Forest-inspired music: part fourteen

Moving swiftly on, we’re up to fourteen on the list of decidedly dodgy Forest music. This track is provided to us by Geoff Blott and ‘the Nottingham boys‘ and certainly has a more interesting sound to it than many of the tracks we’ve seen before in this little series. If there was to be a feature film or similar about Forest, I would imagine this track as the end credits.  It’s one of the many tracks the renaissance of the 1991 FA Cup final spawned.

It’s fairly, erm, ‘epic’ – is that the right term? Possibly not – but without the pomp and uber-cheese it still probably doesn’t qualify as credible music, but with gentle guitar and synthesisers and an almost ethereal voice backed by occasional clumsy crowd samples it really doesn’t sound much like any other Forest-inspired music we’ve had the pleasure of sampling so far. Of course, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this makes it any good, just a bit different!

So, here is Geoff Blott and the Nottingham boys with We reign supreme! Enjoy!

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Provided you don’t kiss me – a great insight into Brian Clough..

Given the current state of play this season, it’s probably not the best time to be dwelling in the past.  But when Al Needham from Left Lion alerted me to Duncan Hamilton’s new book, Provided you don’t kiss me, about his time as a sports journalist working so closely with Brian Clough at Forest, I very quickly enlisted my missus’s expert knowledge of the workings of WH Smith’s discount vouchers and despatched her to avail me of a copy of it.  The fact I’ve been less prolific at writing online during this time is probably testimony to the ‘not putdownable’ qualities the book has.

Like all Forest fans, I’m quite fiercely defensive of Clough.  Whilst only a fool would not concede that the great man certainly had significant faults and troubles – particularly during the era that I was first ushered into the ranks of Forest fans by my father and brother in the late eighties – he has been a constant and reassuring part of our history.  You could argue he is our history.  When I see fans of other teams say “you shouldn’t be in this league” for example, we can thank Brian Clough for that – because before him, we wouldn’t have been remotely out of place.

So I was suspicious of this journalist.  His name was familiar to me because of his presence in the local media during Clough’s tenure as manager – but the cynic in me naturally worried at the emergence of this book after Brian had shuffled off this mortal coil.  Was it to prove an insightful work, or just an exercise in cashing in on his memory which still proves lucrative in column inches or media coverage well beyond his retirement, and re-energised post-humously as plans to unveil a statue in Middlesbrough of Clough the player are imminent, and one of Clough the manager in Nottingham will not be too far behind.

I needn’t have worried unduly, as Hamilton presents a first-person account of his time building a relationship with Clough, with insight not only around his time at Forest, but those moments in his life that helped to shape the man he was to become.  A complex character, we’re all aware of that, is dealt with very candidly by Hamilton, he doesn’t pull any punches which I suppose is made easier when the subject is no longer able to answer for himself.  Whilst Clough’s latest autobiography was mostly honest, sometimes it does take an external perspective to try to get the flavour of a character.

The rift between himself and Peter Taylor is something that the surface had only been scraped from in previous commentary – it was heart-wrenching to read of how perhaps, had Taylor been in his office after Derby had beaten Forest 2-0 at the Baseball Ground, there may have been a small step made towards reconcilliation between the once great friends.  I never knew that before.  I’m completely with Hamilton when he states, in no uncertain terms when commenting on the Brian Clough stand, that “There is – disgracefully – nothing comparable to mark Peter Taylor’s contribution to the club’s successes.” 

In attaining such a relationship of trust with Clough, and spending so much time with him, Hamilton has been able to introduce much of the inner-workings of him, or at least his interpretation of them, that perhaps have been surrounded in mythology before.  In witnessing him arrive at Forest in all his pomp, to becoming the parody image of himself – collapsed beneath mounting pressure and alcholism – he illustrates starkly what started to go wrong for him, and the tragic thing is, some of it could have been repaired much earlier.

So I would certainly put my seal of approval on this book – it had me laughing, it had tears pricking on occasions and most of all it had me enthralled with a subject that I thought I was – whilst not expert – at least well versed in.  The tone and feeling in the words do not smack of a cynical journalist cashing in on his good fortune, but rather a man eager to put across a portrayal of this football giant that he feels accurately represents the man he spent twenty years getting to know.  Highly highly recommended by this reader.

It’s only £8.99 from Amazon at the moment, too.

Another flukey win for us at Huish Park!

Yeovil Town – 0
Nottingham Forest – 2

The title was meant to sound a bit like the Phil Collins horror-fest ‘Another day for you and me in paradise’… because really yesterday’s game was a bizarre festival of horror – yet obviously we all find ourselves strangely pleased about it anyway.  Isn’t football a very strange thing indeed?

If we do manage to do the business over both legs, then I imagine Yeovil fans will be wanting us to get ourselves promoted so we don’t have to visit them any time soon, since when we have this season it’s been very much a case of smash-and-grab and thanks very much for the win – and friday evening’s playoff first leg was no different at all.

I’ve just about recovered from the mother of all hangovers now, and I’m still amazed that we had two shots on goal all game – both from the penalty spot – and won 2-0.  Crazy. And yet I can’t dispute either penalty decision, and Smith only really had one decent save to make – everything else was hit straight at him – it’s very reminiscent of our trip in the league there.

The fug of alcohol clouds my memory of the game, but I do recall a dogged and workmanlike performance from the Reds, with very little end product (oh, how familiar!), whereas the home side were seemingly teeming forward at will, often with equal numbers attacking our defenders.  Fortunately, as I noted above, Smithy was equal to everything they threw at him, aside from an unlucky header off the post.

Perchy won the first penalty, which was taken by Commons very confidently, the second was won by Lester right at the end, and was buried by Perchy.  Bless him.  We got to see just how close to the bottom of the barrell we are when the likes of Spencer Weir-Daley and Julian Bennett return to the fore in the form of substitutes.

All in all, how can you be anything other than delighted at the win?  In a situation like the playoffs, performances really don’t matter a jot if you get the result – and that’s certainly what Forest did.  Defensively we looked mostly solid, but there was such a lack of midfield or attacking creativity that they certainly had to be on their toes.

Once again I feel slightly sorry for Yeovil – not in a patronising way – but if there were any justice then they were good for at least a draw or a win in my opinion.  Let’s make sure we retain our composure for the home leg next week, and book that trip to the ‘triumphant arch’ (it’s just not the same as the Twin Towers is it?) to face Oldham or Blackpool*

* I do admit to a spot of Wembley-mentioning there, which I did say I wouldn’t do.