Before 'World In Motion' became the theme of England's Italian Summer of 1990 there had been very limited crossover between alternative music and football. The odd track, such as Love on The Terraces by Serious Drinking and Kicker Conspiracy by the Fall, yes, and of course the insanely brilliant All I want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit by Half Man Half Biscuit. But nothing sustained. The two camps regarded each other with the same levels of suspicion as the White Walkers and The King's Watch; The Aesthetes versus The Hearties.
But by the end of the '80s tectonic plates were shifting in both the English football scene and within indie music. As the long dreadful winter of hooliganism, megalomaniac chairmen and disregard for the supporter yielded to a tentative spring of fanzines, terrace humour and a megalomaniac Premier League, music went through its own transformation. The Second Summer of Love validated a new generation of blissed out youths to sport that funny yellow smiley badge, tripping from the nightclub to the terrace (there were still terraces then), unselfconsciously singing "Arrivederci, it's one on one".
This isn't just about England though. The episode starts with the magnificent panegyric in praise of Cameroon's Roger Milla by Pepe Kalle. Deeper into the programme we get to hear the samba rhythms of Brazil in Umbabarauma by Jorge Ben, and there is a splendid ska track by the Jamaican group Ska-J, Te Gusta El Futbol.
write this as England stand on the brink of their first semi-final in 28 years. Meanwhile their government is doing its level best to sabotage all the feelings of goodwill a young, vibrant, multi-cultural squad of players under a progressive and hugely likable manager has produced. For all I know I'll never see England achieve as much again. So good luck, you muddle-headed nation, and may your creative folk save you from your politicians, who can't see past feathering their own nest to the genius that lies within the best in football and the best in music.
Hot dogs and seat for Mr. Hogg!
Aaaaaannnnddd his grotty spawn!
Roger Milla, Pepe Kalle
Theme from Sparta FC, The Fall
The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme, Colourbox
The Ballad of Paul Tierney, Lonely Tourist
All I want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit, HMHB
Love on the terraces, Serious Drinking
Te Gusta El Futbol, Ska-J
Strachan, The Hitchers
I don’t want to play football, Belle and Sebastian
Kicker Conspiracy, The Fall
God’s footballer, Billy Bragg
Umbabarauma, Jorge Ben
World In Motion, New Order