I thought of using the title track of Slagger Lund’s ‘Maniak’ album for this review but how can anyone turn a blind eye to the inspirationally named track ‘To B. Laudrup or Not to B. Laudrup’?
For the uninitiated (in football I mean, everyone knows The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by one Shakespeare, W and its famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy), Brian Laudrup was a pro footballer, regarded as one of the best of his generation, who played for, inter alia, Danish club Brøndby, AC Milan, Ajax, Glasgow Rangers and Chelsea.
Laudrup also played 82 matches and scored 21 goals for the Denmark national team, and was a vital part of the Danish teams which won UEFA Euro 1992 and the 1995 Confederations Cup. In the 1992 competition you might remember Denmark came in as a late substitution when war torn Yugoslavia was thrown out of the competition and it beat the first reunified Germany team 2-0 in the final.
He currently works as a football commentator, pundit and analyst. That’s right he’s the Danish version of Gary. Or Alan. Don’t all boo at once.
No, you aren’t reading GOAL! Magazine in error, I just wanted to set the record straight because songs like this are unusual, aren’t they?
Not for Fleming (Slagger) Lund they aren’t.
You may recall that Slagger was here in early March of this year with a premiere of a homemade black and white video for ‘Fremad i mit øje’ (‘Forward in my eye’), and I immediately identified him as a poet as well as a musician, a guy who’s lived, and a real character – just what the business needs.
John Peel would have loved him.
He bills this song as ‘the unofficial World Cup anthem, 2022’ – you again may recall that Denmark was a participant although it didn’t progress far this time, going out in the group stage, and I have no reason to suspect that it was anyone else other than he that wrote it. It has all of his hallmarks.
So in a way you could say he is Denmark’s version of Fat Les, who made our 1998 World Cup song, the cultured, inspirational ‘Vindaloo’. At least it was better than ‘It’s Coming Home.’ England fans will have noticed that it hasn’t. Alas, poor Harry. I knew him well.
There is a video for the song, which was released as a single a few months ago and it even features Slagger (long hair, green shirt, looking a little like a cross between Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull and Mick Hucknall of Simply Red), showing off his ball skills at a mixed, all ages 5-a-side session and scoring with a sharp, B.Laudrup-style turn and volley into the bottom corner.
What’s that? The song? Oh, yeah. Well let’s just say that anyone that can make an existentialist conundrum out of one that sings the praises of a retired footballer (“To be B. Laudrup or not to B. Laudrup/ That’s not the question” – what would Kierkegaard have made of that little gem?) demands and gets my deepest respect.
And then there’s that ‘Together in Electric Dreams’ – like opening. Heaven.
Is it typical of the rest of the album? You’ll have to find out, won’t you? I’m giving nothing away!
Or like Ophelia you can get thee to a nunnery.
‘Maniak’ is out now on streaming services and on vinyl at selected shops in Denmark, where it is getting five-star reviews.
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