The World Cup Brief Part 4

We have gone through thirty two of the sixty four games in this tournament, which means we’re at the half-way stage. Some teams are already out, others already guaranteed a place in the knock-out stages. Here are the last round of group matches all in one place, with each of the knock-out rounds getting a round-up all to themselves.

25th June: Uruguay 3 – 0 Russia
Tournament hosts soundly beaten as Uruguay finally hit their stride.

25th June: Saudi Arabia 2 – 1 Egypt
Saudis cancel out Salah’s goal and sign off with win.

25th June: Iran 1 – 1 Portugal
VAR controversy aplenty as Ronaldo penalty miss costs group win.

25th June: Spain 2 – 2 Morocco
Spanish get out of jail thanks to late Aspas equaliser

26th June: Australia 0 – 2 Peru
Peruvians too good for Aussies in final game for both.

26th June: Denmark 0 – 0 France
Tournament’s first goalless draw as both teams in cruise control.

26th June: Iceland 1 – 2 Croatia
Brave Iceland exit with defeat against much changed Croatian side.

26th June: Nigeria 1 – 2 Argentina
Messi and company deny  unlucky Nigerians with late Rojo winner.

27th June: South Korea 2 – 0 Germany
Holders knocked out thanks to injury time sucker punch goals.

27th June: Mexico 0 – 3 Sweden
Sweden win comfortably to ensure they join Mexico in qualifying.

27th June: Serbia 0 – 2 Brazil
Samba stars do just enough to win and top group.

27th June: Switzerland 2 – 2 Costa Rica
Swiss pegged back twice but still through to last sixteen.

28th June: Japan 0 – 1 Poland
Japanese come up short against Poland but still go through.

28th June: Senegal 0 – 1 Colombia
Colombia win to top group, Senegal miss out through indiscipline.

28th June: Panama 1 – 2 Tunisia
Tunisia win battle of the minnows in dead rubber game.

28th June: England 0 – 1 Belgium
Belgium win the battle of reserve teams to top group.


Now That’s What Specs ‘n’ Rugs Calls Music!

After six months of reviewing new single releases, I’ve decided to put together a compilation playlist of recommended tracks that I’ve enjoyed listening to. Fifteen tracks of pure listening pleasure awaits you…

  1. Mr Tillman – Father John Misty
  2. Over And Over And Over – Jack White
  3. Quiet, The Winter Harbour – Mazzy Star
  4. Aspects – Paul Weller
  5. Humility – Gorillaz
  6. I Never Asked To Be Your Mountain – Chemical Brothers & Beth Orton
  7. Gold Rush – Death Cab For Cutie
  8. I’m Your Man – Spiritualized
  9. Deep Pockets – Gaz Coombes
  10. Premonition – Eels
  11. Baby I Love You – Ryan Adams
  12. Higher – Lily Allen
  13. No Regrets – Louis York ft The Shindellas
  14. She’s Kerosene – The Interrupters
  15. I Catch You – Lokki

I hope you give these another listen, and see why I’ve picked them.

Juke Box Jury – 25/06/18

Six months of Juke Box Jury has passed us by! I’ve reviewed a lot of music. Some of it glorious, some just good, and some absolutely atrocious. After none of last week’s tracks made it in to the Top 100, let’s see what this week has in store…

First up is ‘No Regrets’ from Louis York featuring the Shindellas. This has got a bit of funk going on. There’s a hint of Michael Jackson about this song, I must say. Louis York is a duo from the USA, not someone I’ve heard of before, but, dare I say it, on the basis of this track, I might be curious enough to investigate further… This could be a HIT. And I’m not having any regrets in choosing this to review.


The second track of the week is ‘I Don’t Know’ by Paul McCartney. You remember him? He was quite big in the Sixties, the Seventies, the Eighties, the Nineties, The Noughties, and again now. This is part of a two track release along with ‘Come On To Me’. This is a pleasant song to listen to, reminding me of his more recent output rather than harking back to his Beatles or Wings efforts. Can it be a hit? Potentially. Will it be a hit? MAYBE.


