By Gabriel Kuhn
Football and music. A rich history. And punk has played its part.
In connection with the article “Outplaying the Jocks”, we’ve compiled a personal top ten (in no particular order) and added three bonus tracks.
1 Los Fastidios, “Antifa Hooligans”
The punk football anthem, a top-notch sing-along brought to you by Virtus Verona’s most hardcore fans (pun intended). Calcio popolare!
2 Angelic Upstarts, “Streets of St. Pauli”
In 2021, the music world lost Angelic Upstarts frontman Thomas Mensforth, known as Mensi, to Covid. A committed punk rock and working-class legend, Mensi made headlines as much with his political and social activism as with his music. A true rebel, he was venerated by the ultras of Hamburg’s FC St. Pauli, which he supported as a staunch antifascist and an avid football fan.
3 The Business, “Terrace Lost Its Soul”
Railing against modern football already in 2003. Let it not be said that The Business weren’t ahead of their time! Things have only gotten worse since. These songs are from their full-bore football-themed album Hardcore Hooligan, which also includes tracks like “England 5, Germany 1” and “Southgate (Euro 96)”.
4 Cockney Rejects, “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles”
“I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” is a modern-day American classic, written in 1918. Adapted numerous times throughout the years, it has served as the anthem of one of England’s most beloved football clubs among punks and traditional skinheads, West Ham United. As a tribute to the Hammers, the punk rock legends Cockney Rejects released a version of the song in 1980.
5 The Old Firm Casuals, “Never Say Die”
Rancid’s Lars Frederiksen is taking his love for football and the San Jose Earthquakes seriously. Teaming up with other streetpunk veterans, he formed the Old Firm Casuals, who recorded “Never Say Die” as the official San Jose Earthquakes anthem.
6 Ska-P, “Como un Rayo”
Ska-P expressing their dedication to Madrid’s working-class club Rayo Vallecano—a great alternative to Real!
7 Athena, “Holigan”
These folks went on to represent Turkey at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004, coming in at a respectable fourth place. A few years earlier, they wrote their own dedication to the people’s game. They are Fenerbahçe supporters, but what can you do?
8 Stage Bottles, “Kick out the Parasites”
More critique of modern football, this time by Germany’s SHARP/RASH veterans Stage Bottles, highly popular in antifascist football circles
9 Riot/Clone, “Farewell Gianfranco”
London’s finest anarcho-punk band Riot/Clone have not only been railing against animal abusers, governments, and capitalism ever since their inception in 1979, they also, surprisingly to many, commemorated former Chelsea striker Gianfranco Zola on their 2007 Success LP.
10 Branden Steineckert, “Believe RSL”
You gotta love this. Steineckert has been drumming for Rancid since 2006. This is a straightforward, enthralling tribute to his hometown club Real Salt Lake.
Maldita Vecindad, “Fut Callejero (Pura Diversión)”
Catchy and down with the “football of the streets”, Mexico’s ska rock legends are showing the way.
Vaudeville Smash feat. Les Murray, “Zinedine Zidane”
Punk with a stretch, but independent. The Australian funk disco wizards of Vaudeville Smash team up with legendary Aussie sports broadcaster Les Murray to deliver an oddly intriguing song about football greats, with a video to match.
Matt Fishel, “Football Song”
Pop-punk? Post-punk? Emo? Not sure, but Matt Fishel ties football to all important questions about sexual identity and orientation.