Music and football is a match made in heaven; just like Laurel and Hardy and pork scratchings and lager. Over the past 30 years, faces that you regularly see in the stands can usually be found standing or sitting in your vicinity at music venues up and down the country.
Every town and city has or has had, at least one musical icon that spends part of their life off-stage at the match, so we decided to compile a list of five of the coolest bands to ever be associated with the beautiful game.
THE STONE ROSES:
By the time Italia 90 had sounded the death knoll for hooliganism in the UK, Manchester Indie legends The Stone Roses had become the biggest band in the country, leading a musical revolution not witnessed since the birth of rock’n’roll or punk rock. The very fact that this Manc four-piece had spent their formative years on the terraces of the Stretford End and The Kippax respectively endeared them to lads and lasses of all ages.
A visit to any United or City home game between 1988 and 1992 saw blokes wearing a Roses t-shirt and flared jeans so wide, that a strong gust of wind could seriously get you airborne.
The Baggy look was in and many Old Trafford regulars around that time claimed that there was more grass in the “Strettie” than out on the pitch. Roses bass player Gary “Mani” Mountfield remains a season ticket holder at United to this day and when the band finally imploded in the mid-90’s, he supplemented his love for football by joining Scottish rockers Primal Scream.
In an interview after United’s treble-winning season in 1999, Mani explains that after falling on hard times, he sold his worldly belongings to ensure he was in the Camp Nou on that historic night in May.
As the Roses checked out, fellow Mancs Oasis checked in and led by iconic frontman Liam Gallagher, quickly became the biggest band in the world. Liam’s brother Noel was the brains of the outfit and when the two of them started doing interviews wearing Manchester City replicas, the City brand escalated around the world faster than you could say Shaker Maker.
The Gallagher brothers appealed (and still do) not only to City fans but the football fraternity all over the country and you can’t walk into any ground or any pub in the vicinity of any ground, without hearing Liam’s dulcet tones blaring out of the PA system or duke box.
When Gallagher junior got his hands on a ticket in the home end at the Santiago Bernabeu as Real Madrid took on City in the Champions League in September 2012, the photograph of him flicking the “V” sign before being ejected from the stadium, did more to enhance his image than any multimillion-selling album.
In the early noughties, a strange phenomenon started appearing at football grounds all over the UK – suddenly, lads everywhere were turning up to the match wearing the iconic Barbour Liddesdale jacket thanks in the main, to Sheffield icons the Artic Monkeys. The Steel City has never been considered a fashion leader like the other northern powerhouses of Manchester and Liverpool, but in 2006, thanks to Alex Turner and company, the legendary country outfitter label was being worn at Bramall Lane and Hillsborough as well as Hickstead and Olympia.
What started as a YouTube sensation continued to snowball and their debut album, ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’, became the fastest-selling in UK chart history. After gaining success in the US the band’s image may now have changed, but those quilted coats are still as visible as ever throughout the football pyramid.
Leeds is considered to be the birthplace of Goth music and is also famous for producing one of the most disliked football teams in the history of British football. Thanks to the Kaiser Chiefs, however, Elland Road has now become a more fashionable place to spend a Saturday afternoon.
The “Chiefs” love their football club so much they named themselves after the South African side where they bought former skipper Lucas Radebe and over the past decade or so, have produced a hatful of tunes that are now a staple of any serious football supporters record collection or mp3 playlist (unless you’re David Mellor).
Sky Sports’ iconic Saturday morning show Soccer AM was made for bands like the Kaiser Chiefs who must have racked up more appearances than any of their contemporaries.
When Leeds fans adjusted the lyrics to “Oh my God” after a particularly triumphant away performance, the band could officially say they were the best thing to come out of West Yorkshire since Richard Whiteley.
Only Spurs fans feel physically sick when you mention the words Leicester City Premier League champions 2015-16, but even the most die-hard Tottenham supporter will probably have at least one Kasabian track in their music collection.
It took the Leicester five-piece seven years from their formation to stamp their authority on the British music scene, but by 2005 they were one of the biggest bands in the country, headlining the Glastonbury festival and replacing Gary Lineker as the East Midland city’s most famous export.
As the Foxes did the unthinkable and lifted the Premier League crown in 2016, it seemed fitting that the band, who have been regulars at both Filbert Street and The King Power, were given the opportunity to play two sell-out gigs on the sacred turf to celebrate the club’s historic achievement and cement their place in the fabric of the city along with Sir Gary and of course, lest we forget, Walkers Crisps.