The final part of these wee mini-series looks at Q from May 1997, featuring Paul Heaton on the cover, rather bizarrely, wearing a coat made of flowers, with a headline of “Fancy! He’s the bloomin King Of Pop”

In 1997, The Beautiful South were at the height of their fame, with the 1994 Greatest Hits compliation “Carry On Up The Charts” allegedly taking up residence in one in seven UK homes, and their 1996 album “Blue Is The Colour” spawning two massive hits, “Rotterdam” and “Don’t Marry Her”, interestingly, neither of which featured Heaton’s vocals.

The Spine Line, read “From Anlaby Road to Boothferry Park”. Boothferry Park was the home ground of Hull City in 1997 (They didn’t move to the KC until 2002) and with Paul Heaton on the cover, it clearly is some sort of Hull reference.

Despite referencing Hull City’s ground, Paul Heaton actually supports Sheffield United.

This issue came with a free CD of tracks from up and coming acts such as Stereophonics, Mansun and Eels.

Talking of up and coming bright new things, Sunderland band Keneckie get a double page spread, including a snarling teenage singer Lauren Laverne. Yes, her from The Culture Show.

INXS get 5 pages dedicated to the forthcoming release of their new album “Elegently Wasted”, also focusing on their back catalogue, with the main focus of the article being singer and new dad Michael Hutchence talking about his and the band’s future.

Just six months later, Hutchence would be found dead in his hotel room while on tour.

Christopher Alexander of Mill Hill wrote to Q asking what everybody has been asking since 1989, namely, what are Jive Bunny doing now?

The answer, sadly (I jest), was not a lot.

Cover star Paul Heaton is featured accompanying a reporter to the San Siro to see Inter Milan take on Juventus in a Siere A game.

Meanwhile, Q are jumping on the whole internet bandwagon by offering Q connect with 5 hours free online time and access to ten years worth of Q reviews, all for a bargain £6.50 a month.

Albums recommended by Q in May 1997 included new releases by U2, David Bowie, Mansun, Ben Folds Five and Slade’s Greatest Hits compilation.

In the album chart, U2’s new release had knocked Spice Girls off the top. Other residents in the top ten include Lighthouse Family, Bee Gees, Robert Miles, and a B-sides album from Ocean Colour Scene.


In this segment, we look at Four Four Two, from May 1997, which pulled off a bit of a scoop by getting Alex Fergsuon (Not yet Sir Alex) and Kenny Dalglish on their front cover as Manchester United and Newcastle United were challenging for the title, alongside Arsenal and Liverpool.

The Premier League was nearing the end of it’s fifth season, and Ferguson and Dalglish (with Blackburn Rovers) had won the previous four, with Fergie leading 3-1

The Spine Line read “Alex, Matt, Tom, Johnny, Matt, Bill, Bill, George” which I guess might be some reference to Scottish managers in English football, considering Ferguson and Dalglish are on the cover with Matt being Busby, Bill being Shankly and George being Graham.

Recently sacked BBC Five Live presenter Danny Baker gets a page dedicated to him in support.

In the world of advertising, Ben Thatcher and Chris Perry of Wimbledon are advertising Valsport’s multicoloured range of boots.

To appreciate the quality of Valsport, you need to wear them apparantly.

World Cups of the future take up space in the magazine, with two pages bizarrely dedicated to wether England should make a joint bid with Germany to host the 2006 World Cup.

England had just successfully hosted Euro 96 and wanted to exploit this by bidding to host the 2006 World Cup, the next tournament (apart from Euro 2004, but having hosted Euro 96, it is unlikely it would be favourably looked at) that was available to bid for.

Germany had long stated their desire to host World Cup 2006. Viewers of ESPN Classic will note that Premier League grounds had hoardings with “England 2006” written on them.

When it came to the vote in the summer of 2000, it was South Africa, not England, who were Germany’s main rival as England were eliminated in the first round of voting.

Germany edged out South Africa, who eventually won the right to host the 2010 World Cup.

A feature titled “The Odd Couple” looks at the 2002 World Cup to be held in South Korea and Japan, the first time ever the World Cup would be co-hosted.

Despite the much feared tensions between the two host nations, the only confrontation of the 2002 World Cup would be between Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane at the Republic of Ireland training camp.


The latest in the series looking back at magazines from the past takes us to the January 1991 edition of Q, featuring INXS on the cover and looking back at the 50 best albums of 1990.

Randomly, the logo is in silver, and looking at the collage of back issues in the magazine (Aimed at selling back issues to those who missed it), it seems to change colour on a monthly basis, rather than the red with a white Q we all know.

The Spine Line simply reads “Ugly Rumours”

Everybody knows that Ugly Rumours was the name of a band in the early 1970s fronted by aspiring singer Tony Blair, but in 1990, he was Shadow Secretary of State for Employment, so it obviously isn’t a reference to him.

