Songs that aren't stadium anthems, but soon will be

Sport Review #149

I’ve had exactly one moment in a stadium where music and sport combined to make something more than the sum of parts.

I was sitting high in Eden Park’s Northern Stand in the aftermath of the frenetic, tense and ultimately triumphant clash between Us and Australia in the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

Kane had won it with a six just minutes before, a deep magenta sun was sinking over the Waitakeres and the needle dropped on Boston’s More Than A Feeling, a soaring, searing, uplifting tribute to music itself

It was a sublime moment. But music at sporting events is generally shit.

There are only so many times you can handle Neil Diamond, Chumbawumba or feckin Sandstorm at the game, or ‘comedy’ ‘classics’ like Rain by Dragon when it starts to drizzle.

It’s not good enough. It’s a tough job being a stadium DJ and playing to the crowd, literally, but let’s change the approach. There’s a whole world of songs that go beyond pub rock and are infinitely more related to sporting struggle and endeavour than the Exponents. Here’s a selection of stadium tunes designed to herald a new era for sport, music and good taste.

Tomorrow Never Knows - The Beatles

If you’re walking out to bat for your country, needing 45 to win from 19 balls, you could do worse than think ‘Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream.’ I mean, it’s basically ‘See ball, hit ball.’ But with more freaky bird noises and guitars.

Psycho Killer - Talking Heads

Your team is four points ahead of the Crusaders with 15 minutes to go. You know how this goes, but you’re daring to dream against the odds. It’s time to put the Empire off their rhythm. Mr DJ, don’t you dare put on Wagon Wheel, that’s playing into their hands. No - art rock about unhinged, unpredictable killers with an absolutely relentless baseline should do the trick and get the boys home.

The Smiths - Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want

Morrissey is obviously cancelled, but let’s say you’re a White Ferns fan looking to end a bad run, a Spurs supporter hoping for a management change or a Hurricanes fan, this gloomy / genius Manchester outfit have got everything you need to help you express your emotions.

Black Sabbath - Supernaut

Look, I’ve seen grown men at sporting stadiums who’ve managed to get themselves in worse shape than Ozzy on a three-weeks-at-the-Chateau-Marmont-in-1974-bender, off only DB Export in stadium bars. It’s a massive achievement and in tribute, you must turn to Sabbath, and Supernaut is a massive, massive banger.

Tall Dwarfs - Nothing’s Going To Happen

Watching a cricket Test wind down to a draw on a final afternoon is a lovely, lovely time. Everyone’s relaxed, no-one’s going home unhappy, you’re not at work and you’re still able to watch some cricket. Put on some angular lo-fi rock, congratulate yourself for having impeccable taste in both sport and music, and soak it all up.

Ramones - Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio?

It’s the Ramones produced by Phil ‘Wall Of Sound’ Spector. This thing was MADE to be played on unfeasibly huge stadium speakers. Make it happen.

Pixies - Gigantic

Kurt Cobain loved the Pixies’ quiet / loud / quiet songs so much he based his whole career on it. It’s the same for sport, not a lot happens for ages, then you absolutely crackers.

Hey look, I made you a Spotify playlist, so you can experience the sporting music carnival for yourself at home, in the car or at the game.

Let me know which songs I missed by replying to this email, or getting in my grill on the Twitter, and I’ll share the best in next week’s 150th edition Sport Review.

Thanks for reading - Richard

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