Tag Archives: The Bluetones

Farewell, Griffin Park. It’s been emotional. It’s been amazing.

29 Jul

Mid-afternoon. For Brentford, the final game at Griffin Park approaches. Little more than four hours away. Sitting here in the pub, the floodlights clearly visible through the window, it’s with the knowledge that when they go out tonight that really will be for the last time. The Bees host (entertain is probably too generous a word given the circumstances of this one) Swansea City, knowing that whomever comes out on top this evening will be afforded the opportunity to take the last spot in next season’s Premier League. With Bournemouth now relegated, somebody needs to keep up the top flight tinpot factor. If for no other reason than to keep our friends at Leeds United on their toes. Can The Bees do it ?

Screenshot 2020-06-27 at 09.22.39

Tonight the lights go out forever

This evening’s events will determine that one, of course. For now it is time for reflection. For a last reminisce before the curtain finally goes down on our our ‘shitty stadium’. Not my words but those of Brentford head coach , Thomas Frank. And he’s right. Fans love it. A reminder of days gone by in this era of identikit bowls. The likes of Griffin Park are a dying breed in an era of soulless new stadia with no endearing features. Each a carbon copy of the last. Wayne Rooney’s Derby County. Middlesbrough. Leicester City. Southampton. Arsenal. Wrap around bowls with none of the character that so infused their former homes. Even Millwall 2 is a shadow of it’s former self. All the character and intimidation of Cold Blow Lane sucked out of it and lost in a sea of breeze blocks. Nothing remaining beyond that toe-curling goal music. Let’s not even start on West Ham. A ‘proper club’ (not my words…) now squatting in the Olympic stadium. That’s worked well.

We love Griffin Park. Visitors love it. A chance to experience football how it used to be. Terraces. Over flowing toilets. Cramped seats. And…? Who cares? We’ve got a pub in every corner. We can still stand, or sit, right on top of the pitch. We can hug our heroes at full time. Exchange a thumbs up with the manager. Pose for a selfie. Act like human beings and the family that we are. Or, at least, were until Covid-19 came and took all that way somewhat prematurely.


Cramped surrounding make for a unique bond between players and fans

The last Brentford game together, Sheffield Wednesday on 7th March. A 5-0 thrashing administered by a Bees team with our tails up and the goals flying in. Fans there because they wanted to watch the game rather than participate in the last rites and awful occasion that would have been Barnsley. Leaving at full time, there was half an inkling in the back of the mind that things may soon be up. Certainly looking at the news coming in from around Europe. Sure enough, they were. Now, games played out in front of the directors and our fan banners. Supporter confined to barracks or the, finally, re-opened pubs.

But whilst we may have missed out there are, at least, more than enough memories of better times. And worse. What’s yours? I honestly can’t choose.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to GP by the BBC to participate in their piece about Brentford that went out on the London evening news yesterday where, amongst other things, the question of favourite moment was asked. Cripes – where do you even start? 

Screenshot 2020-07-29 at 14.01.21

Tuesday afternoon. My final photo of Griffin Park

Bob Booker and his hat-trick against Hull? Newport County 6-0. DJ Campbell in the FA Cup. Gary Blissett doing his thing when boyhood club Manchester City came to town. Alan Judge’s penalty against Preston. The 4-0 v Fulham in the build up to promotion back in 91/92. Jota in the last minute. Jota tearing Jake Bidwell a new one v QPR. Jota returning – even better than before. ‘That  penalty’…..? (hey, there may be masochists amongst us).

Then there’s the off pitch stuff. Just the fact that is as normal to see players walking down the street to a game as it fellow supporters. Something evidenced in the post-Preston promotion party where fans and first team celebrated arm in arm. There was King Kev at the bar of The Griffin, waiting his turn to be served. There’s was no chance he was going to buy a pint that day. Never have I been happier to put my hand in my pocket. 

