Odd-pop marvels The Sums return to preview new material with a hometown gig at Liverpool’s The Zanibar venue on Saturday 7th April, so Football Burp caught up with the band’s guitarist Lee Watson for a hearty natter about his beloved Reds, who just so happen to be taking on Cardiff City in the Carling Cup final this weekend…
First off, how’s the recording going?
Not bad, actually. We’re going to go in tonight – we’ve got these two new songs that we’re really happy with, and we’re going to do some guitars and vocals on it, see what they sound like. We’re rehearsing tomorrow for the gig in April, and we want to try and get three new songs in the set.
Did you see the game against Brighton last weekend?
Do you like the look of Andy Carroll at the moment?
Yeah, he played really well against Brighton. It’s funny, ‘cause he was getting rugby-tackled by Romain Vincelot, whose brother plays for the Toulouse rugby team, I believe!
Stewart Downing finally got his assist, didn’t he?
Yeah, but that had been coming for quite a few games, to be honest with you. He played well the other day, but his final ball and delivery are going wayward at the moment.
It’s strange – his delivery from out wide always seemed like such a strength of his game in the past.
Do you see anything in Charlie Adam or Jordan Henderson that impresses you?
Adam is way too slow for my liking. His range of passing’s really good, but he’s too slow. Henderson’s a work in progress, I think – I know he’s got the ability, but it seems like it’s hard for some players to settle in after coming to a big club like Liverpool. I’m really made up that Bellamy’s come back, though.
Can you see any way of accommodating Carroll, Bellamy and Luis Suarez all in the same starting line-up?
That’s the big debate, that. I’m sure there is a way. Bellamy’s the fastest player we’ve got, and I really think we do need pace.
Overall, are you happy with the direction the club’s going in under Kenny Dalglish?
Definitely, although the Swansea game at Anfield was the worst I’ve seen Liverpool in any match I’ve ever seen. It was just terrible.
Will you be going to the League Cup final next weekend?
No, no. I think we’re going to be doing something this weekend, actually – probably working on these songs again. I’ll watch it on the telly though.
Do you think Lucas has been as big a miss as people feared he would be?
I’ve never really liked him, to be honest. I’ve never seen a player take so long to settle in. Sometimes he’s good – I like his tackling in midfield and stuff like that – but it’s only in fits and starts, for me. I don’t think we’ve really missed him.
Is that a position that needs upgrading, then? Perhaps with someone already at the club?
Yeah, I don’t know what the money situation is, but I think they should be looking towards some of the young players coming through.
Do you like the look of Jay Spearing?
I do like him a lot. He’s only small, isn’t he? But he’s come up against some brilliant players and held his own against them.
Martin Kelly’s looked good at points.
Yeah, he’s a good player.
It’s such a thorny and divisive issue, but what was your stance on the whole Suarez-Evra palaver?
I just wish it hadn’t happened. I don’t think the players should be made to shake hands anyway, but the fact is he said he would shake Evra’s hand. I felt a lot better when he and Kenny Dalglish made official apologies the next day. The whole thing was just horrible. I hate anything like that.
As great a player as he no doubt is, do you worry that Suarez appears to be prone to pushing the self-destruct button?
Yeah, you can see that in him, can’t you? I’d be the first to say it. He’s a brilliant player, there’s no doubt about that, but with that comes another side to him and I don’t know how long that can go on for. Hopefully he’s learnt his lesson now.
It is a tad alarming though that on his first game back from suspension he tried to kick Scott Parker in half.
I saw that, yeah (laughs). I couldn’t believe it.
Do you remember the first match you ever went to?
Yeah, it was against Ipswich Town at Anfield in 1978. I went with my dad and we beat them, although I can’t remember what the score was. We were in the Kemlyn Road stand. In those days, the opposition team would barely touch the ball – everyone used to go because they knew that whoever we were playing would get torn to pieces. So as good as they were at the time, Ipswich hardly touched the ball. Paul Mariner was dangerous for them in that game, I’ve always remembered. I think he was playing for England at the time. I just remember the excitement – I couldn’t concentrate all day at school ‘cause I knew I was going to my first match that night. (Laughs)
You’ve already effectively nominated Swansea as the worst game you’ve ever been to. How about the best?
I tell you what made an impression on me – and I was only young at the time – was when we beat Dynamo Dresden 5-1 in 1978 or ’79. They scored before half-time and then we just annihilated them. I was sitting close to the goal that we scored all our goals in, so I got to see them all clearly. It was all standing in those days, so that just seemed like the most amazing thing ever. I’ll never forget that.
Finally, if you had to select a five-a-side team out of all the Liverpool players you’ve seen in your time as a fan, who would you go for?
Reina, Gerrard, Dalglish, Alonso and Souness.
Lee, thank you.
If Only, the brilliant debut album by The Sums, is available now from Probe Records (Liverpool) and from Townsend Records, ITunes, Amazon. Click here to order it online. For more information and a list of live dates, please visit thesums.net or the band’s Facebook page.