Friday, 2 November 2012

Wycombe all you tasteful

So, The Foam Hand Casuals are on the march again. This time we’re of to the neighbouring county of Buckinhamshire to take on the mighty Wycombe Warders apparently, fact fans the name comes from the fact that the club was originally made up of prison officers or ‘screws’ if you want to sound hard, from the local jail. They are now one of the biggest clubs in the world and along with Cheltenham Town our are our biggest rivals.

This was a keenly anticipated fixture and there was sure to be a big show from both sides last time we played them the Chair Boy Casuals took liberties all day ballooning about our town centre and dishing out ‘pine sale’ leaflets, they weren't interested in our lads, old men, women, and even kids were being targeted. Well out of order!

We set out early doors on the rattler from Oxford via Banbury we had about twenty in our little mob all good, older lads and a lot of known faces Awkward Dave, Small hand Pete and Bondage John were all there, natch. As it was a trip to the home counties we opted for a ‘country gentleman’ look, loads of Barbour on show, as well as checked Viyella shirts chunky jumpers, cords and brogues, with one of the more outré Cumnor Hill lads even sporting a pair of plus fours, (deerstalker) hats off to him. Awkward Dave despite our reservations insisted on taking a golden retriever called Freddie with him to complete the look, don’t get me wrong I’ve got nothing against GRs as a breed but our firm has always had a ‘no pets’ policy dating back to the incident at Leyton Orient with the terrapins. Don’t ask!

We arrive in Banbury where we have to change and we decide to get a few tins of Colt 45 from the offy, we turn out of the station and we’re greeted by the site of thirty Banbury lads bowling down the road all dressed as Charlie Chaplin! Turns out it’s Scottish Dan’s fiftieth birthday and he’s a massive CC fan. He rates Modern Times as Chaplin’s finest work, agreeing with Jérôme Larcher’s critique of it as a “grim contemplation on the automatization of the individual” though he put’s it a bit differently adding “Charlie wasn’t just about pie throwing and fucking about with ladders” 

Our Wycombe train turns up on time and we all pile on, pretty soon were at Bicester where we’re joined by about 30 lads including Littlebury and Middleton Stony firms, all good lads. The Charlie Chaplin crew have organised a game of pass the parcel with music courtesy of provided by Beardy Paul one of the older Littlemore lads and his trusty ‘cassette recorder’ the prize is a pair of Go West flip-flops and the winner turns out to be a Shifty looking younger lad from Carterton who I don’t know. Someone says he’s Old Bill but some of the Windrush Valley lot vouch for him and say he’s alright. To be fair he looks game as fuck in his Aztec Camera T shirt NYC fireman's trousers, black old-skool daps and Norwegian military snow parka. Fair play to him. After this BP's portable music device  really starts to pay it’s way, as he launches into a selection from Now 12, Belinda Carlisle, Circle in the Sand, Phil Collins In the Air Tonight (‘88 remix) and Danny Wilson’s Mary’s Prayer. By the time Voice of the behive’s post-punk pop classic Don’t Call Me Baby comes on we’re in full voice and we’re in Wycombe!

We pile off the train and head for the town centre we know their mob drink in town early doors so were on the lookout for any Wycombe hombres and were ready to rumble! Just as we reach the main square we here a massive commotion going on we suspect it’s the older heads from Risinghurst who came down an hour ahead of us having it with the locals. But as we get nearer we can see it’s a crew of Hari Krishnas in a Mexican stand off with some local morris men. Some of our right-wing lot want to side with the morris dancers but we’re happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with the HKs I quite admire their ideology to be fair and they look the real dea in their orange robes and grade one haircuts. Just then the Old Bill arrive before a punch is thrown and manage to calm it down, seems like some of the Krishna youth had been on the sauce early doors and were taking the piss out of the Morris dancers clobber. The MDs weren’t happy and had just called it on when we arrived.

