THE FRIDAY FIVE – 25.7.2014

1. The Courteeners – How Good It Was
2. Wild Beasts – Mecca
3. Jake Bugg – Messed Up Kids
4. George Ezra – Budapest
5. Coldplay – A Sky Full Of Stars

This week, saw the 45th anniversary of the Moon Landing/Faked Moon Landing, depending on what you believe. So, in honour of this, let’s have a Moon themed chart for you. Ironically, there’s no Keith Moon.

Before you ask, no, I wasn’t one of those people who posted a video of a song about Andy Kauffman when Neil Armstrong died.

FIVE SONGS WITH ‘MOON’ IN THE TITLE

1. The Waterboys – The Whole Of The Moon
2. Savage Garden – To The Moon And Back
3. Beck – Blue Moon
4. REM – Man On The Moon
5. The Police – Walking On The Moon

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : JUL 18 – JUL 24

We start with a Royal Birthday. There’s no Public Holiday, but you can take the day off work if you wish. If you get into trouble for it, it’s not my fault. Brian May from Queen turned 67 this week.

Brian May will forever be associated with one of the most flamboyant and iconic performers in music history ……….. Anita Dobson.

Her TV husband walked past me once. He was on his mobile. True story.

Paul Heaton’s wife, Michelle Heaton off Liberty X turned 34 this week.

Also blowing out candles this week was Shaky’s brother, and dad of Rachel, Cat Stevens, being covered here by Maxi Priest, who actually isn’t a Priest, because he’s an Anglican

Meanwhile, the other guy in Savage Garden, the Supergroup formed by footballer Robbie Savage and Graeme Garden from The Goodies (Daniel Jones is his name, since you ask) celebrated a birthday this week.

To The Moon And Back is apt choice, as it was 45 years this week since the Moon Landing (Or Moon Landing was faked, depending on what you believe)

And we have our second Eastenders star this week …..

If i’m in a good mood next week, I might treat you with Sid Owen. If i’m in a bad mood, you might get Martine McCutcheon.

Meanwhile, Martin Gore from Depeche Mode turned 53 this week.

Also celebrating this week, is a band who share their name with the surname of a Top Of The Pops presenter, Fran Healy from Travis turned 41 this week. Not sure how successful they would have been if they were called Edmonds.

In case you’re wondering why Fran was pelted with pies, it’s because they were recreating the food fight in the video for this single.

Meanwhile, it’s now three years this week since Amy Winehouse died.

And finally, Jennifer Lopez pays tribute to defunct cable channel Play

LINFIELD 0-1 COWDENBEATH 19.7.2014

Last time I went to Bangor, it had a grass pitch and was called Clandeboye Park. In the 14 months since my last visit, it has had a 3G Pitch installed, had some renovation work done, and been renamed the Bangor Fuels Arena as part of a sponsorship deal.

With Windsor Park out of use, Bangor Fuels Arena was the venue for Linfield’s “Home” friendly against Cowdenbeath. A trip to the Seaside in the middle of July? That sounds good. We were treated to typical Northern Ireland summer weather ……… pouring rain.

Less than 48 hours after the UEFA Cup game against AIK, this was a much changed Linfield team, 11 changes in fact.

I knew what sort of team to expect, but my main reason for going today was to see what Bangor Fuels Arena Clandeboye Park was like.

Obviously, the pitch was done, and had a Seaview style fence around the pitch, tarmac between terracing and the fence if supporters want to get closer, and supporters can now stand behind the end where the houses are. Though, with the weather as it was today, nobody took up that option, unsurprisingly.

The inexperience Linfield side held their own in the opening exchanges, with Ross Clarke being the focal point of the attacking.

Sometimes he lost the ball trying to do too much, but he was always trying to make things happen.

Eventually, Cowdenbeath took control of the game, creating some chances, which required some last ditch Linfield defending to deny them.

In the final ten minutes of the half, they got behind Linfield’s defence, and (just about) made it count.

Ross Glendenning hesitated, not knowing if he should stay on his line or run out to force the shot, and did neither, but the Cowdenbeath attacker crossed, and it was turned into his own goal by Niall Quinn, trying to intercept it.

Cowdenbeath stepped it up and it became important for Linfield to keep it 1-0 to half-time at least, as such an inexperience line-up could have fallen apart if the gap widened.

