Yes….that is a blurry photo (accessed from t’internet) of the time when Mark E Smith read out the football results on BBC Television. It was to do with the programme segment having long used Theme From Sparta F.C. #2 as the introductory music.
I reckon MES would have been enthralled at the way Group C panned out as the outcome, outside of the Top Two, was uncertain until the final few votes came in. The Feelies and Television got their noses out in front early on and never relinquished their positions…it was just a case of which of the two would win the group.
Michael Hall, Rainer Ptaceck and The Schramms all offered up sterling efforts, but didn’t muster much in the way of support.
This left thirteen acts battling it out for the six remaining qualifying places and a spot in the knock-out stages. It swung one way and then another and then swung back again….and then there were a few late surges from ICAs that hadn’t picked up many early votes. Thankfully, the top eight all gained enough votes to avoid any elimination by the cruel coin-toss, but the process was needed a few times to sort out an order:-
- Television 21
- The Feelies 18
- The Dream Syndicate 14
- Chuck Prophet 14
- Chris Isaak 14
- Uncle Tupelo 13
- Queens of the Stone Age 12
- Vic Chesnutt 12
Black Angels and Morphine got 11 votes, just one ahead of Black Keys, Son Volt and Thin White Hope. Giant Sand gained 9 votes, while The Lyres picked up 8.
The best thing of all is that my e-mail to HSP, using his home address rather than his place of employment, did get picked up, and he used the comments section to let everyone know he was fine, and to explain why he’s been quiet for so long:-
“I will be back, I hope fairly soon. COVID had a lot to do with my backing away – it effectively doubled our workload which was then doubled again by fighting our nightmare administration and its constant efforts to undo all that is good about higher education (a union man through and through, I’m also on the Academic Senate, so La Luta Continue!).
That was also the time one son was starting University, from the basement, and the other, from the upstairs bedroom and my wife was working from home and… I got a book contract to go along with the Associate Editor work I do for a rising journal.
I was working on a “post-Hoboken” Luna/Wake Ooloo ICA around that time, as well as one I was less confident about for Killing Joke. I know there’s one to be made on Deer Tick, and I think I can do one on the Ass Ponys. Onwards and upwards, hope to be back soon.”
And if nothing else is achieved from the staging of the 2022 ICA World Cup, the return of HSP will have been worth it.
This one seems appropriate today, now that we know the answer.