Regardless of status, if you want in then you have to run the gauntlet of Braemar Road. Everybody from Greg Dyke to Delia Smith. Ant and Dec to Jack Whitehall. Lee Dixon spent a period holding court outside The Griff whilst its not uncommon to see the cream of Britpop chatting football out front (assuming, of course, that like me you place The Bluetones and Hard-Fi in that bracket).

Not that it is a gauntlet. We’re all so familiar with each other that it is as exciting to spot Jumper Man as it is Natalie Sawyer. There’s more of a thrill from seeing Kitman Bob than Ian Moose. The environs of Griffin Park are like some sort of neutral zone. Leave all celebrity hang ups at the door – we’re all friends and your power to appear in heat magazine won’t work here. 

Players and staff. Celebs and fans. Nobody is better than anybody else. It’s all about the football and the fun. The communal feel that only Griffin Park can engender. Neal Maupay popping out for a post match curry? Why not. Only at Griffin Park could you do that. An injured Sergi Canos on the forecourt at half time chatting to fans? Well, yes.  

Screenshot 2020-07-29 at 14.55.37

Maupay visits Albany Spice for a post-match curry. Only at Griffin Park

I’ve made friends for life at Griffin Park. Some who are, sadly, no longer with us. Genuineiy, I’ll have a tear in my eye tonight about one in particular. His passing has been recent and I wish to high heaven he could have been here but sometimes life is just shit. Serves up a kick in the nuts that is one hundred times worse than any missed penalty kick. Thinking of you, J.

Others, who I’d do anything for. People with whom there is no finer moment spent than in building up the big match excitement pre game. Drowning our sorrows (or celebrating) together afterwards. The football family is an odd one. People thrown together by chance and only one thing in common – mutual love of a football club. A not very good one for most if my life. But they are my club. I’ve stuck with them for nigh on 40 years. The odd highlight something to be cherished. The usual abject failure something to be shared together.

Then it all changed. 10 years on the up. Yet still being played out at Griffin Park. We should have moved on ages ago but delays, property battles, protests and land grabs have all put it on the back foot. Now, though, the time has come. Last knockings really are here. We’ve 90 minutes left (not accounting for possible extra time and penalties) yet I still feel blessed. My own son has had the chance to experience and absorb everything Griffin Park has to offer and so much more. Everything from new kit photo shoot through mascot, reading out the teams and just being able to talk to the players with that dead pan innocence that only a child has.

Yet if there was one Griffin Park moment, then on a personal note it is one which sums up everything about our club. Why is it so special and why I can only hope they are able to bottle what we have and keep it going at Lionel Road.  I’m talking not about Thomas Frank (whom I could write a book on) but Dean Smith. He always made me and my son feel so welcome whenever we spoke. One such instance occurred at the Junior Bees Christmas party – itself another Griffin Park ‘thing’ where the great and the not so good rubbed shoulders without a care in the world –  in December 2017. Harry (then just 4) approached Dean. Plucking up the courage and overcoming his shyness, he asked about his former favourite player, now at Birmingham City. “Why has Harlee Dean joined the naughty team?

Having inspired a shy youngster to talk, how do you then avoid breaking his heart or exposing him to the ‘evils’ of agents, wage hikes and Harry Redknapp? Dean Smith knew. He crouched down to eye level, gave it a moment’s thought and then said: “Well, Harlee’s headed the ball so many times that he doesn’t really know what he‘s doing any more”.   

I’m going to miss this place like you wouldn’t believe. We all are. Tonight really is the end. Here’s to it being the next step in an amazing journey.

sun over Griffin Park GP

Tonight sees the sun go down on Griffin Park for the last time.

Nick Bruzon


I’m looking to Preston, Norwich, drones and Ash for entertainment. Not Mrs. Brown.

23 Oct

Saturday’s been and gone. Brentford now have trips to Preston (Wed) and Norwich City (Sat), hoping for an immediate reaction following the pain of our first home defeat of the season. Bristol City took the points against a team and ref that played us like a fiddle but whom we’ve all done to death on social media over the last few days. Instead it’s an appropriate juncture to talk Lionel Road, shirts, bands and, be warned, Mrs Brown.