The third offering is ‘Boom Goes The Cannon’ from Mobb Deep. This is apparently inspired by the Musical ‘Hamilton’ which apparently is a musical featuring rap and hip-hop that tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of founding fathers of the USA. Now, I’ve featured other tracks from this genre over the last 6 months, and I have to admit, this is probably one of the better ones I’ve listened to. Mobb Deep consisted of two fellas, one of which has since died, but that’s beside the point. I don’t think this will be a hit, more a MISS.


Track four of this week is ‘Talk Is Cheap’ by JMSN. This is another one with a bit of a groove going on. JMSN is one dude – Christian Berishaj, who, according to his Wikipedia entry, is a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, engineer and mixer. So, a jack of all trades. Is he a master of any? If he wants to sound like Justin Timberlake, then he’s hit the nail on the head. It will be a MISS, mostly because I don’t think there’s a following.


And so, to the last of this week’s new tracks. ‘Festival Music’ is by We The Kings. Apparently, We The Kings have been going for over ten years. I’ve never heard of them. They must be shit then, right? Bingo! I’m not sure what they’re trying to sound like with this song, but they sound bad. Really bad. If this makes it into the charts, I will buy the album. I’m so confident that this will be a MISS.


Right. Now for the classic chart tune. On this very day in 1956, The King, or Elvis Presley as he was still known as back then was at Number Two with this iconic track – ‘Heartbreak Hotel’. Enjoy.

The World Cup Brief Part 3

We’re into the second week of the tournament, and the group stages are now taking shape. Teams are going to stake a claim for the next round over the next few days, and so here are the next games to get my ten word summary…

21st June: Denmark 1 – 1 Australia
Australians benefit from VAR decision to deny Danes vital victory.

21st June: France 1 – 0 Peru
Mbappe winner sends France through and consigns Peru to exit.

21st June: Argentina 0 – 3 Croatia
Messy Argentina unravel as classy Croatians run riot to qualify.

22nd June: Brazil 2 – 0 Costa Rica
Late, late Brazilian show as Coutinho, Neymar overcome Costa Rica.

22nd June: Nigeria 2 – 0 Iceland
Africans finally come to World Cup party and dazzle Iceland.

22nd June: Serbia 1 – 2 Switzerland
Swiss exploit Serbian defensive lapses in crucial late comeback win.

23rd June: Belgium 5 – 2 Tunisia
Rampant Belgians tear through leaky Tunisian defence to win handsomely.

23rd June: South Korea 1 – 2 Mexico
Impressive Mexico book place in second round with comfortable win.

23rd June: Germany 2 – 1 Sweden
Reigning champs snatch unlikely, undeserved win to keep hopes alive.

24th June: England 6 – 1 Panama
England wipe floor with Panama after five first half goals.

24th June: Japan 2 – 2 Senegal
Senegal lead twice then pegged back twice by dogged Japanese.

24th June: Poland 0 – 3 Colombia
Classy Colombians on form to give toothless Poles marching orders.

The World Cup Brief Part 2

The first weekend of the tournament is out of the way, and so here are the next lot of fixtures to get my ten word review treatment…

18th June: Sweden 1 – 0 South Korea
Koreans pay the penalty as Swedes open account with win.

18th June: Belgium 3 – 0 Panama
Three goal burst flatters Belgians as they beat tournament debutants.

18th June: Tunisia 1 – 2 England
Last gasp winner for Kane salvages deserved win despite referee.

19th June: Colombia 1 – 2 Japan
First red card of tournament for Colombians as Japan victorious.

19th June: Poland 1 – 2 Senegal
Late Polish comeback not enough to peg back ecstatic Senegal.

19th June: Russia 3 – 1 Egypt
Own goal starts Russian goal glut as Salah falls flat.

20th June: Portugal 1 – 0 Morocco
Early Ronaldo goal the difference but Morocco keep floodgates shut.

