WHITEWASH

I only discovered about this on Tuesday, but last night I was at Millennium Court Arts Centre in Portadown for Whitewash, a Street Art event.

The premise of the event is very simple, a lot like the Base Festival in Belfast a few years back, where a series of artists paint some Street Art from scratch, and a crowd watches, with some of the work being sold on, or kept on display.

The event took place in the courtyard of the venue, making the most of the brighter evening. The weather was kind (ie – it was dry)

It was my first time at this event. It started at 7pm, and I arrived at about 8.30pm, when most of the work was already well in progress. Next time I attend this event (there’s an event scheduled for Winter, no exact date has been set) i’ll turn up earlier so that I can really appreciate the process.

Managed to get some good photos, with the bright evening and ease of access to artwork helping.

Incidentally, I had spotted some interesting pieces on my travels across Northern Ireland recently.

The week before last, there was a great piece in Lisburn I spotted, and got pictures of, while last weekend in Ballyclare, there was stencils of Norman Wisdom.

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THE HALF-TERM HALF CENTURY

Six months gone, six months to go, we are officially at the halfway stage of 2013.

As per tradition on this blog, I shall do a Top 50 songs of the year so far, a nice wee preview of my Top 100 in December.

So, here we go …….. the Top 50 songs of 2013 so far.

1. Editors – A Ton Of Love
2. Olly Murs – Army Of Two
3. Phoenix – Entertainment
4. The 1975 – Chocolate
5. Daft Punk ft Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky
6. Suede – It Starts And Ends With You
7. Bastille – Pompei
8. Haim – Don’t Save Me
9. Stereophonics – Indian Summer
10. Gabrielle Aplin – Please Don’t Say You Love Me
11. Wonder Villains – Blonde
12. Foals – My Number
13. Emmelie De Forest – Only Teardrops
14. Nina Nesbitt – Way In The World
15. Frank Turner – The Way I Tend To Be
16. Beady Eye – Second Bite Of The Apple
17. Imagine Dragons – It’s Time
18. Muse – Panic Station
19. Robin Thicke ft Pharrell Williams – Blurred Lines
20. Selena Gomez – Come And Get It
21. Kodaline – High Hopes
22. Mark Owen – Stars
23. Icona Pop ft Charli XCX – I Love It
24. The Uncluded – Delicate Cycle
25. Aluna George – Attracting Flies
26. Frank Turner – Recovery
27. Miles Kane – Give Up
28. Hurts – Miracle
29. Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble
30. Silhouette – Toss It Up
31. Passenger – Let Her Go
32. Matthew Koma – One Night
33. Phoenix – Trying To Be Cool
34. Tom Odell – Hold Me
35. Suede – Hit Me
36. Pink ft Nate Reuss – Just Give Me A Reason
37. Vampire Weekend – Diane Young
38. The Lumineers – Hey Ho
39. Simple Minds – Broken Glass Park
40. Dizzee Rascal ft Robbie Williams – Goin Crazy
41. Paramore – Still Into You
42. Beady Eye – Flick Of The Finger
43. OMD – Dresden
44. The D.O.T – How We All Lie
45. Taylor Swift – 22
46. John Newman – Love Me Again
47. The Courteeners – Van Der Graaf
48. Justin Timberlake – Mirrors
49. Nina Nesbitt – Stay Out
50. The Strypes – Blue Collar Jane

ESPANA 82 – THE PLAYER’S SOUVENIR

A curious thing came into my possession this week, ironically, on 25th June (You should know why that date is important) of a booklet previewing the 1982 World Cup for Northern Ireland.

The front cover features match action from the 1-0 win over Israel in November 1981 that secured Northern Ireland’s qualification.

The brochure is edited by Billy Kennedy and Ivan Little, then Co-Editors of Linfield’s matchday programme, and also co-edited Northern Ireland’s programmes during that period. Billy Kennedy is still currently writing for the News Letter, while Ivan Little now has a weekly column for Sunday Life after a long career with UTV.

The editorial congratulates Northern Ireland on qualifying for the finals, pointing out that the groundwork to a successful campaign began in winning the 1980 Home Championship.

There is an editorial from Dr Michael Scott, Consultant Cardiologist at Belfast City Hospital, congratulating the team on it’s success, and pointing out the benefits of not smoking. There are various anti smoking adverts in the publication from NI Chest Heart Stroke Association.

Despite the title, the publication was available to the public at a cost of £1.20.

Malcolm Brodie writes about how the World Cup has changed during his time covering the event, especially since Northern Ireland’s last appearance, 24 years previously, in 1958.

He notes that the tournament is now more commercialised, in his words, “It is big business, now on a global scale”, and about how there will be increased security surrounding all the teams in Spain.

Brodie signs off with “Reaching the Quarter-Finals would be an unbelievable boost, and in the opinion of many, a miracle. Knowing Billy Bingham’s luck, that may be achieved. You never know, stranger things have happened”

There were no Quarter-Finals in Spain 82, after the groups, there were 4 groups of 3. Northern Ireland were 1 win away from the Semi-Finals, so technically, it was a Quarter-Final of sorts.

There was also a fixture list for the competition, with dates/venues/kick-off times.

What struck me as odd was the volume of group games being played at the same time. For example, Hungary v El Salvador in Group 3 was played at the same time as Scotland v New Zealand in Group 5.

Ironically, the final group games weren’t played simultaneously in Spain 82, though that would change as a result of the Austria v West Germany game.

Honduras and Yugoslavia, two of Northern Ireland’s group opponents get a double page spread. Not knowing much about the Hondurans, Northern Ireland are being helped by Terry Moore, a Canadian international who grew up in Northern Ireland, played for Glentoran, but in 1982, was playing for Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Honduras had beaten Canada for a place in the finals, with Moore bemoaning the fact that Honduras winner wasn’t disallowed for offside. Moore would get the chance to play for Canada in the 1986 World Cup.

Moore would point out that it would feel like an away game due to the Honduran population in Spain, and that they would get support from locals for their games against Yugoslavia and Northern Ireland.

Apart from Nikki Jovanovic, formerly of Manchester United, not much was known of Yugoslavia, though there was an admiration for their manager Milijan Milijanic, in his second spell as manager, after winning two La Liga titles with Real Madrid inbetween.

Bill Clark of Sunday Mirror pays tribute to the role played by two members of Billy Bingham’s backroom team, Martin Harvey and Bertie Peacock.

Some players are lucky enough to get full page profiles with the usual Q and A with footballers.

Sammy McIlroy was chosen by the UK government to front a “Behave yourselves” campaign (England and Scotland also qualified for Spain 82) but stated that Northern Ireland fans will behave, but that such a campaign was worthwhile. He also spoke about his transfer from Manchester United to Stoke City.

A former pupil of Mersey Street Primary School, his favourite football team growing up wasn’t in BT4, but across the city, as he supported Linfield, and Rangers. His favourite singer is Al Green and his favourite comedian is Tommy Cooper.

Chris Nicholl’s favourite singer is Mick Jagger and his favourite comedian is Benny Hill. David McCreery is also a fan of Benny Hill, but his favourite singer is Rod Stewart.

Despite fronting an anti-smoking campaign, Sammy Nelson admitted to having the odd cigar to celebrate Arsenal winning a trophy. Interestingly, he was the first ever ex pupil of Inst, a school with a long Rugby association, to play international football. As of 1982, he was yet to be invited back to his old school. His favourite singer is Bob Seeger.

Mal Donaghy’s brother would be in Spain for the World Cup, but to cheer on Brazil, having formed the West Belfast Brazil Supporters Club.

There is also a mention of his 2 month old baby Ciaran “Mal’s hoping the latest member of the Donaghy clan, baby Ciaran will also be putting his best foot forward onto the soccer pitch”

Ciaran Donaghy has played in the Irish League, most notably with Cliftonville.

