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Vindaloo co-writer Keith Allen on the key to anthem’s enduring popularity

The song has seen a resurgence as England advance to the Euro 2020 semi-finals.


Keith Allen (Ian West/PA)

Keith Allen (Ian West/PA)

Keith Allen (Ian West/PA)

One of the creators of the Vindaloo football anthem has credited its enduring popularity to it becoming a “pub folk song”.

Actor and comedian Keith Allen said the 1998 track, written with Blur’s Alex James and guitarist Guy Pratt under the alias Fat Les, would be sung by fans as long as there were pubs.

The song, originally written as a parody of football chants, has seen a resurgence in popularity as England advance through the Euro 2020 championship.


The track was written with Alex James of Blur (David Jensen/PA)

The track was written with Alex James of Blur (David Jensen/PA)


The track was written with Alex James of Blur (David Jensen/PA)

The 67-year-old, father of pop star Lily Allen, told the PA news agency he was not surprised by its longevity.

He said: “The thing about Vindaloo is that it is what I call a close proximity tune.

“It is not sung in stadiums.

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“You don’t get 60,000 people singing Vindaloo, but you do get 20 million people in pubs singing Vindaloo.

“It is a pub folk song.

“That’s what it is.

“So as long as we have got pubs you will have Vindaloo.”

Describing the song as “inclusive”, he added: “We knew immediately that it was going to be big because it ticks all the boxes.

“But the most coveted thing about Vindaloo is it captures that unique England sense of humour.

“And the video certainly captures that.

“It is very quintessentially English and I think people like that.”

Allen quipped that co-writer Pratt, who owns a third of the publishing rights, had earned more money from Vindaloo than from his work with Pink Floyd, who he has regularly toured with.

England fans are preparing for their team’s Euro 2020 semi-final clash against Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday night.

Allen, who also co-wrote New Order’s chart-topping 1990 World Cup anthem World In Motion, said he would be heading to a neighbour’s house to watch the match.

He said Gareth Southgate’s team could “definitely” win the Euros and predicted England would triumph 2-1 against their Danish rivals.

“I believe that now if we beat Denmark,” he said.

“I think Denmark will be our most difficult game, including the final, because I think we will beat Italy if we get there.

“This is all predicated by the fact that we beat Denmark, which is going to be really tricky to be honest with you.

“Our record against Denmark isn’t brilliant and they are without a doubt, everyone talks about momentum, they are definitely on a roll.

“So I think that will be the hardest game.

“But if we do it, our biggest concern is playing Spain.

“I think they are a better team than Italy and I think the way Italy play will actually suit us.

“So yeah I do – I think we can win it.”

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

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