As usual, we will begin with a look back to last week.

Three of the matches had close results, while the other, while having a more substantial outcome, wasn’t a massacre.  In saying that, three of the teams got out to decent leads and never got caught, but the Belle & Sebastian/McGeoch game swung back and forth until one of them pulled away as the final whistle beckoned.

Match 9 : Television 24 The Jazz Butcher 18

Match 10 : Belle & Sebastian 19 v John McGeoch 24

Match 11 : The Beatles 25 Queens of The Stone Age 14

Match 12: Buddy Holly 25 v Black Box Recorder 19

And so we reach the halfway point of the first round of knockout ties and includes the return of Echo and The Bunnymen whose group stage performance was the most impressive of them all, in terms of vote %.

Electronic (2nd in Group B) v Ash (7th in Group A)

mp3: Electronic – Vivid (radio edit) v mp3 : Ash – Shining Light

The Dream Syndicate (3rd in Group C) v Cinerama (6th in Group D)

mp3: The Dream Syndicate – Out Of My Head v mp3 : Cinerama – Ears

Cocteau Twins (4th in Group A) v Chris Isaak (5th in Group C)

mp3: Cocteau Twins – Iceblink Luck v mp3: Chris Isaak – Wrong To Love You

Echo and The Bunnymen (1st in Group D) v Fad Gadget (8th in Group B)

mp3: Echo and The Bunnymen – The Back Of Love v mp3: Fad Gadget – Life On The Line I

I’m gutted that my dream match-up of Out of My Head v Can’t Get You Out Of My Head never materialised.

As ever, thanks for taking part.  Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 30th of September




I’m hoping by now that everyone is familiar with the way it’s all unfolding.  If not, the postings over the most recent two Sundays should explain things in the detail you’re looking for.

Last week’s match-ups proved to be hugely disappointing for the TV folk, as all four results were never really in doubt and there wasn’t much in the way of tension.  Having said that, viewers stayed with the games all the way to the end, with 47 sets of votes requiring to be tallied.

First up, the results from last week:-

Match 5 : Edwyn Collins 35 Uncle Tupelo 7

Match 6 : Bryan Ferry 31 Hot Chip 11

Match 7 : Chuck Prophet 11 The Jam 33

Match 8 : Joy Division 41 Pop Will Eat Itself 4

I have a feeling, however, that this week’s match-ups might offer a bit more in the way of intrigue:-

Television (1st in Group C) v The Jazz Butcher (8th in Group A)

mp3: Television – Friction v mp3 : The Jazz Butcher – Southern Mark Smith

Belle and Sebastian (4th in Group B) v John McGeoch* (5th in Group D)

mp3: Belle and Sebastian – This Is Just A Modern Rock Song v mp3 : Siouxsie & The Banshees – Happy House

(*John McGeoch’s ICA was a compilation of tracks he played on)

The Beatles (2nd in Group D) v Queens of the Stone Age (7th in Group C)

mp3: The Beatles – Ask Me Why v mp3: Queens of The Stone Age – Little Sister

Buddy Holly (3rd in Group A) v Black Box Recorder (6th in Group B)

mp3: Buddy Holly – Everyday v mp3: Black Box Recorder – England Made Me

As ever, thanks for taking part.  Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 23rd of September.




The continuation of the knockout stages of the 2022 ICA World Cup. As explained last week, Round One is going to take eight weeks to complete, with these being the second set of ties.

Before revealing this week’s set of matches, it’s time to reveal what happened last week:

Match 1 : Iggy Pop v Vic Chestnutt

Iggy raced out to a very early lead and Vic never ever got going, picking up just the occasional vote throughout the week.  Iggy took the honours by a score of 38-7.

Match 2 : The Ramones v Stevie Wonder


It was 8-1 to Stevie, and then it was 11-9 to da brudders, after which they traded punch after punch for the rest of the week.  The final score was, unbelievably, 24-24.

The penalty shoot-out went to Stevie Wonder…..very cruel luck on The Ramones.

Match 3 : The Feelies v Ballboy

This one started off as a very even contest at 8-8 and a penalty shoot-out did seem a possibility.  It was a game in which twelve of the voters didn’t offer an opinion on one or the other, but it was Ballboy who had the stronger second half, to go through by a score of 23-15.

Match 4 : Blondie v Nirvana

On paper, a mouth-watering clash that could have gone either way.  It was the only game in which all 50 voters put up one name or another.  In the end, too many felt that Pennyroyal Tea wasn’t as good or worthy a song as Rapture.  A fairly easy 37-13 win for Blondie.

I should mention that, way back when I was planning all of this, I made the draw for the entirety of the competition based on the outcome of the groups, not knowing who would finish where, but the idea was group winners would face up to a team that came 8th in another group, with 2nd v 7th, 3rd v 6th and 4th v 5th……….kind of the luck of the draw but based on performance in the group stage.

A reminder also that, for this round, the tune being offered up for consideration will be the second song on side two of the ICA; if the ICA wasn’t spilt in half at the time of writing, it will be song 7 in a ten-track ICA, or song 8 in a twelve-track ICA, etc.

Here goes:-

Edwyn Collins (3rd in Group D) v Uncle Tupelo (6th in Group C)

mp3: Edwyn Collins – Make Me Feel Again v mp3 : Uncle Tupelo – Whiskey Bottle

Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music (2nd in Group A) v Hot Chip (7th in Group B)

mp3: Bryan Ferry – The ‘In’ Crowd v mp3 : Hot Chip – Brothers

Chuck Prophet (4th in Group C) v The Jam (5th in Group A)

mp3: Chuck Prophet – Your Skin v mp3: The Jam – Ghosts

Joy Division (1st in Group B) v Pop Will Eat Itself (8th in Group D)

mp3: Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart v mp3: Pop Will Eat Itself – Not Now James, We’re Busy

On hearing this particular match-up, the groans from the PWEI fanbase were, understandably, loud.  But hey, it’s knockout rounds and anything is possible.

As ever, thanks for taking part.  Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 16th of September.




