Atomic Kitten rerelease their Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark penned ‘Whole Again’ as tribute to Gareth Southgate/England teamSome songs have a strange life.

Atomic Kitten’s ‘Whole Again’ was their million-selling debut hit that is still the fourth best selling song by any UK girl band. In reality, it was written by Andy McCluskey and Orchestral Manouvres In The Dark who were hovering in the shadows behind the Kittens – a genuine orchestral manouvering in the dark!

This slice of pop nostalgia has revcieved a new life when England fans recently started singing it with new lyrics adopted in honour of manager Gareth Southgate… “Baby you’re the one / You still turn me on / You can make me whole again” were changed to “Southgate, you’re the one / You still turn me on / Football’s Coming home again’

McCluskey himself said about England fans adapting it into one of their chants, “The Kittens are really chuffed and are actually considering remaking the single with the England lyrics. Any time something you’ve created becomes widely accepted is humbling and touching. I wonder who made that first connection by starting to sing it, and suddenly everyone was doing it.”

And so the inevitable has happened…On 6 July 2021, the day before England’s semifinal against Debnmark, the group released an official full-length version of the adapted song called “Southgate You’re the One (Football’s Coming Home Again)” via Columbia Records UK – a long way from their debut ‘Electricity’ single on Factory Records or the first time I saw them play supporting Joy Division and Section 25 in Blackpool in 1979.  


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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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