Bit of a non-event this week…..but again, huge thanks those of you who took the time to vote and to comment. Micky’s usual e-mail vote contained this gem re BB v HMHB….
This is like asking if I prefer a bag of crisps with a pint in the pub or a pie & Bovril at a football match. How do you compare?
He, in the end, went for the whimsical and witty musings of the blokes from Birkenhead, but he’ll be left disappointed that it is the singular bloke from Barking who has prevailed.
The Smiths 24 The Police 7
Billy Bragg 25 Half Man Half Biscuit 12
They now join The Housemartins and The Clash in the quarter-finals. I can also reveal that The Smiths are the subject of an appeal in that their frontman, having now served a two-game suspension , should be allowed to rejoin the squad. The organising committee will deliberate over the coming days and the verdict announced at the time the QF draw is revealed.
Here’s what now awaits your deliberations this week. Couple of crackers IMHO.
Echo & The Bunnymen v Butcher Boy
While many might have made a safe prediction that the Scousers would have progressed to this stage, it would have been a brave person to tip that the Scottish posters would have been their opponents, still in the competition when so many huge names have fallen by the wayside. But that’s the nature of an unseeded and totally random knockout competition for you.
The Cutter, Zimbo and The Killing Moon have been fielded by Mac & co. to see off the differing challenges of Leonard Cohen, Everything But The Girl and The Durutti Column. The first and third of those songs scored very heavily, evidence that this is free-scoring side more than capable of lifting the trophy as long as they don’t get too cocky.
On a personal note, I’m thrilled for John & co. to be given the chance to take on the really big guns. They had an easy win in Round 1 against The Magnetic Fields, since when they have squeaked through against Martin Stephenson and Wire by just two and three points respectively. Can they now deliver a result of giant-killing proportions?
There Is No One Who Can Tell Where You’ve Been (from Profit In Your Poetry, 2007) v A Promise (from Heaven Up Here, 1981)
It was ICA #17 for Butcher Boy and here’s what I wrote at the time:-
A tune that is played more than any other within Villain Towers as I’ve taken its first thirty seconds and turned them into a customised ringtone for my mobile phone. All those influences that the early reviewers pinpointed (The Smiths, Tindersticks, Felt, Belle & Sebastian, R.E.M. and Go-Betweens ) can be heard in its perfect two and a half minutes. It’s also evidence that John is a fine singer although he personally considers that he is merely OK….but what it does highlight is just how talented he is as a musical arranger.
ICA #41 for Echo & The Bunnymen, with these words typed at 35,000 feet as I winged by way towards Toronto:-
If Postcard could claim to be the Sound of Young Scotland then those who came to prominence through Zoo Records are entitled to claim the same crown for Young Liverpool. This particular single could easily have been written and recorded by Wylie, Cope or The Wild Swans and it would have been equally majestic. Will Sargeant teased a ridiculous amount of stunning sounds from his guitar over these damn near perfect four minutes.
Interesting that I used the word ‘perfect’ on each occasion.
The Jam v The Jesus & Mary Chain
Two more sides who are capable, on their day, of fielding a song which would defeat any opponent. This is a very tasty tie to savour but it is worth remembering that the home side are completely reliant on album tracks as the ICA deliberately precluded any singles or b-sides as they had all just been featured in a long-running series.
Here’s the facts thus far.
Happy Together saw a 34-10 result against T.Rex
Billy Hunt delivered a 37-6 thumping to The Detroit Cobras
Thick As Thieves brought a 35-6 win over Daft Punk.
The results demonstrate that The Jam have been in glorious free-scoring form, but there’s something of a case that the sides thay have faced have been of lower-division standard.
Turning to their opponents….
Reverence resulted in a 33-11 triumph over The Wondermints
Boyfriend’s Dead was far too good for Rod Stewart, with a 30-6 outcome.
Never Understand proved more than enough for a 25-16 win over The The
The first two games showed they were just as free scoring, but again there’s an argument to be had about the quality of their opponents. They showed no mercy last time out, winning much easier than some had imagined when the draw came out.
Saturday’s Kids (from Setting Sons, 1979) v Guitarman (from Speed of Sound, 1994)
I wrote ICA #52 for the home side:-
A paean to growing up in a working-class household.
At 16, I had no idea what the line ‘stains on the seats – in the back of course’ was all about. Nor did I know who smoked Capstan Non-Filters (Embassy Regal? yup….that was my dad’s choice of habit) and for Selsey Bill and Bracklesam Bay you would have had to substitute places a little nearer home or insert Blackpool which around half of Glasgow seemed to migrate to in the last two weeks in July back in the mid-70s. Otherwise it was a song that resonated with me and even now I can recite every single word of the lyric. But I do accept that, with its descriptions of things that aren’t part of modern society then it’s a lyric very much of its time and so probably won’t resonate much with today’s kids….except perhaps the bit about hating the system. Some things just never change.
It was SWC who put together ICA #94 with the most wonderfully funny pre-amble (you should click on it the link over on the right hand side and remind yourself of it):-
I wanted to include a cover version, simply because the Marychain did a few, mainly old Blues rock numbers from the 60s, and this I think was the best one. I also recommend their version of ‘Little Red Rooster’ because the absolutely crush it, but for me the bit where Reid goes ‘Show ‘em sonnnn’ is bloody marvellous.
Happy listening. Votes must be in by Friday 25 May at 10pm.