Grand Final Entertainment

On Offsiders (Oct 4) on ABCTV, I said in a joking tone, but in all seriousness, this:

In case this audio file is hard to hear, I should explain that basically I suggested it would be far better if each year Paul Kelly were invited to belt out a rendition of ‘Leaps and Bounds’, and Mick Thomas could do ‘Under the Clocks’.

Apparently my comment has generated some Twitter response, and an ABC presenter worked a radio segment around it which precipitated a talkback discussion. Interesting.

I am no cultural cringer. After years of reading and listening and thinking and travelling and just simply being  I am confident that as a people living on this continent we have addressed (and continue to address) life’s troubling questions and we have developed our own responses. We draw on external orthodoxies and traditions but, equally, our responses are specific to this place. While we may not be the most cerebral culture on the planet (why would we be: harsh conditions in many places make the struggle to provide a priority; and the weather, the space and the beaches draw us to play, when we can), we are not without our thinkers.

We may not be Paris or New York or Florence, but we are. We live. And we live among writers, musicians, painters who have made heartfelt efforts to represent those understandings artistically.

Some of these representations resonate across he community. Songs become expressions ourselves, and of our way. They contain a powerful sense of place, affirming our link with land, town, metropolis. Listening to them affirms the notion of home. Not in a parochial sense or a jingoistic sense, but in the most elemental sense. It’s where we live.

Some songs do that. They become loved, anthems of being.

Last winter Andy Delahunty (Pres) invited me to the occasion of the turning on of the new lights at the Minyip-Murtoa Football Club – at the Murtoa ground. Horsham Saints won by four points on a night of squally rain blowing in from the south-west. People warmed themselves around fires in 44 gallon drums. Others took shelter and watched from the community centre or from their cars. Later that night we gathered for umpteen beers and lemonades in the  community centre – all the generations. After a while the band took up their position. Band? Two guitarists and a bloke with a mic playing from words with chords on hand-written bits of paper placed in plastic sleeves and accumulated over the years in a folio. They did Australian covers – the numbers we love. Like ‘Khe Sanh’, ‘Eagle Rock’, ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’. They were on fire. The crowd was rocking, the loss had gone from the memory. Yes, it was a band.

I remember looking around the room at how happy people were during that song; how they were living their lives, day to day, doing the things people do – and a community does – in the Wimmera-Mallee. They were being. I remember thinking, this is why Paul Kelly writes songs. So people who don’t, or can’t, write songs can give voice to the deepest of their feelings, led in the moment by a wheat farmer, the local mechanic and a school teacher. Hats off to you PK. And all those who have written songs.

Paul Kelly’s lyrics appear simple, yet they contain complexities. They work on your inner being. ‘Leaps and Bounds’ is a celebration of a place and of a moment. It contains a lament and a yearning, and recognition that, as time passes we remember, and we seek the meaningful or identify the meaningful. Sport, represented in the song by the MCG, and its history of action, drama, victory, defeat, festival, culture, has its place in that. For many, our sporting culture contains meaning.
I’m high on the hill
looking over the bridge
to the MCG
I’m stumbling around
my feet don’t even touch the ground

I remember

I don’t think the band played Mick Thomas’s ‘Under the Clocks’ at Muroa ha night, but it would have fitted in perfectly:

Is there anywhere you’d rather be
Than with me at the MCG,
And if the Saints get done again,
By Christ, I couldn’t care.
But oh oh, won’t you meet me
Under the clocks, we’ll go walking by the river

It is another fine song, of depth.

Think of all the meetings, and comings and goings, under the clocks on those steps of Flinders Street Station. Of lovers. Of workers. Of soldiers who, having kissed Chloe at Young and Jacksons, caught the rattler to the port and headed for war. Mick Thomas’s lyrics contain every meeting.

Apart from the meanings these songs contain – and of course there are others (what do you suggest?) – if they were sung each year a sense of ritual would develop around them. Which would add to their significance.

The crowd at the FA Cup Final sing ‘Abide with Me’ just before the kick-off. There is a sense of ‘end’ and ‘finality’ in the Cup, and so there is a degree of sadness, yet a recognition of a season of a thousand narratives well-played. ‘Abide with Me’, a Christian hymn, seems incongruous in the context, until you understand is origins and contemplate its poetry. When Wembley was first opened in preparation for the 1928 London Olympics, the people were asked what song should be sung before the 1927 FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Cardiff City. Such was the enormity of the private and collective grief of Britons as a result of the deaths of the battlefields of World War I, the people chose a hymn of comfort:

 

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

 

It had such meaning then. It has such meaning now, for different reasons. It is an important part of the ritual.

