Not better off dead

By NICK SYLVESTER  |  June 12, 2007

Bleak? I go back to “St. Pauli.” When family and friends and girls and the rest fail you, Art Brut insist, you can find companionship in FC St. Pauli, a football club in Hamburg’s red-light district. (You might recall the old St. Pauli Girl beer slogan: “You never forget your first Girl.”) FC St. Pauli have fallen on hard times; they just got back into Germany’s second division. But they have more season subscribers than some first-division teams, and they’ve developed a bizarre cult following among left-leaning Germans and punk-rockers around the world, with well-known punk fans in MED, Sisters of Mercy, Bad Religion, Turbonegro, and Art Brut. Maybe the inspiration for Art Brut’s opening shows with “Back in Black” is St. Pauli’s starting their home matches by blasting AC/DC’s “Hells Bells.” (They also play Blur’s “Song 2” after every St. Pauli goal.) And they still have no electronic scoreboard: after each goal, someone has to change the score by hand. It’s a point of pride — nicht tot.

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