THE FRIDAY FIVE – 25.1.2013

1. Stereophonics – Indian Summer
2. Adam Buxton – Friends
3. Gabrielle Aplin – Please Don’t Say You Love Me
4. Haim – Don’t Save Me
5. Little Boots – Superstitious Heart

Tomorrow is Australia Day, so, let’s celebrate by doing an Aussie chart. So much talent to choose, I just know i’m going to get angry abuse from Jason Donovan fans.

1. Steffan Dennis – Don’t It Make You Feel Good
2. Angry Anderson – Suddenly
3. Midnight Oil – Suddenly
4. Kylie Minogue – I Should Be So Lucky
5. Mental As Anything – Live It Up

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CRUSADERS 2-1 LINFIELD 22.1.2013

Well, that’s that. What a strange feeling. A free Saturday a month to look forward to over the next three months.

I arrived at Seaview optimistic. The smaller pitch, the closeness of the support to the pitch. If anything, this would have suited us more than playing at Windsor.

The first 20 or so minutes were non eventful, with both teams “feeling each other out” before Brian McCaul put Linfield 1-0 up with a fantastic long range strike. It looked set to be one of those nights, but after the first game, I should have known how quickly football can change.

It was both sides inability to get a two goal lead while on top that brought about this replay, and it was being unable to get a 2-0 lead that did for Linfield last night.

I haven’t seen TV footage of the two main first-half penalty incidents, so can’t comment, but the obvious disappointment shouldn’t take attention from a shocking second-half performance from Linfield.

A season defining game, and there was no fire, no urgency, no imagination. Nothing.

When Crusaders went 2-1 up, it was game over, despite there being 20 minutes to play.

There was no pressure on the Crusaders goal in that time, no wave of attacking to get an equaliser. If anything, Crusaders looked more likely to make it 3-1.

Considering that Crusaders main attacker is quite handy at heading the ball away, the decision to fire crosses and balls in the air was baffling. Just as baffling, was the fact that nobody thought about a Plan B.

What now? The season, effectively, is over, but it shouldn’t be allowed to fizzle out.

There’s still the Setanta Cup to play for, there’s still gaining European football to play for. It might be the UEFA Cup, but there’s a high chance we’ll be seeded, and be able to improve our ranking and co-efficient for future seasons.

With some free Saturday’s over the coming months, hopefully Rangers will be able to invoke the utterly ridiculous “Joker rule” and arrange their promised friendly game on the March or April dates.

Far too many passengers, far too many players just making up numbers. That’s the 11 on the pitch, 5 on the bench, and those not playing.

It’s unlikely i’ll go to the rearranged DC game (I’m not giving up an hour’s pay to sit on a parked bus for one hour for a ten minute journey) so that was my last Linfield game as a 20 something.

It’s been a decade that has seen many highs and lows. Last night was a low. Not just the result, but the manner of it.

Photo Album

BELFAST SNOW JANUARY 2013

As Belfast was hit by snow, unsurprisingly, I was out with my camera trying to capture.

The snow itself, was a bit disappointing, only coming in the evening and not giving me much in terms of daylight to work with, as well as not having much time in which to photo it.

Managed to get some nice shots, Great Victoria Street and Balmoral train stations, Botanic, Stranmillis and Lower Ormeau.

Enjoy

Photo Album

PALOMA FAITH – LIVE AT ULSTER HALL 20.1.2013

My first concert of 2013, and one i’d been looking forward to, as Paloma Faith played Ulster Hall last Sunday.

Her intro, was dramatic appearing solo on stage singing into her microphone, very choreographed, before the curtain pulled across to reveal her stage and backing band.

At this point, it looked like it was going to be a choreographed and staged show, it turned out to be anything but.

After starting off with a couple of slow ballads, the setlist took on a more uptempo run, showcasing her best songs such as Thirty Minute Love Affair, Picking Up The Pieces, and hits from her debut album (after asking the crowd if they liked her first album, she told them she would be playing them any way. People cheered anyway) such as Upside Down and Stone Cold Sober.

