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Shall We Sing a Song For You?!
Written by Slambo on Wednesday, 22nd Feb 2017 19:38

I am writing this blog to try and gauge interest in starting a dedicated and organised ultra group.

I’m a season ticket holder in the North lower and try to start/get involved in singing at matches as much as possible.

I have three main concerns: firstly, that although the atmosphere at Portman Road is generally OK, it’s too variable. Raucous one week, subdued the next.

Secondly, the chanting is too derivative. Although we have a fair few chants in our canon, barely any are uniquely ours.

Thirdly, we allow too much negativity towards the current owner/manager/bumbling Irish midfielder to creep into the chanting, creating a sometimes poisonous atmosphere.

This is an idea I've sat on for a while. Too long, really. I'm of the opinion that attending football matches isn't exclusively about entertainment but about supporting your team and as a result your wider community.

So I propose starting an organised group that is dedicated to three core principles: 1/ Getting chants going no matter the game and for the full 90 minutes; 2/ As many original chants as possible; 3/Chants that are only supportive of the team on the pitch.

Let me know what you think. I think people are a little put off by the organisational and hierarchical structure of European ultra groups, or even those closer to home like the Holmesdale Fanatics over at Crystal Palace. I want this to be totally democratic and maintain some spontaneity, as long as it’s dedicated to the principles identified above.

If this seems like something you’d be interested in, give me a reply. If there's enough of us then hell, it might just have some legs. Unlike Johnny Douglas...


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The_Romford_Blue added 20:24 - Feb 22
Isn't this what section 6 claim to do?

Rudyard83 added 20:24 - Feb 22
I'd love to join in with this, I do love a good chant. However I sit in the lower Alf Ramsey so that's a stick in the works for me. Good luck with it though, really hoping that we can get an atmosphere like that of a German club!

Gipeswic added 21:34 - Feb 22
Your first challenge will be to get the whole of the North Stand singing the same song at the same time. I stand in the middle of the North Stand and hear chants starting on the right side just as a different chant is starting on the right side (Section 6). Rarely does a chant start in the middle as it did in the old North Stand before it was rebuilt.

Gipeswic added 21:35 - Feb 22
Correction! ...left side (Section 6).

Slambo added 22:37 - Feb 22
The_Romford_Blue - true, and I love what section 6 are doing, but who are they exactly? Where's the organisation? Do they meet up beforehand or anything? They can make a racket, for sure, but the only 2 songs I ever hear come from there are 'What do you think of Norwich - S*IT!' and that one (which I always thought was a Sandie Shaw tune..?!) 'we love ya, we love ya, we love ya, and when you play we follow, OHOHOOOOHHH'. You know the one. Also, they generate a fair bit of the negativity. No-one - fellow fans or players - want to hear 'Mick McCarthy, your football is sh*t' reverberating around the ground...
Rudyard83 - doesn't matter buh! I thought if there was enough interest I could approach the club and they could make some space somewhere else in the ground. This is the problem with all-seater stadia, of course, but it'd bein the club's interest to work something out...

Swailsey added 12:20 - Feb 23
Good idea and would be interested in seeing how it pans out.

A well reasoned blog, put forward in all the right ways. Excellent point about supporting the wider community.

Kitman added 13:11 - Feb 23
the connotations surrounding the word "ultra" leave me feeling rather nervous...

Gogs added 13:19 - Feb 23
I'd love it if we had a club anthem the whole ground got involved with. The hibs one is brilliant:
Chances of anything like this happening at Portman road ever? Slim to none I'd guess

alfromcol added 17:39 - Feb 23
The Hibs one, as you say, is brilliant. But what would work at PR? It would need the club to be involved to provide the music/tune (and some song sheets)!!

Slambo added 20:07 - Feb 23
Kitman - I know what you mean. Seems kind of cheesy to me. Supporter's group? Sounds a little bland. Don't really need a name for it, we all know what it's about..

Gogs - Edward Ebeneezer Jeremiah Brown..?

Slambo added 20:22 - Feb 23
I was thinking of maybe an Ed Sheeran tune as a club anthem, but unfortunately his music is by and large absolute and utter guff...that 'castle on the hill' tune might work (at least the chorus) and it's about Suffolk...

carsey added 23:17 - Feb 23
The North Stand used to be where most of the the teenage and 20 somethings stood back in the golden era. Now it is full of older people like me most of whom have no interest in singing or chanting or whatever you want to call it.
Personally I love the idea that we could generate something akin to that you see and hear at some of the continental grounds but I really don't believe the good folk of Ipswich/Suffolk would join in.
To be honest I would settle for supporters singing the chorus to Hey Jude in tune and in time with the track played before games.
As for a club song I'll settle for Edward Ebeneezer Brown which has been around for years and was written by a local band for the club.
Anything else will be a bonus but I wish you luck.

Blue_Moses added 13:48 - Feb 24
Gipeswic has nailed it, I stand in the middle too and the current stand just isn't designed for this sort of thing. Would be interested in getting involved though.

