29 03 2010

Whilst we were in One Stop last week (other convenience shops are available) the contents of the magazine rack caught our eye. We came across the NME, Mumford and Sons were adorning the cover. Now we’d heard about them on the wireless. They’re a new group that could be a smash in the hit parade. Just before we turned to the Gig Guide we noticed that a band member was wearing a distinctive scarf.

As you can see it’s green and yellow and it’s obviously a football scarf. Now he could be a Norwich fan or even a Caernarfon fan but we think due to the nature of certain bands, trying to look cool and contemporary, it’s probably a protest scarf from Man Utd fan groups. This started us reminiscing about the link between football and music.

Not being the sharpest cultural commentators in 1995 we thought that Oasis and their love for Man City was the starting point. (We had forgotten about New Order and Italia ’90 for some reason). Then Euro  ’96 came along and everybody seemed to be a “geezer” with an allegiance. Britpop was cool and so was football. The rest as they say is history; Kasabian get to wear the new England shirt before the players, Starsailor can frequent Anfield pubs and hold their heads up, Doves and Badly Drawn Boy find themselves in the same row of the City of Manchester Stadium………..

Of course this is not a modern thing, musicians have always been drawn to football and vice versa. This history is celebrated on the  Football and Music site.

When we thought about the subject we realised that some of the Jet Set’s all-time favourite bands have links to football in a spider’s web of connections……….

First of all our favourite band, SUPER FURRY ANIMALS. We first noticed they liked football in an S4C profile of the band called “Poptastic“. In one part they were filmed watching Wales lose 7-1 in Holland. In the video of “Play it Cool” Gruff and the boys gained some revenge on the powers of world football; Wales hammered Brazil.

Their love of football is not purely ornamental. We have actually seen some or all of the Super Furry Animals at numerous Wales matches and even at Farrar Road. Our awe prevents an introductory advance even though they would fit in with the Jet Set.

Then there’s HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT. Like everybody else we had a vague recollection of their existence but it wasn’t until I saw them on the late-night Danny Kelly sports programme  “Under the Moon” that I first came across them in the flesh, so to speak. Remarkably they were playing in the West Shore Social Club in Llandudno a few years after that. This turned out to be was one of the Jet Set’s favourite ever gigs. The cutting humour in their lyrics won us over, they seem to view life the way a person should; there should be no tolerance of knobheads or snobs. The reference points won us over totally. 


As for their connection to football; First of all watch the above link. Then they’re Tranmere fans through the thick and mostly thin (“the tube affair” for example – about halfway down the page), they run out to the same music that Tranmere runs out to (the Rockford Files theme) for example. Finally there are the song titles; “The Referee’s Alphabet“, ‘All I want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague away kit’“I was a Teenage Armchair Honved Fan” “Friday Night and the Gates are Low” and our favourite; “Bob Wilson Anchorman”

MANIC STREET PREACHERS.  Not an obvious choice but there are connections. Nicky Wire once captained Wales schoolboys and was offered a trial at Arsenal. They appear to be interested in football enough to include “Can’t take my eye off you” in their set list. This was the song that accompanied BBC Wales’ coverage of the USA’94 qualifiers. As James said on Millenium Eve;”This song always reminds me getting beaten by Romania….”. They also changed the lyrics of their song “Everything Must Go” to “Bobby Gould must Go” when that idiot was in charge of the Welsh side. (Go to the bottom of this page if you want a listen).

STONE ROSES. They didn’t make any explicit references towards football in their songs so I was under the impression that they didn’t care for football. The only reference about football I was aware of happened during the Newport comeback gig in 1995; omeone threw a Cardiff City shirt onto the stage and Ian Brown put it on. Even though this act nearly caused a riot Browny seemed unfazed by it all, if memory serves he claimed he didn’t understand football.

We left it there as it’s not unknown for bands to be left cold by football (The stereotype goes thus, the kids into the arty school subjects are usually the shy sensitive kids that don’t like getting muddy in P.E.). However with further reading it turns out that Ian Brown is a big fan of Man Utd, Mani is as well for that matter. Mani actually sold his scooter to buy tickets for the 1999 European Cup Final. Browny also sponsored a local football club.

THE FALL. Well-known City Fan Mark E. Smith has not only made references to football in his songs like “Kicker Conspiracy” he once famously took part in FINAL SCORE.

So ends a small journey through the connections between football and our favourite bands.





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