Yup…..The Jam pulled off an almighty shock last week and knocked out The Clash by 22-18. Here’s the roads that the two finalists have gone down in this tourney.


Round 1 – St Swithin’s Day : 33-10 v The Faces
Round 2 – Tank Park Salute : 23-12 v The Pixies
Round 3 – Greetings To The New Brunette : 26-15 v Prefab Sprout
Round 4 – Love Gets Dangerous : 25-12 v Half Man Half Biscuit
Round 5 – Levi Stubbs’ Tears : 26-12 v The Smiths
Semi Final – Between The Wars : 18-16 v Pulp


Round 1 – Happy Together : 34-10 v T.Rex
Round 2 – Billy Hunt : 37-6 v The Detroit Cobras
Round 3 – Thick As Thieves : 35-6 v Daft Punk
Round 4 – Saturday’s Kids : 23-4 v The Jesus and Mary Chain
Round 5 – Man In The Corner Shop : 23-11 v Lloyd Cole & The Commotions
Semi Final – To Be Someone (Didn’t We Have A Nice Time) : 22-18 v The Clash

Every tie thus far has seen the songs matched in randomly thanks to a combination of tossing a coin and rolling a dice. The advantage is very much with Billy as he had two ICAs (#36 and #37) and still has 14 tracks for selection: Northern Industrial Town; World Turned Upside Down; Deportees; Take Down The Union Jack; A New England; Cold and Bitter Tears; Walk Away Renee; Which Side Are You On?; The Space Race Is Over; The Saturday Boy; The Short Answer; Everywhere; Brickbat; Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards

The Jam had one ICA (#52) and therefore have much fewer options: Art School; Little Boy Soldiers; Boy About Town; The Gift, none of which really stand a chance if certain of Billy’s come through……

Please have a listen and cast your votes for one of the following songs:-

Brickbat v Little Boy Soldiers

Intriguing and fascinating, with Billy being represented by one of his love songs from the LP William Bloke, inspired by the changes in his life in settling down and becoming a dad while The Jam have the new-wave equivalent of Bohemian Rhapsody around which Paul Weller planned but didn’t quite pull off the idea of Setting Sons being an anti-war concept album.

Feel free to take your time on this one…..The closing date for voting is midnight on Sunday 22 July with the result being announced the following morning – the reason being that next weekend sees me on my annual pilgrimage to Westport in Ireland and I’m not taking the laptop with me.



28 thoughts on “THE ICA WORLD CUP FINAL OF 2018

  1. Hard, this. Two music heroes, going into the final with lesser tracks.

    Brickbat is a Trippier free kick, an unexpected moment of quality, but the ambition of Little Boy Soldiers is the Croatian comeback.

    The Jam, for me. Worthy winners of this tie and, following the recent implosion of a certain Steven, the band I have been rooting for in thus world cup. Weller, Foxton, Buckler – three lions indeed.

  2. Brickbat is a lovely little song but little boy soldiers is a work of genius. So in the Woking v Barking cup final it has to be The JAM.

  3. I love Billy’s love songs and never heard the jam track before. Still a bit relieved it isn’t the clash . After playing the jam a couple of times Billybsneaks it

  4. ‘Brickbat’ is an old, old favourite that I deliberately haven’t listened to for many years. Hearing it again takes back to another time and place – and to a road I could well have travelled if circumstances had been different. This song would’ve easily beaten ‘Art School’, ‘Boy About Town’ or ‘The Gift’, but ‘Little Boy Soldiers’? Sorry Billy, but you’ll have to be content with a runners up medal this time around.

  5. Brickbat is a middle-age masterpiece. Little Boy Soldiers sounds like a soundtrack in search of a film, so Billy claims this for me. Clash will regret blowing the semi-final as the trophy was there for the taking.

  6. It’s a long time since I’ve listened to ‘little boy soldiers’ & it’s much better than i remembered. Brickbat still just edges it though so BB gets my vote.

  7. Pleased these two are in the final. Also pleased two decent songs and it’s a close run thing. Great competition – BB edges it…

  8. Very hard indeed, and, it must be said: rather a poor final, isn’t it? When I’m finished with driving a nail into my foot to remind myself of the stupidity of not having voted for The Clash when I had the chance last week, I’ll vote for …. Billy Bragg.

    In fact, “Setting Sons” was the first Jam – album I ever owned … at a very young age indeed. Most wonderful record! I always thought that ‘Little Boy Soldiers’ was too much in some strange ‘rock opera – style’ though … had it been ‘Art School’, I would have been very sorry for Billy ….

  9. What a clashing choice of songs (pun intended)
    Ambition in the shape of Paul Weller
    boiler plate love song courtesy of Billy Bragg

    Both are outstanding lyrically
    Both songs could not be performed by anybody else
    Both have their time and place in my heart

    The Jam

  10. Pixies, HMHB, Pulp. Billy has done all the hard work in the earlier rounds and Brickbat secures a comfortable vicory here.

  11. Little Boy Soldiers has been a favourite since my very first listen. Only a couple of BB songs could have challenged it for me – and they’ve already featured.

    The Jam.

  12. I really hoped for a go-betweens/lloyd come grand final but maybe next time…

    The Jam take this one. You can’t fault the ambition of trying something like LBS.

    Nice one William but Paul and his Jams are in front when the whistle blows.

  13. I used to want to plant bombs
    At the last night of the proms
    But, now you’ll find me with the baby in the bathroom
    With that big shell listening for the sound of the sea

    As predicted a couple of weeks ago, I’m voting for the winner of the Pulp v. Bragg semi-final.

  14. The Jam. How about a women’s world cup next year? The Americans should do a bit better.

  15. I’ve been thinking it would be a Clash v Pulp final for a while so I’m surprised that at least one of them was unable to go the distance…

    Anyway, I’m going with Billy Bragg here

    Thanks JC for taking my crackpot idea and turning it in to a must read bit of the internet – it’s been a lot of fun…!

  16. Late to this due to being away, Al the best with the Westport trip.

    The Jam- slightly underpar final I feel, neither fielding their strongest side. An anticlimactic final but The Jam take it.

  17. The Jam for me: one of their most ambitious songs, which is wholly successful. Great Leap Forwards would’ve beaten it though.

  18. Hard to believe these 2 songs are the entries for the Final. Good lyrics from Bragg, as always, but a plodding bore musically. Ambitious attempt by The Jam but they don’t really pull it off; the parts just don’t cohere at all. Oh, well. It’s been a great tournament. For the sake of the effort…

    The Jam.

  19. After much deliberation, Bill edges it for me. Late equaliser off his nose then won it 6-5 on pens after Paul’s penalty was saved…

  20. After a long time thinking about who will win this cup I vote for The Jam in this excellent final. It is sad for Billy that one of the Jam’s finest songs hit the final. Anyway, thanks to JC for this world cup. It made a lot of fun to me.

  21. Am I too late? No? In that case…. oh not as easy as I’d hoped but I’ll have to go with the Jam. I’ve deliberately not looked at the previous comments to see who’s in the lead so far, so it will be surprise when the winner is announced.

    Really great fun, I hope you might do it again some time – or something similar anyway!

  22. PS Have just discovered quite by chance that it is virtually impossible to say ‘Billy Bragg Brickbat’ quickly without messing it up….

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