true faith : SUMMER BLOG NO.3

by • June 15, 2016 • tf blogsComments (2)1581

“A Summer Wishlist”

What a time to be alive, eh?

This last season has been a strange beast, and one that, in hindsight, may go down as the first in a series of tectonic shifts at the club, a meltdown of shamanic proportions. Given the odd twitch on the thread, Newcastle United’s “Ashley Mark 2 Era” has run its course. The collective  last six years or so can for me be summed up in a single memory. Anyone remember the dodgy hotdog seller on the Barrack Road on match days; the one whose hands would shift at high speed, trying to hand you back the wrong change for your portion of steamed, coagulated chicken arse clippings, most greasily encased in sausage form? That was Newcastle United: Ashley Mark 2. And now that M’Lud Shirebrook has bumbled and barked his way through Parliamentary scrutiny to the collective gasps of Liberal opinion, I can’t see him returning to his old ways at NUFC any time soon.

I remember 1992 gave me the same feeling; a gateway to a new era that wasn’t going to be plain sailing and would be on a Macdonald1knife edge at times, but definitely preferable to watching Scott Sloan falling on his arse every five minutes. And the knowledge that Newcastle United have a manager, a real football manager who has done things that football managers are meant to do (like winning trophies, and playing football matches to win them) and a manager who likes us and understands us, is a knowledge I intend to shamelessly wallow in for the next 6 weeks. It feels like waking up from a dream where I’ve been walking round Pelaw in broad daylight in my underpants whilst singing Scott Walker’s most morose ballads. An intuitive feeling that I was on the right path all along, but the “real” world around me wasn’t making sense.

But then I always like this time of year; it feels like a release, regardless of whether Ye Mags have done good or bad. A time to sink into the mind-numbing, supine Korova Milk Bar experience that is Test Match Special. Friendlies (this time in proper places like Bradford and Lokeren). A time released from the shackles of clicking on strung out, utterly baffling articles giving us “five reasons why” a half quote from Moussa Sissoko (muttered whilst getting out of his car) means a complex meltdown at the club that would baffle Cardinal Mazarin. Why did World War 1 start, after all?

It’s also a time where you can make a wish list for the new season. And, this season is slightly different in a very good way. For one no-one’s seen the new kit yet. Here are my four wishes for  2016-17. Let’s hope for one of them at the least.

Local press! No more “5 reasons why”, or “here’s what we know” articles, please!

Alongside the meltdown of “Newcastle United Ashley Mark 2 Era” has been a meltdown in the local press’s reporting. I’m not sure what editorial diktats have been floating around the premises of NCJ Media. But someone’s been clicking a lot on Buzzfeed, of that I’m sure. A terrible season, bafflingly reported. You see, to me, the Ronny Gill is like an old jumper. Back in the Jurassic age, I’d pick up my copy at Monument before going back to Felling, for an evening of morose, High Gothicke entertainment in one of the High Street’s or Split Crow Road’s many, uniformly forbidding pubs (Ed: may In recommend The Shakespeare for a good fight, admittedly I was last in there behind the bar in 1982 but I do have flashbacks). Repetitive, boring, infuriating and often sickly sentimental in a Terry & Bob kinda way it was, but – however laddish and however many pairs of white crocodile leather shoes John Gibson had in his boudoir – the paper gave me a sense that there was an editorial line. Now it’s as if Sun Ra’s filing the match reports.

Oh, and I wonder if it’s possible to NOT load up their website with pictures of celebrity arses and the like, which normally mean the webpages freeze just at the point the Lee Ryder post-match video is loading, rendering Mr R’s face slightly askew – stretched in a knacked out video kinda way – his visage a-straining, and his eyes giving a glassy look into mid space; akin to one of the extras hired to be the oh-so-naughty daddy diva in a Divine video. (And no kiddies, don’t go a-Googlin’ Divine before you’ve had your morning toast).

Imagine Newcastle United having a “Proper” strip.

Just imagine if for once the strip was designed by people who watched football and liked Newcastle United and understood its history, not a bunch of braying meeja types from Shoreditch who say “yeahyeahyeah brilliant” at every turn, who have beards that look like that sported by King Leopold of the Belgians, and whose lunchtime snacks cost more than my heating bill. Imagine a strip with stripes, equally distributed across the full shirt, with red numbers on a white square. Imagine simple, all black shorts and socks with white trim. The badge in full colour. And no Wonger. Cos nothing can be wronger than wonger.

Young players from the area given a crack

Maybe I’ve been thinking too much of 1991-2 recently. Maybe Rafa’s appointment has let loose the last shards of memory from that time and I’m already fantasising about having a set of local lads playing for the club. A pipe dream. But wouldn’t it be nice to see Armstrong, Gillesphey, Cameron, Heardman, Sterry and the like finding themselves good enough to challenge the first team squad! Gadzooks! I’d also like to see players who seemed to have promise, like Satka, given a thorough check over. All we really want (surely!?) is to maximise what we’ve got, sometime in the near future.

No more songs using Sloop John B please

I think it’s fair to say that Newcastle fans are guilty of spawning a monster. OK; telling Ashley to sling his hook to the tune of Sloop John B was righteous and necessary at the time. But I can’t listen to that old Beach Boys number now (the summation to side one of the brilliant Pet Sounds) without imagining the video of that gormless bugeyed mackem Caliban bawking out “Six in A Row” in his terrible lager-wasteland of a kitchen, or thinking of a bunch of brainless tattooed kebabs in shorts singing “We Do What We Like” or Brexit songs in a French square. Such is the complacent, tuneless, fat headed idiocy that this melody has unleashed, dragged out from the darkest, thickest, most unrighteous, most spicy-chicken-winged, flowery-shorted, mouth-breathing elements of the British psyche. I never want to hear it again, certainly not at SJP. Let’s leave such cultural abortions to The Sun.

Have a great summer y’awll, and here are a few lost, unloved uncoolly MALE smelly bollox “Rock” and “Roll” tunes from the sickstees/seventees to get loose to over a hot steaming Tyneside summeration. The Patriarchy’s not dead as long as there’s an undercooked BobnThelmaBurger on yer barbecue!

  1. Rondo’s – A Black & White Statement –
  2. Subway Sect – Ambition
  3. Speedtwins – Football Song
  4. Larry Wallis – Police Car
  5. Chrome – Meet You In The Subway
  6. The Savage Rose – Ride My Mountain –
  7. Armand Schaubroeck – Ratfucker –
  8. Speed, Glue & Shinki – Stoned Out Of My Mind –
  9. Simply Saucer – Cyborgs Revisited (LP)
  10. Zounds – Can’t Cheat Karma


RICHARD FOSTER – Follow Richard on @incendiarymagazine


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2 Responses to true faith : SUMMER BLOG NO.3

  1. Luke says:

    The kind of article that you have to read three times over to truly appreciate.
    Wonderful stuff.

  2. Dempsey says:

    The term ‘kebabs in shorts’ has tickled me.