Three letters on a shirt. We’re all gutted that the England team, led by bite-sized snack Gareth Southgate, were knocked out of the World Cup by Croatia last night (July 11) – even those of that didn’t know we were football fans until this super-fun tournament came around – and we must all admit to feeling a little about our social media boasts that “it’s coming home”, which are still floating around the online firmament even in the wake of crushing defeat. Yet Our Brave Boys did us proud, united the country, and looked like they were having a right bloody laugh as they were doing it.
And for those that think it’s all over, here’s proof that the symptoms of World Cup Fever show no signs of abating just yet. In the midst of all the excitement, NME challenged London indie band The Big Moon to a kick-about in the park – or, rather, a thrilling death match, straight to penalties, a dizzyingly tense head-to-head that proves that, if an indie band and a bunch of music journalists can suddenly be found shimmying into shin pads and ungallantly celebrating goals, this year’s World Cup really has captured the country’s collective imagination.
In truth, this was more a friendly, given that four-piece The Big Moon picked up the Best Video gong at last year’s VO5 NME Awards cermeony, thanks to their Western-themed romp ‘Sucker’. They look pretty fierce in the music video, playing various archetypes from the genre, so it’s in NME‘s interests that the penalty shoot-out was just for fun (we also named their awesome debut ‘Love In The 4th Dimension’ as our 44th favourite album of 2017, which hopefully cooled tensions). But who prevailed in the indiest game of football since Liam and Damon took to the pitch for a charity match in 1996?