THE FRIDAY FIVE – 18.4.2014

1. Echo and the Bunnymen – Lovers On The Run
2. U2 – Invisible
3. Coldplay – Magic
4. Luke Sital-Singh – Greatest Lovers
5. Neil Finn – Dizzy Heights

Special treat now for English readers …….. it’s your National Day next week. So, as is tradition, i’ll give you a chart

FIVE TRACKS BY ENGLISH ARTISTS

1. Oasis – She Is Love
2. Cast – Finetime
3. Tears For Fears – Break It Down Again
4. OMD – Enola Gay
5. Embrace – You’re Not Alone

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

This week’s first video is for birthday boy Neville Staple, formerly of The Specials and Fun Boy Three.

There’s lots of fun in this video. Fun Boy Three, and the presenter of Fun House. And Bananarama.

And sadly, this week would have seen Stewart Adamson’s 56th birthday. This clip, also introduced by Pat Sharp came from a shortened episode due to live coverage of the 1983 FA Cup Final Replay, which conveniently is used to link into the video (There was no video, so BBC just did a goals montage, of what Pete Powell described as “Ace goals”) for “Glory Glory Man United” by Liverpool FC Squad.

Of course not, just seeing if you were paying attention. Would you like some tenuous links between Stewart Adamson and Manchester United?

Stewart Adamson, was actually born in Manchester, and Sir Alex Ferguson (a former player of Adamson’s favourite team, Dunfermline Athletic) attended his funeral.

How was “Mulder and Scully” by Catatonia not Number One? The truth is out there.

Blowing out birthday candles this week is Will Sergeant from Echo and the Bunnymen.

I remember when “Nothing Lasts Forever” came out, I thought they were a new band (in my defence, I was 14) …….

…… and didn’t know they had a back catalogue including this.

And now, 90s men, time to relive all those dreams you had of Sarah Cracknell.

Brace yourselves, this, is just ….. wow.

Ritchie Blackmore was 69 this week. Yet, when you try to find Rainbow Top Of The Pops appearance on Youtube, this comes up. So many questions, the most pressing of which is, where’s Bungle?

Sad anniversary now – Joey Ramone died 13 years ago this week.

And finally, a Royal Birthday of sorts, as Princess Posh of Beckingham Palace hits the big 40 this week.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 9.9.2000

Seven cover stars as the 2000-2001 Champions League group stages get underway, as a player from each of the four (one Scottish, three English) UK teams involved, and foreign stars such as Luis Figo (Real Madrid), Zinedine Zidane (Juventus) and Patrick Kluivert (Barcelona)

Match does a double page interview with Ryan Giggs about his experiences in the European Cup, before turning over for a double page spread on selected teams involved. The four UK teams (Manchester United, Arsenal, Leeds United, Rangers) are previewed on the left page, while the right page has teams listed under ‘Foreign Faves’ and ‘The Outside Bets’

Eventual winners Bayern Munich are in ‘Foreign Faves’, and the preview says “Watch out for young Owen Hargreaves, the British teenage whizzkid” while runners-up Valencia were listed under ‘The Outside Bets’

After three poor league seasons (though they did reach two FA Cup Finals) since finishing 2nd in 1997, Newcastle United were now revitalised under Sir Bobby Robson, and Match had a joint interview with Warren Barton and Steve Harper about this.

Newcastle would go on to finish 4th (2002) and 3rd (2003) in the following three seasons, before a decline which resulted in relegation in 2009.

In 2000, the internet was becoming more accessible for the public, and footballers were jumping on the bandwagon. Match met Jamie Redknapp and Rio Ferdinand at the launch of their own websites, though both players admit they’re not that internet savvy.

Redknapp says it’s a great opportunity to share his thoughts with the rest of the world, set the record straight about newspaper stories, and answer questions from fans. It’s basically Twitter, before Twitter.

Match then gives a guide to the best footballer websites, with players and managers such as Ben Thatcher, Harry Redknapp, Patrick Berger and George Boateng all having their own websites.

Patrick Berger’s website revelas that his first car was a Skoda.

George Graham gets interviewed about the state of English football, believing that English players should work on their technique, and try to be more like Germany or Holland.

Match does a double page spread on Sylvain Wiltord’s protracted transfer from Bordeaux to Arsenal, due to Bordeaux’s lack of willingness to sell, and his former club Deportivo La Coruna being entitled to a percentage of any future transfer fee.

In news, or more rumours, Paul Dalglish of Norwich City is supposedly dating Hannah from S Club 7.

