Vindaloo (song)

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Vindaloo cover.jpg
Single by Fat Les
Released 8 June 1998
Format CD single
Recorded 1998
Genre Comedy, football chant, britpop
Length 3:39
Label Telstar
Fat Les singles chronology
"Naughty Christmas (Goblin in the Office)"

"Vindaloo" is a song by British band Fat Les. The music was co-written by Blur bassist Alex James and part-time Pink Floyd bassist Guy Pratt. The lyrics were written by comedian Keith Allen. It was released as a single in 1998 and recorded for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The song was originally written as a parody of football chants, but was adopted as one in its own right and became a cult classic. Much of the song consists of the phrase "nah nah nah" and the word "vindaloo" repeated over and over by a mixed group, occasionally interspersed with lines such as "And we all like vindaloo" and "We're England; we're gonna score one more than you".

The song has brief verses, spoken/sung by Keith Allen (in a voice sounding remarkably similar to that of the late Ian Dury) over a marching snare drum beat. The song's name comes from the vindaloo, a type of very spicy Goan curry. It is often eaten by football supporters in the United Kingdom (and other nations) accompanied by large quantities of lager, after matches or as part of a "lads' night out".[1] "Vindaloo" reached number two on the UK Singles Chart in June 1998; it was beaten by "3 Lions '98" by David Baddiel and Frank Skinner and Lightning Seeds, a re-release of football anthem "Three Lions" from 1996 with slightly altered lyrics. When the song was performed on Top of the Pops, Professor Colin Pillinger played a drum in the group.[2]


The song sounded a little too much like a "hooligan's anthem" for some observers, and from the point of view of the BBC (who commission the official UK Music Chart) the band were deliberately waking the ghost of an earlier racial incident on the BBC TV programme The Late Show. Guest Keith Allen got into an extremely heated row with the panel over his view that comedy was now being hamstrung to appease rules of political correctness. Just before storming off the live broadcast, Allen stormed at an Asian member of the panel that "It's not a chip you've got on your shoulder, it's a fucking vindaloo!". He later attempted to explain to press reporters, claiming he used vindaloo because it is faux ethnic (this piece of Goan cuisine actually originated from Portugal), like those who he accused of being self-appointed spokespeople for ethnic minority communities' rights in order to censor arts and culture.[citation needed]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song is a parody of the video for "Bitter Sweet Symphony" by The Verve, which was itself inspired by the music video for "Unfinished Sympathy" by Massive Attack.[3] The video is recorded in the same street, and features comedian Paul Kaye as a Richard Ashcroft lookalike forcing his way down the street. Unlike the original video, in which Ashcroft is alone, Kaye gradually gathers a large crowd which includes Fat Les members Keith Allen, Alex James, and artist Damien Hirst, further on Rowland Rivron (as the drumming Queens guard), Edward Tudor-Pole, Matt Lucas, David Walliams, a young Lily Allen, and the late Malcolm Hardee, sumo wrestlers, French maids, a French mime artist, a Max Wall lookalike (as Professor Wallofski), a priest, women dressed as girls from St Trinian's and many others who dance around him, some brandishing bags of curry. By the end, Kaye has joined in celebrating with the rest of the crowd.

Usage in media[edit]

The song is used as the opening music at Peter Noone's concerts as he takes the stage. It is also used as entrance music for English professional wrestlers Doug Williams and Nigel McGuinness when they team together in Pro Wrestling Noah and various independent promotions. In addition, it is also used as the walk on for Professional Darts Corporation darts player James Richardson.

Track listings[edit]

  • CD 1.
  1. "Vindaloo" (Radio Edit)
  2. "Vindaloo" (Laughter Mix)
  3. "Vindaloo" (Karaoke Mix)
  • CD 2.
  1. "Vindaloo" (Radio Edit)
  2. "Vindaloo" (Cocktail Mix)
  3. "Vindaloo" (Extended Mix)
  4. "Vindaloo" (Video)
  • Cassette
  1. "Vindaloo" (Radio Edit)
  2. "Vindaloo" (Cocktail Mix)
  3. "Vindaloo" (Laughter Mix)
  • CD Promo
  1. "Vindaloo" (Radio Edit)
  • 12" Promo
  1. "Vindaloo" (Extended Mix)
  2. "Vindaloo" (Laughter Mix)
  • 12" Promo 2
  1. "Vindaloo" (3 Day Sag Master Mix)
  2. "Vindaloo" (3 Day Sag Drum Mix)


  1. ^ Curry Addicts Vindaloo
  2. ^ Daily Mail, 31st Oct 2009
  3. ^ (2005, 8 February)"100 Greatest Pop Videos", London, 4 Ventures Limited