. 

At nearly £50 the double book is a bit of a budget stretcher but as far as books go, it is befittingly on the lavish side. Gorgeously housed in a slip-sleeve with artistic flourishes throughout, it is the novelistic equivalent of George Martin’s production.

Buy on Amazon here for £46.99

(Credit: Amazon)

Factory Records: Communications 1978-92

Factory Records was the powerhouse that fuelled the Manchester music scene and became a cultural sensation that sadly burnt out when the Happy Mondays stepped one toke over the line and blew all the money on a mad Caribbean excursion. However, the music made therein was a force to behold. 

As the product description reads: “Making its debut on vinyl, the project celebrates arguably the most important label in UK pop history, collating rare and obscure tracks from a diverse range of acts. It features 63 tracks including cuts from New Order, Joy Division, The Durutti Column, Happy Mondays, Electronic, A Certain Ratio, Section 25 and many others and includes sleeve notes written by Paul Morley.”

Buy on Amazon here for £99.99

(Credit: Amazon)

Fender Dragon Guitar Capo

There is an ancient saying that goes something a bit like ‘if you have never lost a capo then you have never really played guitar’. Along with plectrums and one single glove, capos are just about the most frequently misplaced things in the world, the difference is, capos are a lot harder the fashion than a measly plectrum. 

Fender has earned their name as the guitar industry leader with good reason, even their accessories are built with the player in mind. This might not be the gift that’ll wow someone on Christmas Day, but in due time they’ll be more than thankful. 

Buy on Amazing here for £13.99

(Credit: Amazon)

David Bowie: The Width of a Circle

Released earlier this year, this Bowie bundle is one of the more essential bumper releases that his estate has released since his sad passing. He is just about the most collectable artist around owing to the glowing otherworldly oeuvre that he crafted.

Taking its name from the album’s opening track, which was named after a painting by Bowie’s friend George Underwood, the two-CD set ‘The Width of a Circle’ act as a complementary piece to that album. As a gift a piece of Bowie history to be devoured and it might just be new to them too. 

Buy on Amazon here for £17.55

(Credit: Amazon)

Barry Adamson: Up Above the City, Down Beneath the Stars

Released earlier this year, former Bad Seed, Barry Adamson wrote one of the best music memoirs of recent times. With cutting prose and wild stories, he offers up a daring look at the underbelly of the music scene that he was very much a part of. 

The perfect indication comes from the lucky customer C.P. Lowe, who writes: “I am a massive fan of Barry and his work. But this I would suggest is a damn good read even if you are not a fan. He is an interesting character to put it mildly. The book is a “so it goes” tale of a remarkable life. With its highs and lows. Well worth a read.” Here, here Mr Lowe.

Buy on Amazon here for £14.67

(Credit: Amazon)

Show & Listen vinyl frame

Let’s face it, for all we purists might claim that vinyl is about the crisper sound or the ceremonious act of laying the track down, there is a fair bit of materialistic showing-off about it. Artwork is often the factor that swings a purchase away from the digital edition and towards a good old LP. 

However, naturally, you’ll still want to listen to the record. Thus, with the Show & Listen frame, you can pop your favourite vinyl cover on the wall and lower it back out to play without any fuss. What’s more, the frame is a classy design fit to house the finest of covers. 

Buy on Amazon here for £21.00

(Credit: Amazon)

70s Groove Afro Funky (Vinyl Compilation)

If the person you’re buying for is hosting a party over the Christmas period that you are attending, then this is the perfect tactical gift to purchase. Featuring the toe-tapping extraordinaire Lamont Dozier and the slow floor filler of Claudia Berry’s ‘Love For The Sake of Love’ this is the ultimate party record. 

Pressed on orange vinyl, these deep cuts are the sort that you might not have heard before, but they welcome you straight into the groove. With vintage artwork to match the era, this is a classy record for classy people, holding classy drinks and shaking hips. 

Buy here for £24.99

(Credit: Amazon)

Genius Music: Playing Cards

These are the ultimate last-minute Secret Santa, click and done purchases. When you’re running out of time and cash flow is low, these are the ultimate little stocking fillers. Most importantly, unlike a lot of Secret Santa’s, they will actually be used.

Complete with the likes of David Bowie, Beyonce and Marvin Gaye rendered in quirky illustrations, they’re ideal to brighten up a drinking game or even to invent a new one based on the pictures. 

Buy on Amazon here for £8.19

(Credit: Amazon)

Ticketmaster Gift Card

With ticket prices skyrocketing, sometimes even a gig lover needs a little push towards making a purchase. Naturally, you’ll always be thankful once the band gets going, but these days the price tags when you’re about to click purchase can prove to be daunting. 

With a gift card, you can literally help get the show on the road. With values of anywhere from £15.00-£200.00 available you can pick a card to match your budget. And who knows, it might just go towards one of those epic nights that live long in the memory. 

Buy on Amazon here for £15.00-£200.00

(Credit: Amazon)

Chifang Gig Poster

When it comes to gig posters, there is an unspoken rule that if you weren’t at the concert then the piece must simply be a supreme work of art in order to rightfully justify a place on your wall. 

Thankfully when it comes to Chifang works, that rule is an easy one to accept. Charting a range of the best indie bands around, the posters are the classiest around. In. fact, there is currently an office debate as to whether the LCD Soundsystem one is the best or the stunning Roisin Murphy piece.

Buy on Amazon here for £23.00 

(Credit: Amazon)

Amazon Echo – £99.99

Life is busy these days, and sometimes when you’re washing up a bit of technology comes in handy. At first, an Echo might seem daunting, but when your hands are covered in soapy suds and you want some music to whisk the task along, you soon find yourself gladdened to simply be able to call upon music on demand. 

With a 360-degree Dolby-powered speaker, the audio quality on this music on command system is astounding for the price considering everything else it offers. With a dynamic bass response and equalised tones, you’d do well to simply find a speaker this good for that much. 

Buy on Amazon here for £80.99

(Credit: Amazon)

1 By One Bluetooth Turntable

Getting into vinyl isn’t all that easy, there are a lot of moving parts, as the dude says, a lot of in’s a lot of out’s. However, when it comes to the 1 By One Bluetooth Turntable they have crafted the ultimate beginner’s turntable.

Complete with a built-in speaker, a cover, and all the other essentials, this is the one stop shop when it comes to turntables. Most importantly, it is faff-free but of the highest quality. If you know someone looking to get into vinyl for the first time then look no further.

Buy on Amazon here from £179.99

(Credit: Amazon)