Linfield came out for the second-half strong, with Rodney Brown forcing a save from Cowdenbeath’s keeper, who also had to be alert as Conor McMenamin was unable to get a touch to a cross. If he did, he would have scored.

The rest of the second-half was typical pre-season fare, largely interrupted by substitutions from both teams.

Even though it was an inexperience Linfield team, there were still first-team players. In a departure from recent seasons, friendlies have run alongside European games, instead of being announced once elimination has been confirmed, meaning that players such as Ross Glendenning, Ross Clarke, Mark Haughey, Jimmy Callacher and Niall Quinn are getting game time ahead of the start of the domestic season.

Linfield had a late rally but couldn’t get a goal that would have secured a deserved draw, and Cowdenbeath’s travelling fans celebrated the win.

Hopefully, next year, there’ll be a return fixture.

Photo Album

LINFIELD 1-0 AIK 17.7.2014

After seeing off B36 last week, there wasn’t time for Linfield to relax, as they faced another, but vastly superior, Nordic opponent, in the face of AIK at Mourneview Park.

The match, was Linfield’s 100th in European competition. It was Swedish opposition they faced in the 1st.

(In case you’re wondering why an even numbered milestone is in a first leg tie, it’s because the second leg of a match against Vorwarts wasn’t played, as the East German side had Visa issues)

It might have been as high profile as a European Cup Quarter-Final, or as headline grabbing as beating European Cup Winners Cup holders Manchester City, but it was a worthy result and performance for the occasion.

Scandinavian opponents are quite common for Linfield in Europe. In fact, there’s been matches against Swedish teams in the last decade, against Halmstad (2005) and Elfsborg (2007) which have brought hope, and ultimately heartbreak.

Matches against Norwegians and Danes such as Rosenborg (2010), Randers (2009) and Viking (2002) weren’t much better. Don’t even start me on Copenhagen.

Having lost at this stage in extra-time to Skoda Xanthi, there was a desire amongst players and fans to better that. There was a bigger crowd than last week, with most of the stand Linfield usually use being filled. We were even allowed to sit as far as the corner flag at the Crescent End, such as the demand for tickets.

AIK brought a couple of hundred fans, situated in the traditional home end, very noisy, indulging in vocal sparring with Linfield fans.

There wasn’t really much to the first ten minutes, but Linfield came more into it, having a few situations and winning a few corners and attacking free-kicks.

In games like this, you often look at milestone minutes, at keeping the score 0-0. With each passing minute, it became more about “Can we take the lead?” as opposed to “Can we keep it 0-0?”

Linfield’s best chance came when Peter Thompson got behind the defence but fired over. Despite having a couple of defenders chasing him, it looked like a great chance. We’re all Lionel Messi on the terraces (or, in the case of Mourneview Park, stand) aren’t we?

As the second-half began, the feared backlash from AIK didn’t materialise, as Linfield continued to hold their own.

There were no clear cut chances, but situations and shots at goal. The ball was just not bouncing for Linfield. Crosses were just going wide, shots weren’t going where they should have.

It looked like being a frustrating night, that could be ruefully look backed on in seven days time.

Linfield’s best attacking moment came when a Sean Ward shot from the edge of the penalty area was saved and put behind of a corner. Seeing how the players were endeavoring to take a lead to Sweden, the crowd raised the voices in appreciation.

Most of Linfield’s support where in the stand they usually sit at Mourneview. All bunched together, it helped to create and atmosphere that would spur the players on.

When playing higher ranked opponents, you always fear they will score with every attack they have, even if they haven’t done anything in the game to merit that fear.

AIK’s best attacking moment saw them hit the post, only for Chris Hegarty to block the rebound. It summed up one of the more noticeable aspects of the early games of Feeney’s Linfield – that extra percentage.

In the B36 game, Aaron Burns strove to play a wide cross back across the penalty area, and was rewarded with an assist. Earlier in the AIK game, Michael Carvill pressurised a defender shepherding the ball out for a goal kick, and ended up winning possession in AIK’s penalty area and kept an attack alive, albeit, it eventually came to nothing.

Games are decided on such small margins. IF AIK went 1-0 up, despite not playing well, they would have seen the game out and taken a lead, and away goal(s) to Sweden.

Just when it looked like being a frustrating 0-0, Linfield got the winner. A goal kick up the field was flicked on to Andrew Waterworth. He got a space away from his defender. He wouldn’t have been able to get a run on goal, he had to hit it first time, which he did.

