Saturday, November 28, 2015

Viva la Rovers - and why music is ruining football

Who chooses the music at football stadiums? I ask this because I noticed today that Blackburn Rovers walked out to the instrumental bridge of Coldplay's Viva la Vida, a rousing soaring anthem about a guilty liberal wrestling with his childlike understanding of religion.

Maybe this has been the case for a while, I've stopped noticing. I find the whole invasive and intrusive use of loud music to create "atmosphere" to be symptomatic of football's vacuous loss of real soul.

At Old Trafford on Wednesday I was both repulsed and impressed by the use of the Stone Roses. Impressed because the writers of the song are at least United fans, repulsed because the song is utterly fantastic and yet it's just joined the same pile of advert fodder.

My personal nadir for pumped in, pumped up music was the use of Status Quo's Rockin' All Over the World in February 2002 at Cardiff as Rovers paraded the League Cup. It spoiled a genuine moment of joy.

Later that year I stood at Celtic Park as 60,000 Celtic fans were prompted to sing You'll Never Walk Alone by the tannoy. They didn't need to be told, it made something majestic just a little less so.

The match today was good. There was a greater professionalism about Rovers. Paul Lambert clearly sees the need to impose the team's strengths on a game. But at 70 minutes they looked shattered and are clearly not fit enough. It reminded me of how it took Mark Hughes a few games to tune his charges up in 2004. Maybe they need some better music in the dressing room. I'd just be happier if they'd drop it from before the match.

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