Its been 4 years since the release of our attempt at creating a World Cup song, a viable musically enjoyable alternative to ‘Vindaloo’. This got us thinking – what the hell were we doing? Below you can read the story behind a doomed, yet darkly comic time for everyone involved
RICHARD ADAMS: In March 2010 I’d come up with a chord sequence which I liked. Thats a rare thing in itself but rather than make it into a new Declining Winter track I somehow had the idea that it would make a fantastic football song. The first thing to point out here is that I was completely deluded. Yet the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it, if just for myself. At some point someone should have stopped me.
I got funny looks from the band when I announced at a rehearsal that next time we’d be working on a football song but nobody actually stopped me. So we rehearsed it up and it sounded pretty good. I called the best producer I knew, despairing Leeds United fan Choque Hosein and asked him to record it. Choque didn’t stop me either. The night before we went in I trained our drummer Moz up to play it. We were stood in a spare room in the Brudenell Social Club playing it over and over. “Its not Can” I said. “think Lightning Seeds”. The next day we did some initial recordings, myself, Paul Elam (who played all the guitar bits I found too difficult) and Moz on drums. The following week Sarah Kemp popped down to add some wonderful strings giving it the rousing feel we were after. But then disaster struck almost immediately, Choque got ill….for ages. Mixing session after mixing session got cancelled. Eventually we convened for a fraught session in which the track (and B side) were hastily completed.
Initially the idea was that I was just going to release a handful of copies on Misplaced Music, the label I had been working with but then Barrie Cummings of Home Assembly Music heard the track, was enthusiastic and wanted to release it himself. After a few days soul searching I went with Barrie, mainly because it involved less work for me. I didn’t have to make the sleeves – that would have taken me ages. The problems, though, were just beginning.
Because the delays in recording took so long we were unable to get the preferred format a 7″ out in time so we did what people did in the days before Bandcamp and streaming and released a CD. I begged Barrie to keep it to 250 copies but I knew…just knew he’d press up 500. I was wrong, he pressed up 1000.
With so many copies around we had to try and promote it and despite our experiences of running record labels and being in bands neither me or Barrie actually enjoy promoting records. This was torture for both of us. We knew the song was good and we got some lovely feedback but we couldn’t get it played anywhere. Except Radio Jersey, where Barrie made an eccentric live appearance in an attempt to plug it. The song was also entered in a World Cup competition, you can imagine the other entries. I think we came about 60th out of a hundred. What were we doing? We were supposed to be mysterious and edgy…. like Factory records.
I quickly moved on from it, releasing an EP ‘Scenes From The Back Bedroom Window’ which was intentionally as obtuse and difficult as I could manage. I just wanted to get lost in a fog of my own making. I’ve not listened to the song since 2010, but with the World Cup of 2014 fast approaching I gave it another spin. It still sounds sparkling to me, probably better than anything I’ve worked on since -though I’m loath to admit it.
This year we’ve stepped aside -Gary Barlow is welcome to it. I suppose it fulfilled a dream…in a fashion…. but don’t worry, I won’t be rushing to attempt such a thing again.
RVA June 2014
Postscript: Should you not have been one of the hundreds to have invested in the song first time round, the EP is available to download on our BANDCAMP site for the grand total of a pound for which you get the three tracks off the initial EP plus a hilarious demo version.