Mourneview Park went wild as players ran to the stand where Linfield fans were. Linfield supporters on the grass bank behind the goal walking towards the exits celebrated. A valuable lesson learnt about why you should never leave a football match early.

The goal, was a smash and grab. The result, was anything but.

AIK’s fans weren’t slow in showing their displeasure at their team’s performance. Linfield fans, applauded their team off the pitch.

A lead and a clean sheet going to Sweden. We have a chance. More than many people thought we’d have at the halfway stage of the tie.

Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 18.7.2014

1. Weird Al Yankovic – Word Crimes
2. Royal Blood – Little Monster
3. St Vincent – Digital Witness
4. Nina Nesbitt – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)
5. George Ezra – Budapest

Last Monday, it was Bastille Day, so here’s a five song celebration of all things French, not the band Bastille. (Talking of which, it’s just over a month until I see them play live)

FIVE SONGS BY FRENCH ACTS

1. Daft Punk – Da Funk
2. Desireless – Voyage Voyage
3. Phoenix – Entertainment
4. Air – Sexy Boy
5. Daft Punk – Robot Rock

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : JUL 11 – JUL 17

Hello and welcome to this week’s Births and Deaths notices of pop, through the medium of TOTP.

First up, is Ritchie Sambora, 55 this week.

However much he thinks he is, the late and great Bobby Farrell isn’t Daddy Cool

One for the young folk

Trevor Horn turns 65 this week. He’s appeared in various guises as performer and producer. Don’t tell Mike Read, i’m playing Frankie

If you don’t like Frankie, and want to report them for obscenity, you could always call The Police.

LINFIELD 1-1 B36 TORSHAVN 8.7.2014

Before Tuesday night, the last Linfield match I was at was at Mourneview Park. It was perhaps symbolic or symmetrical that my next should be at the same venue. In the nine weeks that have passed, people have left Linfield, and people have joined Linfield.

The most obvious, is in the dugout, with Warren Feeney as new manager, replacing David Jeffrey, who was in attendance on Tuesday as a supporter. Since you ask, the last Linfield match I attended where David Jeffrey wasn’t manager? A 0-0 draw v Glentoran on December 26th 1996.

Change on the pitch, in the dugout, and change at or of the club, Linfield playing home European ties (Until September, when we’re in the group stage, of course) at Mourneview Park, due to redevelopment of Windsor Park.

It’s two months and one day until an actual home ground there, against Warrenpoint on September 13th. Looking forward to that one, just to actually see in person the changes at the ground.

If you had to choose an alternative home ground, Mourneview Park wouldn’t be a bad choice. Not only is it the perfect size and modern stands, Linfield have an excellent record there. Though, the last time they played a European tie (v Randers in 2009, due to Windsor Park’s pitch being relayed) it resulted in a 3-0 defeat.

Linfield went into the game with a 2-1 first leg lead against familiar opponents, having beaten B36 in a penalty shoot-out in the European Cup in 2012. Linfield supporters were expecting this tie to be advanced without the need for a penalty shoot-out.

For me, and a few others I guess, this was my first viewing of Warren Feeney’s Linfield in the flesh.

B36 started the game with a few shots on goal, but shots you would expect Jonathan Tuffey (despite his wobbly moments last season, and even last week) to save.

Linfield then started to play some nice passes. There was some long passes, but the had a purpose. Players being proactive and running onto flicks, or running past defenders. Attackers were even prepared to run at defenders.

Linfield seemed to be able to get round the back, but not getting the bounce. You got the feeling if there was an early goal, it could end up 3 or 4-0.

The early goal came just after the quarter hour. A cross came in which looked to be overhit. It was great play by Aaron Burns to seize the opportunity to keep the move alive to get his foot onto it and play it across goal for Michael Carvill to score, who appears to be a penalty box poacher these days.

For the rest of the first-half, Linfield looked the most likely to score, without creating clear cut opportunities. 1-0 at half-time, things are going well so far.

In football, things can change in an instant, and B36 got a penalty in the opening minutes of the second-half, which they scored. Suddenly, it’s now a different game.

For a while after the goal, Linfield appeared nervous, but B36 never really looked like scoring. Despite that, you can never be too careful when there’s only one goal in it.

