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Season 2013/14

City Blogger: Music and football

  • 03 April 2014 12:34
  • Posted by @Vic_Bird

As I may have mentioned in a previous blog or two, our home in Chicago to watch City is The Globe Pub (quick plug for them, and hopefully a free drink for me, it’s at 1934 West Irving Park Road!).

The City support continues to grow each week and as the new faces become regulars we’re also starting to make traditions. One of which is that after our matches we have a dedicated number of songs that immediately go on The Globe’s jukebox.

The first to be played is always The Inspiral Carpets’ “This Is How It Feels”. Once sung by our quiet neighbours from Salford to ridicule us, City fans have since turned the once spiteful chorus into something rather charming about our signing of Sergio. 

Music and football are intrinsically linked, like gin and tonic or chips and gravy. All of which can ignite passion (or sometimes apathy depending on your preferences – vodka and tonic just doesn’t do it for me and chips simply cannot be devoid of something moist).  

I can’t hear Abide With Me - the song traditionally sung at the FA Cup Final - without welling up. The Great Escape theme invariably ignites fierce patriotism whenever its battle cry enters my earshot.

And the opening of New Order’s “World in Motion” with the famous commentary “..some of the crowd are on the pitch, they think it’s all over …it is now!” makes me nostalgic for the, slightly more, positive days of supporting England (and surely every self-respecting England fan between the ages of 30 and 50 knows every word of the John Barnes rap off by heart too?)  

When Sky Sports advertised the launch of the Premier League with their “Whole New Ball Game” campaign in 1992 they used Simple Minds’, Alive and Kicking song.

My dad and I would play this song on repeat in the car as we drove to Maine Road and twenty-two years later if I hear it I still get goosebumps thinking about the excitement of seeing City play and, like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I also salivate at the thought of fish and chips from the City Chippy – oh, happy days.

Just as football can be so tightly linked to a song that stirs the soul,  so too can Manchester, and Manchester City. As I’ve written in an earlier blog, my Grandfather played in the Beswick Prize Band that played for the crowd at Maine Road in the 1950s and, since those days, some of the most influential music in modern times has emerged from our beautiful city.

Oasis are well known supporters of City, and can be credited with raising the profile of the club amongst music-loving international fans during the ‘90s. Although, I have had to explain to someone that the Brother shirt sponsorship had nothing to do with the Gallagher brothers and that Brother are, in fact, a Japanese electronics company that make printers, sewing machines and the like!

oasis
 
Blue Moon has become the iconic anthem of Manchester City, with the lyrics soon to be incorporated into the City Circle landmark at the Etihad Stadium.  Liam Gallagher and Beady Eye performed a haunting rendition of Blue Moon to launch the new home shirt in 2011.

And local Band Supra have also recorded a cover version that City fan Ricky Hatton used on many occasions as his entrance music before a fight, which for me is the Mancunian equivalent of Apollo Creed’s entrance before scrapping with Ivan Drago.

There is a certain camaraderie evoked by a football chant. It can start with a few people and spread across a football ground in seconds, unifying the voice of the supporters to fall upon the ears of players and spur their feet on to make magical moves.

Thanks to the prevalence of social media today these songs can then be around the world before the final whistle is blown. One thing we can attest to as City fans is that we’ll always sing, not only when we’re winning, because we’ll support the Blues evermore.   

I must mention in closing, that this past Monday the world learned the tragic news of legendary DJ and Godfather of House Music, Frankie Knuckles’ passing here in his adopted home of Chicago, where in 2004 the city named the stretch of street where the Warehouse club once stood “Frankie Knuckles Way”.

frankie 

Anyone who went to the Hacienda, or raised their hands into the lasers at any other house club, is undoubtedly deeply saddened by his departure; but we can be sure that there’s one hell of a party going on in heaven right now.

So pour yourself your favourite tipple and reminisce about the songs and footy chants you love. I’m off to The Globe (1934 West Irving Park Road!) to see about that free G&T and feed some singles into the jukey.

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