This week’s title sequence is not from any World Cup programme, but it is a classic…
I was going to go straight into a rundown of the scores from last week, but given what happened I think some commentary as an introduction is essential.
Unlike week one, a number of these ties were right in doubt till the final few hours, albeit there was no late mad rush to the polls that swung things really dramatically. The lead in three of the contests – ACR v Arab Strap, Lambchop v Martha & The Muffins and Supergrass v Wire changed hands quite a few times; in the case of the last named, the scores were level some 24 hours out from close of play. Indeed, at 7.45 pm, it was still neck-and-neck when the final vote of the day – just one of five submitted on the Friday, came in courtesy of our old friend Jacques the Kipper who I know had no idea just how close things were proving to be. His call for the Artschool Veterans proved decisive..
Gemma Ray 15 The Lightning Seeds 31
The Woodentops 18 The Go-Betweens (2) 26
Mission of Burma 4 The Smiths 41
A Certain Ratio 18 Arab Strap 24
Supergrass 22 Wire (2) 23
Queens of the Stone Age 8 The Fall 36
Elvis Costello & The Attractions 20 Half Man Half Biscuit 27
Prefab Sprout (2) 28 The Blue Aeroplanes 16
Beach House 16 British Sea Power 33
Magazine 32 Prince 13
Lambchop 25 Martha & The Muffins 19
Everything But The Girl 32 The Libertines 12
Kanye West 12 SBTRKT 19
Talking Heads 28 Massive Attack 19
The Twilight Sad 12 Pavement 32
The Orwells 10 Pete Wylie 32
As expected, there were relatively easy passages for some of the big names. In the week that Mark E Smith shuffled off this mortal coil, it seemed fitting that his band took their place in the last 64 – it should be noted that The Fall were already comfortably ahead when the sad news came through and I don’t think any of the votes subsequently cast were out of sympathy.
I think it’s fair to say that each of Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Prince and Massive Attack would have, pre-tournament, hoped and possibly expected to have advanced to the latter stages only to get really tough assignments.
Moving now onto the third part of Round 1; I think its fair to say that the TV companies were spoiled for choice with a few of the really big crowd-pleasing names having to face off, but in the end the featured match really is something of a no-brainer.
Deadline is Friday 2 February, midnight UK time. As ever, please don’t feel you have to vote in all 16 instances.
The Wondermints v The Jesus and Mary Chain
Joe Strummer v Julian Cope
The Pipettes v Lloyd Cole & The Commotions
The Jam v T.Rex
Billy Bragg v The Faces
The Housemartins v Gene
Foil v Emiliana Torrini
The Jayhawks v The Farmer’s Boys/The Higsons
R.E.M. v Radiohead
USA v UK. Stipe v Yorke; Buck v Greenwood; And the toss of the coin and roll of the dice hasn’t made it any easier:-
Perfect Circle (from Murmur, 1983)
No Surprises (from OK Computer, 1997)
Elbow v The Skids
Underworld v Ride
Carter USM v Dwight Yoakam
Pulp v Tindersticks
The The v Simple Minds
The Velvet Underground v The National
Friends Again v XTC (2)
The final part of Round 1 will be unveiled next Saturday, by which time everyone should just about have their breath back from the above matches. Don’t worry, you’ll be hyperventilating again soon, with arguably the best two ties of the lot still to be revealed.