A new feature is going to launch properly this coming Saturday. It’s a variation on something I’ve seen used elsewhere but it’s such a brilliant and fun concept that it’s being adopted for this little corner of t’internet.

The idea, however, is not my own. The genius who suggested it is a reader of old, jimdoes:-

Hey JC
hope all is well
your latest blog post is great and i didn’t think for a minute you were moaning – to write a blog every day takes time and a hell of a lot of dedication – and to keep it entertaining and interesting is no mean feat – to sum up – i’m glad you are not quitting anyway, i’ve got a song/story that i meant to send you before xmas and i’ll try and do another ICA (they really illustrate how difficult it is to write interestingly about music and how you are so good at it)
so i’ve had a thought… there’s 130 different teams in the ICA’s… what if there was a world cup between them to find which one was the best…?? it would all be very arbitary but it might work…
130 teams in 14 groups of 8 & 2 of 9
top 2 from each group goes through to finals
qualification to the 32 ICA finals (where we have 8 groups of 4)
each group winner and runner up go to last 16 knockout till the final – i’d randomly pick one song from each ICA discuss it’s merits and give a score
i.e. the CLASH would be favourites but if they ‘played’ NEW ORDER and it was Capital radio 2 vs Blue Monday then we’d have an upset
it’s a mad idea but it might work!!!
anyway, happy new year!

Reading the e-mail on the i-phone put a big grin on my face and my brain went immediately into overtime, so much so I almost missed my train stop.

Jimdoes’ idea is fantastic but the suggestion of groups to get it down to the knockout stage feels like too much work, and besides I don’t think I’m alone as a football fan in preferring the drama of pure knockout. So, with his agreement, the rules of the competition have been revised a bit and firmed up to avoid dubiety.

There have indeed been 130 separate bands and artists featured within the ICA series. However, Morrissey has been disqualified on the grounds that his human rights record in recent years has been absolutely abysmal (as indeed have his musical records).

This leaves just 129 in the field, and all we need is 128 to have a straight knockout. So one ‘team’ has to removed in a preliminary round.  This is taking place today, with the remaining rounds played on the following dates.

Round 1 : 64 knockout ties : 16 ties on each of Saturdays 13, 20 and 27 January, and 3 February
Round 2 : 32 knockout ties : Four each on Saturdays 10, 17 and 24 February; 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 March
Round 3 : 16 knockout ties : Four each on Saturdays 6, 13, 20 and 27 April
Round 4 : 8 knockout ties : Two each on Saturdays 4, 11, 18 and 25 May
Round 5 : Quarter Finals : Saturdays 1, 8, 15 and 22 June
Round 6 : Semi-Finals : Saturdays 29 June and 6 July

The final itself will take place on Saturday 14 July, which is 24 hours before the final of the 2018 World Cup.

The numbers 1-150 (except #96 and #97) will go into the hat. Once a team is drawn out, their other numbers become ineligble (e.g, if #137 : The Fall (2) comes out, then #29, #144 and #147 cannot be included).

Fresh draws will be made at each stage of the competition so as to avoid folk looking to work out the route their own favourite would have to negotiate to reach the final.

The songs to be chosen from each ICA will emerge from a two-step process:-

(1) A coin will be flipped to determine if the song is from Side A (heads) or Side B (tails)
(2) A dice will be rolled to determine which track is to represent the particular ICA.


Voting, other than for the preliminary round, will be open for 6 days. In the event of a tie, the Blogfather (i.e, JC,  has the casting vote).

Votes must be cast via comments underneath the appropriate post. Only one vote will be allowed per IP address. Votes will close at midnight, UK time, on the Friday after the tie(s) have been announced.  The winners in each instanc will be revealed at some point over the weekend.

Hopefully, this all makes perfect sense….and so without any further ado, here’s the details of the preliminary tie to reduce the field to 128:-

#115 : Talking Heads v #93 : Close Lobsters

Wow!!!  A transatlantic clash between two of the dark horses.  A mouth watering-tie is in prospect.  Time to flip the coin and roll the dice for the tracks that will go head-to-head:-

Born Under Punches (from the LP ‘Remain In Light’ 1980)
Let’s Make Some Plans (single, 1987)

Get voting.  All votes must be in by Friday 12 January, at midnight UK time.