So when I made my comment on Offsiders I was being more than flippant. It may have appeared like a throwaway line, but my tone was driven by resignation. The decisions made by those charged with responsibility for these matters at the AFL – no doubt there is a department in the corporate structure – make one thing very clear: they lack depth of understanding, they don’t really know their own people, and they don’t even know their own game. We don’t want entertainment – superficial, fleeting titillation. We want substance, meaning.

It’s just a bit of pre-match. I suppose it’s not that significant. But it could be.

In the Grand Final performance of Paul Kelly and Mick Thomas we would find a little of the Minyip-Murtoa Football Club, of Flinders Street Station, of us.

 

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About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au He has written many columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted j.t.h@footyalmanac.com.au He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo10, Anna8, Evie7. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.

Comments

  1. Nicely said Johnny, although I’m not sure you can really mean you’d rather hear Paul Kelly over Meatloaf on GF day! For fellow fans of Australia’s poet laureate, I recently happened upon a 3 disc set called ‘Paul Kelly A-Z live’. It’s the ‘live’ part that lends weight to your suggestion of PK playing at the big dance. Could I quote another great Melbournian when I say “Do yourself a favour” and have a listen to these 115 songs. They have been on high (continuous) rotation in my car for a few months now.
    Go the Cats (in the rebuilding stage)

  2. The People's Elbow says:

    I’ve had something similar to the Paul Kelly “Leaps and Bounds” thing for some time – although mine is slightly different as my proposal is that you invite a different (Australian) artist each year for their take on the song.

  3. Trucker Slim says:

    Kylie, Sia, Goyte, Keith Urban, Nick Cave, Kasey Chambers (mad Blues supporter), Archie, Frank Yamma, Suzannah Espie, Emma Matthews (great Opera singer), Delta, … this is just the initial ramblings off the top of my head. We have plenty of artists that reflect who we are. Someone just has to ask them.

    Cheers

  4. bob.speechley says:

    Getting fans in the swing of things is more important than turning them off as the Grand Final performers seem to have succeeded in doing over the years. Cold Chisel struck a chord at the NRLGF as Paul Kelly does whenever I hear him singing. Good if the AFL could exercise common sense on this matter. I believe it would gain “universal” support in Australia at least.

  5. I couldn’t agree more Harmsy. Why we have to import performers when we have heaps of our own dedicated to our indigenous game is beyond me, Paul Kelly is a natural choice. Another fabulous singer, opera star David Hobson, a passionate Dees supporter did a fine job with ‘The Impossible Dream’ at the GF in 2004, it’s about time we got him back, talk about sing!

    Maybe one day the penny will drop with those to whom our game is entrusted and they will get our local talent at a fraction of the cost and they will do us proud, I can only hope. Keep up the good work Mate.

  6. The People's Elbow says:

    …my other gripe is that it doesn’t matter who you get, a mid-afternoon slot is where acts go to die.

    If you want to get serious about the Grand Final as ‘entertainment’ – move it to the evening.

    All for a night Grand Final.

    Come at me…

  7. Tadge, David Hobson wrote one of the forewords to The Footy Almanac 2013 (?) and has been a guest at our lunches. He is a friend of the Almanac. JTH

  8. Newiecrow says:

    Just get Greg Champion to sing ‘that’s the thing about football’. To me its as good, if not better than up there Cazaly

  9. Neil Anderson says:

    I never thought much about the pre-entertainment at the Gf,, until I read your article. I always thought it was just padding and time-wasting before the big-dance. Just a lot of crap instead of the under-nineteens and reserves playing their Grand Finals which suited the fans perfectly. I must be old because it always seemed to be Richmond involved in those early matches.
    Just suggesting Paul Kelly singing about the MCG and the temperature-reading on that silo made me think he was the obvious one to perform along with other Australian groups such as the ‘Hunners”, if we can’t have football matches.
    If you need to convince Gil, just get the all-Australian captain and Paul Kelly”s mate Bob Murphy to endorse the idea. In the meantime we can only hope that the cultural-cringe will disappear.

  10. Dr Rocket says:

    Would prefer Mick Thomas to sing, When the Swans Return…..

