With the Euros a mere few long and deep breaths away there is no escaping that unavoidable aspect which has us all running from and fearing, the football song. With EURO 2012 in Poland & Ukraine just a few footballer spits away the first and hopefully last finds its way on to the pitch on May 28th. We say last because compared to this any other will simply be a waste of time as it turns out Viva England from Coventry band Pint Shot Riot is actually rather good. To be honest it is very good and though maybe not the best historically though the competition is as limp as Tottenham’s Champions League dreams (oops that has lost me a few readers, it does what it sets out to do with invention and infectious anthemic energy.
The fact that Pint Shot Riot is donating the proceeds from the single to the charities Homeless World Cup Foundation and the England Homeless Football Association makes the release even more important and worthwhile but for the music alone plus the emotion and energy behind it, football and England could do a lot worse than taking it into the tournament with them. The quartet of Rocket (lead vocals and rhythm guitar) Rob (lead guitar and backing vocals) Mini Rocket (drums and backing vocals) Baby Dave (bass) first donated the song in 2010 with it soon finding itself the official song of Team England at the Homeless World Cup. Now backed by the Viva England (extra time version), the band bringing their live aspect to the track, the release is even more primed to help raise awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness and for the event itself as people get behind the team.
The song opens with a pre-game feel, nervous and full of anticipation. As the guitars, keys and rhythms build towards a full voice and heart the energy rises. The anthemic heart of the song soon captures the ear and deeper as the vocals, lyrics, and music lifts the energy and it is soon defying anyone not to join in before the first chorus passes the ball to the following verse. The track is simple without being thoughtless and full of emotion from what would imagine are true suffering football fans, or damn good actors if not.
As much as the song really pleased and wound up the energy Viva England (extra time version) is even much better. The band raises the temperature, energy, and passions into a punk infused burst of rock n roll. Vocally and musically there is an impassioned edge and feistier attack which brings an even fuller sporting battle cry and support for its intent. Like what is needed in extra time in a game the track pulls up every ounce of energy and aggression it has to ignite the atmosphere, the bass offering extra muscle, the guitars more fire, and the vocals a snarl to each and every fist pumping word. As with the first version the song leaves the final word to the terraces and the viva England chant and it is all very hard to resist.
As mentioned really the important thing is the Charities and the worthy attempt to bring awareness to the causes the single and band supports but for an easily digestible and more importantly enjoyable slice of football attached music, song easily puts the ball in the back of the net (ok I could not resist one last one).