As someone who has been involved in our Twitter interactive tournament The IndieOver40 Cup in one form or another since its beginning, we asked Dawn Bovingdon (@Miss_D_xx) to write about the cup from her own perspective. Here is her account.
When I was asked to write a blog about The IndieOver40 Cup for Everything Indie Over 40, I hastily agreed before realising I’ve never actually written a blog before and wasn’t even sure how to. Great start eh? After making some notes on what I wanted to include, this is my personal and unbiased account of The IndieOver40 Cup. Ok, maybe slightly, as those of you who don’t know me will soon realise.
It feels like eons ago when the cup launched with a message that 64 bands had been chosen by some secret selection policy to take part in the cup. Every Friday and Saturday night 4 teams would be drawn in pairs to play that weekend. Rules were simple; share a memory, story, song, video or memorabilia for the band you support.
Two willing volunteers were selected to pick the teams, one to draw numbers and the other to announce which bands each number related to. As the weeks progressed the selection and reveal methods became an event in their own right. These included bingo, Spotify shuffle, pets picking numbers and blindfold kids with darts!*
A guest referee was then appointed to keep score throughout the day, announce the winner and choose a ‘Man Of The Match’ on the strength of their photo or anecdote. Still with me?
I had the pleasure of reffing an early match. I apologise to my family for blanking them for the day, but I had an important job to do. It was far tougher than you’d think.
To add to the fun/pressure a sweepstake ran alongside the cup hosted by Simon (@HertfordSoul). No money exchanged hands, instead the loser had to buy an album from the 1p album club for the winner. A fantastic way to find and share often obscure albums.
An example match day poster
Round 1 (ding ding)
After searching cupboards, under beds, the loft and garage; pics were posted, favourite tracks chosen and blogs links shared in support of people’s band choice. The first penalty shootout of the cup came in March with a match between Mega City Four and Saint Etienne which drew at 29 all.
For those who don’t know me, I’m a bit of an MC4 geek (for those that do apologies for boring you with all my tweets!). After a long day of staring at twitter and manually trying to calculate who was winning, the retweet shootout was one of the longest hours I’ve sat through in a while. I hit refresh so many times.It was a nail biting battle and much to my relief MC4 scraped through with 30 retweets against 26.
While some of the bands moved easily to the next round, from the start we saw some surprise knock outs with PWEI, The Verve and REM making very early exits.
For the winners it was time to pour a much needed drink and start preparing for the next round. For the losers it was absolute heartbreak, made all the worse by the winners’ celebratory tweets. It’s so hard not to gloat when your band wins.
The sweepstake cost us dearly (all of about £2) in this round as both mine and my partner Adrian’s sweepstake teams were drawn the same weekend, although not against each other, and sods law we both lost.
Passions showed as bands battled through and couple of yellow cards were handed out to uphold the ‘spirit of the cup (no names mentioned). No match was a foregone conclusion and we took to forums to rally support for our bands.
Again there were some very close matches, My Bloody Valentine beat Suede by 2 points and The Sundays scored just 1 more than The Boo Radleys to stay in the competition. Others had far easier wins with Manic Street Preachers, The Stuffies, Ride and the Weddoes easily sailing through.
The original 64 had been whittled down to 16. Accusations of FIFA style bribery were rife (yes @Bringitonskippy I’m looking at you) as everyone again took to Twitter to show their love for their band. This round saw a surprise exit from the competition by The Wonder Stuff who were beaten 42/40 by The Manics.
My beloved MC4 put up a good fight with Gerry Bryant (MC4 bassist) and Karina Fraser (F4wt trustee) joining the campaign trail, but just couldn’t overcome the support for Ride in a week that coincided with their UK comeback gigs. Ride took the match 55/42. @Knoxy15 went off to the room with the green carpet to sob into his beer and I made my long suffering family listen to MC4 albums back to back. On the upside I took the MOTM title, probably out of pity, with my barrage of MC4 memorabilia and story tweets.
The final 8 had been decided; Carter USM, My Bloody Valentine, Manics, Charlatans, Teenage Fanclub, Ride, James and The Weddoes. Allegiances shifted where favourite bands had fallen and one match, Carter vs MBV went down to the wire.
At full time we had a draw at 31 apiece. A penalty shootout was required and an hour allotted to gain the most re-tweets of a band video. With the lead switching several times the unthinkable happened and at the final whistle both teams were tied! It was time for the feared sudden death penalty shootout – next retweet takes the match.
In a perfectly timed move Carter stole the win when Jim Bob retweeted his own video! Commiserations to @postpunkrunner who missed out by seconds on getting MBV through to the semis.
Jim Bob’s penalty shoot out retweet
Then there were 4; Carter, The Charlatans, Ride and The Wedding Present. Both matches saw greater support than in other rounds and @_sandywishart had the unenviable task of guest refereeing the match. Carter USM’s luck ended here as The Charlatans beat them 33/24 and, despite Ride racking up what would have been a winning score in any other round of 63, The Wedding Present claimed their place in the final with an astounding 73 points.
As tensions and energy built for the much anticipated final between The Charlatans and The Wedding Present, a press release was launched. The simple 1 share was out, instead a new set of rules would apply designed to spice things up;
- Each supporter could share a song, a photo and memorabilia
- 5 points awarded for photos and memorabilia
- 20 hidden songs by each band had been pre-selected and awarded 5, 10 or 20 points. All other song choices scored 0
- If all hidden songs are found a bonus of 50 is awarded to that team
- In the event of a ‘secret event’ happening the team scores a 100 point bonus
The Cup final would also be refereed by @IndieOver40 for the first time since the opening games back in February
Kick off was at 9am on Sunday 5th July to a flurry of early activity for the Weddoes. A Charlatans gig the night before saw a late start for their supporters trying to get their tired, hungover heads around the new rules.
Cheers went up every time a hidden song was unearthed and everyone tried to figure out the bonus secret event. Fantastic stories, memorabilia and photos were shared throughout the day for both teams. On paper it appeared that the Weddoes had it in the bag but the new rules could easily change that.
After an hour of uncertainty the final score announcement came at 9.04pm; The Wedding Present had beaten The Charlatans 400 – 160 in a fiercely fought match. No-one managed to uncover the secret event, which was later revealed as a retweet by Tim Burgess or David Gedge (if only Carter had made the final!). While The Charlatans supporters took the defeat graciously, The Weddoes fans celebrated with typical Twitter banter. As you can tell from his response to a request for a soundbite, David Gedge was thrilled with the win!
Congratulations all round for a fantastic competition. Time for a much needed glass of wine and a lie down.
I’ve loved being part of The IndieOver40 Cup, and hope to share a beer with some of you in the not too distant future. While we wait for the announcement of the next competition (did I hear mention of a European League?), I’ll leave you with my personal top 5 cup moments, in reverse order:
Knoxy’s infamous green carpet
5. Rummaging around for old press cuttings and posters (which gave me a much needed kick up the backside to start tidying the garage).
4. The elation and relief when my band progressed to the next round. On the flip side there was also the utter heartbreak when they were knocked out, hence its lowly place in my top 5.
3. The weekend wasn’t complete without the appearance of Knoxy’s now legendary green carpet.
2. Carter progressing through to the next round when Jim Bob scored the final goal during sudden death penalty shootout.
1. The top spot has to go to the passion everyone taking part put in supporting their band with the fantastic stories and treasured possessions shared (corny but true!)
Dawn Bovingdon (@Miss_D_xx)
* No pets or children were harmed, but some may have been effectively orphaned for whole weekends
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