Published: 13:52, 09 July 2021
| Updated: 13:53, 09 July 2021
Is it coming home, chaps? Absolutely.
Guitarist Josh might be half-Italian, but Gravesend band The Chaps are backing England to clinch victory in the European Championship final on Sunday night - and their version of unofficial England anthem Three Lions is certainly worthy of some silverware.
The band know as thing or two about conquering Europe as well - Italy in particular.
It all started back in 2011, when bass player Chris Hunt and guitarist Josh Ferrara flew out to Sauze d'Oulx in the Italian Alps, played a gig at a bar and got invited back to play with the full band.
After loading up the gear at home they drove back out to Italy in the van and ended up staying in the resort for four months, playing seven days a week.
Spain and Ibiza followed and The Chaps adapted their style to start playing dance floor classics on acoustic instruments, soon becoming a hugely sought-after party band around Europe.
"It moved on from there and we ended up doing season work for a good few years," said Chris. "We got popular, then holiday makers would come from England, and there would be people getting married, so we'd play weddings, and it became a full time job."
"It was great fun but obviously the pandemic changed things."
Although the band was lucky to have become a business and eligible for government help, each member was forced to find other work - Chris with SC Motors Factors in Strood, working in the warehouse and driving for the company.
It was a worrying time, with no one certain what the future held for live music, but now The Chaps - which also consists of Matt Gibson on drums and multi-instrumentalist Joe Harlin - can look forward to firing up the amps again, and re-igniting their career.
"It's been very stressful for all of us, but we're overjoyed that we can look at booking for this month," said Chris. "We did our first gig back under social distancing rules on Sunday for a wedding in Tunbridge Wells. It was amazing - it was so good to be back."
That mood of optimism, combined with the euphoria surrounding England's success in the Euros, naturally led them to have bash at the Lightning Seeds classic 1996 tune, Three Lions, written with David Badiel and Frank Skinner, back in the days when England's hopes rested on the boots of Alan Shearer, Gazza and Gareth Southgate.
And while that era of footballers has gone down in legend after reaching the semi-finals of Euro 96, Chris said he had a feeling this England team would go all the way and lift the trophy.
"We've been taken by the excitement," said Chris. "We believe. It was Josh's idea to do the song - we decided to do it last week after the quarters. We thought it would be a good thing to do.
"Josh is actually half Italian, so he's got a bit of a quandary and doesn't know who he'll be supporting.
"We all support Tottenham Hotspur normally - so at least we've got some potential for silverware now.
"The final's going to be tough but I think we're going to do it. I feel like there's something happening here. I do feel we deserved to win against Denmark. I could see how tired Denmark were and we had so much energy.
"Italy are going to be tough though."