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Australian Soccer Hooliganism With Dark Blue’s John Sharkey III

The former Clockcleaner and Puerto Rico Flowers vocalist gets his jock on.

by Tim Scott
Jun 2 2014, 3:32am

John Sharkey III is back. Back in Philadelphia and back on the musical map with Dark Blue a brooding and crooning rock band who have just released a 7” on Jade Tree the respected indie/emo label who are also back on the musical landscape.

Outspoken, opinionated, and depending on who you ask—a raconteur/shit stirrer, the former singer of Clockcleaner and Puerto Rico Flowers is also an international sports nut who follows baseball, soccer and after a stint living Down Under, rugby and Australian football.

“Just Another Night With the Boys” the a-side to the new record is an ode to soccer hooliganism in Western Sydney. The flip is a cover of an obscure John Cale track “Hungry For Love”.

The three-piece who includes Andrew Mackie Nelson (Ceremony, Paint it Black, Puerto Rico Flowers) and Mike Sneeringer (formerly from Purling Hiss, Puerto Rico Flowers) are set to release their debut full length on Jade Tree the Delaware label who made their name in the mid 90s with releases from Lifetime, The Promise Ring, and Jets to Brazil.

Noisey: Is Dark Blue related to the Carlton Navy Blues, the Australian Football team you supported when you lived in Melbourne?

John Sharkey: You're not the first to ask about the correlation between the two but the name mildly references the dark, blue comedy that is life on this shitty earth, or that's what I tell people when I'm feeling pretentious. My son suggested Light Blue Dark Blue but I lopped it in half. That's not to say I don't still follow Carlton. It's been a shit couple years but growing up in Philadelphia I'm not unfamiliar with awful things. I still wish Eddie Betts was in the forward pack.

You moved to Canberra and supported the rugby team the Raiders or “Green Machine”. Do you prefer AFL (Australian Football) or NRL (rugby)?

I'm most definitely more of an NRL man. The AFL has gotten so soft over the last four years and living in Raiders Country has really turned me rabid. The NRL has the appeal of small town football but at its highest level. I'd go see a Raiders games on a Saturday night and there would be 8000 people in attendance. There were more people at my first dentist appointment.

But the players fear nothing and I respect that. State of Origin is unfucking-paralleled. I've never seen anyone do anything with as much venom and fervour.

What do you find the biggest differences between sports fans in the US an Australia?

Do you really just want to talk about sports? What about art or politics? What about your amazing Prime Minister and his great new budget? What about the plight of the little Aussie battler? What about the mining tax and the loose two dollar coins and lamingtons falling from Gina Rinehart's plentiful fat-folds? I'm a many faceted man, Timothy.

I don’t doubt that Sharkey but the new record features an ode to an evening of soccer hooliganism. Do you have any favourite firms? Maybe favourite YouTube video of a 'meet up'?

The song is actually about a night I spent in Parramatta after a Western Sydney Wanderers match. I would drive up from Canberra whenever I got the chance to see the Wanderers play and I would always go alone. They have a ravenous group of supporters called the Red and Black Bloc. They would parade around Parra before and after matches and sometimes things would get a bit out of hand. I would just stand off to the side and enjoy the things I saw.

As far as good hooly content, I would highly recommend the 70s UK Panorama program on the Millwall football club. Big ups to my homey Harry The Dog.