Thursday 2 March 2017
Oliver!: Sultans of Ping F.C. - He Thought I Was Your Best Friend/Kick Me With Your Leather Boots [Peel Session] (8 March 1992)
*My thanks go to the stalwart Webbie for putting up the whole Sultans of Ping FC session. When I first wrote this post, I could only link to the recorded version of Kick Me With Your Leather Boots that was on their debut album, Casual Sex in the Cineplex. I hope that anyone who appreciates the band more than I do, will enjoy hearing the full session. Webbie's splendid Peel related website can be found here.*
If there is one thing I hate more than a song by Sultans of Ping F.C. it's having to write about a GOOD song by Sultans of Ping F.C. Their sole Peel session, broadcast on this show, produced two of the bastards. He Thought I Was Your Best Friend is a nice take on the way you handle the sleight of someone trying to impress your lover while disregarding you. It may be the only Sultans of Ping F.C. tune I've heard that tones down the "Ooh, we're a bit mad, us" fuckwittery that makes me so dismissive of them. Which makes it all the more surprising that Kick Me With Your Leather Boots makes the cut, featuring as it does:
1) A "la-la-la" refrain of teethgrinding annoyance.
2) Niall O'Flaherty channelling his inner Mickey Dolenz on the word "sincere" to massively irritating effect.
And yet, this is the one from Sultans of Ping F.C. that strikes a chord with me. A mix of football, literature and sadomasochism for outsiders, who wanted to be accepted but also be taken home by the freaks. Offering themselves up for glorious abuse, because it's better to be treated with contempt than ignored altogether. Perhaps that was what drove Sultans of Ping F.C. on - if you can inspire some reaction, even a negative one, you have to be doing something right. It drove me at times in my childhood and teenage years, until I was able to reconcile it into something that made me feel better about myself and which people responded positively to.
Also included in this session, though I would have passed on it, was the track Give Him a Ball and a Yard of Grass, worked from a collection of quotes by Brian Clough. As with The Damned United, it's a nice idea but you're always better to stick with the original rather than a bad cover version. I hadn't heard the final track, Kareoke Queen, on the recording I listened to of the 8/3/92 show, which is a shame because it's the best track of the session.
Video courtesy of Webbie.