This one doesn’t lean back on any old ICA.

I mentioned previously that I’ll be on four trips in September that’ll involve overnight stays away from Villain Towers.  Today is the first of those trips, off to Paris for around 36 hours in the company of Rachel, as a crazy way to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  It had only taken us more than seven years of living together to finally get round to it.  It was partly an unconventional day, despite the fact we are both dressed up to the nines.

It was a Monday morning, and the ceremony was followed by a lunch at which there were less than 30 folk present.  From there, we flew off to Florida for a few days to see my brother and his then girlfriend (and now wife), as he couldn’t take the risk of leaving the States for the wedding as there was no guarantee he’d get back in as he was in the middle of sorting out his application for permanent residency.  From there we went to St Thomas for ten days before coming back to Glasgow for a proper party on a Friday night, with band, disco and 250 guests all in attendance.

It’s only fair to say that there’s been a few ups and downs in the 25 years since, but we’ve made our way over the bumps without too much damage.  We have more than enough in common to stay together, but at the same time we have quite varied interests that see us spend a fair bit of time doing our ‘own’ things with different groups of friends.  It certainly works for us.

For instance, the reason we can only spend one overnight in Paris is that Rachel just yesterday returned from three days away on a delayed spa-break with her closest group of pals, while this weekend sees me head away on a golf trip with mates, an annual event going back to the late 80s.  We spoke about both events and how they were going to squeeze into the time around the anniversary, but felt it was important to fit in with those plans made by friends who wouldn’t have been aware of the significance of 8 September 2022 to us.

It’s amazing how love has evolved over time.  It certainly was full of grand, romantic and carefree gestures back in the day (particularly around the cost!!), but it is increasingly and essentially about offering each other support to cope with any stresses and strains of modern life, as well as just looking to enjoy those things we actually do together, much of which does involve sitting down in front of a television.

All of which makes today’s trip feel incredibly special.  We have made no advance plans to do anything once we reach Paris….no restaurant is booked and no trips to galleries/museums are scheduled as we want to make a return to the days when it was all on a whim and spontaneous.  I’m so looking forward to it.

Here’s some songs:-

mp3: The Wedding Present – Rachel
mp3: Echo and The Bunnymen – Silver (Tidal Wave)
mp3: Siobhan Wilson – Paris Est Blanche

Oh, and never let it be forgotten that Rachel was the real driving force in getting TVV off the ground back in 2006.  I was at a particularly low ebb, having just suffered a real setback at work and unsure of my future.  She was the one who went out and bought me a USB turntable to get the vinyl converted to digital format so that I could turn my hand to blogging.  It will always be the greatest thing anyone has ever done for me.




I mentioned in the preview that Group H could be quite intriguing in that there was no mega-headliner, and it contained a mix of singers and bands with quite a number of devotees.

An in-play progress report, carried out after 25 sets of votes had been cast, sort of confirmed this, albeit a few that had started really well had already probably done enough.  Lloyd Cole (17), Bananarama (15), Elvis Costello (15) and The Breeders (13) were leading the way.  Tucked in behind were a host of others (nine in all), who had collected between six and eleven votes, while it was looking as if The Affectionate Punch (2), The Tragically Hip (3) and The Sound (4) were in difficulties.  But then again, there was still plenty of time left on the clock for things to change.

As it turned out, that check on 25 votes was almost perfect for the half-time report as come the final whistle on Saturday at midnight, there were 48 sets requiring to be counted up.

  1. Lloyd Cole 33
  2. Elvis Costello 31
  3. Bananarama 27
  4. The Triffids 26
  5. The Twilight Sad 23*
  6. The Breeders 23
  7. The National 20
  8. The Chameleons 16*

The appearance of the * indicates the coin toss was used to determine final positions when the number of votes was tied.

It was Frightened Rabbit who also picked up 16 votes.  Here’s the thing…..at no point in time did The Chameleons ever have a lead over Frightened Rabbit.  Indeed, the tie only cane about from the fact that the final four folk to drop into the polling station all voted for The Chameleons while offering nothing up for F’Rabbits.

There was little to choose among the next five places who all gained between 12 and 14 votes, while the bottom two narrowly failed to reach double figures.

As ever, a song from an ICA we’ve had to say farewell to.

mp3: The Affectionate Punch – Scars III

The fact is, the elimination of TAP has thwarted my dreams of actually making an appearance in the 2022 ICA World Cup, as it’s my spoken vocal on this particular track.

I suppose I can console myself that my small contribution to Scars III might have led to my face being on an imaginary sticker in the imaginary commemorative Panini collection……..





At long last, we reach the knockout stages of the 2022 ICA World Cup, with just the 64 sides left standing* after tallying up all votes that were cast during the group stage.

Round One will take eight weeks to complete, with each Sunday offering up four head-to-head match-ups in which you are being asked to provide a winner. For this round, the tune being offered up for consideration will be the second song on side two of the ICA; if the ICA wasn’t spilt in half at the time of writing, it will be song 7 in a ten-track ICA, or song 8 in a twelve-track ICA, etc.

The tension and excitement is palpable, so without any further messing around:-

Iggy Pop (winner of Group A) v Vic Chesnutt (8th in Group C)

mp3: Iggy Pop – Bang Bang v mp3 : Vic Chesnutt – Marathon

The Ramones (4th in Group D) v Stevie Wonder (5th in Group B)

mp3: The Ramones – Little Bit O’ Soul v mp3 : Stevie Wonder – You Are The Sunshine Of My Life

The Feelies (2nd in Group C) v Ballboy (7th in Group D)

mp3: The Feelies – Tomorrow, Today v mp3: Ballboy – Kiss Me, Hold Me and Eat Me

Blondie (3rd in Group B) v Nirvana (6th in Group A)

mp3: Blondie – Rapture v mp3: Nirvana – Pennyroyal Tea

The interesting thing about most ICAs is that the 7th track is often a personal favourite of the author and a lesser-known song rather than a hit, as can be seen from a number of the tunes up for consideration this week.

