A long, long time ago, in the 1990s, the word “Britpop” still meant something. Unfortunately. Young lads like me didn’t have much of a choice, musically speaking, if not between the revolting Oasis and the obnoxious Blur. Those were dark ages, indeed! Yet, in those gloomy years, a bunch of Irish punks kept the torch of music shining: The Sultans of Ping F.C.
The name was taken from the Dire Straits song “Sultans of Swing.” As for the short-lived F.C. (Football Club) suffix, it was justified by the fact their first successful single “Give him a ball and a yard of grass” was given away for free as a flexi-disk with a 1993 issue of the English soccer fanzine Nottingham Forest. Of course, “successful” is an overstatement. At best their singles reached 21 in the UK Indie Charts, their concerts packed 3,000 people tops, and in 1996 they finished their musical career becoming one of those bands that are “big in Japan” – where their songs were used for commercials and kids TV shows. Oh no, wait a second: turns out their career did not quite finish, as they reformed in 2005. But that’s just for the sake of nostalgia, innit!
Here’s a few clips to remember them at their best. Their signature song, the archetypally Irish “Where’s me jumper”:
“My brother knows Karl Marx,
He met him eating mushrooms in the peoples park”
Then “Wake up and scratch me”, where innuendo meets nihilistic masochism:
“I don’t like being bored
I don’t like being ignored”
And finally, that football fans favourite, “Give him a ball (and a yard of grass)”!
“A man can’t have no greater love
Than give 90 minutes to his friends”