The biggest cheer, unsurprisingly, came for her cover of Never Tear Us Apart. It’s not her best song, but it’s her most famous.

There was minimal talking inbetween songs, and no encore. The reason given was to save her voice (she was suffering from a sore throat)

She has a reputation of being a bit, “Eccentric” and she certainly was, climbing on her piano, climbing on a stage prop, and even climbing off the stage to be closer to the audience.

The audience, loved it, and loved her.

Got an ok shooting position and some mixed results. Enjoy.

Photo Album

THE TWITTER LIST 2013

You may remember last year, I did a Twitter List. Well, this year, i’ve done an updated version.

It started off because The Independent did a Twitter List, i’d read it, and thought to myself that somebody should do a Northern Ireland version. So I did one myself.

It must be pointed out, that this isn’t an exclusively Northern Ireland list, but mostly.

I’ve updated it for a couple of reasons.

The 2012 was a bit of a rush job, done reactively rather than proactively, I missed some people out who should have went on.

Not only that, but new people worth following have joined Twitter this past year.

Rather embarrassingly, there are some people on the list who have since been unfollowed. The one thing that pisses me off on Twitter is this culture of asking celebs for RTs. I now have a policy of instantly unfollowing anyone who does this. I find it makes my Twitter experience a whole lot better.

(NOTE : There’s a difference between this, and somebody RTing something which has no interest to me. Twitter is a mixed bag, and sometimes people you follow post stuff that means nothing to you. What I object to, is 3rd party spam appearing in my timeline, adverts and cyberchuggers)

It is one of the ‘Fifteen Sins Of Twitter

Anyway, enough about what annoys me on Twitter, time to look at the accounts which make Twitter worthwhile.

PUBLIC INFORMATION

Twitter has been utilised by government departments to get information to the public. The recent disturbances and severe weather in Belfast have really emphasised the importance of the role Twitter plays in sharing information

@tanslink_ni is an account detailing any delays or cancellations of buses and/or trains. It’s a manned account, so can respond to queries from members of the public

PSNI have embraced Twitter, with a main account, and a traffic account @psnitraffic @policeserviceni

They also have accounts for each DCU with @psnibelfast covering Belfast. A full list of Twitter accounts for each DCU can be found on here on their website.

BBC NI also have Public Information accounts cover Weather and Traffic @newslineweather @bbcnitravel

Their weather account is manned, responding to the public if needs be, and RTing weather pictures submitted (Angie or Cecilia usually ‘sign off’ at the end of each tweet)

Met Office can be found @metofficeni while Belfast City Council can be found @belfastcc

BBCNI

BBC NI are well represented on Twitter with @bbconeni and @bbctwoni providing online continuity announcements of what’s on now/next, scheduling changes, etc

A similar account @bbcradioulster covers Radio Ulster

Their main news website can be found @bbcnireland

Meanwhile, @bbcnievents keeps you up to date with events and recordings coming up, and how to apply for tickets.

Journalists and Broadcasters worth following on Twitter include :

@traves91 @jimfitzbiz @jolong03 @markdevenport @emilytbelfast @taramillstv @alansimpsonbbc @ciarariddell @fermanaghjulian @jacqmci @mckenp @collettasmith @sabrinasweeney @mlchealth @tv_natasha

UTV

UTV were the first of the two local broadcasters to really use Twitter, and are unsurprisingly, well represented.

@utvonair is their online continuity, keeping viewers up to date with scheduled programming.

@utv @utvnews and @utvsport are the best accounts to follow for news stories on their website, while @utvlivetonight covers their late night news programme.

Disappointly, Frank Mitchell (@franku105) doesn’t use the Twitpic feature to do ‘Weatherwatchers’ *sigh*

Other Journalists and Broadcasters worth following include :

@pamballantine @sarahclarke_utv @kenreid_utv @dt_utv @judith_utv @jamie_utv @paul_utv @ruthgorman_utv @saraneill_utv @markmcfadden @paulclark_utv @colmmcal_utv @alifleming_utv @marcmallett_utv @hagan_utv

OTHER NORTHERN IRELAND MEDIA

Print Journalists and Media are well represented on Twitter

@beltel and @thesundaylife are active Twitter accounts, but disappointingly, don’t post front covers.

@news_letter does post front page covers on the evening before publication, mainly thanks to @hackedoffhack

@nitravelnews and @gomagonline are the Twitter presence of two local publications and well worth following

To find out what is trending in Belfast, @trendsbelfast is worth a follow.

For press photography, mostly (but not exclusively) music, follow @Shoottothrill and @carriedavenport

A mate of mine helps run @insideireland – so get following

Journalists worth following include :

@connollymaeve @bigivanlittle @worldinaglass @janeveitchtv @mrsghenderson @saragirvan @maureencoleman1 @kimsshowbizlife @edwinmcfee

NORTHERN IRELAND MEDIA FURTHER AFIELD

There are also Northern Ireland journalists, now living outside Northern Ireland, on Twitter.

Those worth following include :

@sarahrainey4 @billneelyitv @paul_gilmour @skyorla @claireglancy @ianwoodssky @jenofcroths @kellyallen01 @eamonnholmes

FABB/NI BLOGGERS

@rudedoodle deserves a category of her own. If you love Pop Culture jokes/references and have a dark sense of humour, get following. She’s also Ulster’s Queen of Kitsch.

FABB (Fashion and Beauty Bloggers) is a network of bloggers promoted by @sugahgal

A full list of blogs can be found here

@love_belfast is a listings site for all things Belfast and worth a follow.

NORTHERN IRELAND PR/ADVERTISING/MARKETING

PR/Advertising/Marketing in Northern Ireland is well represented. A list of organisations on Twitter include :

@aikenpr @avbgroup @mcenewsfeed @morrowcomms @goodandbadpr @freshwaterniroi @katiewaddell1 @asitisconsult @ljkcomms @levymccallum @lighthouseni @ambitiondigital @nlbothwell @duffyrafferty @jprnewswire @chambrepa @seriouspr @stakeholderlive @shamelesspr @cathy_martin

New to this category is @sineaddoyle having been listed under ‘Journalism’ last year

MUSIC

Northern Ireland’s two big summer gigs @tennentsvital and @belsonicbelfast have a Twitter presence but are currently dormant, but will be active once headliners are announced.

@ticketmasterire and @mcd_productions will have gig news in Belfast and beyond, while @odysseyarena @limelightni and @ohyeahcentre all promote their own events.

In media terms, @acrosstheline and @aumagazine are worth following

POLITICS

I don’t actually follow many politicians on Twitter, but in journalism terms, @alexkane221b and @afneil are worth a follow.

For interactivity, @bbcquestiontime is worth following. Just a pity it’s never on in Northern Ireland at the same time as the rest of the UK.

JOBS

We all need one unfortunately, and they often get in the way of Tweeting. Agencies and websites on Twitter worth following include :

@nijobfinder @diamond jobs @graftonrec @nijobs @abacusjobs @lynnrecruitment @nijobscom

IRISH LEAGUE

The top flight clubs :

@Ballinamallard @BallymenaUnited @cliftonvillefc @ColeraineFC @CrusadersFC @donegalcelticfc @DgnSwifts @Glenavon_FC @Glentoran @OfficialBlues @distilleryworld @Portadownfc

You may have noticed that Linfield now have an official Twitter presence, after I had complained about there not being one last year (I don’t think they set one up because I complained though)

Thankfully, this hasn’t meant the end of the excellent (unofficial) @linfield_fc account, which is worth following

Clubs outside the top flight worth a follow include :

@larnefc @bangorfc @ardsfc1900 @carrickrangers

News outlets worth following include :

@bbcsportni @danskebankprem @newslettersport @talkinballs @officialirishfa @thesocialclubni

Journalists worth following include :

@markmcintosh @egrantcameron @nikkigregg27 @nialfoster @andrewgillan @keithjbailie @holtchris @laurejames @taggartjoel @liam_beckett @grahamluneybt @garethfullerton @ourlogie

FOOTBALL

For photography the following are worth a follow :

@homesoffootball @goingtothematch

Journalists/Commentators/Pundits worth following include :

@gnev2 @benhibbs @willdowningcomm @andymitten @henrywinter @nickcoppack @talkdants @talksportgeoff @patmurphybbc @jasonmbbc @johncrossmirror @janaagefjortoft @sammatterface

Official competition accounts to follow include :

@premierleague @europaleague @championsleague

Two good accounts for Manchester United related stats are @mufcinfodotcom and @rednewsstats

For Welsh football (club and national team) follow @ffwtbol and @blogdroed

Looking at the fun side of football are @stick_football @oldschoolpanini @footballattic @howalanseesit @mufc_facebook @rawk_meltdown @footballcliches @beardedgenius

League Of Ireland stats and trivia are covered by @seidodge while @mirkobolesan covers general stats, trivia and randomness, whilst also writing about African football.

@beautifullyred is for lovers of Gifs and Man United

@bbcmotd gives goal updates and running orders of Match Of The Day

If you’re looking for information on stadiums, then @stadiumguide is worth a follow.

TV

Blogging and writing about TV, and well worth following :

@brokentv @nowtro @unrealitytv @nornironyorkie @tvlive

@tv_am is an online archive of clips from the TV show of the same name

@tvratingsuk produces updates on viewing figures of UK TV shows

@bbcaudiencetix is worth following for news on BBC recordings and how to apply for tickets

@putthetellyon is a fantastic online archive of TV from the good ole days, while @totp1978 posts facts and trivia during the current series of Top Of The Pops on BBC Four, from 1978

MAINLAND UK MEDIA

@suttonnick is worth a follow as he posts the front pages of the following day’s newspapers in the evenings, while @skynewsbreak posts breaking news, as the name suggests

Danny Baker (@prodnose) is worth joining Twitter for, he’s that funny.

Other journalists/writers worth following include :

@paolohewitt1 @rocking_bob @davidhepworth @danwootton @chrisskudder @timcaple @simon_price01

@heatworld is worth following for showbiz news.

JUST FOR FUN

@lamebook – The funniest Facebook status updates and replies

@rocknrolltedium – Boring stories about Rock stars

@sleepycommuters – People sleeping on public transport

@paintissogood – Bad drawings that are so brilliant

So, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed that and have discovered some new Twitter accounts worth following.

To end, he’s some self-publicity, don’t forget to follow me @andrewastewart

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 18.1.2013

1. Haim – Don’t Save Me
2. Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble
3. Gabrielle Alpin – Please Don’t Say You Love Me
4. Bon Jovi – Because We Can
5. Aztec Camara ft Mick Jones – Good Morning Britain

Last Saturday, was “National Kiss A Ginger Day”, sadly I couldn’t any to take part in it with. So, how about a chart celebrating the great gingers of music?

FIVE SONGS BY GINGER SINGERS

1. Elton John – I’m Still Standing
2. Queens Of The Stone Age – The Lost Art OF Keeping A Secret
3. Paramore – That’s What You Get
4. Lulu – Love Love To Love
5. Belinda Carlisle – Heaven Is A Place On Earth

LINFIELD 2-2 CRUSADERS 12.1.2014

You often hear the term “Tie of the round” in cup competitions, and they usually disappoint. Today, was one of the more eventful Irish Cup ties i’d been to.

For a change, this was an Irish Cup tie in January actually worth getting excited over.

Upon seeing the team, I couldn’t help but wonder why David Armstrong wasn’t playing. It’s clear that Murphy/Watson doesn’t work, and that Armstrong/Watson gives a better balance, as seen on New Year’s Day.

Amazingly (he missed the Coleraine game as he was becoming a dad) he wasn’t even on the bench. It was who was and wasn’t on the bench and who did and didn’t come off the bench that would be a taking point later.

Crusaders go, as you say, the dream start, 1-0 up after 12 seconds. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember a goal in a game i’ve been to within the first minute of a game.

