Feel free to have the video on loop as you make your selections. You don’t have to vote on all ties, but the more entries, the more fun!

The first 16 ties in Round One offer some very, very tasty match-ups; all of the songs came out via the coin and dice method and there was no match-rigging. There are a number of very tough choices facing everyone.

Deadline is Friday 19 January, midnight UK time. Results will be officially announced on Sunday 21 January.

The Lemonheads v Spoon

Hospital (from Car Button Cloth, 1994) v Waiting For The Kid To Come Out (from Soft Effects EP, 1997)

The Indelicates v Kitchens of Distinction

The Last Significant Statement To Be Made In Rock n Roll (from American Demo, 2008) v Japan to Jupiter (from Folly, 2013)

Butcher Boy v The Magnetic Fields

Imperial (from Helping Hands, 2011) v How Fucking Romantic (from 69 Love Songs, 1999)

The Feelies v Paul Quinn

Loveless Love (from Crazy Rhythms, 1980) v Stupid Thing (single by Paul Quinn & The Independent Group, 1993)

Big Audio Dynamite v The Streets

E=MC2 (from This Is Big Audio Dynamite, 1985) v Has It Come To This (from Original Pirate Material, 2002)

Talk Talk v Death In Vegas

Happiness Is Easy (from The Colour of Spring, 1986) v Dirge (from The Contino Sessions, 1999)

Sonic Youth v Billy Joel

I Love You Golden Blue (from Sonic Nurse, 2004) v Piano Man (from Piano Man, 1973)

PJ Harvey v Malcolm Ross

The Wind (from Is This Desire?, 1998) v Radio Drill Time (single by Josef K, 1980)

Associates v Edwyn Collins

This is the tie that the TV companies made a mad dash for:-

Breakfast (1985)

Keep On Burning (1997)

LCD Soundsystem v New Order

Yeah (Crass Mix) (12″ single, 2004) v Blue Monday (12″ single, 1983)

The Cramps v Shit Robot

I Wanna Get In Your Pants (from Look Mum, No Head, 1991) v I Got A Feeling (from the Cradle to the Rave, 2010)

Deacon Blue v The Wedding Present

The Outsiders (from The Hipsters, 2012) v Always The Quiet One (from Take Fountain, 2005)

The Police v Captain Beefheart

Invisible Sun (from Ghosts In The Machine, 1981) v Circumstances (from Clear Spot, 1972)

The Charlatans v The Mekons

The Only One I Know [acoustic version] (from Warm Sounds EP, 2011) v Teeth (from 7″ EP, 1980)

Saint Etienne v The Sugarplastic

How We Used To Live (from Sound Of Water, 2000) v Don’t Look Down (from The Powderpuff Girls soundtrack, 2000)

Tilly and The Wall v Orange Juice

Falling Without Knowing (from O, 2008) v Felicity (single, 1982)

As I said, get listening and get voting. The next 16 match-ups will be revealed next Saturday- and if you think the above lot were tough, just you wait!



With only one tie in the preliminary round, it was possible to declare a result very soon after the final whistle blew on what proved to be a titanic struggle over 60 hours.

The 12 noon kick off on Wednesday clearly suited the American art rockers as they raced into a 10-6 lead following the opening exchanges over the first four hours.  The Scots beat combo fought back tenaciously, and shortly after 8pm they took the lead for the first time when DG’s contribution made it 15-14.  This only seemed to rile the fans of Byrne & co and by half-time, at 6pm on Thursday, they had opened up a substantial lead with the score being 27-20 in their favour.

The Heads came out after the break looking to kill things off and scored the next three goals; the difference was now 10 and seemed unassailable.  The Lobsters, however, came back under the cover of darkness with five unanswered goals between 11pm and 4am – the gap was down to five with only the final third of the game left to play.

The boys from the small town a few miles south-west of Glasgow set about their task and momentum seemed to be on their side and  three Friday night goals saw the margin down to just one as we entered the final 60 minutes…..during which, incredibly, nobody added to their tally.

The final whistle brought an enthralling and exciting match to a close with the scoreboard showing :-

Talking Heads 31  Close Lobsters 30

The New Yorkers, despite scoring only one goal in that final third, had managed to hold on.  The decisive intervention came at 6.37 pm, with Ian saying ‘Talking Heads. Back of the Net.’  We will be hard pushed to get such a frantic match again in the remainder of the competition….or will we?

The reward for the winners is a home tie against Massive Attack in Week 2 of Round 1. Good luck with that one.

Huge thanks to everyone for such a great response.  I hope the interest can keep up over the next 27 Saturdays.


PS : The Saturday Scottish Song was originally posted as planned, but it made for a very long read when combined with the above.  I’ve taken it down with a view to re-posting it one day next week….and that will likely be the case for the regular series while the World Cup is in progress.


