Music, Makes the People, Come Together?

United we Stand has been the club’s motto for this season, and while everything is going well on the pitch, it seems to be resonating. The club is going to great lengths to improve the atmosphere, the flag day announced by the Yellow Army for Saturday’s game against Wycombe being another such example.  However, there’s one thing the club tried in our first home game against Bury that very much divided the fans: The pre-match music…..

The club brought in a DJ who spun a heady mix of adrenaline filled super-charged floor fillers to raise the atmosphere. As you would expect, this was met with a mixed response. There are those in the South Stand who look forward to their pre-match catch up and found the louder than usual euphoric beats drowned out their Werther Originals fuelled banter. In contrast there were those who felt the music did a good job at raising a frenetic pre-match build up. And there were others who hated ‘that kind of music’, and got all sulky.

It seems, there’s nothing like music to divide a crowd. One man’s filthy drub is another man’s aria, a similar passion, but diametrically opposed. For me, I liked the music they played pre-match, it’s the sort of stuff I have on my phone, but I’m not sure it really worked pre-match. Judging from the post match reaction I’m in a minority in liking it, so I think the club need to change something. Perhaps a more eclectic mix of familiar up-beat songs, that may even encourage vocal involvement, might be more likely to get things going. Below is a little list of songs that are not necessarily my taste in music, but are tunes that I have observed having an effect on a crowd, that might also reach a broader demographic.

  • Specials – One Step Beyond
  • Fratellis – Chelsea Dagger
  • House of Pain – Jump
  • The Prodigy – Stand Up (theme to KickAss)
  • Tomoyasu Hotei – Battle without honor or humanity
  • The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
  • Nero – Me and You
  • Rudimental – Feel the love
  • Blur – Song 2
  • Oasis – Wonderwall
  • Guns n Roses – Livin on a Prayer
  • Monkees – Daydream Believer
  • Supergrass – Alright (a little bit of Oxford there)
  • And let’s keep some stuff like the “Boys are Back in Town” and “My heart bleeds for you The Yellow and the Blue”

Modulating the volume between the stands might also be an idea, so as not to compromise the South Stand’s coffee morning.

An even braver action might be to allow a silence; ten minutes before kick off deliberately play nothing, a challenge to the Yellow Army, that this is our time to make some noise. I remember times in the past when technical glitches have left a silence, and fans do not take long to fill that void, usually with derision, but nonetheless it’s a precedent.  I like to think of the players waiting in the tunnel, hearing us in full voice.

This would of course need to be carefully done, I’m sure we all still bear the mental scars of Rosie’s “Give us an O”. I would prefer they just left it for us to sort out, there is always at least one drunk idiot who would get things going (see my previous blog post). If nothing else, it might encourage (however many) away fans to voice, which inevitably would elicit a response from us.

There is another thing the club should be praised, for and that’s for resisting the temptation to play music after a goal. Music after a goal is a sure sign of a club that’s hit rock bottom in its efforts for a better atmosphere; it’s an embarrassment, and should never happen at our home. And if it ever does, I’m going on hunger strike outside the club reception. Just saying.

I have to say the Yellow Army did a cracking job for the opener. Visually it was a sight to behold and I would like to hope, inspired the team. The area we need to improve as a group of fans, is our volume and staying power. The decisions on pre-match music in building a platform for this, are influential, and why I’m hoping the club is prepared to try different approaches in the pre-match music approach, to drum up an even better atmosphere. (Without a drum by the way, NEVER a drum)

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The Yellow Army – My Four Commitments

Let’s be honest, the atmosphere at home games last season was not great. Since the end of last season a group of hardworking folk have been making efforts to address this. Oxvox, The 12th Man, the guys behind the “Ultimate Support Days” and the Ultras have come under one banner “The Yellow Army”.

Their aim is to help shape the conditions to enable a much more positive match day experience; a better atmosphere with noise and colour for our enjoyment and the teams inspiration. The Yellow Army of course though, is not just this group, but every one of us, so I have been asking myself what can I do.

My conclusions are below, but to help illustrate my points please watch this brilliant video, which I make no excuse for sharing yet again:

 

What I love about this, is how the relentless enthusiasm of an idiot, starts a whole movement. I’ve heard debates about who the leader is in this video, is it the initial idiot or the guy who first joins him. Either way it needed them BOTH to make it happen, and there are many others who will have loved being a part of it. With this in mind, these are the things I pledge to do as a member of the Yellow Army:

1) Join The Idiot

If I hear or see someone making an effort to improve the atmosphere, I’m going to join in. It might be funny to chant “solo, solo” at him or her, but no that’s not how the Yellow Army rolls. Imagine a scenario where you walk into a room and you see a guy with a carrot up his nose. Naturally, you point and laugh.  But what if everybody else in the room turns around, and they’ve all got veg in the nostrils. Suddenly THAT’S the norm, and YOU’RE the one with the problem.  (Incidentally, I’m not saying we should all ruck up with veg nasally lodged, I’m using it as a device to illustrate how we can break the ‘norm’ if we don’t mind putting ourselves out a bit)

2) Be The Idiot

How great would it be to be that first bloke in that video? I’m not going to settle for apathy this season. Sorry, I’m just not.

3) Do It Loudly

Players who talk about how the fans inspired them, mention the noise and how loud the fans were. There are two elements to the noise that a group of fans can make, first, the number of fans, and then, how loud each of those fans are. The bit I can easily control is how loud I am, so I am going to sing and shout for me and another, and another. No just mouthing or clapping along, it’s out and out bellowing for me. Sorry row T.

4) EVERY Game

There will be those games when folks just aren’t up for it, we’ve all been to one of those. In those circumstances I’m just going to wait for something to happen, right? WRONG! I can’t believe you even read it. What if, one of our players turned up waiting for something to happen? *cough* Tom Craddock *cough*. It’s just not acceptable, it’s not happening on my watch, and it never will

So that’s it, my personal charter and pledge to the Yellow Army:

  • Be a part
  • Don’t settle for apathy
  • Be loud
  • Every game

 

Looking forward to many more of these. COME ON YOU YELLOWS, there’s a sleeping giant to wake, best not be quiet.