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The Sydney Swans Speculative Soundtrack: A Season In Revue

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”.

 

Bob Marley
For supporters of the Sydney Swans, the 2015 football season was an assortment of pain, joy, uncertainty and despair. The Sydney Swans Speculative Soundtrack: The Good, The Bad & the Ugly, has been carefully selected to reflect a most disordered year. So recline and pour yourself a single-malt, light the Cuban and contemplate an indifferent campaign, with this compilation of confusion.
The Sydney Swans Speculative Soundtrack 2015:
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Track 1: Know Your Enemy – Rage Against The Machine

 

The trading ban: In August, chairman Andrew Pridham spoke of the injustice of the trade ban. Despite being unceremoniously dumped with this senseless sanction, The Swans have never received an infraction notice. There has never been a rule breached. The Swans fought this sanction just as the American rap metal band would. Known for their activism to advocate their beliefs, the band sees its music as a vehicle for social activism. This song is full of anti-authoritarian lyrics, which encourage the questioning of authority figures that like to determine what people should believe…

 

Track 2: Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey

 

Record memberships: The Swannies are rapidly encroaching on achieving the seemingly ambitious goal of 50,000 members. For the traditional Bloods of South Melbourne heritage, and the Sydney originals, this mystical figure must seem like some kind of idyllic dream. Off-field professionalism is now synonymous with our club. The splendidly mulleted American 80’s rockers, Journey, released this anthem accompanied by a simple message: Believe! The Red & White faithful most certainly do. It’s cooler to be a Swan in Sydney, than to be a Journey fan, anywhere.

 

Track 3: Power – Kanye West

 

Academy Angst: Equalisation is the hottest of topics currently discussed within the AFL. In what is an undoubted overreaction to uninformed attitudes outside of the northern states, the governing body decided to place a premium price on drafting a local product. The most rambunctious of the objectors to the Academies has been our friend, Mr. E. McGuire. In West’s 2010 release, he repeatedly questions how “one man can have so much power”. Great question, Kanye. Shall we ask McLachlan? The song was praised for its intricate production, lyrical merit, and scope. It’s a shame the AFL commission’s scope is so embarrassingly limited.

 

Track 4: Instant Crush – Daft Punk feat. Julian Casablancas

 

Isaac Heeney: Wow. Ladies and gentlemen – we have a ripper. The snowy, flowing locks of our new number five flashed across the fabled Sydney Cricket Ground turf for the first time in Round 3. I was there. Excitement. Elation. Buzz. The hysteria is justified, simply because the kid from Cardiff’s appeal is so intoxicating. Welcome aboard young man. The song title, recorded by French electronic music duo Daft Punk, features vocals from American musician Julian Casablancas, and speaks for all Swans, I’m sure. Well, a wonderful debut season has your writer guilty of an instant crush anyway.

 

Track 5: In This Together – Art vs Science

 

Hanners & Joey: This season has seen the progression of our prodigious on-ball pairing of Hanners & Joey. Upholders of the uncompromising, our midfield marvels have both compiled stellar seasons. Both top five place-getters in the Brownlow, and ever-present in the ‘best’ of most matches, we are marvellously served by these wonderful warriors. Art vs Science are Sydneysiders; an outstanding electronic dance band, and this song has been described as being like an electronic slap in the face with its fast-paced, indie-dance beats, driving vocals and deep funky bass. It will awaken all of your senses. These two tyros awaken the senses of staunch Swans. Every. Single. Week.

 

Track 6: The Boys are Back in Town – Thin Lizzy

 

Grand Final re-match: Like the impressive bronzed statue of Thin Lizzy frontman, Phil Lynott, standing proudly off Grafton Street in Dublin, The Bloods proudly faced the return bout against the Mayblooms at the MCG. The gutsy win can be summed up in just three short words. The three words from which the Bloods culture was formed: HARD. DISCIPLINED. RELENTLESS. A more satisfying win could not have been scripted, as we won just like we supporters love us to win. Critic John Dougan wrote of the song, that “as the band’s creative force, Lynott was a more insightful and intelligent writer than many of his ilk, preferring slice-of-life working-class dramas of love and hate influenced by Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, and virtually all of the Irish literary tradition.” Love and hate are abundantly obvious at matches between these modern-day rivals, and don’t we just LOVE to beat them!

 

Track 7: This Year’s Love – David Gray

 

Goodesy: This year’s, and the previous seventeen-year’s love, is our champion: Swans star, community champion and indigenous inspiration. Our living legend’s legacy will live on long after this long year. Although he’s hung up the boots, Adam Goodes will continue to inspire, represent and educate. The game let a great man down this year, and I for one, will take some healing. But, as Gray mentions in his lyrics, So who’s to worry, If our hearts get torn, When that hurt gets thrown, Don’t you know this life goes on”. Life will go one for this great Australian, and the future holds further greatness. For admirers of his footballing feats, life also goes on, but a cavernous void is left behind. Bravo, Bloods legend, we stand with you.

 

Track 8: Perfect Day – Lou Reed

 

Adelaide @ SCG: One of our all-time greats, a rare dual Brownlow Medalist and an ornament to this country, had been subjected to treatment that can only be described as heinous, and as a result, took some time away from the game. As the red & white community descended on our favourite meeting place, it was clear that our favourite son would be supported to the hilt. The perfect day started with the courageous Jets streaming through the middle and nailing a trademark long bomb. The celebratory dance set the stands alight and will never be forgotten. The best win of the year, on the most significant occasion of the year. The song has a somber vocal delivery and slow, piano-based instrumental backing balancing tones of sweet nostalgia. This beautiful day at the footy left all in Red & White feeling nostalgic and most importantly, immensely proud.

