The final four ties have been getting played out all week against an increasing anticipation that we really are getting to the business end of the tournament.

Lemonheads 8 v Prefab Sprout 28
Julian Cope 11 v The Housemartins 26
The Pixies 12 v Billy Bragg 23
Ride 33 v Asian Dub Foundation 4

Condolences if all of your favourites have now been eliminated, but there’s still time to latch onto one of the remaining sides to cheer on from the terraces.

I’ve made the full draw for the last 32 and the matches will be played in the order they came out the hat. It proved to be a relatively fortunate draw in that none of the sides who were involved last week came out in the first four games and so get a well-earned rest. You’ll also spot that all of the first four games of Round 3 fall into the intriguing category but don’t offer match-ups that will make for sleepless nights mulling over the options. But trust me, there’s plenty of that to come with a number of the real big guns having to take one another on…..all of which opens things up for some so-called lesser lights to keep allegedly unlikely runs going.

This week does see a high proportion of sides from Merseyside…..

Round 3 : Matches 1-4

The Durutti Column v Echo & The Bunnymen

Manchester v Liverpool….and not for the first time this week.

Vini Reilly has thus far seen off two cult acts from Scotland but this is, without question, a real step up in class for him.  He’s likely going to have to field one of his strongest bits of music and preferably one that isn’t too noodly and so ends up appealing to folk beyond his small but dedicated fan base.  Turns out, according to strictly rockers who was the author of the original ICA, that it is “Probably the best-known DC song complete with Martin Hannett‘s sampled birdsong.”

McCulloch & co. have already been tested strongly and fought through, with surprising ease, in tough looking ties against Lenny Cohen and EBTG, with the latter being seen off by a live song which was loved and loathed in equal measures.  Perhaps complacency could be their biggest enemy….but looking at the song that’s come out, they’re showing that this is being taken seriously. Very seriously

Sketch For Summer (from Return Of…, 1980) v The Killing Moon (from Ocean Rain, 1984)

The Police v Pete Wylie

Something tells me that Pistol Pete, the self-acclaimed “part-time pop star and full-time legend” will be relishing this match-up and will spend the entire build-up badmouthing his opponents, particularly Sting who will be accused of turning his back on his working-class origins and the shipbuilding town he was born in.  The media will be stoking the fires too….

After a comfortable win in Round 1, Pete Wylie produced his ace card to ensure he progressed against PJ Harvey who was tipped by a few pundits as a possible overall winner and he’s up against a side who, although not hugely popular in the overall scheme of things, have a knack of fielding a terrific pop tune that has seen themn rack up more than 50 goals in seeing off Captain Beefheart and The Stranglers.  The coin and dice combo will be critical….

Weekends (from A Word to the Wise Guy, 1984) v Roxanne (from Outlandos D’amour, 1978)

XTC v  Half Man Half Biscuit

This is one of those ties that I think is, before the songs are pulled out, almost impossible to predict.  If there’s two things I’ve learned in all the years of doing this blog they are that almost all readers like XTC and almost all readers love Half Man Half Biscuit.  There’s a case to be argued that all three of the songwriters deserve national treasure status in the UK.

XTC have two ICAs to choose from, one which is dedicated to songs by Andy Partridge, whose contributions have been used in the first two rounds to see off two of my own favourites in Friends Again followed by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.  This time round its the Colin Moulding ICA from which the song will be chosen which could be bad news for Nigel Blackwell and co, although they do have potential gems of their own to offer

Grass (from Skylarking, 1986) v Joy Division Oven Gloves (from Achtung Bono, 2005)

The Charlatans v OMD

I think both bands will be pleased with this draw and will be quietly confident of progressing….they’ve done well to tip-toe their way through the previous rounds with The Charlatans seeing off The Mekons and Carter USM while OMD have proven to be too good for Super Furry Animals and The Stone Roses, although both losers were guilty of fielding weaker songs than they are famed for.

The home side have already fielded what are arguably their two best known songs while the away side still have some top-notch 45s to offer up.  Once again, the coin and dice will play their part:-

Can’t Get Out Of Bed (from Up To Our Hips, 1994) v Enola Gay (from Organisation, 1980)

Some really good and enjoyable tunes to listen to this week…voting closes at 10pm on Friday 13 April.


38 thoughts on “BONUS SERIES : THE ICA WORLD CUP : ROUND 3 (Part 1)

  1. Echo And The Bunnymen – Mac’s on the pitch in Raybans
    Pete Wylie – he even wrote a new Anthem during halftime
    XTC – Swindon’s Finest proving once again they are in a League Of Their Own
    OMD – Kicking A-Bombs into the back of the net

  2. Bunnymen
    (2 classic tracks easily see off the opposition)
    Charlatans (because of the two it’s the one that stays in my head for days after I’ve heard it. Thanks…)

  3. A good week for Merseyside, a bad week for Manchester

    Police ( ok maybe not quite that good for the Scoucers)

  4. The first match is a really difficult one, 2 top teams who play with very different styles- and seeing as so many people have already tipped the Bunnymen I’m going for Vini and the Durutti Column. Sketch For Summer is worth at least one goal isn’t it?

