Hemel Hempstead folk singer's new album inspired by football chants
'You're Not Singing Anymore' is out now
A singer-songwriter from Hemel Hempstead has released a new album inspired by football chants from stadiums around the country.
Minnie Birch, a folk singer from Highfield, has been singing most of her life and she said football's sense of community reminded her of the tradition of communal singing.
Her album - You're Not Singing Anymore - includes songs from Newcastle United and West Brom.
She said: "I enjoy that sense of community that singing brings, especially folk music.
"During lockdown I really noticed that sense of community and togetherness that music brought."
The 37-year-old says she was never really in to football growing up, but she was inspired after being asked to perform at half-time during a Watford Ladies match at Berkhamsted's ground - she even signed up for a local ladies team.
She said: "I loved it, there was a real togetherness, a community feel at that ground, I fell in love with the atmosphere that day.
"I joined a local ladies football team and started watching more games on the TV.
"There is a proper tradition of folk music in the football songs, that community feeling and a sense of belonging, similar to what you find in a folk club."
Minnie began watching Premier League matches and heard singing from fans, which inspired her project.
She interviewed supporters and found people opening up about their memories.
She said: "Going to matches is not just about football, it's about so much more, a lot of the people I talked to spoke about their relationship with their dads.
"Some of the songs on the album are quite generic and most fans just change the club name or club colours for their team.
"There is one song, a hymn from the West Brom ground, and it is actually the fans at the ground.
"The album highlights the songs on the terrace, it could be described as emotional football chants, or football music that will move you."
Minnie plans to record a second album based around the same theme, collaborating with musicians and fans from different clubs.
She said: "I want to look more at football songs, and maybe work with other musicians or do a project that includes more bits from the fans, as they are ones that have the most passion for their club, they can really do the songs justice.
"I have loved working on this project."
You're Not Singing Anymore is available to download from Amazon, Spotify and i-tunes, and you can but it from Minnie's website: www.minniebirch.co.uk.