Enjoy listening and voting.  As ever, it will be done via the comments section, and you have until midnight (UK time) next Friday,** which is the 9th of September.

*I know I’ve still to reveal who qualified from Group H, but none of those singers or groups were due to feature in this part of the 1st Round draw.

**The change to a Friday from Saturday is to enable me to reveal the results at the same time as the next set of matches.




A few years back, a colleague at my former place of employment handed me a bag containing numerous CDs, most of which had some free with a music paper or magazine.  He was downsizing his own property and had decided that the various free CDs would most likely go to charity shops, but then thought I might like first refusal.

I took them….and immediately put them into a storage box where I completely forgot about them until stumbling across said bag when searching for something else.  It now feels like a good time to have a look at some of them for the blog. And I’ll do it randomly by dipping into the bag and picking one out.

According to Discogs, NME ON:1 – 15 Top Tracks for the 21st Century was given away sometime in 1999.  The website currently has 22 copies of the CD listed for sale, with prices ranging from 25p to £5, plus postage.  There’s also a few copies on e-bay, and prices range from 50p to £9.24, although the latter does offer free P&P.

There are 15 tracks on the CD, and while I’m happy to admit that I wasn’t fully keeping on top of things in 1999, I’m still stunned a bit to realise that I know next to nothing about four of the featured acts…...Jim O’Rourke, The Donnas, The Webb Brothers and Roots Manuva……and hee-haw about the remaining eleven – Capitol K, Big Leaves, Younger Younger 28’s, Seafruit, Bellatrix, To Rococo Rot, Zan Lyons, Jumbo, The New Electrics, Jadell, and Beber.

The CD takes about sixty-seven minutes to listen to all the way through.  I’ll be honest with the admission that I fast-forwarded on just about all of them.  It’s extremely unusual unique for any free CD to come up with nothing that really piques my interest, but the so called 15 top tracks for the 21st Century pulled that unwanted feat off.

The internet has enabled me to dig for info for what now follows.

The best of the tracks on the CD was offered up by a band from Wales who were championed at times by Catatonia and Super Furry Animals, as well as having one of their singles often featured on Radio 1 by Marc Ratcliffe.

mp3: Big Leaves – Sly Alibi

Big Leaves released a number of singles and EPs, along with two albums, between 1998 and 2003.  Sly Alibi was a single, released on Whipcord Records in 1999.

More typical of the CD is this:-

mp3: Younger Younger 28’s – We’re Going Out

This lot were signed to V2, the label founded in 1996 by Richard Branson after he sold Virgin to EMI.  Like his original label, there were a few high profile successes along with many others that have you asking ‘Why?’

Younger Younger 28’s fall into the latter.  They were from Sheffield, described by those who liked them as the shining light in synthpop in an era full of dour landfill indie, and a cross combining the catchy avant-garde pop of The Human League with the observational lyrical wit of Pulp.  I reckon they were just a novelty act. This particular song was a single and was also included on their sole LP, Soap.

There is one track on the CD which might, at a push, squeeze onto an electronica compilation if you need some instrumental music to slow down your pulse and help you unwind.  It’s not my cup of tea, but there are some of you out there who might approve:-

mp3: To Rococo Rot – Telema

This lot were a Berlin-based trio who released eight albums all told between 1996 and 2014, with their most prolific spell being a four-year stint on City Slang, either side of the turn of the century, with three LPs, including The Amateur View (1999) from which the above track is taken.

Another lucky dip will appear at some point in the next few weeks. You’ve been warned.




New month.  New mix.  Theme is a tad obvious……

mp3: Various – Music That Matters

Pop Muzik (12″ version) – M
Sound Of The Suburbs – The Members
You Supply The Roses – Memphis
Do You Always Dress Like That In Front Of Other People’s Boyfriends – Mambo Taxi
Richie Sacramento – Mogwai
What Do You Want From Me? – Monaco
Sleep – Marion
Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
Lucky Like St. Sebastian – Momus
Permafrost – Magazine
Come Back – The Mighty Wah!
Dashboard – Modest Mouse
The Monochrome Set – The Monochrome Set
Fun For Me – Moloko
Mezzanine – Massive Attack

Bang on 60 minutes.




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.

  1. The Cure 40
  2. Orange Juice 38
  3. Suede 36
  4. Human League 33
  5. Soft Cell 32
  6. Carter USM 21* (coin toss)
  7. Neil Young 21
  8. 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.

mp3: Malcolm Middleton – Break My Heart




Who’s left??

The Affectionate Punch – Scars I *(ICA 257)

Bananarama – Shy Boy (US extended version) (ICA 164)

The Breeders – Saints (ICA 173)

The Chameleons – In Shreds (ICA 294)

Lloyd Cole – Old Enough To Know Better (ICA 300)

Elvis Costello – Alison (ICA 224)

Frightened Rabbit – Fields of Wheat (ICA 214)

Mercury Rev – Planet Caravan (ICA 187)

The Hardy Boys – Wonderful Lie (ICA 275)

The National – Fake Empire (ICA 243)

Josh Rouse – 1972 (ICA 161)

The Sound – Missiles (ICA 264)

The Tragically Hip – New Orleans Is Sinking (ICA 154)

The Triffids – A Trick of the Light (ICA 155)

The Twilight Sad – There’s A Girl In The Corner (ICA 212)

Warren Zevon – Play It All Night Long (ICA 237)

*attributed to Holocaust Nancy as the lead singer on the track.

This might well be the toughest group to predict, given there’s no what could be described as a mega-headliner;  Elvis Costello is arguably the best known, albeit Bananarama are by far the biggest selling act.

It’s a mix of singers and bands who have many devotees, and while it is the case that a fair number of the musicians who were part of the acts are no longer with us, at first glance, it looks like the sort of ideal line-up for a one-day festival over a number of stages.

As ever, let me know via the comments section those eight acts you’d like to see make it to the knockout stages, which begin next week.  Voting will close at midnight (UK time) next Saturday, which is the 3rd of September.