A new feature is going to launch properly this coming Saturday. It’s a variation on something I’ve seen used elsewhere but it’s such a brilliant and fun concept that it’s being adopted for this little corner of t’internet.

The idea, however, is not my own. The genius who suggested it is a reader of old, jimdoes:-

Hey JC

hope all is well

your latest blog post is great and i didn’t think for a minute you were moaning – to write a blog every day takes time and a hell of a lot of dedication – and to keep it entertaining and interesting is no mean feat – to sum up – i’m glad you are not quitting anyway, i’ve got a song/story that i meant to send you before xmas and i’ll try and do another ICA (they really illustrate how difficult it is to write interestingly about music and how you are so good at it)

so i’ve had a thought… there’s 130 different teams in the ICA’s… what if there was a world cup between them to find which one was the best…?? it would all be very arbitary but it might work…

130 teams in 14 groups of 8 & 2 of 9
top 2 from each group goes through to finals
qualification to the 32 ICA finals (where we have 8 groups of 4)
each group winner and runner up go to last 16 knockout till the final – i’d randomly pick one song from each ICA discuss it’s merits and give a score

i.e. the CLASH would be favourites but if they ‘played’ NEW ORDER and it was Capital radio 2 vs Blue Monday then we’d have an upset

it’s a mad idea but it might work!!!

anyway, happy new year!

Reading the e-mail on the i-phone put a big grin on my face and my brain went immediately into overtime, so much so I almost missed my train stop.

Jimdoes’ idea is fantastic but the suggestion of groups to get it down to the knockout stage feels like too much work, and besides I don’t think I’m alone as a football fan in preferring the drama of pure knockout. So, with his agreement, the rules of the competition have been revised a bit and firmed up to avoid dubiety.

There have indeed been 130 separate bands and artists featured within the ICA series. However, Morrissey has been disqualified on the grounds that his human rights record in recent years has been absolutely abysmal (as indeed have his musical records).

This leaves just 129 in the field, and all we need is 128 to have a straight knockout. So one ‘team’ has to removed in a preliminary round.  This is taking place today, with the remaining rounds played on the following dates.

Round 1 : 64 knockout ties : 16 ties on each of Saturdays 13, 20 and 27 January, and 3 February
Round 2 : 32 knockout ties : Four each on Saturdays 10, 17 and 24 February; 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 March
Round 3 : 16 knockout ties : Four each on Saturdays 6, 13, 20 and 27 April
Round 4 : 8 knockout ties : Two each on Saturdays 4, 11, 18 and 25 May
Round 5 : Quarter Finals : Saturdays 1, 8, 15 and 22 June
Round 6 : Semi-Finals : Saturdays 29 June and 6 July

The final itself will take place on Saturday 14 July, which is 24 hours before the final of the 2018 World Cup.

The numbers 1-150 (except #96 and #97) will go into the hat. Once a team is drawn out, their other numbers become ineligble (e.g, if #137 : The Fall (2) comes out, then #29, #144 and #147 cannot be included).

Fresh draws will be made at each stage of the competition so as to avoid folk looking to work out the route their own favourite would have to negotiate to reach the final.

The songs to be chosen from each ICA will emerge from a two-step process:-

(1) A coin will be flipped to determine if the song is from Side A (heads) or Side B (tails)
(2) A dice will be rolled to determine which track is to represent the particular ICA.


Voting, other than for the preliminary round, will be open for 6 days. In the event of a tie, the Blogfather (i.e, JC,  has the casting vote).

Votes must be cast via comments underneath the appropriate post. Only one vote will be allowed per IP address. Votes will close at midnight, UK time, on the Friday after the tie(s) have been announced.  The winners in each instanc will be revealed at some point over the weekend.

Hopefully, this all makes perfect sense….and so without any further ado, here’s the details of the preliminary tie to reduce the field to 128:-

#115 : Talking Heads v #93 : Close Lobsters

Wow!!!  A transatlantic clash between two of the dark horses.  A mouth watering-tie is in prospect.  Time to flip the coin and roll the dice for the tracks that will go head-to-head:-

Born Under Punches (from the LP ‘Remain In Light’ 1980)
Let’s Make Some Plans (single, 1987)

Get voting.  All votes must be in by Friday 12 January, at midnight UK time.

Tune in on Saturday for details of the initial 16 ties in the 1st Round.  The draw has already been made but is being kept under wraps.  Let’s just say, it has thrown up some intriguing battles.  Some of the pre-tournament favourites will be departing the scene almost immediately.

JC and jimdoes

PS : I should have said that this new bonus series will appear in conjunction with the regular Saturday series of Scottish songs – I’ll be posting them around 30 minutes apart.