    Pete Wylie- no contest. In the closing minutes of the game he nutmegs Sting and runs off shouting ‘megs!’. Just to piss the Police singer further off, he goes back and does it again. ‘Double megs!’

    Half Man Half Biscuit.

    The Charlatans- they could and did get out of bed and while Enola Gaye is a top song, Northwich’s finest are too much for for OMD.

  5. You can tell we’re getting closer to the real games now, Bunnymen, Police and OMD on the field with top teams, no rest for the wicked in these games – and it pays off as they win comfortably their respective game.
    XTC wins on penalties after playing a tight but not very entertaining 1-1 game.

  6. Oven gloves no substitute and Nigel fumbles the penalty after Moulding tumbles. It will shock you too as XTC go through.
    Bunnymen – can’t argue against the only song I’ve ever sung karaoke to.
    Charlatans couldn’r get out of their own box and should have stayed home yesterday, as OMD hammered them on the synthetic pitch.
    Final match is a close one but won, like a horse race, by a nose as Roxanne “heads” in.

  7. Could Vini win? Not against the Killing Moon FFS. So score one to the Bunnymen.
    Pete Wylie vs the Police? This really is Crawley Town against Man City, isnt it. Probably not deserved, but I’ll give this one to The Mighty Pete.
    i don’t get the cult of XTC. I do get the cult of HMHB. And we can all sing Joy Division Oven Gloves, cant we. HMHB
    And finally Cyril, it could be closer, but not when OMD play Enola Gay.

    White wash for the Scousers. And I’m a Yorkshireman.

  8. Joy Division Oven Gloves is good enough to win all of these games in its own right. I’ll plump for The Killing Moon as a winner, Enola Gay too, but sad to say the The Police have it with Roxanne, even though I agree with Stewart Copeland that Sting is one of my most disrespected people of all time.

  9. Durutti Column (this song has a very special memory attached to it for me which is far too X-rated to go into here! )
    Pete Wylie

  10. Echo and The Bunnymen I think that this could be the most one sided match so far, this is The Bunnymen at their very best
    The Police – I keep thinking Sting is crap but then when I listen to his work in one off situations like this I begin to realise that he was involved with some bloody good songs.
    Half Man Half Biscuit I just love this song apart from Trumpton Riots the best for me

  11. Echo and the bunnymen
    Police (whoever did this ICA was onto something by picking their greatest hits)
    HMHB obviously

  12. These combinations are the bitter proof that the whole series is a fake and has nothing to do at all with a real football world cup! Why? Because preliminary round is over and the British team has not yet travelled home – in fact eight British teams are still in the tournament!

    Either way, the contestants seem to have understood that at this stage of the tournament you better not fiddle about any longer, if you do, you’re out, as easy as that. Guess this is the reason why McCulloch & his mates came up with a performance as strong as ‘The Killing Moon’, which results in an easy victory for them!

    It’s obvious that Sting tried to be clever and had a spy sent to the Bunnymen cabin. Otherwise he wouldn’t have entered the pitch with ‘Roxanne’, one of his best songs, it must be said. Then again there aren’t all too many good ones. Problem is that Sting – being the insufferable twat that he is – rested on his laurels and thus totally underestimated the freshness and the pressing of the underdog: Pete Wylie. A multi-million budget doesn’t automatically guarantee an easy victory, you pompous bastard: Wylie clearly wins this game!

    The next one wasn’t as interesting to watch as I thought. XTC didn’t follow the golden rule I referred to above and that’s the reason why they got brutally beaten by Half Man Half Biscuit. I’m sorry for them, but they were warned!

    The fourth game was the hardest one, I would think. Both teams showed a very very strong performance and only at the end of extra time OMD scored the winning goal!

  13. Bunnymen
    Pete Wylie (though it looks like he’s up against it this time)

  14. Bunnymen
    Police (think that’s the first time I’ve voted against Wylie, but for all that I may want to take the piss out of Sting, Roxanne is the better song…if only because it inspired You Don’t Have To Be A Prostitute by Flight of the Conchords)

  15. Durutti Column – Beautiful stuff, Mr Echo over emoting again
    Wah! – Roxanne is dire people, that’s why its most famous rendition is by Eddie Murphy its a joke. Next round Dee Do Dah Dah or whatever is recognised as lost masterpiece.
    XTC – Ill take XTC sly humour over the more direct HMHB, and XTC much stronger melodically. I’d vote for both if I could and I’d buy those gloves, joke or no joke.
    OMD – these early OMD classics must be running out soon. Is there a better radical pop song than Enola Gay. The kiss you give is never gonna fade away.

  16. Bunnymen
    ….and in what is the hardest one yet (I had it a draw and had to go to the video….my daughters)….OMD

  17. Hey JC,

    My selection this week is:
    Echo and the Bunnymen
    The Mighty Wylie



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