From club teams walking out onto home grounds accompanied by theme songs, to crowd chants and pop culture references, the music industry has always had strong ties to the beautiful game, with both stirring human emotions across the globe like almost nothing else. Bands FC, having started as a Twitter account, has taken football and music fans by storm by merging the two with fascinating results. The idea is simple - to merge iconic football club badges with iconic bands and artists, or in the creator’s own words, ‘Bands as Football Teams, Football Teams as Bands’. Their creations were so popular on Twitter (almost 50,000 followers to-date) that they ended up on show as part of an exhibition at the National Football Museum in Manchester before embarking on a small tour of UK venues, including this week (7th – 13th January) here at the British Music Experience.
Part of the appeal of Bands FC to music and football fans alike is having a go at dissecting the reasons behind each band and football team combination. Some of the references are obvious (think Oasis being incorporated into the badge of the Gallagher brothers’ beloved Manchester City), but look a little closer at most and there’s a myriad of subtler nods within the detail. Some designs, such as the Oasis effort, combine bands with their favourite teams and hometowns, whereas others are all about design or cryptic song title clues. The exhibition has been on show at the British Music Experience for less than a day, and already we’re all hooked on trying to connect the dots between the Chemical Brothers and Bayer Leverkusen, or why the mighty Real Madrid could have possibly been merged with the even mightier Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.
If this sounds like fun to you, then we can guarantee that it will be. As well as the prints of the badges on show, the exhibition also includes some limited-edition shirts, film footage including interviews featuring the likes of Tim Burgess and Gary Neville, and sketchbook excerpts showing some of the designs in their earliest stages. Badges, prints, postcards and more Bands FC merchandise are available from our Merch Store throughout the week, with all proceeds going to various charities and projects Bands FC are involved with.
Bands FC is a free exhibition, and is on display in our Café, Merch Store and Discovery Zone until Sunday 13th. For a sneak of what to expect, we’ve included below a few favourite staff picks from the first day of the Exhibition, or head to the Bands FC website and Twitter page for more.