“I know I’m flawed / Full of mistimed tackles and dreadful cross field balls / But every now and then I could ripple your net”

21 Oct

Saturday 19th October 2013

Nottingham Forest         1.1          AFC Bournemouth

(Lansbury)                                          (Pugh)

This game was all about the underdog in more ways than one. If you put Forest supporting  Manic Street Preachers (James Dean Bradfield), The Pogues (bassist Phil Chevron) and the Sultans of Ping FC (yes, them again) against Bloc Party (Matt Tong) then, well, the indie cum experimental frantic electronic math rockers are always on a hiding to nothing. Now obviously, when embarking upon a piece tackling music then one is always conscious of opening up a huge can of uncontrollable worms since each and every one of us quite obviously has the best taste in music and is clearly ‘right’ in these matters when all others are inherently ‘wrong’. But let’s put musical differences aside for the time being.

Trinculo, the rather confused butler from Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ may well have been referring to the opposing worlds of music and football when he declared that “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” We all know about New Order’s ‘World in Motion’ and the ‘Anfield Rap’ but I have neither the time nor the inclination to rehash the predictable list of great football songs. I am rather curious though as to which club can claim to have the most musical and creditable fan base.

Given the names above, I think it’s fair to say that Nottingham Forest can stake a claim to be solid mid-table, if not knocking on the door of the play-offs (I almost typed ‘challenging for Europe’ there but reeled myself in). Big sales? Absolutely. Range of genres? You bet. Credibility? I’m going to stick my neck and say yes to that one too. Regularly seen at games? Ah. We may fall short in that respect. I don’t know about Phil Chevron’s attendance rate but it was fitting that in the week of his sad passing, Lansbury’s spectacular opener was greeted with a chorus of ‘Fiesta’ over the tannoy, replacing the rather obvious ‘Chelsea Dagger’. (Yes, we do still have goal music to help us celebrate them. Please don’t judge us: we are but simple folk.) There may well be other Nottingham based musicians/Forest fans out there beyond Jeff Barrett (founder of Heavenly record label, but I await confirmation of alleged Forest allegiances) but Jake Bugg has come out as a County fan and I am unaware of any of the briefly famous Tindersticks’ football preferences. No, I haven’t forgotten about KWS and their legendary ‘Please Don’t Go’ and I am deliberately glossing over Andy (you’ll always be Andy to me, not Andrew, and that’s being kind – I could call you a lot worse after your disastrous career ending few games with us) Cole’s foray into music (whatever you do, DO NOT follow this link. You won’t be able to unwatch it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9UHcRrCWlI . What did I say?! I TOLD you not to. Serves your curious little mind right though).

To be fair, and it grates me to say this, Wolves have a good shout too what with Robert Plant being the club’s vice president and the rather ramshackle but lovable Ace Bushy Striptease who can boast a song entitled ‘Michael Kightly is Pretty Rad’ and the rather wonderful ‘More Parts Per Milijas’ which really IS worth a little time: http://acebushystriptease.bandcamp.com/track/more-parts-per-milijas . It is only right to mention Tranmere Rovers and the legendary Half Man Half Biscuit and I mean no offence if I’ve neglected your clubs’ creditable musical links too. Stake your claim and let me know (apart from Man City fans: I really don’t want to know about Osoddingasis. Nor Port Williams Vale. Nor Leicester Kasabian City. Nor any other bindingly obvious ones that I have neglected to mention. Fulham fans: you can make a claim for Michael Jackson if you want and Colchester United fans can remind me about Steve Lamacq if you feel the need. But you don’t need to. I’ve just done it.)

Although many bands get it so so wrong when it comes to football, some bands get it right time and time again. ‘More Parts per Milijas’ proves that football is just one giant metaphor for life; a theme extended and developed by Los Campesinos! Singer Gareth is a director of Welton Rovers and also purports to be a red hot goalkeeper. There are numerous football references in his lyrics but my personal favourite is: “You asked if I’d be anyone from history, fact or fiction, dead or alive/I said I’d be Tony Cascarino, circa 1995.”

The thing about the underdog is that they tend to have their day in the sun once in a while. For all the mighty guitar solos of James Dean Bradfield and the raucousness of The Pogues, (exemplified here in the supposed superior striking power of Simon Cox, Jamie Mackie and Darius Henderson) it only takes a cheeky little chorus to make it to the top of the hit parade. It was certainly no surprise when Pugh’s weak shot trickled into the corner of the net in the 90th minute and they deserve credit for their adventurous attacking approach away from home playing a 4-3-3 formation. On this performance, Bloc Party’s latest ‘experimental phase’ might well see them receive the critical acclaim they once enjoyed.

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