Thanks for getting so many votes in by the earlier than usual deadline. As this post appears, I’ll be 70-odd miles away from home, making the most of a brilliantly nostalgic night with ex-players from Raith Rovers FC at a commemorative dinner/piss-up recalling the six games we played in the UEFA Cup in 1995, including the night when we dared to dream of knocking out Bayern Munich as we led 1-0 at half-time in the Olympiastadion.
Alas, there was no giant-killing, but it was fun while it lasted. So which of our four teams from last week could call on the international class and experience of Klinsmann, Papin, Babbel and Kahn and which had to rely on brave warriors such as Sinclair, Lennon, Coyle and Dair ?
Rod Stewart 6 The Jesus and Mary Chain 30
XTC (2) 24 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 15
The Smiths 28 Husker Du 12
The Durutti Column 22 Paul Quinn 15
To all Paul Quinn fans, I’d like to offer a heartfelt apology. My behaviour, as manager, in fielding the 12” version of Change of Attitude in the original ICA was totally out of character and a momentary lapse in my normally high standards of behaviour. The 7” might have gotten through but in all honesty, it was a tad arrogant on my part to field such a self indulgent b-side in the first place…on reflection and with hindsight, it was an error for which there is no feasible excuse. Good luck to Vini and his crew in the next round and the remainder of the competition.
Moving on now to this week’s match ups and I’m hoping after eight successive near walkovers that some minor excitement at least can be generated.
It does open with a tasty match-up with the bonus of it being a Liverpool/Manchester rivalry while the remaining three games will hopefully get you thinking a bit…..all teams may well need the luck of the Irish to get through. Happy St Patrick’s Day.
Matches 21-24 of Round 2
The Stone Roses v OMD
The Stone Roses have been suggested in some quarters as having the ability to go all the way in the competition although there are some correspondents who think they lack the neccesary depth. They weren’t pushed too hard in Round 1 against Yellow Magic Orchestra but even so, will need an improved performance to see off OMD whose professional and polished performance last time out saw them deal a mortal blow to trhe much fancied Super Furry Animals. This tie has a similar sort if feel to it and much will depend on the toss of the coin and the roll of the dice…which might just favour the Liverpudlians in that their song is better-known amomg the masses.
All Across The Sands (b-side, 1987) v Messages (from Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, 1980)
Wire (2) v The Farmer’s Boys/The Higsons
The art-school veterans who go by the name of Wire got through Round 1 by a the odd-goal in 45 in a titanic battle againt Supergrass with the reward being a home match against one of the acts representing the ‘Sounds of Young Norwich’ ICA. Last time round the reliance was on The Higsons who came through a close one against The Jayhawks. Will the manager be allowed to stick with the same starting line or will the coin and dice enforce a complete set of new players? Turns out that The Farmer’s Boys will be on the bench yet again, and given the might of the opposition song, the fates may have conspired to prevent them ever setting foot on the playing surface.
Outdoor Miner (single, 1979) v Conspiracy by The Higsons (single, 1982)
Everything But The Girl (2) v Echo & The Bunnymen
I know I’m overusing the word intriguing in describing so many of these 2nd round ties but I make no apologies for doing so again. The Bunnymen took care of Leonard Cohen last time out, although it needed the use of The Cutter to ensure progress. They could end up with a similar type of tie again depending on whch EBTG comes out via the coin and dice. In Round 1, Tracey and Ben went with Draining The Bar, a piano-led ballad, which was more than enough to hammer The Libertines. Both sides will likely need to be at, or close to, their best to progress. Either way, Echorich will be sad that one of them will have to leave.
Cross My Heart (from Baby The Stars Shine Bright, 1986) v Zimbo (live) (b-side, 1983)
Martin Stephenson v Butcher Boy
This is just such a brilliant tie on paper. Two of my all time favourites, neither of whom at the start of the World Cup I’d have given too much chance of reaching this stage; but now one of them is going to reach the last 32 and possibly take on a really big gun. The romance of the cup etc.
Martin Stephenson, to the chagrin of many, removed Andrew Weatherall from the tournament, albeit he needed the might of The Daintees backing him on Crocodile Cryer to deliver. Butcher Boy were up in a real Indietracks type battle against The Magnetic Fields last time out and came through despite being the lesser known of the combos. Which tunes are going head-to-head this time?
Rain (from Boat to Bolivia, 1986) v Helping Hands (from album of same name, 2011)
Yup. Two ballads make for a fine match-up.
Closing date and time for entries is Friday 23 March, at 10pm UK time.
Next week will see jimdoes take to the stage to introduce matches 24-27. I know which games are coming up. I don’t envy him.