Three of the ties were tight affairs for about three-quarters of the past week with all the winners finishing strongly. All four losers this week would certainly have been worthy of a place in the final 32 and their fans will miss them. The introductory title footage does reflect that this week ultimately proved to be a bit of an triumph for England.
New Order (3) 25 The Go-Betweens (2) 19
The Charlatans 32 Carter USM 13
Lightning Seeds 26 Big Audio Dynamite 17
The Cramps 20 Saint Etienne 26
This lastest batch of ties just about mirrors the full quality of last week and in Match 12, has what I think is the most scary one so far in this round, and in all likelihood the entire competition, partly on the basis of the two bands and partly on the songs that came out. It would have made a worthy final.
Matches 9-12 of Round 2
The Jam v The Detroit Cobras
The Jam were perhaps fortunate that 1st Round opponents T Rex fielded a relatively weak song that enabled the use of album track The Gift to get the nod. The Detroit Cobras, who offered Down In Louisiana, were on a hiding to nothing last time out, drawing Chris Martin and his merry men; readers of this corner of t’internet will just not counter any success for the latter, no matter the song. The evil streak in me wishes I had rigged a Coldplay v Kanye West match-up – that would have got you muttering under your collective breaths.
On paper, the better known English beat-combo are favoured before the songs are drawn…..but it mustn’t be forgotten that their ICA consists solely of album tracks with the singles deliberately excluded.
Half Man Half Biscuit v The Trash Can Sinatras
This really is one for the purists with two of the finest wordsmiths going head-to-head with the extra spice of a cross-border battle which at club level would be Tranmere Rovers v Kilmarnock. If you really want to enter into the spirit of things, you’d all wait till Friday night to vote for this one. Half Man Half Biscuit saw off the might of Elvis Costello & The Attractions last time out, but had to field a top-notch song in 1966 And All That to get through. Still, there’s plenty more in their locker. The Trashies had cult dance act A.R. Kane to overcome and they battled through thanks to All The Dark Horses, which will be an apt name to give to whoever emerges from here into the last 32. This is quality stuff.
Pete Wylie v PJ Harvey
Will you need to call in assistance from Sgt Rock to sort out this battle of the sexes or will the coin and dice make it such a mismatch that it’ll be an easy call to make? Pete got through very easily last time against The Orwells despite fielding what could be considered a weak track in Remember, while Polly Jane casually went with one of her more obscure numbers called The Wind which blew away Malcolm Ross despite him cranking things up with a Josef K number from the Postcard era, a result that saw the bookies react by reducing the odds on Ms Harvey being the eventual winner. This has the makings of a superb tie.
Magazine v The Wedding Present
You know those few opening minutes in the film Four Weddings and A Funeral in which the word ‘fuck’ is deployed on numerous occasions? It was akin to the room in Villain Towers when these two names came out of the hat together. Magazine and The Wedding Present….two of the most popular and written-about bands on the blog with very few, if any, dissenting comments ever left behind.
Round 1 saw very comfortable wins over Prince and Deacon Blue respectively, although it could be argued that in utilising The Light Pours Out of Me, Howie & co used a bigger weapon than Always The Quiet One as performed by TWP.
If this one comes down to a casting vote, it will be entirely about the song the coin and dice come up with.
Fuckity-fuck fuck fuck. That doesn’t help does it??
Please have your votes in by 10pm on Friday 3 March….as ever, you don’t have to vote in all of the ties but I’ve a feeling you might want to.
Tune in next Saturday for matches 13-16 which will be previewed by jimdoes, the mad genius who came up with this World Cup concept. If you thought this week was tough, well babies you just ain’t seen nothin’ yet.