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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Friday, June 2

The National - Live!

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Sound On Sound Music Festival Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Goodness gracious - who’s that mysterious man leading the hoddle today?

Why it’s none other than Matt Berninger, lead singer of alt-rock band The National!

The National have embarked on their latest tour in support of their new album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein. It’s their first album in four years.

Anyone who follows The National know they have a bit of a reputation for releasing moody music. “The Sad Dads” is what they’re called, and how they were profiled in this New Yorker piece.

And so when The National took the stage at The Anthem in Washington last week, they opened with a song from their newest album: Once Upon a Poolside.

Fitzie’s track of the day, part one: Once Upon a Poolside, by The National

And so your hoddler-in-chief was nearly in tears one song into the show. But how could you not, when a song delicately chronicles the pang of heartbreak?

Such is the allure of The National. We all feel loss. Still, through it all, we push ourselves forward. And after a writing block that’s how the group created this latest album that included some high-profile cameos from Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers.

And so the group pushed through these sad, distressing, anxiety-inducing and otherwise beautiful 24 songs. Through it all Berninger was a heck of a showman. Always tapping his foot in a sort-of fidgety manner, occassionally screaming instead of singing.

Nowhere was the performance quite as powerful as when Berninger’s body practically crumbled through the chorus of The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness in what felt more like an exercise in releasing built-up stress and anxiety.

Perhaps this is even the year where The National take that next “big step”. A couple shows at Madison Square Garden would certainly add to that. But none is bigger than the endorsement of Taylor Swift, who encouraged her fans to explore this gloomy band.

So you could imagine me not as surprised seeing bedazzled silver cowboy boots at the show. I could only hope they walked out of The Anthem as enthralled with this group as I was.

Fitzie’s track of the day, part two: The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness, by The National

And now for your links:

The Athletic ($$) dives into why corners are important now in the Premier League

PGMOL condemn abuse suffered by Anthony Taylor after Europa League final

Long read: Wimbledon’s woman physio and the 1998 FA Cup final

Aitana Bonmati talks ‘Barcelona DNA’ and Women’s Champions League final

Inter Miami sack Phil Neville