Last week saw the release of Exit Calm’s acclaimed second album The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be, so we caught up with the band’s bassist Simon Lindley for a natter about his beloved Barnsley FC.
The Tykes had just lost their fourth game on the spin when we spoke, but they would go on to claim a point off Reading that very night – so maybe there’s life in them yet…
Not a fun time to be a Barnsley fan, by the look of it…
No, not at all. After the euphoria of staying up last season I thought we might hit the ground running, but we haven’t. (Laughs)
Where’s it going wrong? Do you blame David Flitcroft, or the players…?
He’s made quite a few signings, but I haven’t been yet this season because I’ve been away every weekend, so most of my current knowledge is from my friends and my dad, who bleeds Barnsley FC.
It seems to be a bit unsettled in a positional sense. We’ve got some ace new players but they don’t seem to have hit their stride yet.
We just can’t seem to be consistent in any way, getting some batterings as well which is horrible.
Who are the main players you’d look to to get you out of trouble?
We need Paddy McCourt to get properly fit. I’ve spoken to a few Celtic fans and they think he’s a genius. We’re just waiting for him to get match fit and get used to playing that kind of style.
Apart from that, Chris O’Grady and Tomasz Cywka are probably the main ones. I just want to bring Neil Redfearn back! I’m still a Barnsley fan in 1995, I can’t move on. (Laughs)
If you did go down, would you be confident of coming back up again?
It would depend on who’s in charge, but we always seem to bounce back. I don’t know – when clubs like us go down, there’s a risk it can completely knock them dead.
We’ve never been much financially, and you see it knocking bigger clubs for six, like Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday. I hate calling them bigger clubs!
I hope it doesn’t come to that because it affects our whole town. It’s all we’ve got, really. The Premiership season was like carnival time in Barnsley.
Before Exit Calm started to take off, did you manage to get to Oakwell much?
I was a season ticket holder between the ages of 9 and 17. Then Oasis took over and football was on the back burner!
I still try to get there when I can, would have liked to go this season but I’ve been away every weekend.
Would you be able to name the first, best and worst games you’ve ever been to?
The first game was at home to Everton in the cup in 1989. We lost 1-0, Tony Cottee scored.
Best game was Sheffield United away in 1991. We won 2-1 in the cup with a brilliant away kit on, dark blue Shaw Carpets made by Beaver. I’ve still got it in the wardrobe and it still fits me! Andy Saville scored the winner.
Worst game was Peterborough at home a couple of years ago. It was the first football match my girlfriend’s ever been to – I said, “Come to Oakwell, you’ll love it, honestly.”
It was 0-0, not a shot on target, and there were about 8,000 there. At half time I took her down for a pie and they’d run out!
Finally, if you had to select a five-a-side team out of all the Barnsley players you’ve seen in your time as a fan, who would you pick?
Clive Baker, Gerry Taggart, Malcolm Shotton, Neil Redfearn, Ashley Ward. And David Currie because he was a Barnsley celebrity (laughs), had a brilliant ‘tache and a mullet. I’d have him in there just for glamour!
Simon Lindley, thank you.
Exit Calm’s new album The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be is out now on Club AC30.
For more information, please visit Exit Calm’s official website.