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Magic Malcolm

Submitted by on March 8, 2011 – 8:58 amOne Comment

By J. Walter Weatherman

Now I’ve always believed in magic. And I don’t mean the Paul Daniels, ‘look at me I’ve just pulled an asphyxiated rabbit and Debbie’s un-mentionables tied together out of a rather splendid looking hat’ sort of magic, but proper, proper magic.

And luckily for me and about the 80 or so people (depending on the mood of Bury’s safety officer or whichever jobsworth’s throwing their weight around on that particular Saturday) who frequent the bar named Starkies before FC’s home matches, we get to witness and be part of the magic that is Course You Can Malcolm.

Every other Saturday, once the ride to the wrong end of the tram line has been negotiated, my merry band of red brothers and I end up at Malcolms. Usually before anyone else because we’re a right bunch of giddy fuckers. Not quite ‘we’re ciddy and we’ve just beaten Notts County after a replay in the FA Cup so it must mean it’s our year’ giddy, but giddy none the less. Or is it never the less? Anyway, I digress.

Where was I? Ah yes, I was talking about city. No no, I was talking about Malcolms, that’s the one. Now I’m going to go into hyperbole overdrive here but walking into Malcolms feels like coming home. There’s a sense of redness and belonging that you get when watching Football Club United of Manchester, and nowhere is that feeling stronger than in Malcolms.

When you spend the majority of your week away from FC (all that forum nonsense doesn’t count), and away from like minded individuals such as those that make up our militant and politically aware support, then to walk back into Malcolms on a Saturday is like re-gaining your sanity.

If anyone remembers (or still experiences) that horrible feeling you got when you’d take your seat in OT and despair at the numpties sat around you then you’ll know how lucky we are with Malcolms. Would these same numpties appreciate such an eclectic mix of indie bands, punk bands singing songs about cracking owl sanctuaries, Scottish harpists and (with the memory of Loop Aznavour fresh in my mind) Theremin playing- maestros doing their particular thing for freemans? Of course they wouldn’t.

And can you even imagine someone like Keith Fane or Alan Keegan attempting a Twomowers-esque reading of the teamsheet? Nowhere else can you go with like minded people and see music, comedy and theatre before going out and watching a football match. And if you can I bet their tater hash isn’t as good as ours.

Now I don’t see the hard work that goes on during the week, but thanks have to go out to the people who put it all together. People who give up their time so people like me can sit happily with my Maplemoon in one hand whilst the other gesticulates furiously at Margy as he butchers yet another joke. Not that my hand has a life of its own or anything, I control the gesticulating. I’ve typed all this for a start so that proves my hands are under my control before you start thinking otherwise.

But what’s impressive is that all this takes place in a setting un-befitting of such japery. Let’s be honest, Starkies is a wee bit shit. From the horrible coloured bricks, the little bar with the horrible beers that we don’t use (nor would want to use) to the polystyrene-type tiled ceiling, none of it’s particularly inspiring.

Not that I’m being ungrateful, if it wasn’t for Bury letting us use the room there’d be no Malcolms at all, it’s just imagine the heights it can reach when we’re in our own bar? Where the frosted windows and The Three Tenas’ sign will be up permanently and it all takes place in front of a real fire?

Where there’s room for more of us? Where everybody knows your name and it’s filmed before a live studio audience? No I don’t want that bit; I’m not a fan of Ted Danson come to think of it. The single most important aspect about Malcolms being away from Starkies is that it’ll be in a place that is ours (not quite sure where after recent events but we’ll be somewhere, it’ll all be right) and that’ll make it all the more special.

Though if I do have one criticism of CYCM (I’m tired of referring to it as Malcolms, time for a change) is that it’s hard work dragging yourself off to the match itself. Once I’m in a Mr. Holt-induced haze and the music’s playing, that’s it. I’m fine where I am. It’s like I’ve entered another world where everyone’s happy, the likes of Piers Morgan, Simon Cowell and anyone else of their ilk don’t exist, the Tories aren’t in power and there’s no such thing as Soccer AM.

I then have to leave this little piece of paradise behind, go out, actually watch some football and stand and sing with my mates for 45 minutes. Tsk, life is hard. But all is not lost, because there’s another 15 minutes back in Malcolms at half-time to then look forward to.

So my friends, that is Course You Can Malcolm. It wraps you in a warm blanket of red togetherness, and keeps it wrapped tightly around you until it’s time for you to go, when it then puts a comforting arm around you and tells you everything’ll be alright. Now enough of my musings, I’ve got to find out the results of Dancing on Ice and watch that episode of A league of Their Own. James Corden and Andrew Flintoff ballooning around? Must see TV I’m sure you’ll agree…

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