  11. JTH
    Your theory about them not knowing their people is right. And substance such as PK is way pref to some anon bint who turns up late to her own karaoke lesson. But I’m with The Elbow here. Everything dies before a GF. Shit I heard people yelling for The Louisville Lip to get off the ground one year. It’s not a moment for music. It’s the vinegar stroke of the season – who wants to pull up and sing carols when you should be doing Carol instead, if you know what I mean? (Just another metaphor that turned ugly on me)
    Only the anthem before the game. A concert after the game. With Perry Keyes involved and free cocaine for Cat Fans. (Anyone who hasn’t got Keyes’ album Johnny Ray’s Downtown is just camping out.)
    All Hail Blicavs.

  12. Matt Zurbo says:

    Beautifully, beautifully written piece Ol’ China.

    I understand the need to razzle dazzle with the acts that wrote the cute American cover songs we dance to by pedestrian cover bands throughout the land. I get it. But the AFL, indeed, as you say, has a duty, as a flag-barer of Australian cultural events, who insists we take pride in our national identity, to reciprocate the feeling.

    Personally, I am tired of the good time oldies. I think they should push an up and comer. The audience is a lock, so ‘discover’ someone. Give us our NEXT Paul Kelly. Our NEXT Rogers. Someone like Courtney Barnett. Or any one of a dozen great YOUNG bands on Triple J.

    I suspect the AFL know all this, but are trying to woo the overseas market, as much as anything, with their Grand FInal entertainment. Hook the North American sports channel market. But Loaf and Adams, due respect to them, just make us look like backwater. The Yanks would wonder if we’ve heard of the internet yet.

    Thanks again for a heartfelt piece.

  13. The People's Elbow says:

    …and if we could (finally) retire Mike fking Brady, that’d be great.

  14. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    If the foreigners wouldn’t be regarded as special on their own home ground, then, as has been pointed out above, we are demeaned by treating them as special down here.

    On the flipside, you ain’t gonna find the NEXT of anybody as long as Gudinski and Co or the host broadcaster are the arbiters of that.

  15. Great piece JTH. As Gerard Whateley said on the program, how hard can it be?

    On the Mick Thomas / WPA theme, I’d suggest “Monday’s Experts”. Or why not have James Reyne singing “Boys Light Up” or “Errol”, but with the title and lyrics changed to “Cyril”?

    I like Matt Zurbo’s suggestion – maybe have an old Aussie rocker and a new act.

    How hard can it be?

  16. DBalassone says:

    I like it JTH, I really like it!

    And AJC, you’re right on the money re Perry Keyes. I reckon I’ve played that album a thousand times – though I’m led to believe Perry’s a League man, so like Don Walker and Co, would be more likely to do the NRL Grand Final (by the way Cold Chisel were great I know, but I still reckon Barnesy over does the screaming-thing when he doesn’t need to).

  17. When the AFL realises that it is not the NFL, and that the Grand Final is not
    the Superbowl, we really might start making some progress.

    As I think said Gerard said in response to Harmsy: “It’s not that hard…”

    I am really liking Litza’s idea.

    Rick, totally agree.

  18. Andrew Fithall says:

    A few years’ ago Music Victoria organised some live-pre game entertainment at regular MCG games. Had bands like Little Red perform. I made an effort to see them. Have a look at the nominees for the Age MV awards and you get a good smattering of current acts who could do a great job. http://www.musicvictoria.com.au/nominees Possibly a bit Victorian-centric. Add names like Dan Sultan, Suzannah Espie, Methyl Ethel, Teeth and Tongue, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Alpine, the Almanac’s own Vance Joy, Twerps, Dick Diver, Megan Washington, Charles Jenkins. There are just so many to choose from. I cringe at acts like Cold Chisel. And like the Elbow says – retire Mike Brady.

  19. Spot on JTH. Sadly you could delete “AFL” from this sentence and insert any number of public organisations,

    “The decisions made by those charged with responsibility for these matters at the (insert appropriate organisation name here – like “media” for example) – no doubt there is a department in the corporate structure – make one thing very clear: they lack depth of understanding, they don’t really know their own people, and they don’t even know their own game. We don’t want entertainment – superficial, fleeting titillation. We want substance, meaning.

    The “entertainment” never seems to have a relationship with what comes after.

    I’d love Matt Taylor belting out “I remember when I was young”.

  20. Stainless says:

    “…the people were asked what song should be sung before the 1927 FA Cup Final…”

    Note the first four words, AFL.

