THE FRIDAY FIVE – 30.11.2012

1. Bruno Mars – Locked Out Of Heaven
2. M83 – Midnight City
3. Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire
4. The Vaccines – I Always Knew
5. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA …. What A Life (Acoustic)

Time for the usual X-Factor themed chart, except last week, it was a double theme …… ABBA v Motown, those well known rivals. It’s not often you see ABBA and Motown in the same sentence, except, just there.

This will be a bit hard for me as I think ABBA are, whisper it, a bit rubbish.


1. Knowing Me, Knowing You
2. Lay All Your Love On Me
3. SOS
4. Super Trouper
5. Chiquitita

And now, some Motown songs. If Berry Gordy was still alive ……. oh wait, he is. If you wondering what i’m referring to, Louis Walsh said after a performance last year “If Berry Gordy was still alive” …..

It was almost as funny as the time he said a contestant reminded him of “A young Lenny Henry”


1. Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke
2. Supremes – Stop, In The Name Of Love
3. Jackson 5 – I Want You Back
4. Smokey Robinson – Tears Of A Clown
5. Martha and the Vandellas – Dancing In The Street

Today, is St Andrew’s Day, so to celebrate it, here’s a Scottish themed chart for you


1. Strawberry Switchblade – Since Yesterday
2. The Proclaimers – Letter From America
3. Cosmic Rough Riders – Melanie
4. Travis – Side
5. Sandi Thom – The Devil’s Beat


Last night, for the first time in almost seven years, I attended a County Antrim Shield game. Last night, like in February 2006, it was a final between Linfield and Ballymena United.

I’ve previously blogged about this competition’s status in the schedule (My own opinion was that it was a farce that the Semi-Finals of this competition took priority for the late October midweek date over the League Cup Quarter-Finals) but still, when you get to a final, you want to win.

I’d seen the first-half many times before, without dominating, Ballymena were the better team, first to every ball. That’s how their goal game.

After a brief rally at the start of the second-half, Linfield had a brief period of being on top and got a penalty, which was surprisingly scored. Questions have to be asked, though, why Davy Munster wasn’t sent-off for a professional foul.

Linfield had one other chance of note, when Michael Carvill should have scored. In reality, it was mostly situations rather than chances for Linfield, mostly wasted due to a misplaced pass.

A draw was a fair result, but we needed a winner. It went to penalties, and the inevitable happened.

So, one trophy gone, another virtually (if not mathematically) gone. Oh joy.

Managed to get some good photos, though mostly crowd and stadium shots as The Oval isn’t great for match action.


Photo Album


Was at Old Trafford on Saturday for my first visit of the season, my first visit since the UEFA Cup tie with Ajax in February.

I took advantage of a rare Saturday 3pm game to head into the city beforehand. I managed to get some photos of ultra stickers (see previous blog)

Having opened in July in it’s new Manchester base, it was my first opportunity to visit the National Football Museum. It was an enjoyable visit, with exhibitions focusing on some of the more random aspects of football history, including Pickles lead, as well as major pieces, such as the European Cup Winners Cup trophy.

The most enjoyable part of the visit was the exhibition of photographs by Stuart Roy Clarke. If you can’t see the exhibition, I suggest you visit his website if you love football and photography.

The photos in that link are part of that exhibition.

I’d previously visited the museum at it’s former home in Preston. Interestingly, that trip, I also saw United lose to a team managed by Mark Hughes (in this case, Blackburn) but that wasn’t going to happen this time, as Hughes was sacked the day before the game.

Given QPR fans spent pre-match singing about and celebrating their team losing a match last season, if they do go down this season, they’ll be no loss.

Most laughable moment came when they taunted United fans by chanting “We support our local team”, and one of them held up a Canada flag. Oh dear.

Had a good pitchside seat, on the penalty box of the United Road end.

First-half saw United attack the end where I was, with no result. At the start of the second-half, QPR went 1-0 up and it looked like being one of those days. For ten minutes, it certainly did.

As soon as Jonny Evans equalised, there was only one winner, and two quickfire goals secured the points.

Good day all round, getting some nice ultra photos, seeing the National Football Museum for the first time, and watching United win.

Was especially good to see United win, as they lost for the first time in my presence on my last visit.

That’ll be me with Old Trafford until March, though i’m hoping to see United at Craven Cottage in February.

Photo Album



Was in Manchester on Saturday for the first time in nine months, and took the opportunity to get some photos of football related sticker art in the city.

With Manchester now having two teams playing in European football, it means more foreign fans are coming to the city and leaving their mark.

In February, I blogged about how Ajax fans had left their mark on the city. their return visit this season saw them add some more stickers, as did Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund fans, and Young Boys Berne, who recently played in nearby Liverpool.


Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 23.11.2012

1. Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire
2. The Vaccines – I Always Knew
3. Two Door Cinema Club – Sun
4. Harvey Danger – Flagpole Sitta
5. The Family Rain – Trust Me, I’m A Genius

Last week’s X-Factor theme was ‘Guilty Pleasures’, which was a difficult one for me, as all the music I like is brilliant.

Anyway, play to the crowd, here’s some songs that may be classed as ‘Guilty Pleasures’


1. Kylie Minogue – I Should Be So Lucky
2. Glenn and Chris – Diamond Lights
3. London Boys – Requiem
4. Cast Of Grange Hill – Just Say No
5. Louise – Naked

Sometimes (well, most of the time) life isn’t fair. James doing a tour with Echo and the Bunnymen, which isn’t coming to Belfast is one such example.

