The Horrors continued to enrich the psychedelic side of Football Burp’s life with their stunning recent fourth album Luminous, so we were thrilled to catch some time with front man Faris Badwan for a natter about his beloved Blackburn Rovers – and a bit more besides.
First, though, do enjoy this choice cut from the LP…
You must have been encouraged by how strongly Rovers ended last season…
Yeah, I was pleased with that, but perhaps the best thing about this season was how quiet the owners were. Given their history, they were reassuringly absent, and they actually signed some good players too.
My mum’s from Hull and my uncle used to play for their youth team so they’ve always been my second team, and I was happy when Blackburn signed Tom Cairney from them. He always impressed me and he’s probably been player of the season this year.
Jordan Rhodes has done well up front, too…
He’s probably the best striker in the division. Blackburn’s midfield is weird – you’ve got people like Etuhu who were proven in the Premier League but haven’t yet done it for us – but Tom Cairney seems to have that spark.
Etuhu was part of Fulham’s 2010 UEFA Cup final side, wasn’t he?
Exactly. That was amazing, that run – one of my favourite underdog moments!
One or two of your prized assets, including Rhodes, are being linked with moves away. Are you concerned there might be an exodus?
Every link with Jordan Rhodes has talked about £5m offers, which just isn’t going to happen. Blackburn paid a lot of money for him and his value’s certainly increased since then, let’s put it that way.
Keep hold of your best players and you must be confident of playoffs at the very least next season.
Oh, I’m glad we didn’t make it this year, it was so tight. Whether we’d have beaten Derby or QPR, I don’t know.
Thinking on, the last Blackburn game I went to was QPR away and it was the worst game of football I’ve ever seen! I’ve seen some bad games, mostly when Hull were in the third division.
There were pretty much no shots on goal. The only moment of excitement was when someone hit the post for QPR. It was diabolical. (Laughs)
What was the first game you ever went to?
Coventry reserves against Leicester reserves! I was probably about 10 and it was weird being by the side of the pitch, hearing everyone swear and lash out at the referee, stuff like that.
I think Gerry Taggart was playing having just come back from injury.
He was a good player, Taggart – him and Matt Elliott at the back for Martin O’Neill’s Leicester…
Yeah, Matt Elliott could have played for England. I always thought he was on the edge.
He wasn’t bad up front, either. I remember him scoring twice against Everton. You don’t get many of those centre-backs-cum-strikers these days, players like Chris Sutton and Dion Dublin…
The only modern example I can think of is Sergio Ramos. He sometimes goes up towards the end, although I guess he’s not strictly a centre-back.
But yeah, it was weird how Matt Elliott ended up playing for Scotland. I always thought he could have played for England.
Steve Guppy was there or thereabouts, wasn’t he?
He was, in fact I think he even managed to play once. Guppy had had a few amazing seasons when I first started playing Fantasy Football, in the late ’90s I think. He ended up playing in the States for Rochester Rhinos.
What was the best game you ever went to?
That’s a tough one. Actually, I did really enjoy going to see Arsenal v Liverpool last season – I think it was 2-2 and there was a ridiculous goal right at the beginning when Szczęsny dropped it, or something like that.
It was the first time I’d ever been to the Arsenal stadium and it was insane, the beauty of it as you walk through.
If we’re talking about the best Blackburn game, then it would have been the derby about ten years ago when we thrashed Burnley something like 5-0. Their fans had been chanting before the game about how they were going to win, so that was nice.
Finally, if you had to select a five-a-side team out of Rovers’ squad, who would you pick?
Paul Robinson, Tom Cairney, Grant Hanley, Jordan Rhodes…and David Dunn for old time’s sake. He’s another who could have played for England – he captained the U21s.
The Horrors’ fourth album Luminous is out now. For more information, visit The Horrors on Shoot Matchday.