    BTW – didn’t “the people” choose brilliantly in 1927?

  21. Beautiful piece Harmsy. AS PJ would say, “Let Australia Shake”.

    What about this:

    Pre-game: Leaps and Bounds

    Quarter time: The Honeymoon is Over (and RIP James Cruickshank, what a terrible loss)

    Halftime: Halftime at the footy, Dave Warner and cast of 99 thousand

    3/4 time: Slipping Away

    Fulltime: The Carnival is Over

    And for Trade Week, Cam McCarthy and backing band crooing I Shall be Released.

  22. Grand Final pre-match is a malnourished horse I’ve been flogging a few years myself. Over the journey the AFL have stubbornly refused to buy a clue and the road kill continues to mount; https://jeffdowsing.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/thats-entertainment/

    But I suspect cultural cringe and pandering to their international TV audience is what informs the bean-counters without a musical bone in their being or a semblance of ‘feel’ for the occasion and the fans who make it so.

    Damian – unfortunately Jimmy’s voice is shot – yet Barnsey singing with razor blades in his throat still cut through because the NRL get it. Even the mosh pit played a small but important part in Cold Chisel working. The NRL know their market and they give them what they want. Jessica Mauboy features every year and she nails it every time.

    The only improvement the AFL have made recently is to get the performers out of the vomitory and back onto the field. The daytime slot doesn’t help, I agree Craig, but as JTH contends, it’s not as hard as what the AFL make it.

    I suggest a sit-down with Trucker Slim would be enlightening for Gill & his minions.

  23. Dave Brown says:

    An alternate perspective: the AFL pre-game entertainment is not about Australian culture – it is a marketing tool. The entertainment does not play any role in determining whether middle aged white men will watch the grand final. They are rusted on, therefore require only a grand final to be on to make the decision to watch it. The pre-game entertainment is on to encourage women of a variety of ages who would not otherwise watch the game, or at least not watch until it starts, to make that decision to sit on the couch or accompany friends / family to that grand final BBQ. Its intent is to ensure that the people who make most of the spending decisions in the household are exposed to the ads for as long as possible. To a certain extent the quality of the performance is irrelevant, it is about its ability to put eyeballs on the screen for as long as possible. You may not know or care who Ellie Goulding is but your 15-25 year old daughter is much more likely to watch her than Paul Kelly, even if it is just to watch the train wreck as it unfolds.

    Righto, my opinion: it is pointless wringing our hands about the pre-game entertainment – we might as well talk about the contents of the ads in the breaks. As Craig points out in terms of being a time and place to have live music, there are buzzards circling that desolate valley. The idea of a post grand final concert has legs. Much in the same way that there is a concert every night after the Adelaide 500 car race, a similar thing could be instituted for the AFL Grand Final. Get it properly curated with the intent to reflect a wide range of Australian cultures and footy cultures and give people who were unable to attend the grand final the opportunity to attend and participate.

  24. Andrew Starkie says:

    Curtain raisers. call me crazy.

    No washed up foreign acts ever!

    Embarrassing.

    Except for Nik kershaw (who was in Melb. last week coincidentally).

  25. Good points Dave, no doubt there is some method behind the AFL’s madness in attempting to cover off non-core demographics.

    The AFL actually started running the post match celebrations at the ‘G a couple years ago, I think Temper Trap may have been the band in question having also played at half time. It would be hard to get many other fans besides that which support the winning team though.

  26. Peter Flynn says:

    An excellent discussion.

    Besides Angry in 91, ive never watched it.

    Unlikely to in the future.

  27. Just finished reading Martin Flanagan’s ‘The Short Long Story’. And there it was on page 51. The answer to why the Appalling Football League keeps making the same unpopular – and dumb – decisions.

    During a drive from Adelaide to Darwin Longie asked MF what was wrong about the AFL. MF unrolled a sermon of dot points and examples.

    Longie said nothing.

    After another 100 km of saltbush and ochre MF asked Longie what he thought was wrong with the AFL.

    They’re all young, said the Norm Smith Medallist.

  28. E.regnans says:

    Love it.
    Great ideas.

    My thoughts:
    Best to have a celebration of Us.
    Should be Australian.
    Singing a well known song of us, of memory, of place.
    I agree with the ritual aspect to this.
    Same song every year.
    A sing-along.

