Fat Les, the million-selling event-led, anarchic pop art collective (oh yes) fronted by maverick actor/comedian Keith Allen, have announced that they are to release a 2014 World Cup song called “Who Invented Fish & Chips.”
The news comes hot on the heels of the revelation that Gary Barlow’s officially-endorsed but dreadful World Cup ditty ‘Greatest Day’ has been pulled for reasons unknown.
“Who Invented Fish & Chips” was actually released in 2002 - with a cover designed by Damien Hirst, fact fiends – and features Lily Allen and dad Keith on vocals and Blur’s Dave Rowntree on drums. The video features Lily Allen, Keith Allen, Game Of Thrones star Alfie Allen, Wayne Sleep and Chris Kamara and can be seen below.
The lyrics to “Who Invented Fish and Chips” run thusly - “Who invented Fish? (God)
Who invented Chips? (God did too)
Who invented Fish & Chips? (The English did)
Well who invented poo? (The Dutch) (No)” - though the true beauty of the song surely lies in the spoken bridge: - "50% of the inventions invented after the second world war have been English. Trains, Boats, Planes, Computers, Penicillin, Connect Four, Countdown, Generation Game, Telephones, Parliament, National Health, Luddites, Bessemer Converter, Spinning Jenny, Steam, Internal Combustion, Hovercraft, The Clash, Blur, Oasis, Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Capstan Full Strength, Navy Rum, Hipsters, Hippies, Flares, Vera Lynn and Chris Kamara.” I tell you we’ve already had that Michael Gove on the phone wanting them for the school syllabus.
Fat Les sold more than a million copies of their World Cup song Vindaloo in 1998. The record has become something of a cause celebre for afficianados of that much-maligned genre - the football-inspired anthem - although Keith Allen has previous in this regard, having penned the lyrics to New Order’s celebrated only No.1 single, ‘World In Motion’ in 1990.
Having said that, Allen almost usurped this with the release of the Official FA-endorsed EURO 2000 song ‘Jerusalem’, subsequently releasing a video that included cameos from Fat Les luminaries Wayne Sleep, Michael Barrymore, Alex James and a cast of thousands - all topped off with footage of Allen flying over some unspecific hinterland in a spitfire. Interestingly, the Spitfire footage was originally questioned by the FA until Allen photo-shopped the aircraft pink! And indeed there’s the rub: Fat Les videos are unrivalled: Vindaloo featured Paul Kaye’s pastiche of the Verve’s Richard Ashcroft amidst the chaos that included Allen, Damien Hirst, Alex James and the virtually unknown Matt Lucas and David Walliams.
“Who Invented Fish & Chips is available now at £0.99 on i-Tunes but at this stage there is no truth in the rumour that all proceeds from the sale of the record will be going towards a tax avoidance scheme.