Match does a double page interview with Eirik Bakke on his rise where he played a vital part in Leeds title challenge and played for Norway at Euro 2000, where it is revealed he is related to Monaco player John Arne Riise, who Leeds tried to sign that summer, but couldn’t agree a fee with Monaco.

CRUSADERS 2-3 LINFIELD 12.4.2014

North Belfast was the focus of attention today as Linfield visited Seaview today while Cliftonville hosted Glentoran in the 35th matchday out of 38 in the Irish League season.

With Cliftonville only one point ahead, there was no margin for error, especially for Linfield.

Having been beaten for the 4th time this season by Cliftonville last time out, it was another North Belfast bogey team, having not beaten Crusaders (outright) in 5 meetings this season.

Linfield started off well, unusually attacking their own fans in the Shore Road end in the first-half.

Without dominating, Linfield had some good build-up play and some promising attacks. All it needed was a goal. The goal came on 4 minutes. Unfortunately, it was for Crusaders.

Crusaders won a free-kick within a shooting position, and Nathan Hanley fired home. I was at the other end of the pitch, and it looked poor for the goalkeeper to be beaten at the far post, where he was stood.

After that, Linfield looked shaky. Jordan Owens had a great chance to make it 2-0. Crusaders only had one tactic, to hoof it upfield. Sad thing is, it was effective.

Thankfully, Linfield got an equaliser on 15 minutes when Aaron Burns slotted home after being put through.

Normality restored. At this point, Cliftonville were being held 0-0 by Glentoran. In situations like this, it’s always important to get into the lead first.

Linfield managed to get that as the half was coming to a close, when the ball fell to Andrew Waterworth in the penalty. He had time and space, but not a lot. He had just enough to set himself up for a shot and fire past the keeper in a crowded penalty area.

The game appeared to turn further in Linfield’s favour when Paul Heatley was sent-off for kicking out at Michael Gault. If anyone thought it was going to be a stroll for Linfield, all you had to do was think back to last season’s trip to Seaview in December, when Linfield were 2-1 up against ten men and drew 2-2.

The rest of the half “Got a bit silly” as Crusaders had the better of it and the game threatened to boil over. Crusaders even had a goal disallowed. It looked like a wrong decision from where I was stood, but the ref got it right when I saw TV footage of it.

Linfield couldn’t wait for half-time. It took a while to come ……. there was five minutes of injury time in the first-half.

With heads cleared, Linfield came out for the second-half having a couple of chances, the most notable when Jamie Mulgrew fired over from the edge of the box.

Linfield couldn’t make it 3-1, which was needed so much, just to relax the atmosphere and relieve the tension. The next goal came for Crusaders, a Timmy Adamson header from a free-kick.

By this point, Cliftonville were 2-0 up against Glentoran, there was no margin for error.

Thankfully, the 5th goal of the game came for Linfield, when a Michael Gault run and cross (a brilliant cross at that) was convered from close range from Waterworth.

Thankfully, Linfield didn’t look like conceding the advantage again, against a Crusaders side who soon went down to nine men after the red card for Chris Morrow.

A 4th Linfield goal didn’t come, which would have made things easier. Thankfully, Linfield managed to keep possession, and keep it in good areas to deny Crusaders, though some of the “ole football” could have looked stupid if Crusaders equalised.

Three games to go. Same situation as at kick-off, got to win and hope.

Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 11.4.2014

1. Lena – Stardust
2. The Horrors – So Now You Know
3. The Neighbourhood – Sweater Weather
4. Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott – DIY
5. Bipolar Sunshine – Where Did The Love Go?

Last week, too late to be included in last week’s Friday Five, the line-up for Belsonic was announced. Personally, i’ll be holding off until there are further announcements.

If I was going to go to one of the gigs announced so far, it would be the Kodaline/Tom Odell one. To be honest, i’m a bit surprised Tom Odell isn’t headlining that one instead of Kodaline.

Anyway, to get you in the mood for Belsonic, he’s a Top Five of the acts appearing.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS APPEARING AT BELSONIC 2014

1. Tom Odell – Hold Me
2. Biffy Clyro – The Captain
3. Kodaline – High Hopes
4. Queens Of The Stone Age – No One Knows
5. Imagine Dragons – It’s Time

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : APR 4 – APR 10

The first week of April sees the birth of someone more associated with the end of the year, Dave Hill from Slade. This song, from the 1980s, is superb.

Remember Razorlight? They had, how you say, a Golden Touch from 2004-2006.

It was 20 years this week since Kurt Cobain died.

Kurt Cobain’s death happened on Mylene Klass 16th birthday. As you’ll see later, this is a bumper week for late 90s/early 00s pop star birthdays.

