Football Burp bloody loves Space, so we were rather honoured to get to enjoy another natter with the band – following on from our lengthier chat of 2011 – about their beloved Liverpool Football Club. This time we spoke in the dressing room just before they took to the stage for their superb performance at the O2 Academy Islington on Thursday.
Introducing your Reds experts: drummer Allan Jones, keyboardist Franny Griffiths and front man Tommy Scott. Now, check out this instantly winning taster of their forthcoming new album Attack of the Mutant 50 Ft Kebab…
Luis Suarez: Player of the year?
Franny: I heard a fella on the radio the other day saying, “How could they allow Suarez to be player of the year after what’s gone on before?” You can’t bring politics into it, though – player of the year should be player of the year, no matter what. At the moment, he’s the leading goal-scorer by two – I didn’t even know.
28 goals he’s scored this season, and d’you know what – he never used to take free-kicks, then someone asked him at the start of the season why he doesn’t take them, and he said, “I don’t practise them – okay, I’ll start practising them.” He’s scored seven free-kicks this year, more than anybody else, having never taken them before. That’s a measure of how good the man is.
He’s not only the leading goal-scorer, either – he’s the leading assist-maker as well. I’ve never felt this excited about going to watch a footballer – it’s like being a little kid.
I support Liverpool, can you tell?
(Someone mentions that Suarez is also the leading “nutmegger”, which amuses all.)
You must be pleased with the business you did in January. What do you think of Philippe Coutinho?
Tommy: He looks good, doesn’t he? It’s funny, we’ve had all these kids coming through around the same sort of age, players like Suso who can’t quite get in the team, but this fella’s just walked right in.
Franny: We had that other fella who came in from Real Madrid…
Tommy: Chesney Hawkes.
Franny: …he was just seen off…I can’t even remember his name…
Franny: Yeah, Sahin – he was just seen off because there were better players coming through.
So are you convinced about Brendan Rodgers now?
Franny: I am. The funny thing is, everyone’s waiting to jump down his throat, but all Liverpool fans are really happy with him. I don’t hear anyone complaining. It’s been one step forwards two steps back with Liverpool, but in the last few weeks we’ve won 4-0, 3-0, 4-0, 5-0, 4-0 and 3-0.
Which areas of the team would you like to see strengthened in the summer?
Franny: Carragher’s going and there’s talk of Agger going to Barcelona, so we need a central defender
Allan: A couple of central defenders, probably.
What are your minimum expectations for the season now?
Franny: There was talk of top four but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’m not really arsed where we finish this season – just put this one down to experience and move on.
Allan: You can definitely see there’s been progress.
Franny: I just hope we don’t go backwards again. Listening to the radio recently, a lot of the people who were slagging Liverpool off are saying they can easily see us finishing top four next year.
Finally, do you see a future for either or both of Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing?
Franny: Henderson’s got loads of potential, and Downing’s in the team all the time at the moment. We’ll see if he stays in because Coutinho’s come in and we’ve got Daniel Sturridge to come back in from injury…
Tommy: Sturridge has been boss. He’s amazing, I love him to bits. Hope he’s the same next season.
Allan: Last season Henderson was too shy going forwards, but Rodgers has given him a more attacking role and he’s been playing well.
Space, thank you.
Sunday, March 10 – Old Fire Station, Bournemouth
Thursday, March 14 – O2 Academy Birmingham
Friday, March 15 – Esquires Club, Bedford
Saturday, March 16 – The Factory, Manchester
Monday, March 25 – Brudenell Social Club
Saturday, April 06 – Citadel Arts Centre
For more information, please visit spacetheband.com