Sing When You're Winning: Meet rock loyalty

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You may or may not have noticed, but has a sprawling section of interviews dating back over the 15 years of FourFourTwo magazine's existence.

We're constantly expanding the archive and, this being Rock'n'Goal Week, we've been concentrating on musicians and their allegiances, as featured in the magazine's long-running Sing When You're Winning series. And it's been an interesting flick through history - not just speaking to some of rock's biggest names, but also to see how some things have changed over time.

For instance, when we caught up with Led Zep legend Robert Plant a couple of years back, he was "seeeeething – add in the extra 'E's" that Wolves had ballsed up yet another promotion attempt.

Presumably he's happier now the Old Golds have achieved promotion, a turnout which vindicates decisions like the one he made to watch a game they lost at Norwich rather than do a gig in Rome gig in front of 300,000 with the Gallagher brothers.

Speaking of whom, Noel Gallagher revealed that, besides his well-documented love of City, he's also turned into something of a Celtic fan; with typical forthrightness, he declared that "Michael Owen isn't fit to lace Henrik Larsson's boots" but that the greatest player of all time was a Red...

Noel: Wishing he'd plumped for Parkhead

That wouldn't get an argument with Mani, the United-following former member of Gallagher's inspiration The Stone Roses turned rock royalty with Primal Scream. 

Another endlessly quotable Manc, Mani leapt to the defence of hapless goalkeeper Massimo Taibi while presciently complaining that United should have signed Edwin Van der Sar. That Ferguson didn't go for the Dutchman is down the the parsimony of the then chairman, boomed the bassist:  "Martin Edwards is a f***ing tit".

By the time we caught up with ex-Roses frontman and fellow Red Ian Brown, Malcolm Glazer had taken over at Old Trafford – but Brown bucked the trend of hatred against the American.

"I don't agree that he’ll be bad for United, like a lot of Reds do, and I certainly don't agree with all that burning effigies business,” shrugged King Monkey. “United's a PLC and someone was always likely to buy it. From what I've seen and heard so far, Glazer will make money available for transfers and the standards will be maintained."

Brown was much more animated about the alleged allegiances of a fellow Mancunian musician, Badly Drawn Boy. “Man City? Man City?! Nah, he’s a fuckin’ fraud, man! He’s a Bolton fan. He’s not Man City.”

The man (or boy) in question begged to differ, obviously, and waxed typically lyrical about what has been lost since teams like City moved from backstreet grounds to out-of-town stadia.

“The great thing about the British game of old was you’d have a ground smack in the middle of terraced houses,” he chuckled. “You still can’t beat passing old dears in doorways, washing their doorsteps as you make your way to the game, though.”

Gough goes all out to dispel the Bolton rumours 

Another northerner harking back was former Housemartins and Beautiful South leader Paul Heaton. "Premiership fans are more arrogant," noted the committed Sheffield United fan. "I liked it when we were in the Third and Fourth Division. There was more of a bond between players and fans."

Having followed the Blades through all four divisions (before developing a more recent taste for flying to watch La Liga or non-league Italian football) Heaton may have had a hero in one Richard Savage, a centre-forward who made it to the second string at Bramall Lane before opting for an alternative career as bassist with Def Leppard.

Thing is, Savage is actually a Wednesday fan, which irks lead singer and diehard Blade Joe Elliott. "Everyone at my school was a Wednesdayite," he explained. "I was always beaten up for liking Marc Bolan instead of Slade, so becoming a Unitedite was just a continuation of that."

There are no such divisions among Kasabian, all four of whom are Leicester fans (which would make them less than popular with Coventry diehards The Enemy). Ever handy with a soundbite, Fox-fancying guitarist Serge Pizzorno has a theory that fans of poor teams create good music and vice versa.

Support sh*t team = make great music, says Serge 

“There’s no doubt about it, supporting a crap football team helps make decent music,” he opined. “Look, on one side you’ve got Led Zeppelin and Wolves, Oasis and Man City, and Kasabian and Leicester. And on the other, there’s Depeche Mode and Chelsea, Spandau Ballet and Arsenal and Mick Hucknall and Man United.”

By that rationale, now Brentford have become champions of League Two, loyal fans Hard-Fi may have a dip in form and release a duff album...

Previous Rock'n'Goal Week blogs:
Friday: If Premier League teams were bands
Thursday: When footballers become pop stars

Wednesday: How football became the new rock'n'roll

The Enemy’s new album Music For The People is out April 27.
Click here to win an exclusive box set or signed T-Shirt 

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