It’s 16 years ago this week since Tammy Wynette. He she sort of is in the studio with The KLF. It’s best not to think about this collaboration. It melts your head.

Meanwhile, John Oates, Oates from Hall and Oates is bus pass age this week.

Meanwhile, back to late 90s/early 00s pop stars born this week in history ….

Duncan James, off of Blue.

Rachel Stevens, off of S Club 7

And some of her solo stuff was rather good

Sophie Ellis-Bextor, off of The Audience, who nobody remembers, also off of that Spiller song, but best known for her solo work.

And Liz McLaronon off of Atomic Kitten, but no solo career of note.

Around the same era, albeit not a pop band, Albert Hammond Jr, off of The Strokes, one good solo song which criminally undercharted, and with the famous dad of the same name.

And we end, with 50s revivalists big in the 80s …… and it’s not Shakin Stevens.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 17.4.1999

As the 1998-1999 draws to a close, Match has three cover stars, a player each from Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, as Match attempts to predict who will win the Premier League.

Nigel Martyn is the subject of a feature called “My first ….”

His first record bought was by The Police, and his first concert was Status Quo in Cornwall.

In news, Michael Owen’s fame has reached America, with a feature of him appearing in ESPN’s monthly sports magazine.

Edwin Van Der Sar states that he would be interested in joining Manchester United. It only took him the six years.

Patrick Vieira, Gianfranco Zola and Dwight Yorke are interviewed about the title run-in, though Match doesn’t make any predictions.

Ryan Giggs and Zinedine Zidane are interviewed as Match previews the second leg of the European Cup Semi-final between Manchester United and Juventus, with the first leg at Old Trafford finishing 1-1.

In competitions, Match readers had the opportunity to win the new England kit.

Robbie Fowler and John Filan also get double page interviews, as well as Lee Mills and Ashley Westwood of Bradford City, as they aim to get promoted to the top flight of English football for the first time since 1922.

There’s more double page spreads, as Match interviews David Seaman, Michael Owen and Alan Shearer at the launch of England’s new kit, and have a full page feature on England kits through the years.

MILES KANE – LIVE AT THE LIMELIGHT 2.4.2014

“HOW THE FUCK ARE YOU? IT’S BEEN A WHILE!!!” screamed a breathless Miles Kane, three songs in. It was his first chance to say something inbetween songs, such was the frantic pace of the concert.

Miles Kane is one of those acts you’ve heard but not know you have. If you haven’t, you probably should.

Strutting on the stage and going straight into his solo hit “Inhaler”, Kane couldn’t resist the opportunity to dance around while singing, and try to get as close to the crowd as possible, creating surges at the front from fans desperate to high five their hero as he stood at the edge of the stage.

Kane was at home on the stage, playing hits such as “Come Closer” and “Better Than That”

He even managed to make one fan’s night by giving them his beer.

Highlight of the night was his rendition of “Give Up”, which he merged into a cover of “Sympathy For The Devil”

One of the great qualities of Kane’s songs is their singability, with Kane regularly indulging in Karaoke (or possibly Kane-aoke) with the crowd, pointing the microphone in their direction and inviting them to sing along, most notably during “Give Up”

The encore began with and acoustic set on his own, but technical problems meant it became an electric set, on his own.

He was then joined by the rest of the band to perform “Don’t Forget Who You Are”

Belfast won’t be forgetting who Miles Kane is.

Photo Album

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : MAR 28 – APR 3

We begin this week with a would be birthday, as Jon Lee from Feeder would have been 46 this week. You’re best to ignore Jamie Theakston getting the name of the song wrong.

And now, for something completely different.

Terry Jacks turned 70 this week. I’d love to post a video of him, but there is none, so i’m posting a video of Westlife covering him. I’m sorry. I’m really really sorry.

Now, for Northern Ireland’s greatest musical talent. No, not Dana, but he comes from the same city (Well, if you want to be pedantic, not really, as she was born in London)

Sadly gone 19 years now.

Eric Clapton was 69 this week. This song is a forgotten classic.

I’ve spent all this week trying to remember who won the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest. Oh wait, it’s all coming back to me now.

In the history of Boybanders gone solo, this song is up there with the best.

New York, London, Paris, Munich. Everybody’s talking about this guy’s suit.

Hannah Spearritt from S Club 7 turns 33 this week. How old does that make you feel?

30 years ago this week since Marvin Gaye died. Scraping the barrel here, but here’s a Paul Young cover.

Back to this week’s birthdays ….. Karen Woodward of Bananarama, or, Mrs Ridgeley. What an A List couple that would have been in 1983.