Stoke City striker Peter Crouch holds the Premier League record for headed goals, famously enjoys free nachos, and wears his deep and enduring love of Britpop on his sleeve. At 34, he has made his first music video guest appearance.
For most people Britpop died out to the celebratory strains of Toploader’s ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’, a catchy pop gem playing over the imaginary credits of the ’90s. For a dedicated hardcore, however, it would appear the genre is very much still alive.
One man who has never stopped loving Britpop is Stoke City striker Peter Crouch. He’s been spotted crowdsurfing (poorly) at a Kasabian gig, using all 6’7 of his lanky frame to get a good view at various indie festivals, and he dishes out enthusiastic music recommendations on the reg on Twitter. But his crowning glory may well be this appearance in the video for ‘Gen Strange’ by young Britpop revivalists Peace.
It’s a tune which wouldn’t have have been out of place on MTV UK’s Up for It Live with Eddy Temple-Morris circa 1997. In fact it would have been absolutely huge, right up there with Jamiroquai’s ‘Virtual Insanity’ and New Radicals’ ‘You Get What You Give’. It probably would have even soundtracked one of the montages in Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef where he’s zipping about London on his moped.
In the video Crouch plays an unsavoury sort of tracksuit wearing Chav character, one of three like-minded blokes who are for some reason standing around a Volkswagen hatchback on a rural English lane. In the opening scene he calls the singer from Peace a “Fucking Emo”. It’s a shocking and unprovoked verbal attack which causes the leather jacketed singer from Peace to throw his lollipop on the ground in a sort of camp indignation.
Later, we see Crouch inside the car, earnestly nodding his head. What’s he listening to? Hard to tell if he’s meant to be listening to Peace, or if he’s meant to represent their very antithesis – maybe he’s listening to grime or dubstep or something. It’s left delightfully vague.
The singer from Peace has by this stage reconvened with the rest of his band. They’re all wearing leather jackets with adidas tracksuit pants, and are riding around recklessly on retro motorbikes. One of them spraypaints a tree with the name of their fictional gang: ‘TOADZ’.
With Crouch still rocking out in the parked Volkswagen, the band hoons past, and one of them, wielding a fraternity-style hazing paddle, smashes one of the car’s wing mirrors. Crouchy leans out the window and feebly shakes his fist as they ride off.
It’s the last we see of the former England striker. Later in the video one of his mates, wearing a fluro yellow tracksuit jacket and emoji t-shirt, is held to the ground while one of the TOADZ pisses on his face, but mostly the rest of video consists of the singer from Peace spraying an aerosol can on the open flame of a lighter.
Peter Crouch has made only three Premier League appearances for Stoke City this season – all of them off the bench. He has scored no goals and made no assists. But while his football career may be winding down, his work as an ambassador for the great forgotten genre of Britpop continues unabated.