When I set out the timetable for this ICA World Cup, I forgot to take into account that there will be occasions when I’m won’t actually be in Villain Towers when the voting deadline passes, the numbers need to be checked and the results posted. Group G ended while myself and Rachel were in Manchester for the weekend (celebrating her birthday which fell yesterday on the Sunday), taking in some live music and some comedy, and catching up with some friends, not least Adam from Bagging Area.
I’m able to post this on schedule as I took the laptop down with me, but much of the work was done in advance by keeping on top of things prior to the cut-off point, with Thursday lunchtime being when I tallied things up with the aim of adding in the final few stragglers some 72 hours later.
Group G had a few big names. It certainly led to a quite unusual voting pattern in that the same five acts were appearing time after time after time, to the extent that after I had counted 20 sets of votes, it was as near a certainty as you could imagine that The Cure (19), Human League (17), Orange Juice (17), Soft Cell (15) and Suede (13) would all proceed comfortably to the knock-out stages. At the other end of things, it was looking that all of Fucked Up (1), Minutemen (1), Malcolm Middleton (3), Trashcan Sinatras (3), Mark Lanegan (4) Mogwai (4) and Paul Haig (4) were on their way out, while Goldfrapp (5) and Talulah Gosh (6) would require to improve dramatically in the second half to stand any chance of catching and overhauling Neil Young (8), The Delgados (9) and Carter USM (10).
By the time I looked at things on Thursday early afternoon, 43 sets of votes had been cast. The top five had even more of a stranglehold on things, with it just being down to who would finish in what position. Positions 6 to 8 were still as was, with time running out for anyone hoping to mount the dramatic late comeback in the style of It’s Immaterial last week.
Come Sunday, in the confines of one of Manchester’s many and very comfortable Premier Inns, I found myself checking up on 46 votes all told.
- The Cure 40
- Orange Juice 38
- Suede 36
- Human League 33
- Soft Cell 32
- Carter USM 21* (coin toss)
- Neil Young 21
- The Delgados 19
There was a gap to Talulah Gosh (15), Malcolm Middleton (14), Paul Haig (13) and Mark Lanegan (13), all of whom I’d had given a vote to if I was participating, but in the end it didn’t matter.
And with 40 out of a possible 46, The Cure gained votes from 87% of participants, which makes them the likely best performers in the group stages.
That’s us now got 56 of the 64 who will participate in the knock-out stages sorted out, just waiting for Group H to shake itself out, and the stage is just about set for the knock-out stages to get underway this coming Sunday. But for now, and in keeping with the practice since the tournament got underway, a song from an ICA we’ve had to say farewell to.