I was pressed for time last week and didn’t glance at how the things were panning out at all until after polling had closed, with 45 sets of votes needing to ba tallied up.

As I was going through them, and I’d reckon by the time I’d been through the first twenty or so, it became obvious there was a distinct division in that almost half of the entries – An April March, April March, Vanessa Contenay-Quinones, Billy Ray Martin, Nits, Pizzicato Five, Slap Happy and Superturtle hadn’t been picking enough mentions on a consistent basis to have any hope of progressing, but that the other nine were all in with a chance. It also looked as if the likely winner stood a chance of getting a higher % vote than the 83% taken by Echo & The Bunnymen when Group D was played out.  The most interesting thing was that with just eight available places, one was going to lose out narrowly, possibly in the cruellest of manners. Here’s the top nine:-

  1. The Sweet 33
  2. Stereolab 30
  3. David Bowie 29
  4. Siouxsie and The Banshees 28
  5. Terry Hall 26 (*5th place on coin toss)
  6. Scritti Politti 26
  7. Bauhaus 23
  8. It’s Immaterial 22
  9. Julian Cope 21

So, it’s St Julian who misses out on the knockout stages, denied by a late comeback.  None of the final eight voters gave anything for JC, while in contrast It’s Immaterial picked up four late ticks and Bauhaus six out of the final eight.

The Sweet, with 33 votes, picked up 73%, which means the Bunnymen with 83% remain the most impressive performer, thus far.

As ever, a song from an ICA we’ve had to say farewell to.

mp3: Espiritu – You Don’t Get Me (album version by Vanessa Quiñones, Tim Holmes & Mike Bolton)




Are you ready for another week of dilemmas, trying to come up with your favourite eight?  Seventeen to narrow it down from….

Carter USM – Rubbish (ICA 229)

The Cure – Just Like Heaven (ICA 157)

The Delgados – Under Canvas, Under Wraps (ICA 181)

Fucked Up – Talking Pictures (ICA 226)

Goldfrapp – Twist [Schaffhäuser & Wessling Mix] (ICA 203)

Human League – The Things That Dreams Are Made Of (ICA 228)

Malcolm Middleton – Loneliness Shines (ICA 188)

Mark Lanegan – Winter Song* (ICA 307)

Minutemen – Corona (ICA 170)

Mogwai – Helicon 1 (ICA 166)

Orange Juice – Rip It Up (12″ version) (ICA 219)

Paul Haig – Heaven Sent (ICA 276)

Soft Cell – Memorabilia (edit) (ICA 156)

Suede – Animal Nitrate (ICA 209)

Talulah Gosh – Don’t Go Away** (ICA 153)

Trashcan Sinatras – All The Dark Horses (ICA 186)

Neil Young – Powderfinger (ICA 311)

*a song by Screaming Trees – ICA 307 was a compilation of tracks on which Mark Lanegan sang and played

**Talulah Gosh was used as the opening track on the Amelia Fletcher ICA a couple of weeks back, and as such track #6 on this ICA (the opening track on the b-side) has to come in as substitute.

This is a really intriguing group.  I’m genuinely hard pushed to pick out eight favourites, and I’m 100% certain that, if I was taking part in the voting process (which I most definitely am not!!!!), I wouldn’t be choosing all six of my own ICAs.

As usual, voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Saturday, which is the 13th of August.





The backstory was written last week, but in summary it’s the chance to enjoy the second half of the 20 best non-LP b-sides of all time, according to Post Punk Monk.

11. Yello – There Is No Reason

“She’s Got A Gun” B-side. This magnificent song from the soundtrack to Dieter Meier’s film “Jetz Und Alles” is an utterly riveting track by a band that typically had modest instrumental B-sides.

12. The Human League – Marianne

B-side on “Holiday ’80” EP. Killer track from the sessions of my favorite Human League album. Also available in an alternate take [also great] only in Australia.

13. The Tourists – The Golden Lamp

B-side of “Blind Among The Flowers.” Another example of a B-side just as strong [if not moreso] of the killer A-side it was paired with. Conny Plank didn’t need synthesizers to achieve production brilliance!

14. The Cramps – Wilder, Wilder, Faster, Faster

B-side of “Eyeball In My Martini.” This is one of The Cramps longest numbers at nearly five minutes… and it’s not nearly long enough! This track is done in the style of an old 60s AM radio ad for a drive in movie packed with all of the lurid action they could stand. Brilliant!

15. Pet Shop Boys – Bet She’s Not Your Girlfriend

B-side of “Where The Streets Have No Name.” The Pet Shop Boys have an enviable catalog of B-side material that most bands would kill for. This song is a typically strong B-side that sounds like robust A-side material to me.

16. The Cure – The Exploding Boy
17. The Cure – A Few Hours After This…

“In Between Days” B-sides. If you bought The Cure’s “In Between Days” 12″ you were gifted with the three best songs the band ever recorded! “The Exploding Boy” is driven by acoustic guitars and mighty drums in addition to a killer tenor sax riff that proves that less is more. “A Few Hours After This” is a baroque feast for the senses with strings, percussion and tympani evoking Ennio Morricone at his most expansively robust!

18. Duran Duran – Secret Oktober

“The Union Of The Snake” B-side. Their third album was far from Duran Duran’s finest hour, but this exquisitely poised B-side put everything else they recorded for those sessions very much in the shade! One of their finest songs ever. It was almost like a proof of concept for the Arcadia album.

19. OMD – Annex

“Enola Gay” B-side. OMD were another band with a plethora of strong B-sides, but this one has the edge for me today. This evocative tune begins with a Japanese seaside melody under which a throbbing industrial rhythm ultimately ascends to hijack the wistful song by its end to leave the listener shell-shocked by its chilling intensity.

20. Bill Nelson – The Passion

“Flaming Desire” B-side. Another B-side that plays strongly off of a rousing A-side. “The Passion” is a driving instro that sounds like Duane Eddy poured in a blender with classic Duran Duran as the solid guitar chords are abetted by sax and synthetic percussion.




