The Family Rain recently released their rollicking new single “Feel Better (Frank)” and are currently touring the UK in support of Jake Bugg, to be immediately followed by a run of headline shows of their own.
Opportune time, then, to catch up with the band’s guitarist Ollie Walter for a natter about goings-on at his beloved Arsenal…
Did you watch the Dortmund game the other night?
I missed the first quarter of an hour because we had to play, but I managed to catch the rest. It’s a very good time to be an Arsenal fan at the moment!
How far do you think you can go this season?
I don’t want to tempt fate, but I think we can do pretty well. I don’t know how it all suddenly came together, but obviously Özil came in, Ramsey’s been on fire…it’s crazy.
Where did Aaron Ramsey’s astonishing form come from all of a sudden?
I don’t know. Özil coming in just seemed to give everyone a boost in confidence. I remember someone saying at the time that it would make all the players step up, and maybe that’s what happened.
Are there any areas of the side you’d like to see improved in January? Maybe another striker to compete with Olivier Giroud?
Maybe we could get someone to back him up, but I’m a big Giroud fan – he’s really settled into the team.
People still talk about the defence but I’m pretty happy with the way the team is now, and there are so many players out injured still as well.
Where do you see the likes of Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski fitting in when they get back?
Well, this is the thing. It’s a good problem to have. Podolski hasn’t even played with Özil yet.
A lot of people were getting quite frustrated with Arsène Wenger before all of this. Were you one of them?
I can’t deny it, I was getting pretty angry! (Laughs) He’s come through though, hasn’t he?
It’s a weird one – he went for so many seasons without doing anything and it’s only the one player he’s bought. You can’t deny how well things are going at the moment, though.
Do you think there was an element of the fans putting pressure on him to sign someone?
If he hadn’t signed anyone in that last window then I think a lot of people would have been very unhappy.
It had been a tough few seasons – losing that cup final to Birmingham, that 8-2 loss to Manchester United – but it’s all changed.
Could you name the first, best and worst Arsenal games you ever went to?
The first was a Champions League game against Juventus – we won 1-0 but I think we went out on goal difference. Bergkamp scored.
Best was probably when we beat Everton 4-0 in 1998 to win the league. Tony Adams scored to put the icing on the cake and we all went crazy.
The game was amazing, they brought the trophy out and everything, and when we left Highbury to get the tube the scenes outside were amazing, people jumping on top of cars and smashing them.
It was crazy, and quite scary as a 7-year-old!
The worst game was the only time I took my dad up to come and watch the game, to see what it was like when Arsenal scored.
We lost 1-0 to Liverpool, McManaman scored an amazing goal, and our crowd was pissed off all game.
Finally, if you had to select a five-a-side team out of all the Gunners players you’ve seen in your time as a fan, who would you pick?
David Seaman, Patrick Vieira, Marc Overmars, Dennis Bergkamp…and I should put someone in for comedy value. Stick Gilles Grimandi in there, just for sh*ts and giggles!
Ollie Walter, thank you.
Check out The Family Rain’s new single “Feel Better (Frank)” on Shoot Matchday.
The Family Rain will play the following UK dates this month:
9th – Dome, Doncaster (w/Jake Bugg)
10th – Academy, Birmingham (w/Jake Bugg
12th - Empress Ballroom, Blackpool(w/Jake Bugg)
13th - Apollo, Manchester (w/Jake Bugg)
14th - Queens Social, Sheffield
15th - Reds Bar, Newcastle
17th - King Tuts, Glasgow
18th - Ruby Lounge, Manchester
19th - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
20th - O2 Academy, Oxford
22nd - Komedia, Bath
23rd - The Library @ The Institute, Birmingham
24th - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
25th - Heaven, London
26th - Concorde 2, Brighton
27th - Joiners, Southampton
28th - Thekla, Bristol