Football songs ‘the naffest genre’, says Vindaloo co-writer Alex James

Vindaloo co-writer Alex James has said football tournament songs are the “naffest genre”.

The Blur musician created the song in 1998 with Fat Les, which also featured actor Keith Allen and guitarist Guy Pratt.

The song peaked at number two in the chart following its release, but it has remained a popular England football tournament song and this year was remade as a charity single featuring actors Will Mellor and Danny Dyer.

Isle of Wight Festival
Alex James said the thing he ‘loved’ about football was the singing (Yui Mok/PA)

Discussing his reasons for writing the song, James told the PA news agency: “Part of what appealed to me about it, it was kind of the naffest genre.”

He said that writing a football song is “sort of half as good as having a Christmas record”.

“There’s a football tournament every two years,” James added.

He described Vindaloo as an “ode to joy”.

“It’s just stupid and I think it’s great to celebrate stupid f****** things,” James added.

Farm Heroes Saga game launch
Alex James said he was not sure broadcasters liked the song Vindaloo (Anthony Upton/PA)

James said the thing he has “always loved” about going to football games is the singing.

“Once you leave junior school and you stop singing songs in assembly, there are very, very few occasions when people just sing, particularly unaccompanied.

“It’s really rare that as an adult, unless you go to church, which not many people do anymore, that everybody sings and it’s a really, really wonderful feeling when you are in a big crowd of people all singing.

“There’s nothing hooliganistic about it.”

James said when he played Vindaloo to his publisher for the first time he said it will “never get on the radio”.

Oliver Spencer catwalk – London Collections: Men 2014
Alex James said writing a football song was ‘sort of half as good as having a Christmas record’ (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“I have still never heard it on the radio and I’m not sure that broadcasters like it,” he added.

“It’s a little bit lairy for the living room.”

England face Denmark in the Euro 2020 semi-finals on Wednesday as they look to progress in the tournament.

James said he thinks England will “clinch” victory, adding: “It’s not going to be easy, but it’s within our grasp.”

All Together Now: The Football Album, which features Vindaloo, is out now on BMG. Listen or order here.