Episode 12 - The Alternative Ashes

First thing to say - if you don't like cricket, there are plenty of brilliant tracks to listen to in this episode. But if you do, there's an extra something in this just for you.

A larger intersection exists between the world of cricket watching and alternative music than might at first meet the eye. No doubt, much of that has to do with the demographic of both constituencies. Male, a tendency to collate (All Time Best Elevens, All Time Best Tracks), somewhat pessimistic by nature. Not exclusively, of course. Women are participating in the game more and more each year, which is brilliant news, and they're bound to bring in some alt-listeners in their wake. I've got a cheerful extrovert friend who only ever gets concerned if his club side falls behind the run rate - and he loves Kraftwerk. But you get my drift.

So this episode is for you, Mr Stayed Inside And Kept My Own Test Scorebook When I Was Young On Warm Days In The Summer. Then lost interest in cricket briefly when you reached seventeen and first heard The Velvet Underground / Joy Division / Pixies / Radiohead. And then managed to amalgamate both these obsessions, to the disdain of girlfriends and wives, and other members of the family as you tried to keep track of the third day's play from Trent Bridge during your sister's wedding reception. 

And there's a third strand that is hardly alien to many of these types, among which number I grudgingly admit membership. A love of wordplay. A deep appreciation for accomplished dad jokes many years before you became a parent. An aspiration to compete in the annual Times Crossword Challenge (something that one member of 'Friends of Sombrero Fallout' has not only achieved, but also won, I can reveal).

So here is that tracklist. I'm only sorry I wasn't able to include Between The Wars by Billy Bragg - a tribute to Shane Warne standing at second slip between the Waugh twins. A pun too far, I'm afraid, and my conscience wouldn't allow it. Tracklist:-

Australians In Europe, The Fall (a brief history of The Ashes Up Over)

The Call Up, The Clash ('It's up to you not to heed the call up': for Geoff Boycott in the 1970s)

Midnight In A Perfect World, DJ Shadow (for cricket lovers tuning in back in England during a Southern Hemisphere Ashes)

Heart Cooks Brain, Modest Mouse (a bumper sticker tribute to Alastair Cook's captaincy)

Monty Got A Raw Deal, REM (for Monty Panesar)

At Home He's A Tourist, The Gang of Four (for Kevin Pietersen)

Why Won't They Talk To Me, Tame Impala (also for Kevin Pietersen)

The First Cut Is The Deepest, PP Arnold (till the opposition placed a third man there for the shot)

Hard Drive, Evan Dando (in honour of Michael Vaughan's on-drive)

I Just Get Caught Out, The Go Betweens (for batsmen with a bad habit of playing too early)

I'm Stranded, The Saints (for all top order batsmen left not out in the 90s)

I Know It's Over, The Smiths (grumpy remark addressed by bowler to umpire, taking his sweater after bowling six balls, having had a plumb lbw appeal turned down)

Ashes to Ashes, David Bowie (until the next time)