Q reader Ed Jenkins curiosity caused him to write in wondering whatever happened to The Small Faces, and Q obliged, filling him in with what they were up to.

Singer Steve Marriott died in a house fire in April 1991. By the end of the decade, bandmate Ronnie Lane would also be dead.

An advert for Our Price promoted some of the pick of albums out this year include an album by Prefab Sprout, them of the Hot Dog and Elvis fame with their album “Jordan : The Comeback”, which would have a totally different meaning in 2010.

Fans of classic Our Price adverts would be advised to check out this TV promo for OMD’s Best Of album, from 1988.

Ringo Starr, narrator of Thomas The Tank Engine and The Simpsons guest star, got a triple page spread for his music career, looking back on the US tour he had just done.

Six pages are dedicated to the Top 50 Albums Of 1990, with the Mancunian owner before me ticking and question marking albums on the list based on his tastes.

Concert fans in late 1990 were spolit for choice as Eric Clapton, Del Amitri, Dr Feelgood, Gary Glitter, Cliff Richard and Status Quo were all out on tour, though not together.

The reviews section had a sub section dedicated to videos, remember them, with the main focus being on Madonna’s “Ultimate Collection”.

Sharing a page with her on the opening page of the video section is “The Gary Glitter Story”, where reviwer Colin Shearman claims “Gary Glitter’s no longer a mere rock star, he’s now a Greeat British institution, standing somewhere between Paul McCartney and The Queen Mum”.

If only he knew.


The second in a series of old magazines looks at Shoot from 10th August 1991, building up to the start of the 1991-1992 season.

They didn’t know it at the time, but English football was about to change forever, the seeds of this change would be found in the magazine.

The cover star is Dean Saunders, who recently joined Liverpool from Derby County for a (meagre by today’s standards) British record £2.9m in a joint transfer with Mark Wright, who cost £2.3m

Saunders was signed by new Liverpool manager Graeme Souness with the aim of helping Liverpool win the league title for the first time since 1990, a phrase which has been used every summer since then, but didn’t sound so bad in 1991.

The previous most expensive footballer in Britain was Gary Pallister at £2.3m, but the record changed hands on an annual basis between 1991 and 1996 with Alan Shearer, Roy Keane, Duncan Ferguson, Chris Sutton, Andy Cole and Stan Collymore all holding the record, before Alan Shearer once again broke the record with his £15m transfer from Blackburn Rovers to Newcastle United in 1996.

Pages 4 and 5 had a preview of the forthcoming season in English football’s top two divisions (I’m guessing Divisions Three and Four were done the week previously, as well as Scotland) in a race horsing them, rather randomly.

They predicted that defending champions Arsenal would retain their trophy (They finished a distant 4th).

They did correctly predict that Manchester United would finish runners-up.

To their credit, they did predict that Leeds United, who won the league that season would be “In with a shout”

Of the three clubs who were promoted from Division Two, they predicted that Blackburn Rovers (No Kenny Dalglish or Jack Walker at the club at this point) and Middlesbrough would reach the play-offs but eventual champions Ipswich Town were “One paced to say the least”

An article on the following page titled “Soccer in The Dock” looks at a High Court appeal by the Football League against the FA’s plans to launch a breakaway Premier League in 1992.

As everybody knows, this breakaway league was launched in August 1992, and England is now home to the “Greatest League In The World” …….. albiet, a pop band from Sheffield.

Page 8 has a page dedicated to all the new transfers which had happened in the previous week (with a picture of Mark Wright in friendly action against Dundalk)

With two players out (including David Platt) and five players in (including Kevin Richardson, Ugo Ehiogu and Les Sealey), Aston Villa were the most active club in the transfer market, and this was featured in a double page spread later in the magazine, focusing on Villa, about to enter their first season under new manager Ron “Big Ron” Atkinson, just nine years after being European Champions.

In his second season at the club, Atkinson led Villa to 2nd in the inagural season of the Premier League, but did win the League Cup in his third season.

Atkinson didn’t get a fourth season, having found out why Doug Ellis was known as “Deadly Doug” in November 1994, just six months after the League Cup win at Wembley, Villa’s first trophy since winning the 1982 European Cup.

A youngish and relatively unknown Neil Warnock gets a double page spread, as he prepared for his first season as a top-flight manager, having led Notts County to promotion via the play-offs at Wembley.

In terms of bizarre adverts, Sondico deserve an award for getting Bryan Robson, Gary Lineker and Ian Rush to dress up as mafioso to pormote shinguards. As you do.

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur took out a double page advert aimed at promoting their latest range of merchandise, including various “FA Cup Winners 1991” T-shirts.

Steve Bould appears in an advert endorsing Arrow boots with the headline “A BOULD DECISION”

In 1991, all the cool kids at school wore Steve Bould boots, except for me and my pair of Jeff Spiers Specials.

In house advertising for the following week’s publication focused on Team Tabs.

If you don’t know what Team Tabs are, you’ve never lived.

