Monday, 12 April 2010

Fat Les 'Vindaloo'

Chart Peak: 2


And the football theme continues, although this being the eleventh of 20 tracks on the disc it may not have been on the same side of the cassette as the preceding track. Still, the sleeve-notes are clearly right to name this as one of the two big [English] anthems of the year's World Cup, as it spent three weeks as runner-up to 'Three Lions '98'. Conspicuously not mentioned in dispatches is the official song by England United, which was comprehensively outclassed, spending only three weeks in the entire Top 40, though it had a relatively long run lower down the Top 75.

Anyway, at the time I hated this record. It had some pedigree; Keith Allen had co-written the other classic England song 'World In Motion' and the music was co-written by Alex James, who not only has the same name as a famous footballer but was a member of my then-favourite band Blur. The third publicly-acknowledged member of Fat Les, though, was Damien Hirst and whilst it's not entirely clear what he contributed on the record itself, he seems to have set the tone for the rather ugly self-indulgent tone of this, which sounds like an ugly collision Cool Britannia and New Lad, laughing up its sleeve at anyone who enjoys it. I could appreciate the irony of a stereotypically jingoistic song picking on something obviously foreign, but the concept doesn't seem to be thought through enough not to become what it's ostensibly parodying. The most interesting thing is the odd way Allen's lead vocal is treated, quite un-chant-like.

Available on: Come on England

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