This is going to look a bit artificial but it’s what happened and it shows how my mind works.
The interrupted football season is coming to an end. Brighton sneaked a victory yesterday over Norwich. There was a passage in “Fever Pitch” by Nick Hornby, the best book about football ever, which addressed the issue of how your friends associate you with a football team. He said that whenever the results were read out at 5:00 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, he knew that all his friends would know how he felt. “I bet Nick’s in a good mood this evening” after a 3-0 drubbing of Wimbledon. Or whatever. Since I have started going to Brighton matches, it’s been the same for me except that now we have mobile phones, I’ll get text messages of congratulations. Firstly, that’s very kind of people although, to be honest, it wasn’t really because of any skill I showed. Secondly, it adds to my happiness.
I do the same thing myself – I always think of other people when I hear the results. Doncaster (Martin), Portsmouth (Arthur), Tottenham (Peter and Kevin), West Ham (Paddy and Dave), Charlton (Pete), Milwall (Alex), Norwich (Paddy), Sunderland (Steve), Burnley (Paul) or Wolves (Ben). “I bet Pete’s in a terrible mood this evening”.
The generous part of me really wants my friends’ teams to do well so for Arthur, Martin, Steve and Alex there’s a genuine hope that their teams win. It gets more complicated when one of my friends’ team’s result has a direct impact on how Brighton are faring. Obviously, when Burnley play Brighton, I simply want Burnley to lose 10-0 but it gets more complicated when West Ham are playing Newcastle – which is what they are doing right now. Whilst I want Paddy and Dave to be happy and I take no pleasure in their misery and misfortune, that streak of kindness gets buried by a desire for Brighton to avoid relegation even if it as the expense of West Ham. Come On Newcastle – Do It For The Toon!
As I said, this looks a bit artificial but as I was looking at the Premiership Table and simultaneously thinking about a suitable topic for today’s blog, I looked at my YouTube favourites and saw a wonderful song by Mandolin Orange called “The Wolves”.
Mandolin Orange are basically a folk duo although they sometimes fill out their sound with other musicians. Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz are from Chapel Hill, North Carolina and they have released six studio albums. Their sound is beautifully languid. Andrew Marlin’s vocal style is conversational and Emily Frantz’s harmonies are stunning. He often takes the lead vocals as he does on the opening song on this album, “Golden Embers”.
However, on some songs, Emily Frantz sings the lead part and she has a great soulful voice with a slight country twang. My favourite song on this album is “Into the Sun” where Andrew Marlin’s mandolin playing is just great.
It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon. I’ve got no mind to worry. Just close my eyes and drift away with the beautiful languid sounds of Mandolin Orange.