Blue_Moses added 13:51 - Feb 24
Carsey, where do you think the teenage and 20 somethings sit now, or do you think we simply don't attract the younger crowd anymore?

happybeingblue added 17:14 - Feb 24
Those crystal palace mob look a right bunch of dead heads dressed in black copying italian thugs who have extreme far right views,,would be a good idea but not using the term ULTRA as this just brings to mind a distant dinosaur attitude no longer wanted in 2017 im afraid.

AussieTom added 21:51 - Feb 24
Definitely a good idea. Something that creates a more positive and consistent atmosphere can only be a good thing. Maybe you should liaise with the club as I'm sure they'd be keen to improve the match day experience. I would add another principle to the above - something around not considering yourself to be 'guardians' of the club. I think the reason European ultras aren't liked is because of the way they act like they 'own' a club and display questionable behaviour because of that! Perhaps you could call yourselves Town's Barmy Army?

Kropotkin123 added 00:47 - Feb 25
I'm of the opinion that attending football matches isn't exclusively about entertainment but about supporting your team and as a result your wider community - I agree with this strongly.

As others suggest, lose the ultra rag. Too many negative connotations with groups that undermine and subvert their wider community.

The biggest problem at the moment, in terms of engaging current fans, as others suggest is that the middle of the north stand isn't where the songs.

You have two solutions to this. Over a period of time you take it over, replacing those tgat leave. Or more realistically the two sides of the north stand communicate more effectively.

You could do this in a number of way. But the quickest, cheapest solution would be getting the phone numbers of a few of the people on the opposite side of the stand. And get luve chars going at the game. For example use whatsapp to communicate the next song.

A more expensive, but more reliable and quicker solution would be to unvest in proper walkytalkys. There are plenty of double packs around the £100 mark that would do the job. Just make sure you aren't on a line that disturbs the police. They use walkytalkys in the ground as it is a more effective form of communication. It is likely that this could become a solution later down the line, when you have built trust with the other sections of the north stand.

Once you get the communication sorted you can then think about getting more original songs going. TWTDs would be an excellent platform for creating new songs. If there is a direct chain to those starting the songs.

Once you have something like this in place you can then start thinking about what the club can do to improve this situation. Namely getting people in the ground earlier so they can start the atmosphere going prior to the game. This requires addressing the alcohol pricing and service, as well as the volume of the current pre match "entertainment".

There is obviously plenty more that can be done. But you should work on the quickest and mist attainable solutions first.

Good luck to you

Kropotkin123 added 00:49 - Feb 25
Sorry typos. Missing words. Etc. Written in mobile whilst on the move

Nthsuffolkblue added 15:36 - Feb 25
Love the sentiment. Avoid the "ultra" tag. If the bottom tier were co-ordinated I am sure the top could join in more and the ground could really get rocking!

obj124 added 15:48 - Feb 25
why not use the song 'Come on the town' by Edward Ebenezer, surely this is a song easy enough for fans to learn and upbeat enough to get the crowd going for the games!

Slambo added 17:10 - Feb 25
happybeingblue - bit harsh on the Palace lads, but I nonetheless fully agree with your sentiment. Matching black t-shirts is mondo cheesy and not a big fan of those European style banners. But an 'ultra' group is the only thing I can go on. Definitely wouldn't want it in any name...
Kropotkin123 - not sure if the walkie-talkies are necessary, but WhatsApp and the like is definitely what I meant buy getting more organised. Get involved mate..!
Blue_Moses - if you're serious mate i'll keep you in the loop. Me and another lad are thinking of meeting up and drawing up a more concrete plan. I'll private message you as and when that develops if you want...

People seem to mention co-ordination of songs between different parts of the ground as being an issue, but need it be? I'm just interested in showing support for the team, making a din and showing a bit of creativity! There'll always be clusters of fans dotted about who spontaneously and sporadically start up songs. No need to have everyone singing the same chant, at the same time. Want to avoid that kind of regimentation really...

Gogs added 22:43 - Feb 25
Slambo - I'm with you on the Ed Sheeran front, it'd be good to get one of his songs going were it good enough, 'Castle on the Hill' does have more anthemic qualities than most of his songs, but i'm not convinced it'd work, maybe the last chorus but not the one with the 'tiny dancer' 'driving at 90' lyrics as they're just naff. Edward Ebeneezer Jeremiah Brown might work too. All avenues should be explored though, it could happen, though there are a lot of old farts who go who just won't have a sing song no matter how good the going is.

Bert added 14:49 - Feb 26
We have never had a proper Kop in the old North Stand so yes a great idea. Too much reliance on the canary song which simply fades out to nothing and I say irrelevant. Could learn a lot from northern supporters.

Blloyd333 added 20:48 - Feb 27
Portman road has become a bit of a library and it is in much need of an atmosphere boost. I've always thought The chorus of John Denvers country roads would be a good one for us to sing! (Scarfs in the air) maybe change some of the lyrics. Free whiskey before kick off would also probably help lol

Jonnosdreadlocks added 23:39 - Feb 27
Face it Portman Road sounds like a stereo with one speaker working on match days. Most of the chants are copies except ebeneezer jeremiah brown which the lyrics are totally crap although the Ipswich, Ipswich to amazing grace back in the 80s was great and sadly never heard anymore. As for ultras, wouldn't use that term it reeks of mad psych Argentinian or Italian fascist fans who physically attack anyone who they don't agree with.
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