A glorious afternoon on Saturday. If not result

First up, Lionel Road. I’m fortunate that my son’s school run combined with the commute to work takes me past the site of our new home on a daily basis. And what a sight it is. The speed with which the Community stadium is rising out of the ground takes the breath away at times. Likewise, the efforts of all those involved in the building process.

That’s me. I’m lucky enough having this on the doorstep so able to see the future coming to life all around. Yet for those a bit further afield, sorties into Brentford are a luxury afforded only on matchday. Which is where we need to stop and give thanks to The Brentford FC Drone on Twitter. With over a thousand followers already, the photos and films put up on social media are a quite wonderful means of being able to see the progress being made. At how incredible a job is being done. At keeping us all emotionally invested in a project on which all our footballing dreams hang. Without the drone we’d be the poorer in terms of information and appreciation, that’s for sure.

I love it. If you don’t follow this account as yet, I’d heartily endorse you climb on board. The aerial derring-do from the Biggles of Brentford can be found on Twitter c/o @TheBFCDrone.


Aerial brilliance from The Drone

Next up, shirts. The eagle eyed amongst you may have seen the infamous ‘Super league’ prototype on eBay a few weeks ago. The one that proposed we switch red and white stripes for red and black, then was promptly booed all around the four sides of Griffin Park when it was shown to the crowd to gauge their reaction at an end of season fixture. Presumably also leaving one of the youth team scarred for life.

First up, huge thanks to Mrs. Bruzon who banned me from bidding for this on pain of death but then secretly did her own shopping for just about the best birthday present this kit nerd could ask for. I have to say, whilst never having the magnificence of red/white, in retrospect is it really as bad as we thought back then? Has time been kind to this one? With Adidas sure to be replaced next season, is there any chance of our new supplier might go back to black?


It exists….

Unlikely on all counts but mentioned as much to say that eBay does seem to be a treasure trove of older shirts at present. There’s everything from player spec Hummel 93/94 to a plethora of the ‘100 years at Griffin Park’ blue/yellow special. That one, in our colours of the time, a particular favourite of yours truly. If anything, perhaps this is a scheme that will put in a reappearance when we either leave Griffin Park or move in at Lionel Road.

For the record, these aren’t my items. There’s more chance of me watching Mrs. Browns Boys than selling a Bees shirt. Likewise, the chances of buying anything at present are slim to zero. Instead, it’s mentioned purely to recognise the rarity of these aswell as direct anybody with an interest towards the chance of picking up something unusual. Just head to their site and a search of ‘Brentford shirt’ should do the rest.

Next up, live music (and the main reason there’s no spare cash for shirts). We’ve been blessed in the last few weeks on the ‘gig’ front. Highlights have included The Bluetones (at the 100 club), ELO (with a geriatric audience approaching their 100s) and then on Sunday an impromptu trip to Norwich to see Ash. This, after some hastily arranged babysitting and spontaneous decision-making the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the exact same second we became parents.

I’ve got to be honest here. I love The Bluetones, even putting aside the Brentford connection. Yet for me, Ash are all time live favourites. The excitement of a random road trip to see them once more, further enhanced by going ‘Full Partridge’ as we headed North into Norfolk. The road sign for ‘Linton’ had me sniggering like a teenage school boy. Mrs B, unimpressed by my knowledge that we had reached the midway point between Norwich and London.

The show was, as expected, magnificent. We were even afforded an early chance to scope out Carrow Road and the local pubs ahead of Saturday’s return visit.


Ash. Norwich. Go and see some decent live music.

Getting home on Monday I was still in high, high spirits. Then, a double whammy hit me like the proverbial runaway freight train. A double whammy of brown. Mrs Brown. Urghh. We go again. Again…

Firstly, c/o Bluetone Adam Devlin. He shared this on Twitter…..


Seriously. How? Why? Presumably this was a spoof story, yet it seemed to be true with the same piece coming up elsewhere. How can the ‘joke’ be spread so thin? Genuinely, WHO is watching this? Who would willingly pay money to go and see him (man. wig. cardigan etc) ‘live’. Cripes, the live music scene is still so vibrant. So intoxicating. So exciting. And then you get this. Ersatz music wrapped up as entertainment.