After all the excitement we’re ready for a drink so we all pile into the local Withered-spoon the Falkirk where it’s pints of Orangeboom all round except Awkward Dave who opts for a half a bitter and a small brandy chaser) he says it fits in with the country gent aesthetic) and a bowl of water for the dog. The place is packed with Oxford and it’s not long before the singing starts, Some of the Brize Norton mob start us off with their version of Erasure’s Sometimes then it’s straight in to a selection of show tunes from South Pacific followed buy a medley of Ciff Richard hits including Devil woman, Carrie, and the Wired for sound. The landlord’s starting to get a bit uptight now, he prefers Cliffs earlier work and he says we’re offending his regulars. They're offending me friend, slippers worn with tracksuit trousers in a pub anyone? 

Before he calls in the Old Bill we decide to make our excuses and leave and we set off on the short walk to The Wet Hurse pub were there’s some ‘gentlemen's entertainment’ on offer. We’re all big burleseque fans and have been coming to this venue for a few years. We take our reserved seats in front of the stage and order a bottle of ‘Michel Buble’ (AD opts for a Top Deck shandy and black Sambuca) and we settle in to watch the show. It all gets a bit hazy after this, Small hand Pete reckons that Anna from Prague spiked our drinks, We should have sussed her early doors when the guv’nor told us her old man was one of Sparta's top lads and to be fair she did look game as fuck in her leopard skin bikini and stilettos. 

Anyway the next thing we remember we’re walking the streets at three in the morning with no wallets phones or shoes. I manage to find 20p in my cords so we’re on the phone to Awkward Dave’s bird Stubborn Lisa who reluctantly comes to pick us up

I think we won the game 3-1. 

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Bristol Rovers away, the truth

A few of us late forties lads met for breakfast in The Withered Spoon in Oxford at 8.30, we had a tidy little crew all dressed in the latest 'football casual' style (camp Peruvian tin miners) except Awkward Dave who says he's on the traditional English music tip, (don't call it 'folk' he gets uptight) and was dressed in an artist's smock, oversized elephant cords and sandals.

It was kedgeree and bloody Mary's all round except for, yes you guessed it AD who had the smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and a small glass of Blue Nun. We caught the train at 9.37 and were soon cracking open the cans of Orangeboom and Lowenbrau or 'laughing brew' as Not-funny Steve (one of the Chinor/Hadenham Alliance lads) kept calling it Just after Didcot a mass game of charades broke out the highlight being Small hand Paul's mime for Brighton Rock (a book and a film) Some Bath 'egg chasers' got on at Swindon but we didn't give them any trouble just a bit of banter about their Dennis Waterman hair styles and Budgie jackets. Say what you like we ain't bullies.

On arriving in Bristol we were met by several police officers including PC Felix from Oxford who said he was retiring after the Swindon game and to celebrate would be dressing as his namesake (the cartoon black cat) and handing out In the night garden balloons and Level 42 sweat bands. The police suggested that we made our way to one of the city centre pubs so we chose an Irish establishment called Rick O'Shea's. the locals were having a great craic and we were soon joining in their songs and games of lose the thimble and pin the donkeys tail on the barman.

Bondage John (Stadhamton's top lad) launched into his Rod Stewart impression belting out a selection from 1975's highly acclaimed Atlantic Crossing album. and it was as he took on the hugely popular but technically challenging I don't want to talk about it that he heard that there was to be a pitch inspection and the match could be called off. No panic the match officials announced the game would be played and it was time to head to the ground so we said farewell to our Celtish hosts and headed off into the rainy streets.

We hailed a handsome cab and climbed aboard, Awkward Dave electing to sit upfront with the driver as he felt a little queasy after all the mead he had consumed in the pub (he was taking this folk business way to seriously IMO) Dave and the driver spent the journey discussing the relative merits of The Drifters and The Four Tops while flicking Irish peanuts at passers by. Before we knew it we were in the Lively Gloucester Road area of the city. Benny our driver dropped us of and wished us luck, turned out he was a Bristol City lad and to be fair he looked game as fuck in his checked Barbour gilet and yellow sou'wester.

