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How will Forest line up against Middlesbrough?

That old chestnut of whether to change a winning team.

Is that...? No, can't be. Wait - it is! It's only bloody Chesney Hawkes.
Is that...? No, can't be. Wait - it is! It's only bloody Chesney Hawkes.
Miles Willis/Getty Images

Back in 1989, a bunch of young Mancunians sat around in a recording studio whilst the Hillsborough disaster unfolded in the background. As usual, they fiddled around with three chords until they found a combination that allowed them to repeat such a simple progression over and over in such a manner so as to allow them to avoid the pitfalls of having to come up with a whole other bunch of chords form which to create a chorus.

These three chords happened to be E, A and B.

A some stage in the proceedings, a young man with a history of illness, insomnia and mood swings sat down, stared into the middle distance, took out a pencil and scribbled down some words that he felt might, just might, work as an accompaniment to those aforementioned three chords.

That man was Tim Booth. The band were called James. The chorus revolved around the refrain, 'Sit Down'.

But the record buying public simply weren't ready for this yet. After all, why traipse down to your local independent record store (Circles) in your provincial nondescript town (Rotherham) and fork out hard earned minimum wage of something like £2.80 on some scrawny looking vegetarians when you could skip home happily with Bobby Brown's 'Every Little Step You Take' or Tone Loc's 'Funky Cold Medina' clutched tightly to your chest? After all, these were genuine pop classics. Of course, you might have stared longingly at Guns N' Roses' 'Sweet Child O'Mine' but felt that deep down, it was all a bit heavy for your own feyness. Besides, that Stefan Dennis from Neighbours had a song out and he was married to one of those Alessi twins. Now that looked quite exciting.

No. At the tail end of the 80s, the record buying public weren't quite ready for the runt of the Manchester scene's anthemic single. Come back in a couple of years when the whole Manchester thing has finished stirring and awoken into a full blown get-up. Until then, go bide your time doing something else like sit around drawing flowers or something.

So, chastened by a chart position of 77 in the UK singles chart, they did just that. Maybe some other stuff too but most likely, just that.

A few tweaks here, some editing there and by 1991, James foisted 'Sit Down' on the British public once again. This time, the British public were ready. The Stone Roses had happened. Manchester had happened. Something changed. They had themselves a hit. Not quite a Number 1 though - blame Chesney Hawkes for that. Or your good self. After all, you probably bought his single. It's OK though...everyone else did. Besides, it has that quite awesome opening 3 seconds that sounds like a rocket taking off.

All of which is to say that after defeating a limp Bolton side 3-0 last week, Chris Burke taking the well-trodden path from Nottingham to Rotherham and no new injuries to report of (yet), Dougie Freedman will most likely make only a few tweaks and edits to his line-up for the daunting trip to Middlesbrough. In short, Forest will probably line-up something like this:

Having said that, Freedman may well give Ryan Mendes a run out and save young Oliver Burke for the last fifteen minutes in the hope that some gaps start to appear in the well drilled Boro rearguard.

Regardless, no doubt the plan will be to keep it tight for the first fifteen, then the next twenty and up until half time. At which point, have a cup of tea and a Jaffa Cake and chat about keeping it tight until around the 75th minute. Then, chuck it to young Oliver Burke so he can scare the actual living daylights right out of George Friend in the hope of sneaking a late winner.

We live in hope.

Here's Chesney Hawkes:

No...wait. Here's the original James release of Sit Down: