Speak fucking English!

11th April 2010
There are so many cities in every single city, says the book I am reading heading out on the Jubilee. Today my city in the city is spreading out westward, past the edge of what I would call city to the flatlands, the rolling plains of suburbia, or, more specifically, to Wembley Park, for the FA Cup semi final, the mighty Blues versus the not so mighty but still no pushover – Aston Villa. I love that walk down Wembley Way, the anticipation, the tension, grown men acting like children and chanting in the underpass (well it does sound better with the built-in reverb), the scent of victory mingling with the stench of burning burger meat and spilt beer and sweat and sick and piss.

It’s amazing how a sport like football, so focused on skill and fitness, has a fan base that appears to be, to a large extent, fat and drunk and more than a little clueless when it comes to the basics like eating, talking and walking for more than a few hundred metres.

Today, of course, I am part of the beer swilling stream, the burger munching herd, happy to call any one of them friend as long as they are wearing the right shade of blue, which is, of course, the colour.

Wembley itself is still too big to take in. It’s widescreen, surround sound, CGI, so many people it almost feels like you’re not really there. Up on Level Five it’s not so much the high life as purely vertiginous. In Row Eight I feel a mixture of air sick, because of the height, and sea sick, because of the waving blue waves. Is there such a thing as size sick? Like car sick but much, much bigger?

On the wall next to the toilets a poster tells us to text ASBO to 41138 if we see any antisocial behaviour. Actually i made that bit up. We must text SMOKE for smoking, HPO for homophobic chanting, presumably because homophobic is hard to spell and it’s probably not in predictive text, STAND for standing, STAB for knife crime, STINK for bad smells, JT for adultery and CGI for slight feelings of disconnection due to the size of the arena.

The people in charge will endeavour to send help as soon as possible because this is England, our England, the culture, the land of fair play and rules made to be broken, and that is how things are, how they always have been, how they always will be. Amen.

Game on and the first half is a stalemate. So there’s plenty of time to stare menacingly at the opposition supporters, even if we can’t quite see the whites of their eyes, or even what they look like atall, and spit and snarl through damaged teeth and shout angrily, because some of them probably have funny Brummie accents – speak fucking English, why don’t you speak fucking English!

And I’m thinking, if we hate Villa because they are northern bastards, by whom we will never be mastered, and they are only 120 miles up the M40. And if we hate Tottenham, which we surely do, with a passion and they are only on the other side of the city. Then what is this merrie England that we will be supporting this Summer in the World Cup?

What is this England that the FA (sponsored by Eon) is shouting about, that Carlsberg (a famously Danish lager) is encouraging us to text about? Way down below, in the arena, on one of those moving electronic billboards there is a text from John in Redbridge, sent to Carlsberg and it says: COME ON ENGLAND< YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU. Country, what country? The country’s all city now mate and that’s divided and riven and fat and ugly and drunk and probably beats up it’s wife or at least cheats on her like our gladiatorial hero JT or at least would if it got the chance but it never does because it’s so fucking fat.

This is London…

9th April 2010
Traditional bridge panorama Local architecture Blossom time

Audiophile, Nottingham

9th April 2010

Get tickets…

[setlist] Hey – I’m regularly gigging at Supperclub in the west, The Player in the centre and various venues in the east to keep London locked. Then there are international shows. Check back here – I’ll be updating this page with all my gig dates soon. Come join me![/setlist]

City Reverb live in a metal tank

7th April 2010

City Reverb live in a metal tank from chris coco on Vimeo.

Brand new

5th April 2010

[description]Brand new.[/description]