The Establishment might just be the footballiest band going: they’ve got former Nottingham Forest and Bristol City midfielder John Burns on guitar, are managed by Dion Dublin, and the video to their debut single “Jennifer Jones” – out Monday, folks – features cameos from none other than Les Ferdinand, Stuart Pearce, Teddy Sheringham and Des Walker. Don’t believe us? Watch it for yourself:
Oh, and did we mention that they’re currently in the midst of a stadium tour that so far has taken in (in order) Blackburn Rovers, Everton, Notts County, Colchester United, Wycombe Wanderers and Doncaster Rovers, with Middlesbrough coming up this weekend and Derby County the weekend after? Consider it well and truly mentioned.
We spoke with The Establishment’s lead guitarist and songwriter Stuart Landon about his beloved Liverpool FC just before news broke of Luis Suarez’s ten-match ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic – check out Stuart’s somewhat prescient analysis of the situation in his answer to our opening question…
What do you do with Luis Suarez now?
I don’t know but he’s got to be punished, hasn’t he? It was a mad moment and he’s got previous for it. There’s talk of a three-game ban, but given his history I don’t think it will go well for him.
Are you satisfied that the side has made progress this season under Brendan Rodgers?
I hope he gets time – he should have this season to bed in and we can judge him next season. Managers don’t get a lot of time these days but it’s one thing that every manager needs. Every manager has a way in which he sees his side playing and the style of football that he wants them play, but if the personnel isn’t quite right for that style then you need time to structure a team.
I’d have liked to see Kenny Dalglish get another season because players he bought are now starting to perform, like Jordan Henderson and Jose Enrique.
Which areas would you like to see strengthened?
Replacing Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard is a big thing for me as a fan. Maybe Henderson could replace Gerrard one day, but he needs to be playing alongside him for the next one or two seasons as he’s an experienced pro. Playing alongside him week in, week out can only benefit an up-and-coming player. Raheem Sterling’s dropped off a bit as the season’s gone on but I think that’s to do with his age – he’s got a lot more to show as well.
In the main I’m quite happy with the player’s he’s got, maybe add one or two. I hope they keep Pepe Reina, I don’t want to see him go.
What do you think of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho so far?
I’ve been really impressed. Sturridge has hit the ground running, and Coutinho has seemed to fit straight in whereas a lot of players coming from abroad have struggled to adapt to the Premier League straight away. Sturridge is a proven goal-scorer but what he hasn’t had is a run in the side – he’s getting that a little bit now at Liverpool and I hope we see him starting week in week out, because I think that’s when we’ll see the best of him.
If you had to pick a five-a-side team out of all the players you’ve seen in your time as a Liverpool fan, who would you go for?
Ray Clemence, Dalglish, John Barnes, Gerrard and Alan Hansen.
How’s the stadium tour going?
It’s the first time I’ve ever done something like this to promote a record, and it’s been going really well: the response has been great, the crowds have been great, the clubs have been really accommodating and looked after us well… It’s just a shame the season’s coming to an end! Although we hope to play at some matches at the beginning of next season, pre-season as well.
How did you come to Dion Dublin’s attention?
Basically I saw him on Soccer AM about two years ago and they were asking him what he was doing with himself now he was out of football. He was talking about the percussion instrument he invented, The Dube, and he mentioned that he was looking after a band as well as a female singer/songwriter. We were looking for a manager at the time so we sent a demo to a mutual friend, and Dion loved it – he got in touch, we met up and he’s been our manager ever since.
Was it through him that you managed to get those ex-players in the “Jennifer Jones” video?
It wasn’t, believe it or not! (Laughs) Des Walker is a good friend of the band and he put some calls in to people. The lads were great – we filmed that bit of the video in London and they all popped by for an hour, free of charge and giving up their time, which we really appreciate.
Stuart Landon, thank you.
“Jennifer Jones” will be released on Monday. For more information, please visit The Establishment’s official website.