So the digital revolution began, rather predictably, with whatever cassettes were lying around nearby when I started. And among the first to come to hand was Casual Sex in the Cineplex* by the Sultans of Ping FC. What do you mean ‘Sultans of Who?’ Where’s Me Jumper is one of the finest pop-punk tunes ever to come out of Ireland. Back in those days I would occasionally, when at some party or event with a DJ, ask if they had any Sultans of Ping.
‘Sultans of Who?’ they would say.
‘Sultans of Ping,’ I would explain. ‘You know, Where’s Me Jumper?’
‘How should I know? Did you have it on in the lavatory?’
And so on.
Anyway, they were one of my favourite bands at the time, and although they were never quite the same after they dropped the FC, to say ‘they don’t make ’em like that any more’ may sound like a record review cliche, but it easily applies to Where’s Me Jumper. I don’t think anyone has made anything like it before or since. Not even the Sultans.
They did, however, write a lot of almost-as-good songs about about football, girls, football, sheepdog trials, football, vampires, girls, and bonkers footballers who thought they were God. Most of which didn’t make the album, but it makes them sound more exciting and eclectic to mention them anyway.
The album itself opens with a ‘prayer for the new century’, Back in a Tracksuit (aka the one about the bonkers footballer), then goes on to warn the listener of the potential upshot of ‘one night of mischieva in a yellow Vauxhall Viva’, before delivering the delightful love songs Veronica and 2 Pints of Rasa, and ending side one with shouty pop punk of Stupid Kid and You Talk Too Much.
Side two is less good, unless you happen to think football is the ultimate purpose of existence and that a man truly can have no greater love than to give 90 minutes to his friends, in which case Give Him a Ball (and a Yard of Grass) might appeal. Personally I think Let’s Go Shopping is far better, expressing the simple pleasures of doing mundane stuff with the person you love.
You also get songs about escaping reality through the medium of song (Karaoke Queen) and overcoming adversity (Clitus Clarke), and ‘man/womankind’s never-ending battle against the banal catastrophes of everyday living’ (Where’s Me jumper?).
Stand-out tracks: I would have thought it goes without saying that Where’s Me Jumper? is far and away the funniest and most mosh-worthy song on this or any other album, and should be an anthem from that friend we all had in infant school who constantly mislaid his pullover.
*This blog does not condone any kind of sexual activity in movie theatres. Or casual sex in Vauxhall Vivas for that matter.