It’s been a strange week with the ICA World Cup.
Four superb ties from last Saturday have been somewhat overshadowed by the midweek row over the potential exclusion of The Smiths after the latest interview given by Morrissey in which he, again, uttered words and espoused theories that were truly offensive to most folk.
I have, genuinely, appreciated the various forms of feedback from everyone which has certainly got me thinking about what to do next. It’s no surprise at all to see so many different suggestions being offered up and I’ll continue to take counsel over the next few days and say something when I the post the next again set of half-time updates in a few days time.
Returning again to last week’s match-ups. There was widespread support for all eight sides, albeit none of the games were nail-biters in the end. There’s certainly a lot of quality going to be on display among the final 16…….
New Order 28 v The Fall 14
Talking Heads 15 v The Housemartins 26
The Velvet Underground 17 v The Clash 22
The Jesus and Mary Chain 25 v The The 16
This week’s match-ups were scheduled to be penned by jimdoes, but one of them would have featured The Smiths and so they have all been held over till next week while the matches originally scheduled for next week have been hurriedly rearranged!
Lightning Seeds v Saint Etienne
A tie for the pop purists. And the two songs which have emerged from the selection process will undoubtedly attract votes. The home side has crept quietly under the radar to this point in the competition with Broudie’s Boys seeing off Gemma Ray and Big Audio Dynamite without too much fuss. Cracknell’s Crackers on the other hand, having eased past The Sugarplastic in Round 1, found themselves in a bruising and epic battle against The Cramps last time out. Will the efforts involved have tired them out or toughened them up for this assignment.
The Life of Riley (from Sense, 1992) v Hobart Paving (single version, 1993)
Pulp v Pavement
“I’ll have a P please Bob!’ as the tittering teenagers taking part in the quiz show Blockbusters were so fond of uttering when host Bob Holness asked for their choice of letter.
This is the latest of the many intriguing contests this intriguing competition has thrown up over the first three rounds. Both teams have delivered genuinely brilliant records over the years alongside material that was designed to test the patience and capacities of their more casual fans but to the great delight of the ultras. This could be a whitewash either way or turn out to be very close. It’s almost totally predicatable that both sides have gone with songs that aren’t among their best known, seemingly keeping their powders dry for whatever challenges lie ahead. The original author of the Pulp ICA described today’s song as bleak but rewarding; the original author of the Pavement ICA described today’s song as ‘a bit psychedelic…..like elephants charging’. The original author of both ICAs was Tim Badger.
The Fear (from This Is Hardcore, 1998) v Texas Never Whispers (from Watery Domestic EP, 1992)
Wire(2) v Butcher Boy
I think you’d have got good odds on both these sides making it to the last 32. It will be quietly satisfying that one of these very fine but unheralded acts will march proudly into the final 16 when so many giants will have been toppled.
Wire, having seen off two English pop acts from different decades – Supergrass and The Higsons – are relying on a typical two minute burst of manic pop thrills to get through against their Scottish opponents this time round. Butcher Boy, conquerors of The Magnetic Fields and Martin Stephenson, are probably more renowned for lush arrangements around heartfelt ballads but take to this field with something a bit more conventional that has possibly the best organ solo that you’ll hear in this or any other round not to mention the best use of a cello on any song outside of Monkey Gone To Heaven.
Two People In A Room (from 154, 1979) v You’re Only Crying For Yourself (from React or Die, 2009)
Orange Juice v The Wedding Present
The competition is meant to be about the merits of the two songs on offer. I’m wondering if the inclusion of a live version by one of these stellar acts will have a bearing on the outcome. Either way, I’m not going to be alone in being delighted for the winner and distraught for the loser.
Felicity (single, 1982) v My Favourite Dress (live) (recorded at Sound City Leeds in 1996)
Just a pity that the coins and dice didn’t give us the cover version of Felicity by TWP……………..
Votes must be cast by Friday 27 April at 10pm.