Eventually, Linfield regained their composure and got back into the game, but just couldn’t get that 2nd goal that would have made the final minutes a lot less nervous.

There were plenty of positives, there were plenty of negatives. One big positive was Peter Thompson off the bench. Hopefully, he can stay fully fit throughout the season. As the cliche goes, it would be like a new signing.

The final whistle went, and Linfield were through, to face AIK Solna next Thursday. A Massively improved performance will be needed against the Swedes to have a chance of keeping the tie alive before the trip to Stockholm.

Photo Album

Linfield v B36 – 2012

DUBLIN STREET ART – JULY 2014

As you’ve gathered from the previous blog posts, I was in Dublin last weekend.

Out with my camera, I stumbled upon some Street Art, so I took some photos.

Not exactly sure where in Dublin these are, I know that one is in Smithfield, some are in Temple Bar and some are near Connolly Station.

It was disappointing to see that a wall that was covered in fantastic art (Near Fegan’s) is now blank.

Enjoy

Photo Album

Dublin Street Art – August 2013

PALOMA FAITH – LIVE AT KILLRUDDERY (GROOVE FESTIVAL) 5.7.2014

Paloma Faith headlined the Saturday night of Groove Festival at Killruddery in Bray.

The set list was heavily based on her current album “A Perfect Contradiction”, ignoring a lot of her biggest hits prior to this year.

Paloma Faith doesn’t stand still on stage, even climbing onto a piano at one point. The crowd loved it, especially this year’s hit singles “Can’t Rely On You’ and “Only Love Can Hurt Like This”

Faith entertained the crowd with anecdotes between songs, addressing being caught out lying about her age by joking about it, as well as trying to entertain the crowd by putting on a local accent.

The biggest laugh was reserved for her telling when an RTE journalist addressed her as “So …… Imelda” before then singing the praises of Imelda May.

Disappointingly, some of her biggest his such as “Thirty Minute Love Affair”. “Upside Down” and “New York” weren’t performed, but there were some covers, the best of which was her version of “Teardrops” by Womack and Womack before ending with the lead single from her current album “Can’t Rely On You”

Photo Album

See Also

Paloma Faith Live At Ulster Hall 2013

Paloma Faith Live At Ulster Hall 2013 Photo Album

JAMES – LIVE AT KILLRUDDERY (GROOVE FESTIVAL) 5.7.2014

This was my 4th time seeing James, in a 4th different country, having previously seen them in Sheffield, Glasgow and Belfast.

You know what to expect by now, but you still turn up expecting the unexpected, because that’s what James live shows are like.

The event itself was Groove Festival, on the grounds of Killruddery Estate in Bray, in it’s 2nd year having launched in 2013.

There was plenty of activities on offer while waiting for the music to come on such as zorbing, and a rocket display.

I arrived at 5pm(ish) and was greeted by a dance band called King Kong Company doing a version of the Doctor Who theme, complete with kids in a field dancing to it.

The support act that came on before James was Cathy Davey. I’d never heard of her before, but she was rather good.

As the crowd waited for James, the rain started lashing. James are a band worth getting soaked for.

Eventually, they came on, no grand entry. Tim Booth, wearing a coat, which soon disappeared a couple of songs in.

The setlist was dominated by new material, focusing on their current album La Petite Mort. On the songs i’ve heard so far, it’s rather good, with recent single Moving On set to become a fan favourite.

While James were mid song, I heard a voice beside me screaming “Daddy” – turn out it was guitarist Saul Davies daughter. A fan let her piggyback on her to get a better view. He did a double take when seeing his daughter being piggybacked by a stranger (In case you’re wondering, her mum was with her all the time)

There wasn’t many of their classic hits on the setlist, only Sometimes.

As they finished Moving On, they had a change of plan. The original plan of Laid was changed as in Tim Booth’s words, it didn’t feel right, so they played Sit Down instead, with a piano led version, before jumping in to the version we all know and love.

Just when it looked like a James gig without Tim Booth jumping into the crowd, that was rectified during Sit Down. The crowd at the front, as ever, loved it.

It wasn’t as good as my previous James concerts, but it was still an enjoyable evening.

Photo Album

See Also

James Live At Belsonic 2013

James Live At Belsonic 2013

James Live At SECC 2013

James Live At SECC Photo Album

James Live In Sheffield 2010

James Live In Sheffield Photo Album