    I love Cold Chisel – the whole thing- Don Walker’s genius, the rebellion, the mainstreaming, the bogan associations, the craft, but mostly the stories of the songs and the stories of me that now accompany some of those songs. We all make it up as we go.

    Day Grand Final is preferable. Sunlight is not actually a problem.
    The idea is for a singalong reflection of place, of memory, thinking of those you’ve lost since this time last year, those you’ve gained, that torn cartilage, that torn heart, the lump you found, the unexpected pregnancy, that mate that shafted you, that new love.
    It’s not a concert.
    It’s a moment of excitement, of possibility, of remembering that same feeling last year and remembering what came next THAT time.

    We don’t tend to do singalongs (a la English cricket/ football crowds).

    But an annual Leaps and Bounds, or Flame Trees would go off.
    Not that hard.

  29. Stefan Ziemer says:

    Perfectly expressed JTH. Like those who attempt to “refresh” the Lutheran Hymnal, They fail to realise most of us don’t want a fresh message to a hip-hop beat; it’s the ritual of the old and established that helps our reflection and celebration through song.

    Those in the AFL charged with the matters of which you speak also seek to fill every moment of silence at the ground with blaring advertising or Muzak. So while I find your argument compelling and inarguable, it is difficult to conceive the same department will ever understand the concept of ritual and reverence over imported noise.

  30. Agree with all. Need to change it up. Kick out the rubbish, put on Paul Kelly, Tim Rogers and throw in some new stuff, OMG, and celebrate our bloody culture instead of being embarrassed by it.
    PS Brady out, Champion in.

  31. Michael Viljoen says:

    Unfortunately, Dave is right. The AFL don’t care about meaning. They care about selling tickets and TV ratings. Money rules. Think about who is there at the ground and who the AFL is hoping will tune in. Much of the G is filled with non-supporters of the two competing teams. For many watching on TV, it might be the only game they see for the year. It’s a corporate event, not a celebration of our culture.

    Also unfortunately, so long as Hawthorn keep creaming every team that tries to challenge them, and keeps turning the day into a non contest, we’re condemned to having to talk more about the pre-game than the game itself.

  32. Archie R singing anything he feels like singing. The ache of our ancient land is in his voice.

  33. I agree with you John. Once when u told Wilfrid Prest junior that I wanted to study Australian History at uni he replied “there isn’t any ”

    How can he justify such a statement- we are the continent that has been home to one of the worlds longest living civilisations – our indigenous peoples. And even since European settlement began we have built one of the best functioning modern societies of the 21st century from a penal colony.

    Our view of the human condition is as surgery a and legitimate as anyone’s on the planet.
    You are right John harms. You are right Paul Kelly

    Now bounce the ball ump and get on with the game !!!

  34. Correction should’ve read

    as authentic and legitimate as anyone’s on the planet

  35. Trucker Slim says:

    Hi Tim

    Have you read Will Self’s essay in latest The Monthly? Interesting and enlightening ideas about Australia and its history from an Englishman.

    Cheers

  36. Thanks for all of the comments.

    From the comments I conclude that this cohort, however representative, craves meaning over entertainment.

    If not footy, it is fascinating (and disappointing) to observe something similar in cricket.

    I would love to sit in on some of the meetings of those who direct both cricket and football.

  37. Mick Jeffrey says:

    I’ll be honest I missed seeing/hearing the bulk of the pre-match entertainment, and I wasn’t missing it either. I’m no music expert like Molly, Donnie Sutherland, Glenn A Baker, not even any guest programmer on Rage, but the mix of a crooner, brit pop bimbo and aging rocker I don’t think really works either. Unfortunately the AFL will probably listen to the fan suggestion of local content for next year, and deliver the 5th placed karaoke singer from X Factor backed by wannabes who will likely become never was’es (is that how you say it?).

    By contrast the Bledisloe Cup pre-match consisted of a World’s Largest Scrum attempt at about 5PM (FRONT ROW, BEST $80 SPENT EVER!), a couple of games of sevens, and a combined Army band playing recognised rock tunes rather than the marching music normally associated. Probably outdid the AFL’s efforts tenfold.

  38. Dave Nadel says:

    It is a football match. People watch the Grand Final because they like football.

    I have gone to the MCG for every Grand Final featuring Collingwood from the 1970s onwards. I have watched almost every Grand Final in which the Pies were not participating on television, sometimes in a small group with family and a few friends, sometimes in a large group at barbecues and parties. I have never seriously listened to the pre match entertainment with the sole exception of the Coodabeens in 1987. But that was because the Coodabeens were actually singing about football.

