Getting Down With The Sickness: Even Rockstars Have World Cup Fever Now
Three lions. A shiny trophy called Jules Rimet. The smell of Deep Heat and sweat. Jumpers for goalposts and slices of orange at half-time, isn’t it. Thirty years of hurt. No, scratch that, it’s 52 years now. Football looks like it might finally come home, whatever that means.
To the surprise of literally everyone, England haven’t absolutely ballsed up their current campaign in Russia. Their winning streak has given people a reason to smile as we drown in talk of soft Brexit, hard Brexit, scrambled Brexit and the constant spurting sound of Nigel Farage’s stream of piping hot, aggressive verbal diarrhoea.
Even people who don’t like football are waving English flags and saying, ‘Ooh, that football’ in a serious tone; they casually mention stuff like, ‘Jordan Pickford reads the game far better than Joe Hart’ and, ‘The right wing tabloid newspapers aren’t even bothering to disguise their hatred for Raheem Sterling’ and other such plainly evident soccer things while farting on the bus to work.
When was the last time England reached the World Cup semi-final? 1990. Megadeth were a couple of months away from releasing Rust In Peace. Even copies of Pantera’s Cowboys from Hell were sitting patiently in a record distribution warehouse. Converge had just formed. This, if you do your maths or ask a grown up, was a very long time ago.
And today, England face Croatia and are potentially 90 minutes away from being in the World Cup final for the first time since 1966. The squad – led by waistcoat aficionado Gareth Southgate – have so far dispensed with Tunisia, Panama (the country invented by Van Halen) and Belgium. Alright, Belgium won that game, but it doesn’t matter. They still qualified to go through the last 16, where they beat Colombia after penalties during a particularly scrappy match.
Then, on Saturday past, pubs and living rooms across the nation were engulfed in a fine mist of lager and happy swearing as the team beat Sweden comfortably by two goals to absolutely none at all. Something to remember the next time you’re reduced to tears by Ikea’s cryptic instructions.
What a time to be alive. But it’s not just farting commuters who have succumbed to a strain of what NHS frontline staff have described as ‘World Cup fever’. Some of the biggest names in metal have taken to social media to express their delight, their fears or simply state the obvious as England stake their claim for footie glory.
Let’s start with Body Count frontman Ice T.
‘WorldCup Announcement’ 💥 People that feel the need to tell people from the USA that the sport is called Football a… https://t.co/gOVc2bts9h— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) Fri Jun 15 20:30:32 +0000 2018
Thanks for clearing that up, Ice.
On June 26, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich got into the spirt of the beautiful game by waving some Danish flags as his team progressed to the final 16.
It was the last we heard from the drummer on the subject, as his team lost on penalties to Croatia. But then, that’s the harsh reality of not playing better than the other team.
Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, an ardent Aston Villa fan, found the time to unwind in between games.
In between #worldcup games, I went for a stroll #Pisa #Italy https://t.co/apPaoRMbcr— Geezer Butler (@GZRMusic) Wed Jun 27 21:26:12 +0000 2018
Two days later, it was revealed one member of the Foo Fighters was pinning his hopes one particular World Cup favourite.
i drew spain in our betting pool so viva espana!! https://t.co/D0NXsUQB6O— Chris Shiflett (@ChrisShiflett71) Sat Jun 30 06:26:19 +0000 2018
But, if you listened closely on July 1, you could hear an American voice shout, ‘Oh, for fuck’s sake’ as Russia romped to victory over the Spanish side following a penalty shoot out.
Architects frontman Sam Carter chipped in with his opinion on July 2.
I LOVE FOOTBALL— Sam Carter (@samarchitects) Mon Jul 02 19:59:15 +0000 2018
Don Broco offered their services to Southgate’s squad the following day and were seemingly prepared to fly back from Warped Tour for a kickabout. They even showed off their own shirt, despite it being a replica from the 1982 World Cup campaign.
Gareth call us up! 🦁🦁🦁🦁 (📸: @chrisblockd) https://t.co/1I4CJWsWCq— DON BROCO (@DONBROCO) Tue Jul 03 23:07:12 +0000 2018
Cancer Bats riff lord Scott Middleton, who, for reasons known only to himself, is an Arsenal fan. He was especially happy with the England result on July 3, where they beat Colombia on penalties.
Me, after finding out @DannyWelbeck is the only Arsenal player left in the World Cup. #arsenal #itscominghome… https://t.co/6XvoUvPZxS— Scott Middleton (@scoebcity) Tue Jul 03 21:32:41 +0000 2018
Stray From The Path, can you tell us which legend is England’s keeper, please?
PICKFORD!!!!!!!— Stray From The Path (@strayfromdapath) Tue Jul 03 20:53:06 +0000 2018
Cheers! Following England’s victory, You Me At Six frontman was quick to post a photo with penalty hero Eric Dier. Clang.
I told Eric that football wanted to come home and he said ‘Josh, I’ve got it covered mate.’ https://t.co/5lBrxr7rKi— Josh Franceschi (@joshmeatsix) Tue Jul 03 20:57:27 +0000 2018
Geezer Butler returned from his holiday wander to remark on the tense ending.
The most intense penalty shoot-out I've ever experienced. Especially happy for @JPickford1 and Southgate.— Geezer Butler (@GZRMusic) Tue Jul 03 23:11:39 +0000 2018
After France’s Quarter-Final victory over Uruguay on July 6, Iron Maiden leapt in with some news. We still think Steve Harris should have been included in Southgate’s squad. He’s a playmaker.
So, the eyes of France were on the big game today... Many thanks to our friends @lequipe for organising a great mat… https://t.co/fbJuxvVwbz— Iron Maiden (@IronMaiden) Fri Jul 06 14:05:09 +0000 2018
Stray From The Path returned to deliver a harsh judgement on Brazil’s theatrical star player.
This World Cup is making me hate Neymar— Stray From The Path (@strayfromdapath) Fri Jul 06 19:49:03 +0000 2018
Following England’s victory over Sweden on Saturday, Architects man Carter contributed an update and a vaguely upsetting GIF.
WE ARE IN WORLD CUP SEMI FINAL!!!!! https://t.co/mxaitqgP3y— Sam Carter (@samarchitects) Sun Jul 08 10:50:07 +0000 2018
Unlikely football fans Jimmy Eat World were also riveted by England’s performance and pledged a treat for the baby-faced keeper.
Putting Jordan Pickford on all our guests lists for the upcoming @frankturner tour next year. 🙌— Jimmy Eat World (@jimmyeatworld) Sat Jul 07 15:57:14 +0000 2018
We hope to see the Tyne and Wear shot-stopper leaping around in the pit like a cat during Salt Sweat Sugar early next year.
Back to Franceschi, then, who seemed to be plotting a trip to the Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday once the final whistle went against Sweden.
BOOKING FLIGHTS. WHO’S COMING?— Josh Franceschi (@joshmeatsix) Sat Jul 07 15:54:46 +0000 2018
Footie mad trio Biffy Clyro have remained silent on the World Cup thus far, due to Scotland not qualifying for the competition since 1998. Which leads us to our favourite joke. What do you call a Scotsman in the World Cup? The referee.
And that’s our soccer round-up for now. We’ll be sure to update this on Thursday after England cruise to a comfortable victory over Croatia. Ahem.
Back to you in the studio.
Words: Simon Young