A musician is going head to head against X Factor this year for the coveted Christmas Number One – but says he still wishes Jahmene Douglas all the best for the competition.

Singer songwriter Gaz Brookfield, 33, has been a fixture on the Swindon pub circuit since 2006 and will be releasing his single, Diet of Banality, on December 16 in a bid to keep Simon Cowell off the top spot.

The single, which is a folk punk rant against mainstream celebrity culture, will be available to buy from iTunes, Amazon and 7Digital.

Gaz, of Wroughton, said: “Every Christmas there is the battle for the number one spot in the charts, and every year the choices get less, well, choosable.

“Bieber or Talent show pawns seem to be the only choice these days, unless a well-meaning internet chap or chappette rallies the troops and gets everyone to buy Rage Against The Machine, or something – which, while commendable, isn’t really addressing the issue of getting new art out there.

“The way I see it, if the RATM thing can work, then why can’t this? I am a totally DIY musician. I have no label, management, promotion company, publishing company, distribution company, or even any money worth mentioning.”

Before going solo in 2006, Gaz was in the popular Swindon band Durera, and he later went on to become the first ever unsigned solo act to sell out The Fleece in Bristol.

He was the winner of Acoustic Magazine UK’s Singer/Songwriter Competition in 2010 and has also played with the likes of Newton Faulkner, Frank Turner, Nik Kershaw, Mark Morris (Bluetones),Pete Doherty and Dave McPherson (InMe).

And although he may be going up against X Factor hopeful Jahmene, who is tipped to get through to the final three in the competition, Gaz said he was still proud to see a Swindon lad doing well.

He said: “I wish him all the luck. The release of my single has nothing to do with him personally, it’s just about demonstrating that other musicians can be in with a shot at the Christmas Number One, without the aid of Cowell.”

Diet of Banality is from Gaz’s first album, Trial and Error. Visit www.gazbrookfield.com.

Builder is in the running too

A SWINDON builder is also hoping he proves to be a contender in the race for this year’s Christmas Number One.

Colm McCarthy, alias Puff Paddy, is releasing a festive tune and will be donating 25 per cent of the funds to the charity Christmas Care, which helps homeless people in the town over the festive period.

The singer, of Akers Way, is launching the single at a charity gig on December 16 at the Moonrakers pub in Stratton from 2pm.

Tickets are £6 on the door and other guests on the night include Rapper 8, The Hippie Club, The Stokers, Benji Clements, Myles Angel and Daine Angel.