Being Heckled By David Bowie And...

We talk to The Stereophonics' frontman Kelly Jones about being a fairweather Leeds fan, playing Wayne Rooney's wedding party and playing football with Bowie shouting abuse from the sidelines...

Last Updated: 12/11/09 at 12:57 Post Comment

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So that's not a Leeds accent, Kelly, so why do you support Leeds United?
Well, I was born in 1974 and had two older brothers who were Leeds fans so I had no real choice. They handed down their scratchy Admiral kits and sat me down and watched old Betamax videos of Billy Bremner and that lot. I got into them in a big way in about 1982, when we were rubbish in the Second Division. It hasn't always been an easy ride.


Do you ever see them in action?
I haven't seen them at all in the last couple of seasons. I used to go up there a lot when we were in the Champions League and hang out with a load of music types like Chris Moyles and people like that. We used to know all the players like Alan Smith and Harry Kewell.


So you're a fairweather fan then?
It looks that way, doesn't it? I don't know any of the players now they're in the third division, though I get all the news on my phone. All the boys used to come to our gigs in the old days. Smithy used to always be there because he's a mad-keen Stereophonics fan. Him and Rooney know more of the f***ing words than I do. I've seen Beckham, Southgate, Woodgate and a few others at our gigs but those two are the big mental fans.


You played Rooney's wedding...
We played the party on the day after the wedding. His missus called us and asked if we'd play as a surprise gift for Wayne. He's been into us since he was about 12 apparently. I actually called him on his 18th birthday when he was playing for Everton and I didn't have a f***ing clue who he was because one of his friends asked me to make his day. I sent him a text when his kid was born just saying 'well done son'.


Leeds fans shouldn't really hang round with Man United players should they?
I suppose they shouldn't really - I'll be lynched next time I'm in Leeds. Actually, I don't give a f*** - he's a Stereophonics fan so he's alright with me.


So who's your all-time favourite Leeds player?
Oooh, that's hard. I suppose I like all the old-timers like Billy Bremner and Eddie Gray because that's what I remember watching as a kid, but I did like that team with Gary Mac and Gordon Strachan. They remind me of sitting and watching Saint and Greavsie. Then there's Tony Yeboah - he looked cool as f*** in that all-white kit. It might have been Eric Cantona but we sold him for a f***ing million quid. He was quite good, wasn't he?


What about Welsh football?
I wasn't brought up to support Cardiff or Swansea - in our house you went Welsh for rugby and supported an English football team. I follow the Welsh side and dream about what might have been if Mark Hughes hadn't left to manage Blackburn when he did. We've had some great players in our history but never all at the same time. We've also had some rogues like Robbie Savage, Vinnie Jones and Craig Bellamy - the Welsh have a lot of fire in their bellies. And a lot of frustration at growing up in small villages with nothing to do.


If you could have any player from history to play for Leeds, who would it be?
That's a good question. I wouldn't mind Rooney in a Leeds shirt for a season. But I'll go for Ryan Giggs - he's Welsh, he's a good-looking lad and he's got the best left foot in the game. I've never seen him at a Stereophonics gig though.


You any good at football yourself?
Not bad. I used to play pretty seriously from 12 to 19. I played for a local team and played for the county when I was a teenager. I actually had a trial with the Cardiff Bluebirds when we played them, got beaten 10-1 and I scored the one. I was always a winger or up front, always in it for the chicks and the goals - go for the glory, I say. I used to play football on a Saturday and band rehearsal on the Sunday, and eventually the football took a back seat.

I played in one of those charity things at Stamford Bridge a few years ago and my team included Ian Rush, Mickey Thomas and Joe Calzaghe. He wouldn't pass the ball but nobody dared tell him. Rushie was quality though so he's definitely the best player I've ever played with. I couldn't understand a word he says though - half Scouse and muffled through the moustache.

We play a fair bit on the road and we took on David Bowie's crew while we were supporting him a few years ago. He didn't play but he was at the side of the pitch heckling us. I still have a picture of him in a team photograph kneeling down 1930s style. We lost the trophy we'd won from U2's crew and Bowie - this is f***ing bizarre - lowered it down behind us on the stage during our set every night like something off Spinal Tap.


Stereophonics return with their brand new studio album 'Keep Calm & Carry On', November 16th on Mercury Records - a sensational 12-track collection and the band's seventh studio album

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