Yet it seems the ‘joke’ is being spread even thinner. We’ve already had the tv show, ‘da movie’ and then a second series – All round to Mrs Browns. A primetime chatshow / audience participation event that retained all the zany characters we, apparently, know and love.

But wait. Come here. There’s more. Now, aswell as being offered the musical there’s also ‘For Facts Sake.’ BBC One giving us a new chance to enjoy another flaky spin on the same tired format. This was on last night as I wondered, yet again, just what dirt Brendan O’Carroll has on the BBC. How does he keep on getting commissioned?

I don’t get it. I have tried and I have said this before. It’s entertainment for morons. Brain dead lemmings too afraid to admit the one joke has been told many, many times yet are now too embarrassed to jump off the bandwagon.

The man dressed as a woman act died many years ago. This is nothing to do with gender or stereotypes, purely comedy. And there isn’t any here. Despite the baffling lack of genuine laughs, the plaudits and series’ keeps coming.

It’s also nothing to do with football. But sometimes you need to get things off your chest. Prosthetic or otherwise.


The Bluetones. Go and see some proper live music. Not Brown

Nick Bruzon

Adam from The Bluetones wins Twitter, Henrik wins for Denmark and bad news for England. Guess who’s back….

17 Jun

Brentford give Bournemouth the brush off. Henrik Dalsgaard gets off to a winning start for Denmark and there’s bad news for England fans in Russia ahead of Monday’s World Cup opener against Tunisia.

There’s a lot to get through this morning so let’s cut to the chase. The internet was buzzing yesterday with the news that Bournemouth have put in another bid for Wales international Chris Mepham. This time, rumoured to be in the £10million ball park.

We could spend paragraphs discussing the fee or his merits but anybody who has seen Chris play knows how exponentially fast his progress has been – both for Brentford and Wales. Instead, I’ll leave it to Bees fan Adam Devlin (sometime touring guitarist for popular music’s The Bluetones) to summarise the story in one tweet.

Succinct but very much to the point. Well said, Adam. And do give my regards to Roland.

Next up, Henrik Dalsgaard. As was well, well documented all over social media yesterday, Brentford have had our first ever contracted player appear in a World Cup finals. Not a typo.

Whilst it a fact that is now being repeated almost as much as eighteen year old Ryan Sessegnon’s age (18? Really? If only somebody had said) it really does bear enjoying just one more time. We’ve had a player at The World Cup. A player. At The World Cup!!

What an achievement. It actually happened. Just beautiful. Moreso as Henrik’s Denmark team secured all three points in the 1-0 win over Peru.

As with the Chris Mepham to Bournemouth ‘story’ , Twitter was the place to be for all those key opinions.

@cpile14: Well done Henrik Dalsgaard today, just wow 👍

@TomField9: Come on Henrik 🇩🇰 imagine playing in the World Cup 😅

@Tomgreat1990: if anyone ever needed proof we’re on the up, it’s today 🙂

BBC Match Of The Day (@BBCMOTD) : History maker! Henrik Dalsgaard, the first Brentford player to appear at a #WorldCup

But it was @TommyLYeah who captured the moment just perfectly, cutting to the chase of what most of us in TW8 were thinking with the declaration:

Tommy: This is fucking mental!! Watching an actual @BrentfordFC player in a World Cup match…Yes, lil’ ol’ tinpot Brentford… GO ON HENRIK!!


The BBC were quick to tweet about our man

Ok – time to cut to the elephant in the room. Or, rather, the big steaming pile of elephant poo in the room. Better known as The England Supporters Band. I’m not going to mince any words here. I loathe them. Absolutely loathe them. When the Mexican Wave or Robbie Williams singing ‘Let me Entertain You’ (which you can find on: Now that’s what I call Stadium music, also featuring: ‘We Are The Champions’) have the moral high ground in the low brow sporting tedium stakes then there’s something seriously wrong.  

