BOLTON band Cherry Ghost have announced the release of their first music for five years after dropping a surprise track in time for Christmas.

Formed in 2005, first as an alias for singer-songwriter Simon Aldred as a solo artist, before morphing into a full band, Cherry Ghost’s debut album, Thirst for Romance, was released in July 2007 and entered the UK Album Charts at number seven, before being nominated for an Ivor Novello award. More recently Simon was a co-writer on Liam Gallagher’s recent solo album.

A spokesperson for Simon said: “Cutting into the rotten core of politics whilst marking the festive season, acerbic British singer-songwriter, Cherry Ghost releases his first new music in over five years and aims a burning arrow at Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party by releasing surprise track, the delicately poisoned Blue Christmas.

“Seeing the odds begin to stack against the chance of a fair and just society in the run up to the British General Election this week, Cherry Ghost transformed a would-be, fireside Christmas classic into a caustic commentary on the poverty-enabling, truth-distorting and minority-weakening election campaign and its shock outcome – writing it 24 hours before the result was announced. The track opens with razor-sharp, ribbon-cutting lines, thrown with deft accuracy at the cruel, the hypocritical and the wilfully misguided.

“In one, sweeping, pendulum swing from curdled disdain (“I hope he leaves a beating heart underneath your tree”) to hopeless, yet enduring hope (“we’re only as strong as the weakest among us”) in under three-minutes, Blue Christmas’ closing message of love soothes the wounds left open by inequality and injustice. Dancing percussion, glancing keys and the voices of children combine with Aldred’s sabre-sharp lyrics to evoke both the tinsel and the torment.”

All proceeds from sales of the track will go to Manchester homeless charity Lifeshare.

Cherry Ghost, who released three albums on Heavenly Records, have also announced a first live show in five years as part of the label’s 30th anniversary celebrations. They join a line up including Doves, Baxter Dury, Confidence Man, Katy J Pearson, Raf Rundell, and Heavenly Jukebox DJs at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge next April 16-19.

“I don’t really play live gigs any more,” said Simon. “But this is the perfect occasion to make an exception because it’s such a wonderful venue and for a label I have nothing but love for.”

Label founder Jeff Barrett added: “The venue is such a good fit for us and Mal, who runs it, is absolutely part of the Heavenly family now.”

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