I always thought, once I’d seen the entire draw, that Group E was the one really worth keeping an eye on.  As I said in the preview, loads of big names, some of which were being represented by lesser-known or weaker tracks, along with some cult names who possibly have more fans out there than is perhaps appreciated. So much so, that I kept looking at how things were progressing on a daily basis.  I’m glad I did as come Saturday night, I had to go to a recount to double-check on everything.

The post went up at 6am (UK time) on Sunday morning, and by midnight, just 18 hours later, twenty-six sets of votes had been cast.  Nobody was completely out of the running, but Cats on Fire (4), Smog (4) and Hinds (5) had left themselves with a lot to do.  At the other end, Manic Street Preachers (18) and Go-Betweens (14) had given themselves solid platforms for progressing to the knockout stages.  The other twelve acts had all picked votes, ranging between 7 and 13 in total, with perhaps Comsat Angels being the surprise pick of the ‘cult’ acts, sitting in joint 5th place with 11 votes.

Eleven sets of votes came in on Monday which proved to be a great day for the Go-Betweens (9) seeing them close the overall gap on with Manic Street Preachers (6) to one point.  The other acts who scored well on Monday were Brilliant Corners (6), The Style Council (6), Chumbawamba (5), Amelia Fletcher (5), Davy Henderson (5), The Who (5) and Wilco (5).  It was a bad day for Kylie Minogue who added just one to her overnight total.  Come the end of the day, the top two were looking reasonably secure, but those who were occupying 3rd down to 14th, were separated by the small margin of 6 points.

Things quietened down dramatically, with just four sets of votes coming in Tuesday – Thursday, but it’s maybe worth mentioning that all four offered support to Davy Henderson which, when added to his Monday tally, highlighted that he was the act moving the most up the table.

The late final flurry saw another seven set of votes, giving an overall turnout of 48.  Again, the top two picked up their share of these late votes, and the others who got at least four from the final seven were Cats on Fire, Chumbawamba, Comsat Angels, Amelia Fletcher, Davy Henderson and Kylie Minogue. As I said, I had to go and do a full recount to make sure of things this week….

  1. The Go-Betweens 32* (toss of a coin to take 1st place)
  2. Manic Street Preachers 32
  3. Comsat Angels 22* (toss of a coin to take 3rd place)
  4. Davy Henderson 22
  5. Amelia Fletcher 20* (roll of a dice to take 5th place)
  6. Beastie Boys 20 (roll of a dice to take 6th place)
  7. The Who 20
  8. Chumbawamba 19 (toss of a coin to take 8th)

The final person to vote was hamirthehermit….he included Chumbawamba in his list.  He didn’t include The Style Council….who also finished with 19 votes.

The other near misses came from Arctic Monkeys (17), Kylie Minogue (17), Auteurs (16) and Brilliant Corners (16).  I think it is worth mentioning that if voting had only been on the day the piece was published, Arctic Monkeys, Kylie Minogue and The Style Council would have made it, while the late climbers proved to be Amelia Fletcher, Davy Henderson and Chumbawamba.

Apologies to those of you who seen a few of your favoured singers/bands exit this week….it really was the tightest of the groups thus far.

As ever, a song from an ICA we’ve had to say farewell to.

mp3: Arctic Monkeys – Despair In The Departure Lounge




The second of the eight groups with a difference, with just three guest contributors on show today.

Alex G, like Hybrid Social Professor, offered up a substantial number of ICAs over a short period of time, (29 March 2018 – 15 February 2019) and similarly these were mostly on singers and bands who otherwise haven’t appeared elsewhere on TVV over the years. Alex G was behind the blog We Will Have Salad, one which I’ve listed under the heading ‘Old Friends No Longer Active In The Field’, but as I type these words, a click on the link says ‘COMING SOON’, so perhaps a re-launch is in the offering.

Middle Aged Man is a fairly regular contributor, as too is Khayem, and they were the two contributors with multiple ICAs who were picked out of the hat to make up Group F along with Alex. (and yes, all the folk whose ICAs are up for your votes today can participate in the process).

There’s a total of 17 songs to enjoy today, and as I said, many of them are from acts who otherwise haven’t featured on the blog, which means that, again, a few lesser-known or more obscure singers and bands are guaranteed to make the knock-out stages.

As ever, the songs are competing for your votes today are #1 from all the relevant ICAs, and they are offered up in alphabetical order of the singer or group involved.

An April March – Mandarin (ICA 169)

April March – Mon ange gardien (ICA 168)

Bauhaus – Boys (ICA 223)

David Bowie – Hello Spaceboy (ICA 284)

Vanessa Contenay-Quinones – Conquistador (7″ edit)* (ICA 272)

Julian Cope – Soul Desert (live) (ICA 266)

Terry Hall – All Kinds Of Everything** (ICA 277)

It’s Immaterial – The Better Idea (album version) (ICA 299)

Billie Ray Martin – (I Spent Hours Again) Wishing You Well (ICA 288)

Nits – The Panorama Man (ICA 191)

Pizzicato Five – Mon Amour Tokyo (ICA 159)

Scritti Politti – Boom! There She Was (Sonic Property Mix) (ICA 261)

Siouxsie and The Banshees – Pure (ICA 258)

Slapp Happy – Casablanca Moon (ICA 206)

Stereolab – French Disco (original version) (ICA 174)

Superturtle – Watch Your Eyes (ICA 305)

The Sweet – Blockbuster (ICA 313)

*this track is by Espiritu

**this track is actually a duet with Sinéad O’Connor

I’m looking for you to cast votes for up to eight songs, but don’t worry if you go under that number if the songs don’t fully appeal to you.

As usual, voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Saturday, which is the 20th of August.





It’s always incredibly satisfying when the comments section goes into overdrive, which it is doing just now with the ICA World Cup.  I’ve always valued the community aspect of TVV, both the old and new versions, and that is why I really enjoy when a guest posting is offered up, all of which are published without prejudice or favour at the earliest possible time after anything drops into the inbox.