Tune in on Saturday for details of the initial 16 ties in the 1st Round.  The draw has already been made but is being kept under wraps.  Let’s just say, it has thrown up some intriguing battles.  Some of the pre-tournament favourites will be departing the scene almost immediately.

JC and jimdoes

PS : I should have said that this new bonus series will appear in conjunction with the regular Saturday series of Scottish songs – I’ll be posting them around 30 minutes apart.



  1. Talking Heads. But their all-black kit isn’t as cool as the Lobster’s blue, but red when you get them at home 🙂

  2. What a fantastic idea!

    I didn’t know the Close Lobsters track but I liked it a LOT… however, this is one of those Talking Heads songs where David Byrne sounds mad as a box of frogs (i.e. most of them) so I’ll have to go with that.

  3. Talking Heads. No contest really. I sincerely hope this works better than the Wycra Silver Cup of Imagination. Actually it definitely will because it’s not shit unlike the wycra silver cup of imagination.

  4. Two great tracks. I suppose the acid test is – having listened to them both, which of them would I play again first immediately afterwards? Surprisingly I find myself going for Close Lobsters, which wouldn’t have been my choice had I not played them back to back.

  5. Half Time 1-1 – both tracks have their merit but in extra time (ie giving them both another listen) Talking Heads score– David Byrne with a mazey run through the Lobsters defence and their goalkeeper can’t get his pincers to the ball – 2-1 FT

  6. My head says Talking Heads, but my heart is with the underdog Close Lobsters. Plus, the gods chose Let’s Make Some Plans. I would rather listen to that one than Born Under Punches. The Lobs it is. This is going to be fun.

  7. This is one of those ties where a corporately sponsored, royally rewarded, global behemoth starts its relentless charge towards another trophy. The question we need to ask is could they play Dumbarton on a wet Winter’s night? For that reason it can only be Close Lobsters.

    By the way, JC – WTF is that cup you’re advertising? Take it seriously, man. I’ll buy you a trophy which can be engraved and you can send to the eventual winner.

  8. The Close Lobsters comp cd is in the car at the moment and as this feels like a non league team playing man u it is the lobsters that get my vote

  9. What a great idea (tho’ had to get my head around it as I haven’t a clue about World Cups and all that shenanigans).
    Definitely the Close Lobsters for me; no contest. If I’d been listening to these while driving I would have had to fast forward Talking Heads the minute David’s voice kicked in, but I would have played Let’s Make Some Plans on repeat.
    Ooh, look forward to the next random coupling already!

  10. Crazy idea but it just might work.
    Talking Heads, 3-1. A straightforward enough win for the funky flat back four of Byrne, Harrison, Weymouth and Franz.

  11. In a David v Goliath contest one should always go for the underdog.
    Plus Born Under Punches is one of the few TH songs that I don’t really like.
    So it is the Paisley minnows for me with the first cup upset of the year

  12. Talking Heads Talking Heads Talking Heads (I’m assuming that only counts as one vote, rather than three)

  13. Has to be Talking Heads, the supremely talented backline setting up as great opportunity for the boy Byrne from Dumfries there.

  14. Close Lobsters…had never heard that track before, but I like it much better than the Talking Heads one.

  15. I haven’t cared for football in years, but this is fun – I feel a renewed interest rising. Since we are in the WC (on the cost of Italy…) this is maybe a good time to raise interest again. As a sign of my ignorance I was on a flight with only Swedes, wearing my Italy Soccer hoodie the night the second and decisive game was played in Milan since I was unaware of the match…

    Anyway, this match I thought was an easy win for Talking Heads, but Close Lobsters did an unexpected good start and at first startled the TH team, but in the end TH got their act together and won.

  16. Close Lobsters for me here.
    True to say I’m looking forward to this series more than seeing the Wolves promoted to the Premiership and the Bunnymen playing at Symphony Hall. Predicting a surprising result!

  17. Talking Heads. This tie is the equivalent of the New York Cosmos of Pele, Beckenbauer and the mighty Giorgio Chinaglia versus Erskine Boys Club (*).

    * Are they still on the go? As a lad we used to play them twice a year – at Easter they’d travel down to Hull and we’d go up for the return fixture in August. I have no idea how it came about but we did it for years.

  18. As reported in the posting on Week 1 of Round 1, this topsy-turvy tie was won by Talking Heads by the narrowest of margins

    Final score was 31-30.

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