Fan Blog: The Twang frontman on Delph, Merson and rivalries
Phil Etheridge from Birmingham band The Twang talks Villa.
20th Mar 2014
Fan Blog: The Twang frontman on Delph, Merson and rivalries

Birmingham band The Twang released their fourth album 'Neon Twang' earlier this month. The record has been well received by their followers and Villa-supporting frontman Phil Etheridge said it was "easilly the most fun we've had in the studio since before we got a record deal." In our latest fan blog, Etheridge discusses the new album as well as his love of all things claret and blue.

When I was asked earlier this week to talk about Villa, there was only going to be one place to start.

Fabian Delph - wow. I saw Delph's goal on TV and it was top drawer.

I've been a big Delph fan for a while. He has got really quick feet.  He is the sort of player I like to see. He can beat a player in the middle of the park.

I've always thought he had potential and he can take out a few players in the middle of the park just with his quick feet, which not a lot of people can do. We need players like him.

I've had a busy 12 months or so with the band so I haven't been able to get down to Villa Park much.

We've just released our new record 'Neon Twang' and it has gone down really well with the fans.

Now we're trying to lock down some dates for the end of May and early June before hitting the festivals. It is exciting times.

'Neon Twang' was our original band name before we got a record deal so this is like our self-titled album.

Now we're really looking forward to getting back out on tour.

People have said before that it is almost like a football atmosphere at our gigs.

It is like matchday before we come on stage. It is crazy. The fans are singing all night.

It has been the same for a lot of bands down the years and people have written it about us too. I'll take that!

The good thing is our fans have stuck with us down the years just like football fans stick with their team.

Because we've been so busy with the new album, I've only made it to three games this season.

Sadly the first two were Sunderland - the 0-0 draw - then I went down on Boxing Day to the Crystal Palace game.

Unfortunately they were two of the worst games I've seen at Villa Park.

But then I made up for it by coming against the Baggies which was incredible.

I was late for the Baggies game and as I was running towards the Trinity Road Stand, I heard a cheer.

I thought 'Oh no, it must be them' because it wasn't loud enough to be the home fans. When I got in I thought 'I'm going to get a Bovril', as you do, and then West Brom scored again!

So to come back, it was just amazing. That's what it is all about.

We've got two Baggies fans in the band - the bass player Jon Watkin and the guitarist Stu Hartland.

Jon goes to most games. He loves it.

I don't want to annoy any Baggies fans but he really did take that loss badly. We rehearsed two days later and he was going nuts when I brought it up!

I had to tell him to calm down in the end. He was disgusted with their defending.

The other singer, Martin Saunders, is a Bluenose so it is great fun in terms of rivalries.

It is only football so we don't get too carried away but it is great fun. Stu took that loss really badly.

I first started coming to Villa with my dad and brother when I was a really young kid.

I've been asked so many times what my first game was and I really can't remember!

One of the early games I do remember well was against Inter Milan in the early 90s and Bergkamp played for them. He just looked the part.

But the games I always look back on are the ones like the Tranmere semi-final - and I managed to go to Wembley to see them beat Manchester United too.

To see the Villa at Wembley for the first time was just amazing.

A lot of people ask who my all-time favourite player is and I think Merse was just class.

How much would he be worth today? If you had to buy a young Paul Merson you'd be paying ridiculous amounts of money.

There aren't loads of players like him around. He was worth the entrance fee.



lion's den,
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