Billy Hamilton’s wedding anniversary fell during the 2nd Round of Spain 82, which he hoped he would still be in Spain for. Like Sammy Nelson, who he lists as his favourite comedian, he is a Rolling Stones fan. He states for his post football career, he hoped to own a business, which he did, setting up a Trophy and Engraving shop in Bangor, before selling it to Alan McDonald in 2009.

There is a double page poster of the qualifying campaign, while Billy Bingham gets a page to write about how his team shouldn’t be written off in Spain, despite a tough group, including this prophetic line, in relation to the 1958 team, and his 1982 team

“Who knows, maybe 24 years from now, in the year 2006, Northern Irish people will be talking about the feats of the 1982 team, with the same nostalgia and folklore attached to the 1958 team”

I think in 24 years on from 2006, they will still be talking about the achievements of 1982.

Ivan Little interviews sporting celebrities cheering on Northern Ireland such as Mike Gibson, Sean O’Neill, John Watson and Dermot Monteith. Alex Higgins is hoping that his Snooker schedule allows him to travel to Spain as a guest of ex Linfield player Sammy Pavis.

Martin O’Neill speaks of his pride at being captain, can speak a little French (unlike fellow Derry native Nadine Coyle) and his favourite bands are The Undertones (unsurprisingly), The Horselips and Jethro Tull.

There is a team poster in the middle, while some players have their baby photos featured.

Pat Jennings spoke of his regret that physiotherapist Bobby McGregor, who died the previous November, wouldn’t be in Spain.

There is a full page feature on players on the fringe of the squad, battling for a place such as Pat Rice, George Dunlop and Tom Sloan.

Interestingly, there is no mention in that article, or anywhere in the publication of Norman Whiteside, which would give an idea as to how late and unexpected his arrival in contention for a place in the squad was.

There is also a Smash Hits style lyric poster of the official team song, Yer Man, by Dana.

Sam Butler of News Letter writes a guide on what to do and not to do in Spain, warning fans that there will be a heavy police presence on the streets, and to beware of muggers.

On the back page, there is an advert simply saying “VIVA NORTHERN IRELAND ………… from the winning team at Downtown Radio”

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 28.6.2013

1. Nina Nesbitt – Way In The World
2. Phoenix – Trying To Be Cool
3. Miles Kane – Don’t Forget Who You Are
4. Silhouette – Toss It Up
5. Eliza Doolittle – Big When I Was Little

This Monday, is Canada Day, which sounds like a good excuse for a chart of Canadian acts. So, here we go.

FIVE SONGS BY CANADIAN ARTISTS

1. Men Without Hats – The Safety Dance
2. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
3. Appleton – Fantasy
4. Feist – 1, 2, 3, 4
5. Nelly Furtado – Maneater

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 12.3.1994

Ryan Giggs is the cover star, as Shoot are previewing the Quarter-Finals of the FA Cup and Scottish Cup.

All eight teams in the FA Cup Quarter-Finals get featured, including a double page spread where West Ham midfielder Matt Holmes visits his old school in Luton, who West Ham face.

John McGinlay wrotes a two page profile of his Bolton Wanderers team-mates, including describing one team-mate as permanently on a sunbed.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that he was referring to Phil Brown.

Shoot previews the Scottish Cup Quarter-Finals by interviewing Hearts midfielder Jon Colquhoun ahead of their tie at Ibrox against Rangers, where he focuses on their former Rangers Striker Mo Johnston, as being key to their hopes.

The final two pages are dedicated to the Merseyside Derby, also taking place that weekend, pointing out that football in the city is in decline with both teams out of the FA Cup and not challenging for the title (Everton eventually avoided relegation on the last day of the 93/94 season)

The piece ends ‘Will Liverpool and Everton ever regain their crown?’

