"Oh me lads, you should've seen us gannin' / Passing the folks along the road / just as they were stannin'. Aal the lads and lasses there / aal wi' smilin' faces / Gannin along the Scotswood Road / To see the Blaydon Races."

The fourth week of The 405 Prediction League sees Future of the Left frontman Andy Falkous taking on the latest set of fixtures. We spoke about something dear to the heart of nearly all Tyneside natives (even if they're Cardiff based); Newcastle United. From Joe Kinnear's influence upon their latest record to quite how bleak the Toon's prospects appear, a lot of ground was covered.. At the same time as this conversation, England were dribbling away to an unwatchable and uninspiring but utterly useful 0-0 draw away to Ukraine, which is where we start.

Are you watching the England game?

No. I've got next to no interest in international football. It was nice when you were in college and had some lazy days to bore away laughing at the ineptitude of players who don't normally play together trying to string some passes together. But the older you get, as much as the idea of the bulldog national pride gets you through your teenage years you realise that it's covering up for some pretty giant falling off in technique at times.

Even Rickie Lambert's Cinderella story hasn't got you interested, then?

Oh, I think that's very nice. As an owner of a massive face, he's also got a massive face, so I'm rooting for the guy. I mean it's very difficult to look at a television screen and then to see a footballer and really accurately assess if he's genuinely a nice guy. Amongst the rest of the preening pompous pricks, he seems like a decent honest sort. I could be wrong though, he could be into goat fiddling, I have no idea. But there's a certain honesty to his play which anybody with a soul could probably enjoy.

How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident, the latest Future of the Left album, is set for release on October 21 through their own label Prescriptions. 'Bread, Cheese, Bow and Arrow' is the first track from the album available for listening, which you can do so by heading here.

You're a Newcastle fan...

Oh I was born in Newcastle, actually. That's the only reason for it. Newcastle fans aren't really Newcastle fans, they're Newcastle facilitators.

The dramatic conclusion to the transfer window passed not to long ago. Do you remember where you were when you found out Newcastle had signed Alan Shearer?

I was in bed, in college. My flatmate Nick, who's the worst kind of Tottenham fan, came into my room and said 'guess who Newcastle have just signed?' I said 'Zico', then he went 'no, it's not Zico'. I said 'I know, he retired years ago - is it Alan Shearer?' He went 'yes it is' and I was quite happy. I mean he was no Peter Beardsley, but he was a fantastic footballer.

How does it feel now that your major signing this summer was, in some sense, Joe Kinnear?

I think anybody who is a fan of football and relatively sober and has any contemporary knowledge of the game will see that as the most ridiculous appointment in the last 20-25 years. It makes no sense apart from to the person who made the appointment.

When Joe Kinnear originally came out with his statements it was actually the first day we were recording the album in Monmouth. I was in such a good mood, so felt it was a government or Smashing Pumpkins-based plot to throw me off-centre, to start me down the path of creating an angst-filled album. I don't even really need to satirise the appointment, do I? It's self-evidently just a ridiculous decision; the man is a fucking buffoon.

What about the French influx at Newcastle, spearheaded by Yohan Kebab...

Yohan Kebab, ha, that was brilliant, almost like a Fast Show character. It gets to the stage where I'm less emotionally invested in the football team I grew up with. To the point where if we lose now it's not necessarily going to ruin my whole weekend. As long as you can play some good football with attacking intent and the team's not staffed entirely by little richboys who flit only between tanning salons and the possibility of date rape, then that seems like a small victory.

My answer is, I don't really care, either way. I think that British football has to look at they way they bring players into the game, particularly at the top level. But I don't think anyone wants that focus to start with their club, because if it does, it's naturally going to mean less short-term success. There's a lot more wrong with Newcastle before we get to the issue of not having enough homegrown players We could talk about Wonga, but I rather wouldn't because you don't want to hear a man's heart break over the phone.

From happier times then, who were your favourite players growing up?

I loved Peter Beardsley; he was the best player I ever saw in the flesh. I followed him at Liverpool and Everton as well, when I was a kid. I love everything about his game, he scored a lot of goals for a secondary striker, but he never really had a bad game. He'd do all of the basics, even if he wasn't putting the ball in the top corner. He probably wasn't quite as tricksy, but I see him as exactly the same kind of player as Zola, but much less celebrated. If you look at his goalscoring record, it compares.

I loved Beardsley more than, of the same generation, Gascoigne and Waddle. I refuse to fully accept Chris Waddle into my heart due to his inability to pronounce the word penalty correctly. He must be traumatised by that shootout that he just refuses to accept that word. Considering the man's paid to speak, he could probably give the 'n' and the 'l' a stab at being put in the right order.

Back to the current state of Newcastle United, what's your reaction to the rebranding of St James Park and the systematic monetisation of seemingly everything as implemented by Mike Ashley?