We managed to find a pub where the locals didn't want to assail us, none of us can actually remember it but it must have been jolly good as we stayed there for the whole of the first half arriving at the ground just in time for the second period. It was level pegging at nil, nil as the game restarted and it  has to be said the atmosphere was lack lustre to say the least. We launched into the Bucks Fizz number one hit Land of Make Believe seguing neatly into Blondie's new wave/hip hop classic Rapture which sadly did nothing to lift the atmosphere fair play to some of the younger lot from Appleton for joining in though great moves as well fellas, chapeau!

Predictably the game finished goalless and we were straight out of the ground to make the long walk back to the station. We were surrounded  by the, ehem 'old bill' who said they were going to escort us back his pissed some of the Marston fellas of as they were attempting to get a mass conga going all the way back and there was no way the law were going to allow it. They did allow us to run through a few of our Morris dancing routines though while we were waiting for the main lot to exit the ground, fair play to them.

After arriving back at the station we boarded our train for the journey home which was livened up by a scuffle between some of our lot and some Swindon based badminton fans and a chance meeting with ex Oxford goalie Paul Brightside (top bloke)

All in all another top day out for The Foam Hand Casuals

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Facebook, what they really mean

The family man
What he posts: Just spent the most wonderful day with my beautiful family, I love you all
What it means: Hopefully the wife won't kick up a stink if I go down the Dog Breeders Arms where I will get free pints of weak lager from Karen the Australian bar maid, and maybe a lock-in and quick knee trembler out the back
The Smug Bastard
What he posts: What a start to the day, there's a man on the stairs doing something to the wiring, had to dodge him on the way out, then realised the 4X4 was still at the garage!
What it means: I am a real fucking success! I have my own house and can afford to hire tradesmen to work on it for me I have a large car that is the envy of my neighbours. My job is so important that I have to be there on the dot of nine every day. I am deeply unhappy.
The Culture Vulture
What he posts: Off to see an exhibition of finger painting by partially sighted Puerto Rican street people at the Black Sphere Gallery in Hoxton, it's a great space and they do German wheat beer in the bar which is decorated in the Italian futurist style!
What it means: I will be staying in and watching Cops with Cameras with tin of Heinz chicken big soup.
The Hedonist
What he posts: What a night last night, I am hanging! Got in at half four, Will just texted me and said something about two American girls, a bottle of peach schnapps and some weed. I have no memory of this at all!!!
What it means: In bed by ten again... alone, so very alone.

The Football Lad
What he posts: We was in Cheltenham at nine, straight in the Wetherspoon's were was there famous mob then? We took the piss all day thirty of us (all youth) walking round their town all day unopposed all we see was 3 of theres (scruffy bastards) just before KO hiding behind the old bill.
What it means: Went to Cheltenham for the football me and my dad on the supporters coach, great game and a great atmosphere 3 more points for us. Got there at 1.30 had some fish n' chips and was in the ground for quarter past one, 9/10 for the programme, very good read!

The Potential Suicide
What he posts: I just feel so bloody awful I don't know what to do what is the point of it life, work, everything I really don't know if it's worth carrying on I just hate myself so much Why do I always hurt  the people I love?
What it means: It's Monday evening, I still have a hangover I'm shaking like a shitting dog. I split up with my bird last night because she found out that I shagged Hayley outside the pub when she was ill. Hopefully she'll read this and come back to me ...or maybe Hayley will let me have another go on her

The Music Fan
What he posts: Check out this link, It's a rare live performance of the New Jazz Concerto by the Alan Makowski project featuring the horn section from the Afro/Cuban soul partnership and 'dangerous' Zack Hoffman on percussion. This was filmed at the Gato Negro club in Soho. 
What it means: Where's my copy of Now 64?