I’m cheating a little bit today, however, with the first of what will be a two-part series in that Post Punk Monk didn’t actually offer up a guest posting.  He did leave behind a very lengthy comment when I put up the latest ‘mixtapes’ (or whatever modern term anyone wants to apply to such efforts), that is being recycled today and again next week to provide two new posts. I’ve no qualms about doing so, especially as PPM does state that it was something he’d pulled together for a blog which no longer exists, and I really feel something this well-thought-out and written deserves some sort of fresh profile.  Here’s PPM:-

“Great B-sides are a religion unto themselves! Here’s a list I compiled for a friend’s blog [now deceased] and I still stand by this one.

20 best non-LP b-sides of all time [according to PPM]

1. Ultravox – Paths + Angles

B-side to “The Voice.” Fascinating blend of Warren Cann’s recited verses with Chris Cross singing the chorus. Midge Ure was not around the day the other three recorded this one. Killer melodic hooks are mated with typically compulsive rhythms.

2. Ultravox – I Never Wanted To Begin

“The Thin Wall” B-side. This track is jam packed with insanely compulsive rhythm programming! Once you hear this it will lodge itself in your skull for hours. The 12″ version is extended!

3. Adam & The Ants – Beat My Guest

The B-side to “Stand & Deliver.” Just our luck to have one of Adam’s best singles mated with an even better B-side! As emphasized by Marco Pirroni’s lewd guitar licks, this frolicsome ode to S & M manages to actually sound cheerful.

4. Spandau Ballet – Glow

B-side to “Musclebound.” The band invent new forms of Latinesque synth funk with this killer B-side that telegraphed their first big stylistic shift. Never better than in its 12″ version!

5. Simple Minds – New Warm Skin

B-side of “I Travel.” Another act that mated their best single with an evenly matched B-side! The rhythm track on this chilling song about plastic surgery is an example of Brian McGee at his finest. Mike McNeil’s keyboards mesh perfectly with the jarring stabs of Charlie Burchill, back when he avoided guitar clichés like the plague.

6. Japan – European Son

B-side of Japanese “I Second That Emotion” single. Quite frankly, this is my favorite Japan song of all time! It is the acme of the band’s Moroder-influenced “autobahn music.” It thoroughly smokes the actual single the band recorded with Moroder. Which was great!

7. China Crisis – This Occupation [ext. ver.]

B-side of Wishful Thinking” 12.” The 7″ version of this track is good, but the extended mix is mystical! This sounds nothing like the China Crisis we know and love. It sounds even better! Quite frankly, this resembles mid period Cabaret Voltaire, sigh!

8. Visage – Frequency 7

“Tar” B-side. I was over familiar with the not so interesting extended version of this track that turned up everywhere back in the day. It took years of having this single before I finally played the 7″ version and was blown away by the superiority of this mix. It’s night and day compared to the tedium of the 12″ mix. For starters, it’s an actual song with vocals, and some killer synth rock.

9. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Just A Memory

B-side to “New Amsterdam.” quite possibly my favorite Elvis Costello track ever, this heart-wrenching ballad was originally written for Dusty Springfield, who ultimately did record it.

10. Swing Out Sister – Fever

“Fooled By A Smile” B-side. Yet another face rave B-side by a group that normally sounds nothing like Cabaret Voltaire, yet manages to channel them brilliantly on a B-side.


JC adds……the remainder of this wonderful rundown will be with you next week.



Group D.   It’s possible that D was short for ‘Death’ given a lot of the bigger names and pre-tournament favourites were featured, along with some cult acts who could prove to be potential dark horses.  In such circumstances, some of the minnows, primarily singers/bands whose appearances have more or less been restricted to the ICA, were on a hiding to nothing.

35 sets of votes had been cast by Monday evening, and it was already clear that Muse, Pink Cross and The Wave Pictures had next to no chance of getting through.

At the other end of the table, Echo and The Bunnymen seemed to be getting ticked by almost everyone, picking up a remarkable 31 votes from the first 35 selections, thus ensuring, very early on, a smooth passage to the knock-out stages.  Fellow Liverpudlians, The Beatles also looked to have done enough by Monday night with 24 votes, with each of Cinerama, Edwyn Collins and The Ramones also looking comfortable while John McGeoch, after a sluggish start, were beginning to feature prominently.

There was, however, a fair old battle going on for the remaining two spots. By Monday evening (when I did a quick check on things) just five points separated 7th place down to 14th with Ballboy, Blancmange, The Blue Nile, Gregory Isaacs, Jens Lekman, Pop Will Eat Itself, Pylon and Sons & Daughters all being in with a shout of getting through.

Only a further eleven sets of votes were cast over the remainder of the week, resulting in the final top half of the table looking like this:-

  1. Echo & The Bunnymen 40
  2. The Beatles 30* (penalty-shoot out winners for 2nd place)
  3. Edwyn Collins 30
  4. The Ramones 28
  5. John McGeoch 26
  6. Cinerama 24
  7. Ballboy 22
  8. Pop Will Eat Itself 20

It was Ballboy in particular who picked up a lot of support in the final few days to clinch a spot in the knock-out phases, while PWEI also fared well late on to clinch the final spot.  The Blue Nile got 17 votes, just ahead of each of Gregory Issacs, Pylon and Sons & Daughters who all got 16 votes while.  Blancmange and Jens Lekman didn’t pick up much more support after Monday, finishing with 14 and 12 respectively; indeed there was a late burst from Muse to eventually gain 11 votes while neither Pink Cross or The Wave Pictures reached double figures.

Worth mentioning that 87% of the participants cast a vote for Echo & The Bunnymen, which is thus far the best performance in the group stages.

That’s 32 of the 64 who will participate in the knock-out stages sorted out.  And the way I’ve worked it out, all the teams in the top half of the draw (Groups A-D) will be up against one another, so you can have a look back at what’s happened already to see that some tasty match-ups are guaranteed come September when that phase of the ICA World Cup gets underway.

