A Musical Journey Through The World Of Tailenders

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Just over five years ago, a loosely cricketing based podcast was born in the shape of Tailenders. Comprising England’s greatest ever bowler, Radio 1’s Breakfast Show DJ, and the guitarist and songwriter from The Maccabees, what was initially proposed as a short trial series covering the 2017-18 Ashes Series became quite the unexpected phenomenon, now boasting a cult audience of music and sport fans alike.

We could spend this entire feature explaining the enigmatic cultural icon that is now Mattchin Tendulkar, an early caller into the podcast with little knowledge of the sport but one big family connection. Today, the Bristolian roll-up shoe salesman, real name Matt Horan, is proudly part of the Tailenders’ furniture. But now is not the time to explain. Maybe there never will be the time. If you know, you know.

The music link has always been there. Felix White is not only a founding member of one of the UK’s modern great indie bands, but also the owner of Yala! Records, the home to Willie J Healey and more. Greg James has the biggest music slot on UK radio and has used his platform to provide indie bands with a huge audience. And Jimmy Anderson, well. He “loves The Weeknd”, Harry Styles concerts, and can play a couple of chords on a guitar.

As it is Christmarch, we are about to take you on a journey through the musical world of Tailenders. From theme tunes, player songs, and live shows, through to indie news and unlikely collaborations, we hope you enjoy reminiscing about one of the UK’s finest podcasts…

We must start with the theme tune, the Tailenders anthem. The opener for any live show, now less frequently making an appearance on the podcast itself, and of course completely ripped off from another idea (this time not by Mattchin). The euphoric chants of “Tailenders, Tailenders!” to The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles encapsulates the kindred crowd-host spirit when they take the podcast on tour. Simple, but effective. If 500 Miles is the perfect opener, then how about their spin on Blur‘s Tender for an ideal closing singalong. “Tailenders, Tailenders, Go Well, Go Well”.

The famous tagline is another staple for the podcast, also playing into our musical theme with “Tailenders of the world, unite and take over” taken from The Smiths’ classic track, “Shoplifters of the World Unite”. It is often bundled into a not-so-snappy hashtag on Twitter for the Tailenders community to converse, and there’s so much more…

This is, after all, a cricket podcast (or so they say). And a number of players have been given the Tailenders treatment with individual songs created in their honour. Sadly, this isn’t the case for Wayne Madsen as of yet, but something is hopefully in the works. Highlights include their take on Travis hit, Driftwood, with “Mark Wood bowling from the top end”, a fitting tribute to the North East fast bowler. Could Jonny Bairstow‘s Wallace & Gromit theme tune walk-out in the “Wrong Trousers” top this in 2023?

And who can forget the Allan Lamb song? Performed by the soothing tones of Mark “Sharky/Sharknado The Movie” Sharman. The Tailenders glue, the man behind the scenes (unless called upon via the ominous Allan Lambline before receiving confirmation that he is indeed faded up). Sharky could be more widely known for his link-up with rapper, Nas. For those who don’t know about this collaboration, a man regarded as a cool trailblazer, cultural icon, and acclaimed professional, managed to team up with fellow Evertonian, Nas, on a boxing podcast.

Tailenders has also played host to an array of special guest appearances from the music world. We had Sam Doyle from The Maccabees as part of the Tailenders House Band, Steve Lamacq featuring on the intro to “Felix White’s Indie News”, and an episode entitled “The Music Special” which featured legendary producer, Giles Martin. The episode also included Mattchin’s “Greatest Music Quiz Ever” (we have competition).

Mattchin himself has been known to delve into the classic hits to facilitate his completely original quiz segments on the show. “Freudian Slip inside the eye of your mind”, for example, and of course the infamous County House / Country House invention. We daren’t address his use of Van Morrison‘s Moondance. Mattchin has also had backstage interactions with Jamie T and Florence and the Machine, so no wonder he is an annual dark horse in the eagerly anticipated “Bristol Cool List”.

Who remembers the bluesy intro for Our Jimmy, a creation so popular Felix had to announce the chords on the next podcast. Which brings us on to the man himself, “Our Jimmy”, James Anderson. Consumer of Illusions at Smackwater Jacks in Burnley, proud advocate of Speed 2 and Now 37, and of course an acclaimed guitarist in the house band. Anderson was once spotted on his phone rather than paying attention to a Dua Lipa concert, despite supposedly resembling a Lancastrian version of her father, so make of that what you will.

Perhaps that is part of the beauty of Tailenders. An elite, record-breaking sportsman, a master of his trade, seen by the many who idolise him to be such a grounded, relatable person off the field. Added to this, many may have doubted the credentials of a Radio 1 DJ and former Maccabee when it comes to analysing cricket, but jokes and music aside, their passion, insight and knowledge on the sport exudes throughout each episode.

This is the podcast that gave us a new meaning for frogs, wizards, shredders, chillis and mango. If you’re reading this and you’re already a Tailender, we hope you enjoy reminiscing ahead of the London Palladium 5th anniversary show on March 9th. And if you are late to the party, don’t worry, you could always just say you were interviewing Mark Steel.

Go well…

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“If you could go out for a drink with any three musicians, past or present, who would you choose and why?” – That’s what we ask our guests on the Fantasy Pints Podcast! Seasons 1 & 2 are available now. You can check out all episodes on Spotify, Apple and YouTube, including interviews with DMA’s, Clint Boon, Robbie Knox, The Wombats, Jamie Webster, Clinton Baptiste, Scheiffer Bates, Omid Djalili and plenty more!

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