TO DRUM, OR NOT TO DRUM?

07/09/18

Jon Punt raises the question of a drum on the terraces within the Barclay. Given its success last night at the England U-21's fixture, is this something that could add to match days regularly?

Last night, while the Young Lions graced the Carrow Road turf, something was brought to our attention via social media. Not only was there a drum inside the ground, but an accompanying band - trumpets and all. It was something of a surprise and reports emanating from the ground suggested that it helped all four stands in unison to get behind the players.

Along Come Norwich and Barclay End Norwich have a long held view that a drum would add to the Carrow Road matchday atmosphere. It's something we've put to the club on several occasions and, with the exception of derby day last year when the stewards took a local decision to allow the drum inside the Barclay, our requests have been turned down.

We realise the idea isn't for everyone. In fact some lively social media debate quickly evidenced that even within our own echo chamber where people are largely supportive of our efforts to improve the atmosphere, the idea of any kind of instrumental assistance polarises opinion. The word tinpot was used a fair amount, with one particularly nice gentleman suggesting that if the idea ever came to fruition he would made it his sole purpose to take the drum sticks and smash them.

For balance, there was an equal amount of people suggesting it would be a good idea, that it's worth trying, because anything is better than the status quo.

Ideally, a drum wouldn't be required. Ideally, a group like Barclay End Norwich wouldn't need to exist. Because ideally, much like in days gone by, the team would receive the vocal backing of their supporters throughout the game, loud and proud.

Let's be honest, that just isn't the case at the Carra and the atmosphere has been in terminal decline for years. Small pockets of excitement or successful football will wake some from their slumber, but the demographic of the City support and more sanitised nature of modern football has meant the 'good old days' where fans actually turned up to have a sing song and back the boys are long gone.

And so here we are. In our view, we can either sit back and become passengers or try and do something about it. Many other supporter groups up and down the country are doing the same, and many of those groups will use a drum (or even on occasion megaphones). The same drums that are used successfully by clubs on the continent, where atmospheres are almost universally revered.

We do however want to make sure that anything we do works for Norwich City and its supporters, and isn't some copycat of other clubs. We accept that the idea of a drum, or any other instrument, relentlessly pumping out noise for 90 minutes would probably grate. We don't want to use a drum to that end.
So, if a drum was to be allowed in the Barclay again, its purpose would be for a couple of reasons.

  1. There are around 2 or 3 small pockets of supporters in Blocks D and E who want to consistently sing throughout matches. Because of where these groups are situated, songs often become disjointed or out of time - a drum would allow everyone to keep together.
  2. As a call to arms for supporters if the volumes levels dipped to near silence, something which is happening with increasing regularity nowadays.

We'll continue to talk to the club about the matter, because we think it can help. They have been receptive to other ideas so the premise isn't completely a non-starter. Now that might annoy some, but the wider question is this; would you rather the crowds sit in virtual silence, or that a drum mildly aggravates you but kick starts supporters into getting behind the team?

The alternative is to do nothing, to passively accept that the atmosphere won't ever return until the players get you excited again. In our view that's even more tinpot.


While you're here. If you'd like to support Along Come Norwich and what we do, we'd really appreciate you considering buying one of our new t-shirts, the Revolucion NorwiCHE. In fact, we'll even throw in some free stickers if you do, links below:

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