As ever, a song from an ICA we’ve had to say farewell to.

mp3: Blancmange – Waves (12″ mix)




I reckon you’ll all know the script by now.  If not, just scroll back to all five of the Sunday postings from last month.

This week, seventeen songs are competing for your votes, with eight of them set to qualify for the knock-out stages.  As ever, all the songs, are #1 from all the relevant ICAs, and they now follow in alphabetical order of the singer or group involved.

Arctic Monkeys – Chun Li’s Spinning Bird Kick (ICA 193)

The Auteurs – The Rubettes (ICA 178)

Beastie Boys – Ch-Check It Out (ICA 240)

The Brilliant Corners – Rambling Rose (ICA 163)

Cats On Fire – Horoscope (ICA 314)

Chumbawamba – Give The Anarchist A Cigarette (ICA 273)

Comsat Angels – Missing In Action (ICA 252)

Amelia Fletcher – Talulah Gosh* (ICA 309)

The Go-Betweens – Lee Remick (ICA 200)

Davy Henderson – Candyskin** (ICA 306)

Hinds – Chili Town (ICA 286)

Manic Street Preachers – A Design For Life (ICA 182)

Kylie Minogue – The Loco-motion (ICA 260)

Smog – The Well (ICA 192)

The Style Council – Mick’s Blessings (ICA 217)

The Who – My Generation (ICA 208)

Wilco – Box Full Of Letters (ICA 238)

*a song by Talulah Gosh – ICA 309 was a compilation of tracks on which Amelia Fletcher was involved

*a song by The Fire Engines – ICA 306 was a compilation of tracks on which Davy Henderson sang and played

This is the sort of group I was hoping that the draw would deliver.  Loads of big names, some of whom had their ICAs open up with lesser-known or weaker tracks, which perhaps makes them vulnerable when you come to cast your votes.  Once again, you can nominate up to eight singers or band to progress, but no more than that.

As usual, voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Saturday, which is the 13th of August.




It’s the first free day, blog wise, of a new month.

A few weeks ago, I thought I’d try for a mix with songs released as b-sides.  The long list proved to be very substantial, with more than enough bits of music to bring you a box set.  I ended up making two volumes.  Hope you enjoy them.

mp3: Various – Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The B-Side (Volume 1)

Bagged Out Ken – Julian Cope
Intuition Told Me – Orange Juice
La Pastie De La Bourgeoisie – Belle and Sebastian
Situation – Yazoo
Rent – Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine
First We Take Manhattan – R.E.M.
Do It Clean – Echo and The Bunnymen
I Kicked A Boy – The Sundays
The Highland League – I, Ludicrous
The Passenger – Iggy Pop
The Butterfly Collector – The Jam
Even In His Youth – Nirvana
Edam Anchorman – Super Furry Animals
Temptation Greets You Like A Naughty Friend – Arctic Monkeys feat. Dizzy Rascal
Unfaithful – The Wedding Present
Life’s A Gas – Teenage Fanclub
Mars Bar – The Undertones
My Insatiable One – Suede

mp3: Various – Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The B-Side (Volume 2)

Friday Night, Saturday Morning – The Specials
Erotic City (Make Love Not War Erotic City Come Alive) – Prince & The Revolution
What’s The World – James
His Latest Flame – The Motorcycle Boy
Lipstick – Buzzcocks
I Love You, You Big Dummy – Magazine
Fantastic Life – The Fall
Shopping For Blood – Franz Ferdinand
10.15, Saturday Night – The Cure
Paninaro – Pet Shop Boys
Laugh You Out The House – Everything But The Girl
We Could Send Letters – Aztec Camera
Nice ‘n’ Sleazy – Sons and Daughters
Blank Slate – The National
1963 – New Order
This Girl, Black Girl – The Go-Betweens

Both come in just a few seconds short of sixty minutes.





JC writes…..

Steve McLean has been a long time friend of the blog, having contributed a few guest postings over the years, including his take on The Last Temptation of Elvis compilation album, an ICA on Chuck Mosley, an appreciation of the Marc & Lard radio show and around this time last year, a two-part piece which paid tribute to musical theatre. Oh, and he’s also a huge fan of Butcher Boy.

He makes a living (in part) from stand-up comedy, and, with the month of August coming around, he and many others will be making his way to Edinburgh in search of an audience.  I’ve been to a couple of Steve’s previous shows and been thoroughly entertained, and was therefore more than happy to say ‘Hell, Yes’, when he asked if he could use TVV to give the show a plug.  Here he is…..

Sci fi and music go together. From 50s rockabilly in early B-movies to the cracking use of the guitar solo from November Rain in the latest Thor film. It you haven’t seen it, then it goes like this – Slow-motion Chris Hemsworth, a sackful of CGI, big riff from Slash and BOOM! A billion at the box office. Directing these days, eh? A Piece of piss. Anyone with a laptop can do it.

Sooooo, since my latest Edinburgh Fringe show is all about Sci-Fi and Fantasy and Barbie dolls (yeah I know, it’s gonna be a tough sell this year) I thought I’d scrape together a playlist of cool Sci-Fi songs. There’s a no Bowie rule as that would be too easy on account of him being an actual alien. There’s also no Dungeons and Dragons bullshit from the likes of Yes or King Crimson because it’s wank and you can pretty trace all incel culture back to it (I don’t know if that’s true, I just made it up on the spot but the more I think about it the more it seems plausible).

Magneto and Titanium Man – Paul McCartney and Wings. 

”Hey Stuart Murdoch, how did you come up with that great piano riff on The Boy With The Arab Strap?” He’ll never tell, the man is a genius. Unrelated to that listen to this great pub-rock keyboard work-out from McCartney. Paul is creating an MCU mash up years ahead of Kevin Feige but It’s a strange trio to choose to sing about. Magneto is, of course, a well-known big hitter among the fans but the other two geezers? You’d be forgiven for thinking they were just made up for the song, but both are bona fide comic book villains. They’ll probably get a Disney plus series made about them. Eventually everyone gets a Disney plus series made about them. Magneto famously got his name when writer Stan Lee was having an ice cream couldn’t chose between a Magnum and a Cornetto. He was originally going to be called Cornettnum (look it up). Can you believe this was a B-side? Stan Lee himself said the song was great. It is. Nice one Stuart MurCartney. 

