Wanted: music to lull me into an impenetrable bubble of football excellence

When I turned on the news in my Perth home on Friday night, WAFL footy led the sports news headlines. It was a phenomenon not seen in my three years in this city. There is renewed excitement surrounding the state competition. The Eagles and the Dockers are battling while the WAFL is producing nail-biters. Like men who’ve broken up with girlfriends and all of a sudden want to hang out with their mates again, many old WAFL supporters are leaving Perth’s downtrodden AFL stars to their business and coming back to our games.

Before last weekend’s match between Subiaco and Peel Thunder, I found myself in very unfamiliar territory. I’ve been playing for Subiaco since 2006 and this was the first time I was to play in a game in which we were fighting for a spot in the top four. We were 2-2 and fifth on the ladder. Subiaco have won four of the past five premierships. Fifth is an uncustomary position.

The game started at the unusual time of 3.15pm, possibly in an attempt to avoid the sting of the April sun. If that was the intention, it failed. It was stinking hot in the middle, and the running style of WAFL footy was impossible to maintain without smart use of the interchange. I got my first call to the bench after a shocking banana effort had sailed out on the full. As I walked along the boundary, one supporter said, “What the f#@$ were you thinking?”

When I turned around, the irate supporter avoided eye contact. He was wearing a Subi shirt from about 1984 and I’m fairly sure that, when the shirt goes back on the hanger, it maintains the mould of his pot belly. I’ve seen him before and I know he’s a loyal Subi supporter. Now I also know he’s a supporter who demands more from his centre half-forward. I kept walking along the boundary.

Further into my recovery walk, Blake Broadhurst, our injured half-forward, gave me a bit of cheek about a competition I’ve entered. Last week I filmed a commercial for the Doritos “make your own ad” competition. Blake quoted a couple of lines from my entry. My concentration waned. The world tilted just a fraction. My earlier sprayed shot at goal had been a blip on my mind, but now I was all over the place. I went on to kick 1.4 and one out on the full. Not good enough.

I have put my lack of mental strength and consequent skill errors down to one factor: my iPod play list during the warm-up. I’ve been firing up with a bit of Sex on Fire by the Kings of Leon, A-punk by Vampire Weekend, Feist’s 1-2-3-4, Burn Bridges by The Grates and a few other indie-pop crackers. I like these tracks because I can sing along to them, but they’re essentially love songs. This can’t be good when the time comes to ignore sideline abuse and then bury opponents with sharpshooting at goal from all angles.

After thinking about it, the answer is clear. I need some musical advice. I need a “zone-moulding” play list. That is, songs that put me in an impenetrable bubble of football excellence. But there are stipulations. It can’t be Eye of the Tiger, Boys Light Up or The Boys Are Back in Town. I need new sounds for a new season. I need catchy tunes that veer away from the sappy stuff that’s fluffing up my footy brain.

Thankfully, Brad Smith, our full-forward, kicked straight and we won by eight points in a gutsy win away from home. I will be checking his play list, but we are different people and what works for him may not do the job for me.

Our next match is on Monday (it’s a long weekend) at home against East Perth. Locals will be aware that is a “grudgy” of epic proportions and a sub-par preparation will not suffice. If you know what I need for that elusive musical edge, please let me know.


  1. Kik Coach says

    Try “Sultans of Swing” (Dire Straits), to sort out the banana kicks,”Ballard of a Thin Man” (Dylan) for the set shots and maybe “Diamonds on the Souls of His Shoes” (Simon) for the running plays.

  2. Vampire Weekend? Jeez, David, that’s table tennis music at best. You need some Cannibal Corpse or some Slayer. No, wait; that’ll help you put your foot completely through the back of the ball, but not necessarily kick it straight.

    Perhaps some Bonnie Prince Billy? More murder ballad than love song, his tunes are terribly glum. Although this may well lead you to focus on the game, it may also lead you to handpass the ball through your own goals in despair.

    I have it. You need some recent Nick Cave. Get Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! and the Grinderman album. If Get It On can’t get you kicking straight, it’s time to hang up the boots and start playing darts. (But for the love of God, don’t try any bananas in THAT code…)

  3. neilbelford says

    David I think you need to look to another era for some motivation, some hunger, some anger – one when Subi was crap, when we would go to some dump like Lathlain Park and get thrashed by a team that was only slightly less useless – when Cam Blakemore was hopeless at fullback but we could rely on Austin Robertson to kick a ton in a team that would finish last – alright dont go that far back or you will have to listen to the Doors or something, and playing stoned wont help.

    Come forward into the lean late 70s – Neil Randall, Mick Malone playing in your spot, Fether’s getting 4 million useless possesions, tne enigmatic Keith Watt back after 4 years off – Now we are cooking, all will be singable –
    Ramones – ‘Beat on the Brat’ – all of Rocket to Russia
    Dave Warner – “Suburban Boy’
    Dave Warner – ‘Slum Goddess’
    Scientists – “Pissed on another Planet’

    and then you can take out the decade with the Clash – Just play the ‘London Calling’ CD (although of course it was a record at the time) from the beginning and think about being Gary Buckenara kicking 9 as a kid in from the Ammos, and Subi still losing by 20 goals.

  4. Cam Blakemore never played at full back Neil. He was in the centre and seldom crap. That said I thoroughly enjoyed the East Perth vs Subi game. Mapleston was crap. Only joking. David I recently read about two bands who play death techno… C@#tscrape and Death F@#%ing C@#t. Try something by them. Chicky’s probably got them on his Ipod.

  5. neilbelford says

    Quite right Les, I do believe I Col Williams was the fullback in question and of course Cam played centre – but now I am not sure about anything.

Leave a Comment