    I go to hear quite a bit of music, local bands and singers at clubs and pubs, international acts at theatres and stadiums and a mixture of both at music festivals. I don’t expect to see people kicking footballs at the Corner Hotel, the Palais or Port Fairy Folk Festival before the music starts and for the same reason I don’t have much interest in hearing music before the Grand Final.

    I admit I did enjoy Cold Chisel during the broadcast of the NRL Grand Final (and said so on The Wrap’s thread) but thinking about it, this is probably because I have a greater interest in Chisel’s music than I do in Rugby League.

    Andrew Fithall’s idea of using the MCG to promote local talent sounds good, but actually I suspect it might do the bands a disservice because most of the crowd won’t be listening. They will be focussing on the game,

    It is a football match!

  39. Tony Robb says:

    Might I suggest they utilise the immortal rendition of “Little Hondo’ by Johnny Tapp. it’s an absolute foot tapper

  40. Nick Raschella says:

    The AFL do not a philosophical reason for what they are trying to do with the pre game or half time musical act. It used to be half time for many years but now its back to before the game.

    I reckon they have got it right with a post game show at the MCG. Doesn’t really matter who it is then, because most of the crowd sticking around are in a euphoric state because their team has won.

    What are the AFL trying to achieve?? Entertain the people at the ground especially the theatre going corportaes? Entertain 4 million viewers in Oz? Or present something extra to the world? How relevant to the game do they want it to be?

    Mike Brady a few minutes before bounce down with supporters behind him joining in the signing of an iconic footy song probably cant be beaten – simple, yet connects with the fans at the ground and watching on the box.

    So first write down what you are trying to achieve AFL, tell us and then we can help you out because it looks like you need plenty of help.

    Then get rid of Michael Gudinski. He sees this as a chance to promote his acts not improve the GF. Piss him off and you will improve things straight away.

    I’d give it to Mick Thomas and say Mick, you understand the game, you love the game, you understand how to entertain people, get some of your fellow muso’s and come up with a few songs and a concept. He would probably get Tim Rogers and Paul Kelly and a few others. I wouldnt even mind him singing Monday’s Expert because a few hours after he signs it, even though its Saturday night, all footy fans are talking like they are Monday’s Experts.

    The Album Cover of WPA’s best of album, Trophy Night has a picture of the AFL Cup on it. Cant get more AFL related on GF day than that.

    Just, Keep It Simple – for both simple and complex people.

  41. Peter Flynn says:

    Why didn’t we stick with Barry Crocker or Keith Michell or Jon English?

  42. Shane Kennedy says:

    My two cents ….

    Get a list of Australian singer/songwriters from across a number of generations (Mick Thomas, Tex Perkins, Tim Rogers, Courtney Barnett, Carus Thompson, Paul Kelly, Dan Kelly, Dan Sultan, Vance Joy, Megan Washington, etc, etc). The only selection criteria is that they actually like football.

    Then. get them to write an original a song about footy, wherever that takes them.

    Release one song a round. Flog the crap out of it it at every game, on TV, etc, etc.

    Then, release an album around finals time (of which the proceeds go to Odyssey House, Beyond Blue or some other worthy cause).

    Pre-game entertainment then becomes a selection of the best selling/most popular songs from the year, with possibly a few classics thrown in as well. That could then appeal to the X-Factor-kitchen-block-rules element.

    It’s not f#$@ing that hard is it?

  43. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    The only pre game entertainment which has blown every one away was the lap of the ground by
    Muhammad Ali to be there in 98 for that was fantastic and would be hard to equal let alone top.
    Musically the sound just doesn’t seems incapable of working properly at the g just use well known aussie artists in my book not sure what else can be done

  44. Cameron Bennett says:

    Couldn’t agree more , we have so many talented musicians in this country ,with the two you mentioned being prime examples ( and two of my personal favourites ) .Not a big fan of pre match entertainment but if we must have it make it local .

  45. Trevor Blainey says:

    totally agree on the pre-Match John. Leaps and Bounds from PK and Under The Clocks from the Weddos. QED. which now gives me the chance to posit this for the half time break. if in fact there has to be anything at all. we put up a wrestling ring in the centre of the Ground, put all the Club mascots in it, then get ’em to follow Royal Rumble rules in a last man standing fight. now that’s something i’d pay attention to.

  46. Genius.

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