Oh, and it’s a song that features Jimmy McCulloch, from Dumbarton. He was the greatest of The Wings. (Note from JC…..Steve, although London-based for many years, is from Dumbarton, a town some 25 minutes by train to the west of Glasgow, on the north bank of the River Clyde)

Freak Like Me – Sugababes 

This song isn’t about sex. It’s about being a Vampire. Watch the video and defend your virginity at all costs, except from Vampires they’re sexy as fuck and you’re only human (for now, at least). Sugababes had a habit of banging out amazing pop singles. No one out there was saying ‘oh I wonder what their new album is like’ but when it came to the top 40, regardless of their line up, they always seemed to nail it. Like a 2000s version of Supremes but with more WKD. The main sample in this is from Gary Numan‘s Are ”Friends” Electric, which is already pretty damn Sci-Fi. Numan is another one who might be an alien. The original is corking but this is so much better, even Gary thought so. Sci-Fi-tinged-vampire-sex-grit is a phrase you’d expect from something out of the demo section of the NME, not a manufactured girl group (Note for younger readers: The NME was a thing that nobody liked but were compelled to purchase until the internet came along and saved us 75p a week. To be honest most of us would still buy it if it was brought back on inky black and white sheets and featured an interview with Gedge every third issue). The Sugacubes were fucking boss. 

The Eagles – Journey of the Sorcerer

This song is one of the reasons that Bernie Leadon chose to leave the Eagles (the other being that working with cunts is really hard, just ask Stills, Nash and Young or John Deacon). You don’t get many bluegrass instrumental space odysseys and that’s probably a good thing. It goes a touch prog but not enough to get on your tits. Best known as the theme to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I’d say ‘I betcha didn’t know this was the Eagles’ but you probably did.

Clones – Alice Cooper 

The early 1980s were the ruin of many of a 1970s rocker. Heroin, pills and Jack Daniels had been replaced by cocaine, speed and Tequila Sunrises. The hairy dinosaurs had to find some way to survive until 1985 when hairspray and Bruce Fairbairn would save their careers. Led Zep fans be glad your boys didn’t make it or they’d have recorded their own Dude Looks Like A Lady (search your feelings, deep down you know it’s true).   

Alice was different though. He’d already navigated the trappings of the psych scene into solid 70s rockers with massive hits and then into a solo star. During his sober periods he wasn’t oblivious to the changes going on around him and realised he had to jump ship, at least for a short while. It’s a pity this wasn’t a bigger hit because I’d have loved to have seen more cyber-goth Cooper rather than the Rocky Horror tribute act he went on to become. 

While there’s a definite vibe of aping the electropop of the day, it’s done with love and you can tell Cooper is a fan of the genre. It’s engulfed in Orwell vibes but since the Coop was a bit of an 80s Reaganist, maybe he’s coming from another angle? ‘We destroyed the government, we’re destroying time, no more problems in our way’ Is he perhaps saying we need the enemies of society to rail against or we ourselves become the enemy? No. He’s not. It’s just a song and I’ve just put more thought into the lyrics than the writer David Carron did. Still a banger though.   

They Might Be Giants – See the Constellation

I always thought of TMBG as R.E.M.’s goofy but more fun little brother. They’ve got some proper Sci-Fi cred, if that’s not an oxymoron. Not only is this song from the album Apollo 18 released in 1992, the duo were also declared the official band of the International Space Year (International Women’s / Men’s Day is taking quite an ego bruising here. Space gets a whole year! FUCK YOU HUMANS). This song should have been a single, but they chose to release a version of the Lion Sleeps Tonight instead. The lion in that song is not in the jungle but in a spaceship. It’s on brand but it was still a fucking terrible choice when they had this riffing bad boy ready to go. They once released a version of Istanbul (Not Constantinople) as a single and no one told them to mark it, so what do you expect? Check out their kids album about science.

B-52s – Planet Claire 

Peak Sci-Fi music. The 50s B-movie vibes I mentioned earlier, the Peter Gunn guitar, the boops, beeps and the beehives. Everything about this is stellar… interstellar!  The B-52s flirted with Sci-Fi throughout their career songs like 52 Miles West of Venus, There’s a Moon in the Sky or Cosmic Thing. The B-52s are the ultimate Sci-Fi party band, when the our robot overlords finally rise up and take over I feel they’ll go easy on the B-52s. Even robots like to party.   

Geoff Love and His Orchestra – Blake’s 7 Theme

What could be better than the Blake’s 7 theme? The Blake’s 7 theme in a Disco style! This is tune is GROOVIE AF! It tries to repeat the same trick that Meco had with their disco version of the Star Wars theme. The problem of course was the while Star Wars was watched by gazillions worldwide and captured the imagination of children everywhere, Blake’s 7 was watched by a few dozen and captured the imagination of the kids who had grown out of Doctor Who but weren’t quite old enough to smoke. Tough market to sell to. Add to this, disco music was well on its way to bankrupting the music industry (seriously, read this wiki entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disco#Impact_on_music_industry) Could the disco version of Blake’s 7 have saved the genre? We’ll never know, but almost certainly yes. Battle of the Loves: Geoff > Mike.

My latest Edinburgh Fringe show is called Action Figure Archive, Volume 2, WTF! It’s on at 3pm every day in Roti on the South Bridge (except Tuesdays). It’s free so if you’re visiting the Fringe and need someone to get out of the rain then I’m your guy.


JC adds….

As I mentioned earlier, Steve’s shows are a good laugh, albeit you better be prepared for audience participation.  It’s part of the Free Fringe and so there’s no stupidly priced admission (+ booking fee!!), and in typical traition of the buskers, you can just put some money into a hat at the end of the show.

Here’s a link to all the details

And feel free when you put your money in the hat to tell Steve that you came along after reading about it on TVV.