 

Track 9: Won’t Let You Down – Hilltop Hoods feat. Maverick Saber

 

Top 4 Again: For the fourth successive year, the Sydney Swans finished the home and away season among the top-four teams in the AFL. In an era that supporters of the club have been spoilt with consistency of performance and the ultimate success, it can be all too easily forgotten how difficult successful football seasons are to compile. We’re a lucky bunch! Enduring all that was developing off the field, and an appalling late season injury curse, this was a fine achievement. The Aussie hip-hop stalwarts provide similar consistency, and this track, like our red & white warriors, will not let you down.

 

Track 10: Tomorrow’s Song – Olafur Arnalds

 

Buddy: Sadness and sorrow filled hearts of Bloods as an announcement came, informing all that Buddy would be withdrawing from finals action to deal with a mental illness. Buddy’s bravery in publicising his affliction was admirable. For unknown reasons, mental health issues remain stigmatised. They shouldn’t be. A young man addressing mental illness must be applauded. We’ve lost too many who felt admission was a step too far. Olafur Arnalds is a ‘multi-instrumentalist and producer’ from Mosfellsbær, Iceland. Mixing strings and piano with loops and edgy beats, means he often crosses-over from ambient/electronic to pop. Tomorrow’s song is an ode to optimism, a tender reflective tune that fosters a cheerful disposition: a highly underrated commodity. Get well soon, Buddy.

 

Track 11: You Can’t Always Get What You Want – The Rolling Stones

 

Freo Final: It was well documented that we entered this finals series undermanned and inexperienced. We’ve done this before and prevailed, yet the ‘experts’ had written us off. What did we get? Bloods footy. How could you not be proud? The Swannies fought and fought, just as we are accustomed to expecting. The joy of watching our boys in yet another September campaign should never be taken for granted. We eventually fell short, but this game, more than any losing battle, will stand us in good stead for years to come. This is a rebuilding team, with another generation of Bloods inducted today. As the mercurial M. Jagger sings – “You can’t always get what you want, But if you try sometime you find, you get what you need”. While the backs-to-the-wall win wasn’t forthcoming, what we needed was an uplifiting effort. We got what we needed.

 

Track 12: Love and Happiness – Al Green

 

Shawry: Was Al Green on the Swans’ recruitment team in 2008, when we sought an unwanted Magpie, struggling to get a senior game?

“You be good to me

I’ll be good to you

We’ll be together

We’ll see each other

Walk away with victory”

The rest is history. Rhyce Shaw has won an unequivocal respect and adoration from the Swans faithful. Fans fell in love with the ‘Shawry shuffle’, as he bounced and bolted off the halfback line time and time again. His obvious enjoyment from the team’s and team mates’ achievements brought genuine warmth to his weekly performances that was matched by few. Rhyce Shaw can be incredibly proud of the way that he ‘went about it’. The young players adored him; the older players relied on him. Slainte, Shawry: thank you and cheers, cheers from the Red & the White.

 

Track 13: Welcome Home, Son – Radical Face

 

Kirky’s comeback: A true Blood Brother returning to the motherland has the faithful filled with pride, and of course, sentiment. A storied leader as a player, his early coaching days have been just as influential. Nat Fyfe of Freo fame, recently accredited Kirky’s guidance as a guiding light. Still need convincing? Mr. A. Goodes had this to say about Kirky in the former captain’s inspiring book: “Brett taught me it was okay to be yourself and to wear your heart on your sleeve. Building and maintaining relationships and the burning desire he had to be successful is what I think made Brett a leader at our footy club”. Welcome home indeed. Ever heard of the band Radical Face? Me neither. Cracking song though.

 

Track 14: Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles

 

Optimism: A season that has largely been endured rather than enjoyed often brings with it a sense of impending doom. In this case, not so. Little went right for the Bloods this year, but yet another competitive campaign resulted. There is much to like. The flock of cygnets emerging from the nest is impressive. We’ve never been in better shape off the field, and the loyalists are increasing in numbers. A fit and firing Swannies line-up will proudly represent the guernsey with passion and grit. Beatle George Harrison wrote Here Comes the Sun after the early months of 1969 were not so kind: he had quit the band temporarily, he was arrested for marijuana possession, and he had his tonsils removed. But, in the end, as Gorgeous George says, ‘”it’s alright”. Through the turmoil comes redemption. Believe in The Bloods in 2016.

 

 

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About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979

Comments

  1. That is an interesting/eclectic bunch of tracks, Joe.

  2. Luke Reynolds says:

    Available in all good record stores?

    Nice work Joe.

  3. Joe Moore says:

    Smokie – Hopefully to reflect a season of assorted highs and lows.

    Luke – Cheers. Most certainly! On the cover, you’ll find a group of supporters looking dismayed, elated, confused and worried all at once.

  4. Joe…… Cracking read and great research. Well done. Did you purchase one of Goodsey’s prints?. Cheers

  5. Bec Blossomvictory says:

    A sooooo Fresh Write, Joe. — Outstanding Piece, U r Right, keep being Possitive!! lol .. hellloo 2016 sooonnn

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