20th June: Uruguay 1 – 0 Saudi Arabia
Suarez goals wins match as Uruguay still struggling to perform.

20th June: Iran 0 – 1 Spain
Costa knees in winner as Iran refuse to roll over.

Juke Box Jury 18/06/18

Another week has passed us by. For the football fans, the World Cup is taking up most of the time, and for the non-football fans, well, Poldark is on a Sunday night… None of last week’s featured tracks made it into the Top 100 chart, which is not surprising as they were all pretty bad.

The first of this week’s tracks is ‘I Can Dream’ by Boyzone. The Irish boyband, who are now all way too old to be a boyband, have got a new album coming, and this is the end. Again. As a parting gift to their fans, they have clearly gone back in time to the 90’s with this song. Dronin’ Ronan leads the way in this piece of pop, and with the announcement of the split, I expect the wave of nostalgia to make this a HIT.


Track two is ‘Darth Vader’ by Chip. I chose this based purely on the title. To be honest, that’s about as good as it gets. This is absolute fucking garbage. Actually, garbage is better than this. Why is this music popular? Let me say this: Chip is shit. But, to be on the safe side, I’ll say it’s a MAYBE.


The next track is ‘Gold Rush’ from Death Cab For Cutie. The only example of their previous work I know of is ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark’, which is a bleak song to say the least. Good, but bleak. This, however, is different. It’s got a groove. It’s enjoyable in a different way. It will bear up to repeat listening. It may end up being a MISS, but I don’t care, and neither should they.


The penultimate track is ‘I’m Your Man’ by Spiritualized. Hailing from Rugby, Spiritualized may be remembered by their 1997 album ‘Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space’, and that’s how I remembered them. This has elements of that sound, and then a good chorus to boot. And it all goes together pretty well, if you ask me. While it will probably be a chart MISS, it might well be something I add to my own collection.


And on to the last track. ‘If You Wanna Love Somebody’ is the new single from Tom Odell. I know the name, somehow, but I’ve never has the misfortune to listen to his work. In the name of blogging I sought him out, and I’m so glad I did. Not. I must be a true artist, because I’m fucking suffering here. You can too, but first, this is a MAYBE. Now, suffer as I did…


Which just leaves the matter of the classic chart hit. Going back to this day in 1998, ex-Housemartin Norman Cook had released ‘Rockafeller Skank’ under his latest guise, Fatboy Slim, and it was a new entry at Number 6. Enjoy…

The World Cup Brief Part 1

The festival of football has kicked off in Russia, and as I sat watching the Spain vs Portugal match, I thought to myself ‘how can I sum up a game in ten words?’ So, here is the first of my bi-weekly attempts to sum up every game in ten words…

14th June: Russia 5 – 0 Saudi Arabia
Putin watches hosts thash lacklustre Saudis in opening match victory.

15th June: Egypt 0 – 1 Uruguay
No Mo for Egypt as South Americans snatch late winner.

15th June: Morocco 0 – 1 Iran
Moroccans dominate and finally score late goal – at wrong end!

15th June: Portugal 3 – 3 Spain
Ronaldo hat-trick denies Jekyll and Hyde Spaniards in goal fest.

16th June: France 2 – 1 Australia
French labour to beat plucky Aussies with help from VAR.

16th June: Argentina 1 – 1 Iceland
Messi misses penalty as Iceland’s viking effort earns impressive draw.

16th June: Peru 0 – 1 Denmark
Peru rue missed penalty as Danes nick goal to win.

16th June: Croatia 2 – 0 Nigeria
Croats comfortably beat Nigerians without breaking sweat in underwhelming game.

17th June: Costa Rica 0 – 1 Serbia
Kolarov free kick the difference as Serbians labour to win.

17th June: Germany 0 – 1 Mexico
Mexican counter attack then create a wall to deny Germans.

17th June: Brazil 1 – 1 Switzerland
Brave Swiss fail to roll over as Neymar’s hair disappoints.