Masterchef Man

What he posts: Just cooked pan fried sea bass with pine nuts and lemon grass on a bed of polenta with a raspberry jus
What it means: Birds love blokes that can cook look at Jamie Oliver his missus is lovely

Arguementative Bloke

What he posts: All asylum seekers should be sent back now, even the legal ones, gay people deserve to have AIDS. All religions are bad/all religions are good. Celtic and Rangers should be allowed to play in the premier league, Thatcher was alright. The Clash stank.
What it means: Please argue with me, please give me the attention I crave, it's as important as oxygen to me  Even if you end up hating me I don't care at least you'll acknowledge that I exist

The Joker
What he posts: My Girlfriend said she is leaving me because I always mis-quote the Terminator films....She'll be back. (or similar)
What it means: He is a member of a site that sends him jokes every day

Saturday, 28 January 2012

People who bug me part 2

People who collect Status Quo badges

Water carriers

Wrong 'uns

People who don't like people who don't like Benny from Abba

Crypto fascists

Toilet attendants who have a drink problem

Midnight tokers

Peace merchants

Coal merchants

Falafel vendors

Old-skool wrestlers

People who say 'marshmellows' 'Westminister' and 'Arksk'

Draft dodgers

Tax evaders

Ram raiders

Best men from Aldershot

Ice hockey goalkeepers

People from Lapland

Men who operate shit fair ground rides



Men in skirts

Freddie 'parrot face' Davies fans

Scuba divers

Tractor drivers

Hop pickers

Fire eaters

Grouse beaters

Shy lollipop ladies

Pop artists

People who believe in magic

People who don't think Paul Simon is the guvnor

Kebab kids

People who think they can throw apples over buildings, but fail

Town cryers

Hair dryer designers

People who use the phrase 'what do you know' in the wrong context

Trainee milliners

People who thought Jim Rockford was a gayer

People who mug off The Style Council

Lucid dreamers


Cheeky little bastards

People who name their dogs after soul singers

Cat people (who put out fire)

Organ grinders

Book binders

People who think Coronation Street isn't real

Eddie Izzard lookalikes



People who say 'down with the kids'

Back packers

Ramblers especially Welsh


Candy Bar girls



Desk jockeys

Make up artists with BO

People who have a problem with authority

Postmen who don't wear shorts all year round

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Seven songs with the word love in the title which aren't crap and aren't by The Beatles

Ever fallen in love with someone (you shouldn't  have?) Buzzcocks
First line: you spurn my natural emotions, you make me feel I'm dirt and I'm hurt.
This song summed up exactly how I felt after I phoned up  Lynne Brown to ask her out and she turned me down, probably why I spent the rest of the evening playing this and trying to make myself cry. The next day at school was hard believe me!

Love is a wonderful colour, The icicle works
First line: My friend and I where talking one evening beside some burning wood.
I think they're referring to a bonfire here or maybe they had just torched a beach hut or something. This was 1983 in Liverpool, heavy times! But hey, why would they want to set fire to small wooden seaside buildings? They were love.

Modern love  David Bowie
First line: I know when to go out I know when to stay in get things done
He certainly did, Friday and Saturday night out, natch, Sunday lunch time out, meat raffle in The Horseless Jockey. The rest of the week in, except for Tuesdays, darts and Thursdays, pool if Big Kev couldn't make it because of his sciatica.

Love wil tear us apart Joy Division
First line: When routine bites hard, and ambitions are low, and resentment rides high, but emotions won't grow,
What's all that about? explains why no one liked them at the time. I saw them supporting Buzzcoks in 1979 and there were only two people dancing, they were in the upper sixth at our school and 'on drugs' ... probably.

18 carat love affair The associates
First line: I told you not to meet me here, I can't be seen with you whispering in my ear.
Your'e in The Adulterers Arms in Dundee talking to the lads about transport to the next away game, (Big Davey's got the van for the weekend) when your bird comes in and starts whispering about her new underwear and that, Give it a rest hen!

Everlasting love, The love affair
First line: Hearts gone astray, leaving hurt when they go, I went away just when you needed me so.
Yes, you did go away didn't you pal, three days in Blackpool on Gary's stag do just when your missus wanted a hand updating her CV, well she'll probably fail the interview for the bar job at The White Line thanks to you, you wrong. 'un!

