10 possible replacements for the World Cup vuvuzela

Ah, shut up, kid!

South Africa Soccer WCup Germany Australia

Even in such a short space of time, the current World Cup has become synonymous with the sound of 50,000 vuvuzelas all being blown at once, creating a looping, anxious sound, not unlike a swarm of hungry bees, or a belligerent old man pressing down on a single key on a Moog keyboard, then staring at you until you finally crack.

With that in mind, below are ten sounds that England would do well to consider introducing to the crowd for the potential 2018 World Cup…

Crying babies

Certain to navigate to the same high point of bubbling anxiety as the vuvuzela, the sound of 50,000 crying babies would also provide a much-needed instinctive emotional rush for any ladies who happen to be watching a match.

Party blowers

Are these really called “party blowers”? It somehow doesn’t seem that they should be. And yet they are. Anyway, these would be great. In sound, they’re not a million miles away from your traditional World Cup vuvuzela, but they come with the added thrill of a celebratory unwinding of fabric. You could get a national flag on that.


With so many Australians undergoing what toffs would call “the reverse gap year” – coming over to England to spread their curious brand of sophisticated behaviour – why not embrace one of their national instruments? In terms of monotony, it has exactly the same effect as a vuvuzela, but in this case you can still almost hear yourself think. Commonly played by white youths with dreadlocks, who somehow “found themselves” during a really expensive holiday.

Empty beer bottles

A clever choice this. Obviously, to achieve maximum emptiness, a beer bottle must first be relieved of its contents. Only then can it reach its full potential as a makeshift flute. Hence, not only does this promise a crowd sound not unlike a mob of deaf pan pipers in band practice, but it would immediately reverse any draconian no drinking rules that came in under Tony Blair’s evil reign.

Wine glasses

Of course, whilst the lower tier mobs have their fun with empty bottles of Stella, the rather more sophisticated spectators will need something to do. Such as transforming their empty glasses into do-it-yourself theramins, by cleverly circling their fingers about the rim. The sound created by a few thousand wine drinkers doing this in unison would lend an intriguing science fiction vibe to proceedings. Germans would love that. Probably.


As gestures go, wouldn’t it be nice if England adopted Scotland’s national instrument for the duration of a World Cup? A rather more guttural sound than the high pitched whines that come from a vuvuzela, these also have the very real ability to graduate from one-note standards into something rather more dramatic.

Nails on blackboards

If the aim of these vuvuzelas is to slowly edge a footballer to the brink of hysteria, then the next step would be to introduce mini-blackboards into the crowd. Thousands of fans randomly scratching at these would drive even the most mellow Lionel Messi types into a frenzy of eye-gouging, and screaming to the heavens.

A thousand tubas

As any music graduate will probably tell you, the vuvuzela emits a B Flat, and then keeps on emitting until you just want to chew your own face off to make it stop. A tuba also works well in B Flat, and as a gesture of international one-upmanship, a costly brass instrument does rather trump the plastic horn.

Mini-Moog keyboards

If the sound of these vuvuzelas is like a massive one-instrument band taking absolutely ages to tune up before a gig, then a stadium full of fans dicking around on Moog keyboards would make for a freaky electronic jam session that would completely blow your mind. If The Spoiler were forced to pick a favourite idea from the list, then this is it.

Recorders (played with noses)

Anyone who really paid attention during primary school music classes can probably still put together a decent enough recorder rendition of “Mary had a little lamb”. Easy to play, these come with the added bonus of enabling a fan to play music with their NOSE, whilst still able to lean back and bellow out a few well constructed chants. Perfect for anyone who likes doing more than one thing at a time.

Tagged With :