I saw both bands in 2010 and they are both fantastic. To celebrate (or in my case, commiserate) here’s a top Five from both acts


1. Tomorrow
2. She’s A Star
3. Destiny Calling
4. Laid
5. I Know What I’m Here For


1. Nothing Lasts Forever
2. Bring On The Dancing Horses
3. It’s Alright
4. Bedbugs and Ballyhoo
5. The Cutter

Last Saturday, and this Saturday, BBC 2 are having a night of programming dedicated to the Rolling Stones. It’s as if they’re battling with BBC 4 for my affections.

So, to celebrate, here’s a Rolling Stones Top Five

I saw the Stones in 2007, for free. If you want to read about it, click here


1. You Can’t Always Get What You Want
2. Get Off My Cloud
3. I’m Free
4. Ruby Tuesday
5. Love Is Strong

And finally, Monday was International Men’s Day. To celebrate my, and others, manliness, I give you chart. Five songs about men (And in the name of equality, I celebrated International Women’s Day with a chart)


1. Mansun – Electric Man
2. Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror
3. REM – Man On The Moon
4. Human League – Mirror Man
5. David Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World

LINFIELD 1-1 GLENAVON 17.11.2012

Was at Windsor Park today for a match i’d seen many times this season.

At home to the side at the bottom of the league, and all that was created was a long range shot (the goal), a missed penalty, and a goalmouth scramble. Not good enough.

Worst thing is, there was an inevitability about it.

Didn’t even get any good photos. Got some ok ones. Enjoy.

Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 16.11.2012

1. Harvey Danger – Flagpole Sitta
2. Paul Weller – The Attic
3. Jessie Ware – Wildest Moments
4. Pink – Try
5. Stooshe – Waterfalls

Last week’s X-Factor theme was ‘Best Of British’, a tribute to Britain’s best acts.

Amazingly, all the covers were of songs by British acts. An X-Factor theme, that they actually stuck to.

Anyway, here’s five underrated songs by British acts


1. Lightning Seeds – All I Want
2. The King Blues – Save The World, Get The Girl
3. The Wonder Stuff – Welcome To The Cheap Seats
4. Hot Chip – Ready For The Floor
5. Eliza Doolittle – Rollerblades


My fifth, and final, international match of 2012 saw World Cup action at Windsor Park as Northern Ireland looked to build on their point against Portugal last month, against Azerbaijan.

This being Northern Ireland, you know what is happening next.

For me, the night got off to a less than great start, as a RTC on the Lisburn Road brought traffic to a standstill, meaning I missed the start of the game, and Azerbaijan’s goal.

It was a good job I asked someone for the score when I eventually got to my seat, otherwise I would have looked a bit silly celebrating a last minute 1-0 win.

It looked like it was going to be the cliche ‘one of those games’ as Northern Ireland missed chance after chance. Good chances too. In some case, glorious chances.

Eventually, the goal came on 95 minutes, David Healy, remember him, from a free-kick.

I was glad of this, not just because it meant Northern Ireland avoided defeat, but it would have been the second successive match at Windsor Park where the game finished 1-0, and I missed the goal.

If word had got out, I may have found myself banished to the forecourt of the South Stand on Saturday if Linfield were drawing 0-0 at half-time.

Unfortunately, the winner didn’t come. Would have been nice to have the time to do so, as Azerbaijan players made a mug out of the referee with their constant time wasting and feigning injuries, the referee not adding the correct amount of time for further stoppages in injury time.

It looks like the World Cup drive is over once again. It already was before kick-off, but a win would have put us 2 points behind Portugal and Israel, and we could have had four months of “you never know” ahead of the double header with Russia and Israel.

It’s now all about trying to secure 4th spot and getting ranking points to get a favourable draw in the expanded Euro 2016. We would probably have a better chance if we knew how to finish.

Was in the Railway Stand and it wasn’t great for phototaking. Got some arty stadium shots to make up for the lack of match action.

Photo Album



Was out today and got a photo of a new plaque erected in Hill Street, Belfast, celebrating the contribution to the city’s music scene of Terri Hooley, on the site where The Harp Bar used to stand.

Meanwhile, on the way back, managed to get some Street Art photos just off Garfield Street that I hadn’t previously had.



Was at Solitude today to watch what can only be described as a car crash of a performance from Linfield. The sad thing about it is, it wasn’t unexpected, despite a recent upturn in results.

The hassle of getting there puts me off going to Solitude. I’d only been twice before. We’d won both times so I thought I was a lucky charm.

Having missed four out of the last five (and five out of the last seven) games, then missing the game against Ballymena in two weeks, I was worried I might be getting Withdrawal Symptons. From what, i’m not quite sure.

Outfought, Outthought and Outclassed. Outeverythinged. A defence there to be attacked, was attacked, and punished. Individual mistakes, punished. Black giving the ball away in the build-up to the first goal, Murphy backing away from Boyce for the second. It was game over from there.

The worst part, at the start of the second-half, you would have thought it was Cliftonville who were 2-0 down and needing a goal back.

Linfield never even looked like scoring. It finished 3-0 to Cliftonville.

Usual phototaking arrangements at Solitude. Not much to work with as an away fan, but I did try.

Photo Album