Slave to love Bryan Ferry
Fist line: Tell her I'll be wating, In the usual place, with the tired and weary where there's no escape
The Weathered Spoon at eight then, the big table by the fruit machine. I might get something to eat it's curry club on a Thursday. Mine's a pint of Skol and Awkward Dave will have a Double Diamond shandy,cheers Bry!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Oxford/Swindon what really happened

This is a true account from someone who was there. We turned up foam handed at half eight in the morning 120 good lads, that was just the lot on the train, we had thirty who thumbed it to Burford dressed as Tintin characters and then got Sedan chairs into the town centre. There were another 40 who hired a long boat in Lechlade for the weekend then cycled in some disguised Charls Hawtrey in Carry on camping, others as Leroy from Fame and a few sporting Halloween masks fashioned from egg boxes, Simple Minds T shirts and karate trousers, this lot were proper.
On arriving at Swindon station we were greeted by four ehem, OB, a Fraser from
Dad's army, tribute act, a lost boy scout and a youth distributing leaflets for Dominic's Pizza (open seven days a week, phone for our latest deals) on leaving the station we formed a human pyramid with small-hand Pete from Abingdon taking his place on the top proudly waving a carton of Kia Ora.

So the walk to the ground began the cans of Hofmeister were cracked open and after singing a few rousing choruses of
Master of the House from Les Miserables and a selection of Flock of Seagulls B sides we were ready to parlez. On reaching the County ground hotel we were dissapointed to find only the cleaner, barman and lady who does the sanitary towel disposal thing in attendance, to be fair she looked game as f*ck but we gave her a squeeze, say what you want but we aint bullys.

The Merlin pub was most impressive, decked out in a medieval style with witches, lepers, amd pox riddem dwarfs all in attendance. It was impossible to get a drink in there so me and some other football casuals played the traditional game 'who have you come as?' I was sussed early doors in my Matelot/Breton top, Captain Pugwash of course!

We managed to get a pint after Mad Steve feigned a panic attack at the bar and said he wouldn't move 'til he got five pints of Skol and a DoubleDiamond shandy for awkward Dave, one of the older lads from Thame. We were just starting a game of charades outside when along came Merlin the guvnor we thought he'd sussed us for taking the piss out of one of the bar staff who looked like Ruth Madoc, but he said he thought we were alright, and conjured up a couple of rounds for us! To be fair he said we wasn't Swindon but was one of the original Malvern valley casuals, shit hot Lacoste cape on him to be fair, On the way to the ground there was f*ck-all apart from the usual stand off by the town end over who had the most obscure waistcoats, and esoteric nicknames, you know the score, anyway the rest is history as they say and the result will be remembered for a long time.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

We salute you

Casuals, wedge-heads, geezers Blackbird Leysers, pirates, piss heads, funkateers, soulboys, dole boys, Stage Club nothern soul lads, Stage Club New Romantics, Greyhound boys, Bonn square punks. Oxford Mental Mob, Lamb and Flag heads, East Oxford boys and North Oxford girls, Jericho Mods, Road runners Scooter Club. Anyone who’s ever walked around with a little green croc on their left breast looking the busines. Original skins, original sinners, winners, no time for losers, cos we are the.. you know the rest.. Wembley veterans twice in 24 years mate, scored six condceded one! Wembley virgins hope you live to see it again. Eastenders, pipe benders, money lenders, loan sharks, Sharks and Jets, go-getters, sub letters, heavy petters Tom Pettyfans, men with caravans, sub postmen, ghost men, ghost hunters, serious punters, rowers, home growers, vegatarians, rastaffarians, one love bruv, I’ll sort it my way, it’s my way or the highway. Highway to hell, when hell freezes over I’ve got the pullovers, V neck, crew neck, lambswool, cashmere or mohair? Let your hair down man, Get it down man. Get it down you Zulu warrior, Aqua shirts, Farah slacks and blazers in 85, city coming alive, get it down you Zulu cheif, Cheif of what? cheif of wankers, flankers, edge of the scrum no harm done, take their fly half! OK I'll flatten the (rugger) bugger Rugby rules shake hands and a pint after, too young to drink, We did too much, much to young, now where married with two kids when we should be having fun with, casuals, wedge-heads, geezers...