Musical Mistakes #02 – U Krazy Kats

One of the things that sticks out from my childhood is my constant bickering with my brother over who got priority on the much-coveted cassette player in our parents’ cars. My brother had hatched a well-thought-out plan by feigning travel sickness, which for years meant he automatically got to sit in the front seat, no questions asked. He had a massive advantage that was difficult to compete with.

Fortunately, we ran a democracy and our mum and dad did their best to make sure we had a fair stab at selecting the music to soundtrack our long journeys around the UK to various family members.

One particular occasion that sticks out was when we were on holiday in Perth in Scotland. We visited a local record store. I’m going to guess it was Concorde, but I’m not 100%. Our two musical choices were actually released on the same week, though if my memory serves me correctly this would have been the following summer. My brother’s musical purchase that day was the seminal Oasis album “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?”, an album that has cemented itself as one of the greatest of all time, certainly a high point for music in the Britpop era and one that, for my then 12-year-old brother, has proved to be an early indication that he knew what he was talking about.

My purchase that day was PJ and Duncan’s less-than-seminal “U Krazy Katz“, a cassette single that by the time we were in the shop was a bargain at just 29p. 

Needless to say, the history books proved me to be wrong that day in Perth, but my parents did the fair thing and gave us equal billing on the cassette player. Even if it was probably the wrong thing to do.

Musical Mistakes #01 – Football Anthems

As we fast approach the big England v Wales game in the UK, I have a confession to make. I am now the proud owner of a copy of the latest Manic Street Preachers single, “Together Stronger (C’Mon Wales)”, which is the Welsh national team’s anthem for the Euro 2016 football tournament currently making headlines for all the wrong reasons across Europe. For those outside Europe, it might not be obvious how wrong this is for a Englishman, especially when England have been drawn in the same group as Wales. Big rivals, never played each other in a major tournament before, must win match for both.

Hear me out, I have mitigating circumstances. Firstly, there was a signed copy available on the Manics’ website. Secondly, there’s an exclusive remix of “A Design For Life” as the b-side. Thirdly, it’s actually a very good song, especially for a football anthem. That said, there is something distinctly uncool about owning a football anthem, especially one for a rival team, but it’s something I’ll have to learn to live with.

This doesn’t quite compare to something similar that happened to me in 1996. As a newly-discovered supporter of Manchester United, I distinctly remember being stood in the big Woolworths in Burnley, pocket money in hand, staring at two potential musical purchases. It was always a tough decision – I got £2 a week and so I usually only had the ability to buy one single a week at the most. I had to get the decision right to ensure I had something enriching to listen to for the next week or so.

The first option was the official FA Cup Final single released by the Manchester United squad. Its name? “Move Move Move (The Red Tribe)”. It was utter tripe, but had the sole benefit of being the song from the team I supported.

Sat right next to this abomination was the FA Cup Final single released by the Liverpool squad. In hindsight, this was also utter tripe, though marginally less tripy than United’s effort. It was titled “Pass and Move (It’s The Liverpool Groove)”. Bracketed song titles were very popular back in the mid-90s, as were rapping footballers

I faced a tough decision, but it was one I found a way out of. I couldn’t afford both on CD single so I bought Liverpool on CD single and United on cassette. The utter shame. Two terrible songs entering my music collection, plus a betrayal of my team to go with it.

So maybe this Wales incident won’t be looked back on with such embarrassment. I guess much of that will depend on the result on Thursday afternoon.