The other day I wrote a list of the ten Premiership players you would most want to have a beer with. If he were still playing today you can bet Ugo Ehiogu would be on very high on that list. As was unveiled on the Danny Baker Show on BBC Five Live on Saturday the former, Villa, Middlesbrough and Rangers defender isn’t your average footballer.
After finishing his playing career, Ehiogu has spent much of his time working for a music label he co-owns Dirty Hit Limited, and the bands on the label might surprise you. In keeping with a guy whose favourite band is apparently The Arctic Monkeys Dirty Hit has a really pukka roster of indie bands several of whom could well make their mark big time in 2013.
The band that caught my ear are The Fossil Collective whose very English take on Americana – think also The Leisure Society – has already delivered two absolute gems in On and On and Let It Go. There’s a whiff of Radiohead in the Leeds band too in the days when Thom Yorke and his crew still knew how to knock out a pop tune or two. Check them out on Spotify here or see the video above.
The label also has 1975 who are an edgier take on The Vaccines and iTunes has predicted great things for in 2013, singer songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich whose Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm is a gentle folk album not too far removed from the music of this excellent fella, and Bowie-esque new wavers The Little Comets.
Much respect to the fella then.
Ehiogu also has a few excellent anecdotes too. Asked by Baker if he spoke to players during games about things other than football he said that he found Ian Wright very chatty. The Arsenal man would apparently tell defenders how great they were, and Ugo said that while he was mulling over the compliment Wrighty would have shot away into space waiting for the ball from an Arsenal midfielder. Crafty.
Finally, with apologies to Celtic fans, here is Ugo’s best ever footballing moment. Genius!