Given the choice of being gaffer-taped to a chair and subjected to them or Mrs. Brown’s Boys, I honestly think I’d have to side with Brendan O’Carroll performing his toe-curlingly unfunny Irish mammy/man in a cardigan routine. But enough about my private life.

Mrs Brown

Nobody is celebrating this news

Seriously? Who actually likes them? Who goes to a game thinking that their experience is going to be enhanced by the alleged band of England’s alleged supporters? This self-appointed bunch of footballing cuckoos in the nest. These tedious purveyors of off-key tromboning, repeating those ‘greatest hits ad-nauseaum. I’ve written it before – many times – and will no doubt do so again in future.

“What this match needs to liven it up right now is some flaccid parping and a whiny rendition of ‘The theme from the Great Escape’, ‘The Italian Job’ or the National Anthem” Said Nobody. Ever.

If they and their friends at the FA are that convinced by the group’s popularity then put it to the vote. I’d love to see the results. Infact, I’ve just put a twitter poll up this morning. Please dive in if you have an opinion.


But we digress. The point of all this is that the FA have helped them circumnavigate the tournament’s ban on bringing musical instruments into the games. A report in The Telegraph explains how they now have a letter granting them permission after the FA succesfully lobbied on their behalf following their exclusion from Brazil 2014. As band leader John Hemmingham notes: “It means the world to us, obviously, because we can go in and do what we do now. We can, to a certain extent, determine the mood.”

The mood being killed, one presumes.

Urghh. Here comes 7(seven) Nation Army. Again.  Joy, Love will Tear Us Apart is up next. The musical equivalent of having electrodes attached to your genitals.

For the record, I use the term ‘musical’ in its loosest sense.

Hemmingham goes on to add that he has concerns as to how the band will be treated in Russia following the recent diplomatic incidents that have dominated the headlines. As anybody who has had the misfortune to sit through their routine will no doubt testify, diplomacy is the least of their concerns. On the plus side, The Telegraph article goes on to note how he’ll be taking precautions and “won’t be doing anything to cause any unwanted attention.

Not playing would be a start, John.

You can read the interview in full, here.


Fans gather to greet the band in Russia

Getting back to Brentford, Adam Bluetone isn’t the only one of our higher profile fans giving their opinion on the World Cup. We’ve already spoken about Natalie Sawyer’s new podcast – the latest of which is just up this morning. I can’t wait to hear what she ahs to say about Henrik and Denmark. With her feet under the moderator’s table, I have no doubt that Natalie will be totally impartial. Although I hope not!  

However, the latest to add his name to the pundit’s hat is comedian Nathan Caton. And not a moment too soon, it has to be said. His daily World Cup reviews are fast gaining cult status on twitter. Get on baord – they’re brilliant. The latest has just gone live. You can find it below.

And finally, I know I bang on about this a lot but my season reviews containing the least bad of the columns and some new content are now available for download.

The reason I bang on about this is because all proceeds raised are being donated to the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. We all know about the great work they do whilst my own son has now started Saturday morning football training at one of their sessions. And he loves it. As such, I’d love to try and do something in return.

As additional incentive, I’d like to give one of you an ‘unavailable to the general public’ Brentford FC third shirt from 2017/18. I’ve got hold of it from a source close to the club and am giving it away to one supporter by means of a draw. All you have to do is download the 2017/18 season review (or the five-year compendium) to enter the draw that will take place at the end of the month – just DM/ tweet me the download confirmation email by June 30th and we’ll pick a lucky winner.

You can download Kindle e-book at this line Ten Times Better. Brentford FC Season review: 2017/18  whilst the five year compendium goes all the way from ‘that penalty’ to this season’s Championship play off final.

There Is No Plan B. Brentford FC Season reviews: 2013/14 – 2017/18


Nick Bruzon

The Bluetones, Hard-Fi and Theaudience form Staines supergroup in honour of King Jota.

