Two Door Cinema Club talk football

  • Indie rock band Two Door Cinema Club chat football

  • Discuss seeing a footballing legend at one of their shows

  • Talk playing at a Russia 2018 stadium, FIFA tracks, The Best and more

A renowned band on the indie scene, Two Door Cinema Club are no strangers to playing major festivals across the globe. Whether it’s Lollapalooza, Coachella or Glastonbury, the trio from Northern Ireland - known for their fresh sounds and energetic live shows - are crowd favourites wherever they go.

Away from touring and making music, lead guitarist Sam Halliday and bassist Kevin Baird are keen followers of the beautiful game. Whether taking in exotic clashes like the Clasico Tapatio (Chivas-Atlas), watching their beloved Manchester United or enjoying a rivalry on FIFA17, both music artists always get their football fix somehow. spoke with Halliday and Baird about performing at a Russia 2018 stadium, spotting one of their footballing heroes at a show, the upcoming FIFA Football Awards and more.

You’ve visited stadiums around the world when on tour with Two Door Cinema Club. Which ones stood out? Halliday: We went to the Estadio Chivas for Chivas-Club Atlas. Not only was the stadium amazing, but being in Mexico for a football match – the passion was incredible. Near the top of the stands, there’s a gap where you can see mountains. It was a unique feature which not many stadiums have. The game was at 0-0 and we did that casual fan thing of leaving on 90 minutes to beat the traffic - and missed an injury-time winner!

Baird: Being taken around the Camp Nou was an amazing experience, too. We were headlining a festival in Barcelona and Barça asked if we wanted to come down and we said: "Of course, we’d love to!" We got taken around the stadium and it was incredible to receive a printed shirt.

When playing in Sao Paulo, Brazil legend Ronaldo was at your show. What was your reaction when you saw him in the crowd? Baird: There was a section at the front and I could see him there. Obviously, I was playing at the time, using both hands, so I couldn’t point towards him and it was loud, so I couldn’t shout to others on stage. I was looking over at Sam and trying to motion with my head to get him to look in that direction. When I saw Ronaldo there, memories of him lifting the World Cup came flooding back.

Halliday: I couldn’t see him at first. Kev was trying to mouth to me during the gig: ‘Ronaldo’s there!’. It’s not something you expect to lip-read! It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen at one of our shows. I don’t associate a football icon with playing a gig. It’s the happiest I’ve ever felt on stage.

You played at Moscow’s Spartak Arena, a Russia 2018 stadium. What was that like? Baird: It was a great experience, especially when it ties in with not just music but something else that you really enjoy, like football. It makes you appreciate what it must be like to play football, with that many people watching you and almost standing on top of you.

You have a track on FIFA17 and you’ve also been on previous editions. What’s it like playing FIFA and one of your songs comes on? Halliday: The first time you hear it, it’s amazing but it does get annoying after a while . But it is super cool to have your song on the game. Playing FIFA is something you’ve grown up with, something you love and to be associated with that is incredible.

The FIFA Football Awards takes place this October. Cristiano and Messi have dominated the Men’s Player of the Year awards since 2008. Do you see that staying the same this year? Baird: It’s definitely Cristiano or Messi’s to lose. I think Neymar going to Paris Saint-Germain and trying to put everything on his back, if PSG were to win the Champions League at some point, then he would win it. Halliday: Cristiano has had a phenomenal season again, I think he deserves it. He’s insanely committed to his sport, his physique, his technique – everything. I even think he’s quicker now than he was a few seasons ago. It’ll be interesting watching Neymar being the man at PSG this season. I guess one of the reasons he moved is that next year people will perhaps be chatting about him more so with regards to Player of the Year.

Comparing the worlds of music and football, what would be the equivalent of the World Cup Final in music? Halliday: Headlining Glastonbury in terms of it being an iconic, world-known event. It’s also something you do when you’re on top of your game: headlining the pyramid stage.

Would you rather headline Glastonbury or play in the World Cup Final? Baird: World Cup Final. We’ve played on the pyramid stage at Glastonbury before but lower down on the bill, so that’s probably the equivalent of playing a group-stage match at the World Cup! Playing in the World Cup is something you dream of from a young age and it’s so unattainable. Halliday: World Cup Final. Definitely. The dream was always to be a footballer – music is just something to fall back on!