The final two ties of the last round were good ones
The Wedding Present 16 Pulp 19
Lightning Seeds 13 Lloyd Cole & The Commotions 23
That’s us down to the final eight teams, and from now on it’s just one match up per week so that you can have as much time as you like, or need, to deliberate. I’m also pleased to say that jimdoes is taking over responsibility for penning the quarter final ties over the next four Saturdays. I’ve kind of exhausted my ideas on how to present the match-ups and he’s come up with something a bit different…..
Before jimdoes turns his attention to the first tie, I want to announce that The Smiths have been reinstated. The original decision wasn’t an easy one and it was made with a heavy heart, thinking that the chances of Marr, Rourke and Joyce would be ruined by the absence of the singer. Morrissey has been absent from the past two ties, and in most football tournaments, it is a two match ban which is applied for misedemeanours, and so it feels right that the Mancs have a full squad restored. They are likely to need it….and with that comment I’m handing over to jimdoes to guide you through this week’s match-up.
I’m going to try something a little different with the quarter finals – JC has been great at sharing routes to the quarter finals, so we all know what perilously difficult journeys our teams have faced. I’m not even going to make any more tenacious links to football – most of the bands left are old favourites that I’m sure everyone likes and has history with in some way – and that’s what I’m going to talk about for each of the match ups – my history with each band.
The Smiths v Billy Bragg
Still Ill (from The Smiths, 1984) v Levi Stubbs’ Tears (from Talking With The Taxman About Poetry, 1986)
Her name was Amanda – she was the first person to ever play me the Smiths and she was the first girl I ever kissed. I was a little late coming to both if I’m honest but I was certainly enthusiastic. Anyway, The Queen Is Dead had just come out (I’d almost bought Hatful of Hollow a few years earlier but I got a signed (!) Thompson Twins album from HMV instead) – and we’d listen to it in her bedroom while I hoped that her parents wouldn’t come home. I guess it was Morrissey that told me that Some Girls are Bigger Than Others as I didn’t have anything to compare Amanda’s charms to. We went to see them live a couple of times as I came to grips with their back catalogue – the first time I heard Still Ill was at Brixton Academy. Amanda and I split up around the time that Strangeways came out and The Smiths split. The two events were unconnected – it was a fairly short-lived romance but my love for the Smiths continued. I wore my t-shirt with pride (the Shoplifters Elvis one) and my next two girlfriends were the result of conversations at parties while I was wearing it. At the time they were my favourite EVER band – but I haven’t listened to an album all the way through in years.
Amanda and I would also listen to Billy Bragg in her room – Talking To The Taxman About Poetry. It’s safe to say that Billy Bragg is no Barry White but it worked for us. I first heard Billy Bragg the year before when he appeared on Top Of The Pops singing live (which was unheard of at the time) – Between The Wars – it was such a contrast to my usual Top Of The Pops diet of chart hits from the mid 80s. I went out and bought the single (pay no more than one pound and twenty-five pence) and used to play it on the stereo in my living room to annoy my parents. I didn’t have my own record player till I was 18 so the only place I could listen to music was the living room, mostly on headphones – always competing with my sister and her Whitney Houston albums. Shortly after this I was besotted with Kirsty MacColl when I heard A New England – not realising at first that this was a cover version. Anyway, Billy Bragg has been one of those singers that’s always been there, someone to sing along to but not someone I listen to all that often now. I only got to see him for the first time a few years ago at Glastonbury and he didn’t let me down playing Levi Stubbs Tears during his set.
Happy deliberating. Votes must be in by Friday 8 June at 10pm.