Basically, they were tabs representing each team in the top four divisions in England and top two in Scotland (No Irish League ones though, and the League Of Wales was yet to be formed) that you placed in their league position through a specially cut hole.

I was actually a reader of Match in my youth, and would have only ever bought Shoot whenever there was something free.

I would have usually bought it during the summer for Team Tabs, but after getting the clubs into their places on the first Saturday of the season, i’d usually just give up, mainly due to the thought of doing it every Saturday teatime for the next nine months.


Something i’ve been meaning to do but am only getting the chance to do over Christmas, is upload and review some old magazines i’ve got.

This batch of magazines, I got at Empire Exchange when I was in Manchester in February.

If you’ve never been to Manchester or Empire Exchange, I can’t recommend it highliy enough. Basically, it’s a second hand shop specialising in literally everything.

Had a wee browse in their magazine section, and picked up a couple of ones that caught my eye.

I’d decided to make use of the time off over Christmas by scanning (I don’t have a scanner in the house, so made use of the facilities in Newtonbreda Library) and upload a few of my favourite articles.

The first magazine is Q from September 1991 with the headline “Who’s Cracked It In 1991?” with a collage of images of Milltown Brothers, Mariah Carey, Mock Turtles, Omar, Chris Issak, EMF, Seal, Beverley Craven, James and Massive Attack.

The Spine Line, for those who are interested, reads, “Bore-dom, bore-dum! Ba-dum! ba-dum”

For those unaware of the concept, magazines have what is known as a Spine Line, where a random phrase, or statement is printed, which bears a reference to what is in the publication.

“Bore-dum, bore-dum! ba-dum! ba-dum!” refers to the song “Boredum” by The Buzzcoks, who were featured in the magazine. As a bonus fact, the song was referenced in “Rip It Up” by Orange Juice, in the line “And my favourite song’s entitled boredum”

A double page feature on James kicks-off the section dedicated to the cover stars titled “1991 : Life Is Sweet”, profiling their ten year journey to the top of the charts, having enjoyed their biggest hit (and still biggest hit to date) earlier in the year with “Sit Down“.

Interestingly, only James, Chris Issak and Milltown Brothers got double page spreads, while the rest had to make do with a mere single page.

Answers on a postcard please if anyone knows who Milltown Brothers are, and what they are doing now.

Mock Turtles, then on the crest of a wave after their hit “Can U Dig It?” were featured, during that brief moment in time when singer Martin Coogan was more famous than his brother Steve.

That month, Q was recommending albums by Crowded House, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, The Jam, Electronic and Tom Petty, so they did know their stuff.

Depressingly, the Number One album at time of press was “Love Hurts” by Cher, keeping The Jam’s Greatest Hits compliation off the top.

Interestingly, Beverley Craven at Number Ten was the highest placed artist under 30 (at the time) in the album chart.

Concert goers (according to the listing page) could have taken in tours by All About Eve, Gary Glitter, Chesney Hawkes, Kylie Minogue, NKOTB and Chris Rea, amongst others.

Meanwhile, an advertorial towards the end of the magazine for the CD-I which “Will cram sound, text, graphics and video to your Compact Disc”

The feature was written by Q journalist John Bauldie. My older brother used to always buy Q during the mid 1990s, and I do happen to remember the edition which featured Bauldie’s obituary, as he was a fellow passenger on the plane crash that killed then Chelsea Vice-Chairman Matthew Harding.

SOUND OF 2010 : 1-20

Well, here it is, my favourite 20 songs of 2010. Enjoy.

1. Marina and the Diamonds – Shampain
2. OMD – If You Want It
3. One Night Only – Say You Don’t Want It
4. Kings Of Leon – Radioactive
5. Mike Posner – Cooler Than Me
6. Adam Lambert – What Do You Want From Me?
7. Brandon Flowers – Crossfire
8. Amy MacDonald – Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over
9. MGMT – Flash Delerium
10. Eliza Doolittle – Pack Up
11. Tiffany Page – On Your Head
12. Kylie Minogue – Better Than Today
13. Take That – The Flood
14. The Hoosiers – Choices
15. B.O.B – Airplanes
16. Ellie Goulding – The Writer
17. Alicia Keys – Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart
18. Marina and the Diamonds – Hollywood
19. Ting Tings – Hands
20. Silhouette – Volume Destroyed

Congratulations due to Marina and the Diamonds. There’s no official prize, but the next time she’s in Belfast, i’ll buy her a cheesy chip from Hungry Hound, cos i’m a classy guy like that.

If you haven’t heard the winning song, see below.

See Also

Sound Of 2009

Sound Of 2008

Sound Of 2007

Sound Of 2006


Whilst the snow might have meant that there have been no football matches to photograph, but has given me some snow to photograph.

Was at the Ulster v Bath match and got some not bad photos, whilst I was out at the weekend past getting some snow photos.

See Also

Snow Photos

Snow Photo Album

Ulster v Bath

Ulster v Bath Photo Album