So are you the go-to man for football talk in Primal Scream?
I am now because Mani has gone and he was a big United fan. The rest of the band is Scottish and nobody wants to talk about Scottish football so it’s all down to me. That’s all fine because I get to talk about Villa.
Do you and the boys ever kick a ball around?
As younger men, yes, but I play most of my football with my boy now. I’ve got a ten-year-old son and he’s obsessed with football – it’s all he ever talks about and all he ever wants to do. He wants to go out and play all day, every day. He’s similar to me – a little right-winger. I used to be pretty good but when I was 13, the full-backs got taller and I stayed the same. Then music and girls came round and football was cast aside. For now, he’s all about the football and his team won the South-East Tens Cup recently and scored two goals in the quarter-finals.
That sounds more satisfying than Villa’s season…
It’s been frustrating – agonisingly so. My boy has coped with this season better than me. We live in Brighton and his school is full of Man United, Arsenal and Chelsea fans – they can win a cup and forget about it by Tuesday but he can live off a win for six weeks.
It’s been an awful season but at least Paul Lambert took his risks. Last season was so depressing to watch under Alex McLeish. As this season has gone on, we’ve actually started to be entertaining. It’s been much more like what I expect from Villa. All we’re missing is confidence and experience. But what was encouraging is that we won the six-pointers when they mattered. The Sunderland result was massive. But then there were results like 8-0 v Chelsea and 5-0 v City and that was horrible to watch.
What do you want to see this summer?
Signing somebody in their mid-twenties would be nice. Lambert has bought youngsters and in the past, we’ve bought players who are past it. Something in between would be nice. Anybody would help. Funnily enough, I feel quite positive for next season. This side can only get better with experience. Hopefully we’ll have Lambert for the long haul. The good thing is that we’re not likely to get many players poached – we only really need to worry about keeping hold of Christian Benteke. He has been a bit of a hero – he has so much skill and is so strong.
So who’s your all-time Villa hero?
My hero from when I was younger was Brian Little, which probably gives away my age. Gary Shaw was another one. I like the usual suspects – Ian Taylor, Paul McGrath. The first cup final I went to was the second replay of Villa v Everton in 1977. I’ve seen them win everything but the FA Cup.
That makes you think how football’s changed. Back then, Man United got massive attendances but Villa were the ones winning trophies. It must be really boring for United or Chelsea fans now. You go to certain sport shops in Brighton and you won’t get a Villa shirt and my son is the only Villa fan in his school. He’s been brilliant this season – he just said ‘if we go down, we’ll come up again, Dad – don’t worry’.
How often do you get to see Villa?
I’ve only been to half-a-dozen games this season. I try and take my boy to as many as he can but I still haven’t taken him to the Emirates. When he was six or seven I would never take him to a game I knew we couldn’t win so purposely I wouldn’t take him to the Emirates. But after this season he can handle loss. Relegation would have killed me – since Christmas I’ve been a bag of nerves – but he was so calm.
Have you ever heard any Scream at the football?
I’ve never heard our songs in a stadium but we’re used quite often during World Cups on the highlights. Mani used to say that United played Stone Roses. Maybe I should have a word at Villa – I haven’t played the ‘do you know who I am?’ card there but maybe I should! We did a song years ago for Euro 96 – an alternative Scotland song with Irvine Welsh. I was there at Wembley in the Scotland end which was pretty weird.
Finally, tell us about the album…
It’s almost like a double album – we were on quite a roll and decided to use everything. We absolutely love it. It’s great. We start doing gigs in June – including Glastonbury, where we’re on just before the Rolling Stones. Later in the year we’ll go out on our own. We still have the same passion. Maybe in the past we might have been a bit more lubricated. You still get the adrenalin. You start off in a band and somehow, 20 years have gone by.
My son loves the Scream but I’m not sure if he’s just going along wth his dad. I played him the latest album and it’s passed the test. I pushed the Scream on him and that was pretty easy. I didn’t have to force him on Villa – they key is that you’ve got to get them early before they seen anyone else play. He’s done well. Or should I say that I’ve done well?
The new album ‘More Light’ is out now