17 Apr

With Brentford travelling to Barnsley today you might expect the normal prematch nonsense. Hot off the heels of Friday’s hammering of Derby County, where a brace apiece from Lasse Vibe and the talismanic Jota saw pun writers having a field day, it would be the perfect time to ‘go again’ with the big game build up. Yet headlines including Demolition Derby. Rams to the Slaughter. Silence of the Rams. Rams Raided and my own personal winner –  Bees guilty of battering Rams etc etc etc tell you all you need to know about that one. Poor Barnsley. If Brentford put in even half that performance then the Tykes would probably be better focussing on the half time mascot race between Toby and Buzz.

So we’ll leave the football for now. At least, the on pitch stuff. One of the things I love about Brentford is that everybody knows everybody. One minute you could be outside the pub with your regular match day friends, then next you find yourself talking to jumper man, having Harry Potter bawling in your ear or Billy Grant waving a microphone in your face. You see Natalie Sawyer walking past. Chairman Cliff Crown stops for a chat. Look over there, Marcus Gayle is holding court. And isn’t that Richard Archer out of Hard-Fi talking to him? Alongside Adam Devlin from one of my all time favourite bands, The Bluetones. All we need is Cameron Diaz for a full house. Although, sadly, that’s a spot that will have to go on hold (at least, for now) due to well documented reasons.


Jumper Man – one of many familiar Brentford faces

But the point being this is all run of the mill stuff. Between 2pm and 7pm on a Saturday afternoon we’re all Brentford fans. Whoever you are and whatever happens outside the confines of Griffin Park is stuff for another day. For now, a love of the Bees unites us all as the great and good rub shoulders and enjoy the vibe.

But today we should think about what happens outside of Griffin Park because word reaches me, perhaps appropriately on Easter weekend, of a Holy Trinity coming together. A musical Holy Trinity or, if you will, a so called supergroup.

A power trio comprising Devlin (Adam, not chief executive Mark), Richard Archer and the one time musical cohort of Sophie Ellis-Bexter, Billy Reeves. The very same Billy Reeves these days more commonly known for his wonderful work with BBC Radio London.

Yes, Billy is at it again. The man who brought us the uber catchy ‘Hey! Championship!’ to celebrate our promotion from League 1 and follow up single ‘Goodbye Mark Warburton’ has now linked up with the aforementioned musical wing men to form Grown Men in Tears –   Staines’ answer to Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The product of this output is ‘Welcome Home, King Jota’  – quite possibly Billy’s finest end of season song to date.

Rich Adam Billy

Grown Men in Tears. (l-r) Archer, Devlin, Reeves.     c/o The Jolly Baker, Ashford

Kudos to Adam and Richard. With added glockenspiel and flamenco guitar outro it really is Billy’s crown jewel. How catchy. Oh that chorus. Oh, the namechecking in the lyrics.  “He opens up his legs, puts in a corner, for Harlee Dean’s big head” being amongst the finest and, yet, slipping into the verse as deliciously as the King himself playing the ball over.

Oh that chorus. The harmony. I Love it. Absolutely love it. What starts off with a slightly melancholic air quickly turns into an ear worm that burrows in deep and won’t let go. A perfect 3 minutes 58 seconds of music that is as silky smooth as the man himself. Even better, its all for charity with all proceeds going to Prostate Cancer UK Charity. Move fast, though – the single will only be available for one week (as a download, 79p) via Billy’s twitter page https://www.twitter.com/TheBillyReeves  and is released April 21st.

Come for the Hard-FI / Bluetones connection, stay for musical genius.

Jota – if you are reading (you aren’t) the Brentford family love you. If this doesn’t tell you, nothing will.

You can watch the video and hear the song below. Then rush out and buy it on the 21st for just 79p. Its all for charity, mate. And isn’t it brilliant?

Big love and thanks to Mark Fuller for the video montage. What a lotta Jota 

If you are concerned about prostate cancer or prostate problems then the Prostate Cancer UK charity can help. They provide a range of information and support so you can choose the services that work for you. All their services are open to men, their family and their friends. Via their ‘Men United’ campaign they are working with the Football League to raise awareness and money.

Nick Bruzon