I've a very small protest about SportsDirect.com, because that's what the company are called. I'm sure everybody does this now, but Jimmy our guitarist instigated a tradition. When in the city centre with some time to spare, you go to SportsDirect.com and ask them if they've got a website. It worked well. 'I'm looking for some of these Lonsdale wife-beaters, but you don't have any in my size. Do you have a website I can look at?' They go 'yeah, SportsDirect.com', you go 'SportsDirect.com.com'. You carry on, they look at you suspiciously and after a while a manager comes along and stops telling you to be facetious. It's quite a lot of fun.

The way he [Ashley] monetises it is similar to the way done in other clubs, but it's done in such a gaudy sickly way that almost beggars belief. Not only is it evil, but it's fucking embarrassing. I'm less bothered in any kind of sense by changing the name of the stadium. At the end of the day, you can call the stadium whatever you like, you could call it Jim Rosenthal's Um Bongo Paradise if that gets you off. But the Wonga on the shirt and SportsDirect.com all around the stadium like a shining beacon of nothingness is pretty hard to take.

I was having a conversation the other day with someone who kept talking about the 'Liverpool brand'. I preferred it when people were a lot more secretive about their branding. When the fans happily accept that, it's really sad. Eventually the soul of whichever club it is begins to evaporate. Mike Ashley probably doesn't give a fucking shit about that, though, if I may use the technical term.

What's the immediate outlook for Newcastle United?

I've no idea. You really don't know. Two years ago we finished 5th, albeit playing some awful football for the first half of the season, for the last 10-11 games we were on fire. Not entirely hindered by Papiss Cisse and the magic boot of random shooting which seemed to attract nearly everything he hit towards the top corner, no matter what angle or velocity applied to the ball by him. Last year was dire, it was like back to being managed by Allardyce and wanting the team to lose so the manager gets sacked, which is never a fantastic position to be in.

Our drummer Jack is a big Portsmouth fan and he's a far better football fan than me. Even though he's a huge fan and went to games for years, he's far less partisan than me and just likes football. Part of me does really understand that, but it's important supporting the team where you grew up. It's important winning. Maybe that's not so important for a Newcastle fan, perhaps just not being fucking humiliated. He has a far better perspective on it, particularly with what's happened to Portsmouth over the past few years. That shows what can happen to a club if it's really badly managed and the club's soul is totally ignored. But there's an argument to say they're in a better position in a lot of ways than 10 years ago. They're a real football club rather than a billionaire's plaything.

The rules:
Three points for an exact scoreline.
One point for a correct result.
Each act will play twice over the course of the season (think home and away if you prefer to adhere to football vernacular).
See the base of the page to see how Los Campesinos! performed last week.

Gameweek 4 Predictions:

Manchester United 4-1 Crystal Palace

That's Manchester United, not United. It's something I won't let go in my life. Obviously I have a lot of Manchester United fans in my life, because I live in Cardiff so I'm used to conversing with them. Every time someone tells me about how United have done this weekend, I pretend they're talking about Rotherham. Until they use the full name of the team, I like to tell them there are other Uniteds in the universe and that they should respect that. I think even though they don't really have the players, if you look at it really look at it, they'll still run over teams like Palace.

Aston Villa 2-1 Newcastle

Fulham 1-1 West Brom

My West Brom supporting friend has said they've been awful this year and Fulham were cataclysmically poor against Newcastle the other week, to the point of losing, which is quite an achievement.

Hull 0-1 Cardiff

That could go either way. Anything which makes Steve Bruce disappointed is good with me.

Stoke 1-3 Man City

Kompany is still injured, that's where Stoke's goal comes from. Sunderland 1-0 Arsenal.

I wasn't sure whether Sunderland would win 1-0 or Arsenal would win 4-0. I think that's just the way games like that go. Even though I quite like Arsenal, I love the idea that you can play fifteen number 10s and no defensive midfielders.

  • Tottenham 3-1 Norwich
  • Everton 1-2 Chelsea
  • Southampton 1-1 West Ham
  • Swansea 1-2 Liverpool


  • RECAP: Gameweek 3 Predictions - Los Campesinos!
  • Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Bayern Munich (AET) Score: Chelsea 2-2 Bayern Munich (AET) [-]
  • Prediction: Man City 5-0 Hull Score: Man City 2-0 Hull [1]
  • Prediction: Cardiff 0-0 Everton Score: Cardiff 0-0 Everton [3]
  • Prediction: Newcastle 0-1 Fulham Score: Newcastle 0-0 Fulham [-]
  • Prediction: Norwich 1-1 Southampton Score: Norwich 1-0 Southampton [-]
  • Prediction: West Ham 2-0 Stoke Score: West Ham 0-1 Stoke [-]
  • Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Sunderland Score: Crystal Palace 3-1 Sunderland [-]
  • Prediction: West Brom 0-3 Swansea Score: West Brom 0-2 Swansea [1]
  • Prediction: Liverpool 1-2 Man Utd Score: Liverpool 1-0 Man Utd [-]
  • Prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Tottenham Score: Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham [-]

Total Points: 5

Join our Fantasy Premier League - Code 258360-69344