Wet Wet Wet sponsoring Clydebank, Oasis headlining Maine Road, and Julio Iglesias playing in goal for Real Madrid. It’s true, musicians love their football, whether their support extends to the boardroom (Elton John at Watford, and Fatboy Slim at Brighton and Hove Albion) or just trying to catch the odd game whilst taking time out from pretending to be the Beatles, fighting their siblings or bitching in the NME (Hello, Noel and Liam!).
The love of the round-ba game in Scotland extends to our musical communities, and over the next few months I’m going to track down the artists with a passion for our treasured national sport to find out their opinions on the things that matter. Maybe we’ll start a revolution? Maybes aye, maybes naw!
First up then, I tracked down Scott MacPherson, left-handed guitarist in Glasgow based band ‘French Wives’. The group have just returned from a North American tour, and a successful series of shows at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Fortunately, on his return from Uhmerka, Scott has maintained a love for soccer, so I interrogated him to get his ‘two-cents’ on the modern game.
Hello Scott! Please introduce yourself to everybody.
Hi everybody. I’m Scott. Everything else you need to know will be revealed!
Yes it will. You follow Glasgow Rangers, one of the traditional behemoths of Scottish Football. How long have you been a fan?
Since birth. Literally. I didn’t really get much of a choice in the matter. My first teddy presented to me at the hospital was christened Super Ally and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Who is your favourite Rangers player, past and present? And who is your least favourite player to have made Ibrox his home?
It would be hard to look beyond McCoist as being a favourite ever, but that seems like a bit of a populist choice along with Gazza and Laudrup etc. It’s hard to deny that they were among the best we’ve ever had, at least in my lifetime, but for an all-round favourite outside of them for the past I’d be tempted to go for the one season wonder Marco Negri. His utter dislike of apparently absolutely everything was hilarious, especially when he scored. As for today’s crop… it’s pretty well publicized how bad everything is so it’s similarly hard to pick a favourite but for an altogether more depressing reason. If I had to, though, I’d probably go for Maurice Edu. Ok, he’s not the best player, not by a long shot, but he gives his all every game and is never invisible. And he’s got one hell of a swagger. My least favourite player would probably be Bob Malcolm. What a chopper.
the UEFA cup semi-final was pretty amazing as well as literally all of my Rangers supporting friends and others had converged in one place and it was a great moment when Novo scored the winning penalty. Jonny fell off a chair!
I’d have to agree with you that Bob is indeed premium chopper material. I remember Marco Negri being the scourge of everybody that year! (Has a look… Negri scored 23 goals in his first 10 League goals for Rangers. That’s even more clinical than Jon Daly). You could say he was a classier Kris Boyd then?
I think Marco would be pretty insulted by that. He had so much more than Boyd ever did; the looks, the hair, the burd, the suspicious injury playing squash (if the rumours are to be believed), the chip, a semblance of pace, the beard (way better than Boyd’s tash) and the fact that he dazzled us for a season then amusingly couldn’t be bothered as opposed to Boyd who, yes, scored lots of goals but was also incredibly frustrating.
Describe the following in one word:
- David Murray
- Jean-Claude Darcheville
- Lorenzo Amoruso
- Henrik Larsson
- Chick Young
What was your favourite moment as a Rangers fan?
There have been a few, thankfully. Ones that immediately stick out are nine in a row at Tannadice (although I was really young and Rangers had won the league every year of my life so I didn’t fully appreciate the extent of the achievement. I just thought they were like the Harlem Globetrotters); the first Helicopter Sunday, as so little was expected of them and they delivered thanks to Motherwell; the UEFA cup semi-final was pretty amazing as well as literally all of my Rangers supporting friends and others had converged in one place and it was a great moment when Novo scored the winning penalty. Jonny fell off a chair!
You play guitar in French Wives – what sort of connection do you think exists – if any – between popular music and football in Scotland?
Alan McGee said that Celtic have all the cool bands supporting them and all Rangers have is him (chopper) and Wet Wet Wet. Unfortunately this remains true. Around Scottish music we Rangers fans are a massive minority. All the Scottish bands I love that are football fans are populated primarily by Celtic supporters, as well as a lot of the new bands. I’m not too sure why this is, but it’s rubbish.
If we were playing a spot of football (jumpers for goalposts – home before teatime) at Kelvingrove, and I picked you for my team, what could I expect?
To be completely honest as much as I’ve always adored watching football as well as enjoying playing it I’m pretty much utterly useless. Basically in the first 5-10 minutes I’d probably run about a lot, at least showing effort but this would be mixed with dodgy touches, poor finishing, over exuberant shoulder barges and a lack of positional awareness. After the first ten minutes I’d both look and feel like both my lungs had collapsed and I’d stagger about displaying an even more pronounced lack of skill. After about 10 minutes of that I’d have an ill-fated spell in goal where I don’t get near anything and then rather than reverting back to square one, I’d just go back to the collapsed lungs section and back in to goal and repeat until the torture is over.
How many games do you manage to attend?
Not as many as I’d like to, and if you will I will reel off all the classic excuses of working Saturdays and being skint. Both of these are true though! I used to go a bit when I was a kid, and when I was at Uni we used to go to all the European games (part timers) as well as a few league games as well.
How do you see the future of Scottish football?
It’s fairly bleak. Hopefully the Teddy Bears can source a new owner before the end of the season so that next year at least has a fighting chance of being slightly competitive at the top. Hopefully as well whoever plays in Europe next season can fare slightly better than the previous few seasons and last longer than a home and away leg in July (I’m looking at you, St Johnstone). The frustrating thing is that we do have some good young players who get shipped off to England and seem to perform reasonably well in the Premiership. If there was any way this could be replicated at an international level I think the drip down effect would make the whole picture for Scottish football look more promising.
And the future for French Wives?
Playing at Ibrox? I jest, Stuart would never stand for it! Our debut album Dream of the Inbetween comes out on May 7th and we’ll be doing a lot of playing about in the close season, so come and see us when the fitba’s aff/instead of watching England at the Euros.
Thanks for talking to us Scott, a pleasure as always!