It did though, highlight something that has been bugging me the last few weeks, the way Linfield kick off (although, to be fair, they didn’t kick off the game today)

Genrally, when Linfield kick off, the ball gets played out wide, usually out for a throw. Possession lost, within the first ten seconds.

During the recent league game at Seaview, Linfield conceded a throw after ten seconds. In the second-half, Crusaders had a shot which needed to be blocked over the bar after ten seconds.

At any level of football, it is unacceptable to concede a goal after twelve seconds, especially one when the striker is clean through on goal.

For the next ten or so minutes, it was all Crusaders. If it had got to 2-0, there is no doubt they would have went on to win the game. Thankfully, it was Linfield who got the next goal, Brian McCaul tapping home after Sean O’Neill failed to hold on to a Matthew Tipton shot.

In trying to stop the shot, O’Neill got injured and needed to be subsitituted, with midfielder Chris Morrow having to move into nets. It looked like the tide was turning in Linfield’s favour.

Given that Irish League clubs are allowed to have five subsitutes on a matchday, i’m amazed Crusaders didn’t have a goalkeeper on the bench. Linfield didn’t have one on the bench today. Hopefully, after today, David Jeffrey will start having one on the bench in future.

Frustratingly, we never got to see if Morrow was any good in nets, as Linfield didn’t give him anything to do, other than a Matthew Tipton shot which went wide, and Tipton’s goal to make it 2-1.

There was a bit of controversy over Tipton’s goal. The incident happened very quickly. From where I was in the front rows of The Kop, it looked in, TV was inconclusive.

For the next ten or so minutes, Crusaders looked rattled, and if Linfield had made it 3-1, there would have been no way back for them.

But, the tide swung once more, as Johnny Black was given a straight red for a foul. I didn’t get a clear view, but having seen TV replays, it’s hard to argue against it.

Gievn the options on the bench, it made perfect sense to bring on Jim Ervin, and move Billy Joe Burns to left-back. Not ideal, but the best of a bad situation.

Amazingly, no substitution was made. Given it was late in the first-half, surely Ervin would have been brought on at half-time?

Nope. In fact, Linfield made no substitutions as all during the game. Staggering. Players were running on empty late in the game, and Jeffrey made no subs at all, not even bringing on Lowry and/or Fordyce to freshen things up. Unbelievable. It almost cost us in the end.

It was clear that Jeffrey had his team set up to see out a 2-1 win. A tactic that was asking for trouble, as Crusaders deservedly levelled through Timmy Adamson.

Questions have to be asked as to why he was the first to react ahead of three defenders and a keeper after his original shot hit the post.

If Linfield’s defending was suspect, so was the refereeing, with his lenient attitude to persistent fouling by Crusaders players.

There wasn’t enough officials for a 4th official today. If there was, he would have spotted Declan Caddell stamping on Michael Gault in front of the dugouts. Not only was there no foul (and red card) given, but Crusaders almost scored from the resulting attack.

It’s always frustrating to draw, but having been 1-0 down after 12 seconds and playing 50 minutes with ten men, it’s not the worst result in the world, especially as no league points have been dropped.

The replay, will be on Thursday 22nd January, which, in my opinion, is farcical.

Surely, it would be convenient for the game to be this coming Tuesday as it is more convenient for both clubs?

Linfield will play Tuesday-Friday that week, while Crusaders will be playing in the midweek before the Irn Bru Cup Final.

Hopefully, we can have the Dungannon match changed to the Saturday lunchtime (There’ll be no clash with the game at Windsor as it will be a 1730 kick off)

And another thing, queued up to get a ticket pre-match for next week’s trip to Donegal Celtic, which only went on sale yesterday. That’s not good enough.

I wasn’t actively following developments until two weeks ago when I decided I wanted to go.

If they were on sale a week ago, you had the Coleraine game, a full week, and today to sell them.

Even two weeks ago, you could have had the games against Cliftonville and Coleraine, today, as well as ten working days.

If games are being made all ticket, then tickets need to be made readily available for people to purchase at their convenience.

Anyway, here’s some photos.

Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 11.1.2013

1. Hurts – Miracle
2. Haim – Don’t Save Me
3. Cara Dillon – Teenage Kicks
4. The Answer – Shining Light
5. Willy Moon – Yeah Yeah

You may have noticed two songs sticking out there in that playlist. They come from ‘Great Northern Songbook’ that was on BBC Two on New Year’s Day. The concept of the show? Northern Ireland acts covering Northern Ireland acts to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Ulster Hall (It was filmed in May 2012)

If you missed it, here it is on BBC Iplayer

Meanwhile, talking of BBC’s music outputs, last week saw BBC Four broadcast ‘The Story Of 1978’ a documentary about the music scene in 1978 to lead into their repeats of Top Of The Pops from that year.

If you missed the TOTP repeats from 1976 and 1978, you really have missed out. Check them out every Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC Four.

So, to commemorate this, here’s a Top five from 1977.

Now, to spend the next year coming up with a Top Five for 1979.

1. Queen – Bicycle Race
2. ELO – Mr Blue Sky
3. The Motors – Airport
4. Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights
5. Andy Cameron – Ally’s Army

LINFIELD 5-2 COLERAINE 5.1.2013

Not a fixture that traditionally has lots of goals, I turned up at Windsor Park today believing today would be different, and I turned out to be right.

The 5th game in 14 days, it was important to continue the recent run of good form, especially with Cliftonville playing on Monday night. Though Cliftonville have the games in hand, it is important to keep getting the points on the board.

Having got into 3rd outright, it was also important to beat Coleraine, just below us, so that we can start looking upwards, instead of worrying about being caught by the teams below.

Linfield started the better, and got 2 goals by the 10th minute, when Matthew Tipton ran on to a through ball (with some suspect goalkeeping) and then a penalty.

Though Linfield lost some of their early momentum, Coleraine couldn’t get back into the game.

A 3rd goal came from Matthew Tipton and that looked like game over.

This being Linfield, that was too easy, Coleraine scored early in the second-half, and then had chances, before Mark McAllister made it 4-1.

Once again, Coleraine got a goal back, and gave Linfield some nervy moments.

With me being naturally nervous, I was having flashbacks of the Man United-Everton game last season.

Thankfully, the next goal came for Linfield, through Matthew Tipton, scoring his first competitive hat-trick for the club (he scored one in a pre-season game v Orangefield) and the first by a Linfield player this season, before being subbed to a standing ovation.

It seems that everything that was going wrong earlier in the season is now going right. Players who were injured are now fit and coming into form.

There were still concerns with the defence, and a record of one clean sheet in two months is a cause for concern, no matter how good the attackers are on the opposition.

Hopefully, David Armstrong will be recalled for next Saturday in place of William Murphy (a great servant, but Watsomn and Armstrong is the best combination)

The problem is though, that is most likely to be too late. The next three league games are against sides in the bottom half of the table (albeit two who have taken points off us) and Crusaders and Cliftonville won’t be playing on the weekend of 26th January, so there’s a chance to close the gap.

As mentioned on Tuesday, I wasn’t too disappointed Crusaders won today. We play them twice and are four points behind them, they are catchable. It’s Cliftonville we need to lose points.

Talking of which, the Crusaders away game has been moved to a Monday night, which I might be able to get to as i’m going to Old Trafford that weekend, so hopefully, United’s match will be a Saturday, meaning I won’t have a rush from the ferry terminal to Seaview.

Usual phototaking arrangements at Windsor Park, managed to get some ok shots.

Once again, going to Linfield matches has been an enjoyable experience, and something to look forward to. Next week is no different, an Irish Cup tie in January that is worth getting excited about.

This season certainly is a strange one.

Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 4.1.2013

Welcome to the first Friday Five of 2013. Pity the year has started off on a bad note musically, as Channel 4 have scrapped one of the best music shows on TV, Freshly Squeezed. Humbug.

1. Led Zeppelin vs The Beatles – Whole Lotta Helter Skelter
2. Arlissa – Sticks and Stones
3. The Maccabees – Pelican
4. Amelia Lily – Shut Up
5. The Darkness – One Way Ticket to Hell And Back