Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Whilst browsing at the latest CD releases I stumbled across the first album from a band called The Duckworth Lewis method.

That name will not mean anything to many, as it's the bizarre calculation method used in cricket for rain delays in one day internationals and 20-20, but it turns out to be the brainchild of the Divine Comedy's brilliant Neil Hannon.

It also turns out to be a twelve track album all about cricket! With wonderful song titles like "Mason On The Boundary", "Meeting Mr Miandad" and "The Nightwatchman", I'll be getting hold of a copy soon as it's bound to be a blast.

I'm a sucker for these sort of things, especially those of a football nature.

For me, football and music go hand in hand. I've been working on a three part feature for AFTN about the interweaving aspects of both, in all their various guises, and that will be appearing on the site and in the East Fife programme later this year.

There's always been that close bond for decades now. From the swinging sounds and swaying kops of the sixties, reworking the hits of the day to be football oriented, through to punk, ska, indie and dance songs about the game. Then you had all the Spice Boys nonsense in the 90's that's better forgotten.

So many football fanzines were named after songs too, including Away From The Numbers from the Jam b-side of the same name. And there's the famous QPR fanzine editor turned musician in Pete Doherty.

There's my particular favourites of Half Man Half Biscuit's various nods and the Sultans of Ping extolling the words of wisdom of Brian Clough. There's been so many serious bands who have written about football and football fans. Then there's the not so serious bands who do the same.

When I saw The Duckworth Lewis Method it reminded me of a couple of albums I have from the 90's by a band calling themselves Halftime Oranges.

Two albums, 30 tracks. Each one of them all about football, with titles like "What's The Fuss About Ryan Giggs", "Bob Stokoe Says", "Terrace Girl" and "Zig Zag To The Onion Bag". You can't go wrong with that!

I got sent both the albums free to review in AFTN, primarily due to the track East Fife 4 Forfar 5 on the first album. I pointed out the score was the wrong way around but it was too late for them to change it!

Not really albums to be taken seriously, and I have to be frank, not the most musically gifted songs and singing style you're ever going to hear, but they can still be played time and time again, which I did just recently when making up a CD of them for a friend.

There's just something about the songs that bring childhood footballing memories flooding back. It's great and in the song "Battiston" they have a footballing classic in my eyes, or should that be ears.

Referring to the incident in the 1982 World Cup semi when Germany's goalie Harold Schumacher flattened the French player Patrick Battiston in a moment of footballing madness that I can still picture as vividly today as when I was watching it in my bedroom 17 years ago (how did he stay on the pitch?!!!).

The song has the immortal lines "Oh Patrick. You could have had a hat trick in the final. You could have been the French Geoff Hurst. If Harold hadn't knocked you out first".

The albums are called "Clive Barker Set Me On Fire" and "Rotterdamnation" and you can find them on some of the download sites. Go on, you know you want to!

Maybe Duckworth Lewis will inspire a whole lot of Halftime Oranges for this generation. Let's hope so!

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