The subject of music never seems far away from Reading Football Club. Whether it's Lady Sasima's song, the never-ending rotation of 'official' club anthems, or the much debated topic of goal music, it's never a topic that's too far from rearing it's head in one form or the other.
In football, just as it does in life, music has that fantastic ability to take your mind back to moments from the past, to stir emotion and made you smile, laugh or even cry. So I thought I'd take a quick trip down memory lane to look at five songs that I've come to associate with following Reading over the past 20-odd years, while trying to stay away from too many obvious selections.
The Royals Anthem - Kevin Girdler
No song can transport me back to Elm Park in the way this song does. The fact that Elm Park is a prominent part of the lyrics undoubtedly helps, but whenever I hear the song played I always seem to hear it through that crackly, tinny sounding PA system strung up on the side of the South Bank roof, just next to the Tilehurst End.
The song was unquestionably cheesy but it was damn catchy and the fact that it was penned and recorded by the club's own Commercial Director Kevin Girdler only added to the novelty value. It's also the only single I ever owned on a tape cassette, so extra nostalgia points right there. My copy was even signed by the great man himself and is still knocking around the loft somewhere.
The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind) - The Bucketheads
Another song from the Elm Park era, this song immediately evokes bittersweet memories of the May Bank Holiday weekend in 1995 when as a nine-year-old I ventured along with 35,000 or so Reading fans to Wembley.
Yet the song only really took root in my mind the day after when I tried to watch the VHS tape back that my Mum had recorded the ITV coverage on. The song was the intro music that host Bob Wilson spoke over to introduce the coverage and I don't think I got more than 10 minutes into the video before I had to shut it off again, never to play the tape in its entirety ever again. Despite our subsequent success, the pain lives on.....
Let Me Entertain You - Robbie Williams
A full confession. My Reading fandom lapsed a tad in the late 90's. The final season at Elm Park was a miserable affair and as other interests in my life began to consume my weekends as a young teenager, my attendance started to wane. Yet by the Pardew era I was again a regular and this track is the first I really associate with the Madejski Stadium.
Robbie Williams' iconic(ish) tune was commonplace ahead of big sporting events in the early 2000's but it stuck in my head as the music they played just before kick-off to get the usually smallish Mad Stad crowd into as much of a frenzy as they could muster.
Big Bad Wolf - Ducksauce
One of my biggest regrets in footballing life is not being closer to Reading during the greatest period in the club's history of 2005-07. Those years saw me exiled to Uni in the North West and left me only with the odd northern away game or holiday home games to keep my fandom strong.
After the relegation heartbreak of 2008, I'd resigned myself to perhaps missing the club's only taste of the big time and then along came that big beautiful SOB Jason Roberts who almost single handily dragged us to the top of the table in 2012. This song became an anthem for that team and this time I was there for all the big games, West Ham, Southampton, Forest, Palace, Birmingham. This was MY title winning team and this song will always bring back happy memories of hitting the road for some of the most enjoyable afternoons and evenings I've ever had watching Reading.
Biscuitmen - Violet Class
For getting on six years now, The Tilehurst End has been a giant part of my life, yet alone a big chunk of my experience as a Reading fan. The Tilehurst End Podcast is probably the biggest element of my TTE work these days and this song has been a part of each of our 103 main episodes so far. Those opening chords immediately stir the memories and the fact that BBC Radio Berkshire also use the track helps cement it my Reading supporting experience.
So that's five of mine but what about you? What songs immediately make you think of Reading Football Club? Let us know in the comments below.