Welcome to Bandy & Shinty.
‘We’ are David (In The Top One), Steve (Mist Rolling In), Sean (Garibaldi Tinted Spectacles), and Phil (The Loving Feeling).
As the 2015/16 season drew to a close we got together and started talking about a potential new writing project. We had all enjoyed writing for our own sites and we really felt that although the football had been pretty dreadful one silver lining had appeared; the quality of writing that’s blossomed from it—from financial stuff, to think-pieces, to interviews.
And we got to thinking, at the 150th march—what if some of the very best Forest writers came together, to do something in print, on a quarterly basis? Something you could hold in your hands, maintained between issues through a swanky new website?
We met up after the final match of the season and came up with Bandy and Shinty. We’re not interested in creating a news resource. It’s not about transfer whispers, or why three holding midfielders in the last game didn’t work. We wanted to create something more transcendent than that; something you could pick up seven months down the line, for the same impact.
It’s not about gossip and idle wonderings; equally, it’s not about the easy win of “everything used to be better”, or any of that throwaway tat.
So what is it?
Simply, it’s about funny, incisive, provocative, passionate writing. It’s about communicating the soul and the spirit of Forest, as – in the hands of the club itself – any sense of it becomes more and more diffuse.
So we started approaching the people whose work, writing and attitudes we admire: people with the style, intelligence and experience to put things down on paper that are worth saying, and worth hearing. It turned out that there was an enormous amount of passion and goodwill for Nottingham Forest out there and we have been fortunate enough to tap into some of that to bring to the table something we believe Forest fans will enjoy and hopefully in time treasure.
Taking some inspiration from The Blizzard, a football quarterly that we all subscribe to and recommend, we wanted to give people space to write long form pieces that free their creative spirit and communicate their relationship with this football club. We’re basing each issue around a distinct theme—a concept that will be broad enough to give each writer the chance to flex their muscles, but cohesive enough to ensure the whole thing hangs together. That theme for the first issue is – inevitably enough – ‘Firsts’.
It won’t be for everyone, and we’re not trying to pitch it that way: what we do know from our respective efforts this year is that there’s undeniably an audience out there for good Forest writing. Something with production values, and soul—something you’d look forward to dropping through your letterbox, every three months.
Most of all, it’ll be supportive—a community of Forest fans working together, to discuss our club in the manner it deserves.
Bandy & Shinty