The last time Bolton Wanderers played Walsall in the league was the 3rd January 2000. The Whites lost that day, but that season turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The following season began Bolton's most successful few years in recent history, with a ten year stay with English football's elite (and Wigan for a few years).
This tweet from Marc Iles as he was en route to Bristol Rovers a couple of week back:
My Bristol journey soundtrack courtesy of The Smiths/Morrisey. Might drop a few Portishead tunes in later for local flavour. #bwfc— Marc Iles (@MarcIles) August 17, 2016
Got me thinking about the musical culture for the places that the Mighty Whites will bel visiting this year.
So with that in mind, I've decided to make little musical selections to soundtrack the Bolton faithful's trips to away games this season, by using songs from bands that are either from the place, or get a feel for the place. Starting with this Saturday's trip to Walsall.
Also, if you want culture in Walsall, you can visit the Leather Museum. It's a thing on Trip Advisor.
Disclaimer: not all of these artists are directly from Walsall - most are from the Black Country; and as we don't play any other team from that neck of the woods this year, there are a few liberties taken.
1. Judas Priest - Living After Midnight
Walsall's finest export (after the Walsall illuminations bit the bullet). Rob Halford and Glenn Tipton are two of the greats in hard rock. Balls to the leather museum of Walsall...just watch Judas Priest vids; they sport more than enough. Under PP there will be no Bannan/Danns antics; Living After Midnight is strictly for David Wheater's gym playlist. Turn it up loud and say to yourself as you head through Stone on the train, 'Walsall is ok you know!'
Coincidentally, Living After Midnight is from the album British Steel; the new name for our defence.
2. Slade - Mama Weer All Crazee Now
You can see this track being on Gary Madine's iPod Nano whilst he's out with the lads and chucking banter around willy nilly (at an acceptable hour of course). Noddy Holder was born in Walsall, so this is a genuine Walsall classic! It was this or the Christmas one.
3. Goldie - Inner City Life
Another Walsall native. Drum and Bass legend, actor and general master of many great things, Goldie has done a lot in his career.
This tune is an absolute classic. I feel that this one would certainly being blue toothed through Jay Spearing's motor as he's cruising through his Liverpudlian homeland.
4. The Charlatans - Just When You're Thinking Things Over
A little cheat here as the sadly departed ex-Charlies keyboardist, Jon Brookes hails from Staffordshire. This is a Brit Pop classic and one for Dean Moxey at the end of every half as he thinks over his generally poor decision making!
5. Beverly Knight - Coulda Woulda Shoulda
90's R'n'b. A winner of a track. This was a huge hit when released. Again Dean, this is what pops into my head when the 'if in doubt...boot it out' situation arises. You could have, and you definitely should have just got rid (see Fleetwood at home).
6. One Direction - History
One of the members of Simon Cowell's band of puppets hails from Wolves or something. Whichever nobody it is it doesn't matter, this tune is a massive earworm! I've heard PP has banned all usage of One Direction because he hates them...and rightly so! One for the kids though.
7. Babylon Zoo - Spaceman
Everyone loves a one hit wonder! Jas Mann, lead singer, is actually from Wolverhampton. This tune is thoroughly valid for this list as it is generally just brilliant! A little bit like my current favourite player; Mark Beevers. Like the man himself; a huge track that isn't to be messed with!
8. Black Sabbath - Paranoid
The founding fathers of heavy metal. Birmingham's finest. Doom metal overlords. Paranoid is arguably Sabbath's biggest, but not their best hit. A stark reminder of what many of us felt before PP got the nod at the Wanderers. Every Saturday was just filled with 'what the frig are our defenders gonna do this week?' I'm looking at you Dervite.
9. Electric Light Orchestra - 10538 Overture
If, like Alan Partridge, you saw ELO at the NEC in 1976, you'd understand calls for them to come back on and play some more! If Sabbath are Birmingham's finest purveyors of heavy metal, then ELO are one of Birmingham's greatest pop exports. This track has a great opening riff and shows the Birmingham Beatles' knack for solid pop songs! You could also throw on Mr Blue Sky - more of a hit I guess.
10. Culture Club - Karma Chameleon
80's pop. It's the best of music and the worst of music. Apparently Boy George lived in Walsall for about year in his late teens. This tune has Mark Davies written all over it. Good at the time but can get a bit frustrating now. You won't mind it after a few pints of Bank's best bitter though.
11. Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
An iconic riff and an iconic track. Whole Lotta Love can get any place jumping. Lead singer, Bob Plant; hails from, and is a fan of his beloved Wolves. I love Wolverhampton. I love drinking in The Great Western. I love Jivans curry house (the best curry house). I miss playing them! Please get promoted Bolton; they probably think they're the one and only Wanderers at the moment - this needs to stop.
12. Baddiel, Skinner and The Lightning Seeds - Three Lions
As Wolves and Birmingham have got a mention, it'd be rude not to mention West Brom and Frank Skinner. A terrible away day that I do not miss, unless you're drinking in Birmingham before hand! This tune will ring true for many a football fan. The uplifting nature of it and the time and place that surrounded it is joyous.
This season already has a good feeling about it. Stick this on and dream away as to what Phil Parkinson and our super whites can do this season.
We've gone to the effort to create the playlist for you, so why not give it a listen?
We do hope everyone has a great day in the Black Country and the Whites return with the three points. To get to Bescot you can get the train from Birmingham which means you can sample some great public houses there before heading to the game. The Old Contemptibles, Joint Stock and Post Office Vaults are all worthy watering holes to satisfy your craft or cask needs!