Almost 19 years on, the answer remains no.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 21.6.2013

1. Selena Gomez – Come And Get It
2. Miles Kane – Don’t Forget Who You Are
3. Noah and the Whale – There Will Come A Time
4. John Newman – Love Me Again
5. Olly Murs – Dear Darling

Just thought i’d let you know, next week’s Friday Five shall feature a Canada Day chart in honour of Canada Day on July 1st. Be warned, Princess Carly Rae shall feature.

And on that day, at the exact halfway point of the year, there shall be a Top 50 of the year so far. Relax, Princess Carly Rae won’t be featuring on that.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 17.4.1993

Ian Wright and Mark Bright, former team-mates at Crystal Palace, now playing for Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday, are the cover stars as Shoot looks forward to the League Cup Final between the two clubs.

In news, each member of the Scotland squad received a bottle of champagne from Berti Vogts, but Brian McClair was unable to collect his, so Pat Nevin claimed on his behalf. McClair was still waiting to receive his.

It was announced that week that Aston Villa were to face Everton in a friendly in Mauritius at the end of May 1993.

Meanwhile, if you wanted a bizarre piece of Arsenal memorabilia was on sale, with the infamous mural behind the goal while a stand was being built at Highbury going for sale.

Shoot does a double page report on reserve team football, taking a look at the game between QPR and Wimbledon, looking at the type of player (young, out of favour, returning from injury, etc) who are involved in these games, and how they use it in their careers.

Rangers, potentially one game away from the European Cup Final, get a full page preview of their game against CSKA Moscow, with Richard Gough being interviewed about their ability to come from behind in European games.

The set-up of the European Cup needs explained to give context, much different from today’s competition.

It was a straight knock-out until the Last 8, when, instead of Quarter-Finals, two groups of two, with the group winners meeting in the final.

After five games, Rangers were level on points with Marseille, but the French side had a vastly superior Goal Difference.

Rangers needed to get a better result than Marseille. Marseille won, making Rangers 0-0 draw at home to CSKA Moscow irrelevant.

Kris Lee writes to Jimmy Greaves to say that Arsenal should give David O’Leary a coaching role while Joao Miguel Marabuto Neves from Portugal writes in about Rangers, saying that despite beating Leeds in the European Cup, Manchester United and Aston Villa, challenging for the Premier League, wouldn’t fear playing them.

Peter Fox of Stoke City, aged 35, gets profiled, enjoying a return to Stoke City’s team as they try to gain promotion from the Third Tier. Earlier that season, Fox had spent time on loan at Linfield.

There is a 12 page pull-out previewing the League Cup Final between Sheffield Wednesday and Arsenal, with guest pundit Steve Bruce predicting a win for Wednesday. Arsenal won the game 2-1, a match best remembered for Steven Morrow falling over when being given a piggyback by Tony Adams. Morrow wasn’t even mentioned in the preview.

Shoot gives a double page spread on crowd safety, this poll coming just four years after Hillsbrough.

26% of people disagreed with all seater stadiums
21% of people had stopped standing since Hillsbrough
94% of people felt safer supporting their team
51% of people felt safer attending football matches than before Hillsbrough

Ryan Giggs, having just scored his first international goal, against Belgium, gets a full-page poster to commemorate this.

There is a competition to win a complete Panini Serie A stickerbook, and a Lotto football.

In Scottish football news, Raith Rovers manager Jimmy Nicholl is attracting interest from teams looking to replace long serving managers ….. Dundee United and Northern Ireland.

He has yet to manage either.

THE BIG IF, BOTANIC GARDENS – 15.6.2013

I braved the rain on Saturday to head to Botanic Gardens for The Big IF, organised by a number of organisations to put pressure on the G8 to act on Hunger.

I wasn’t sure what the event was going to be like, but it was free and not far from home, so I took a chance. The line up details were sketchy, but when it was announced on Saturday that Two Door Cinema Club would be appearing, that confirmed my attendance.

I entered the venue via the entrance at Queen’s PEC, and I was a bit surprised that I couldn’t see any stalls relating to the groups that make up The Big IF.

The event was a very simple set-up, one stage and a very tight running order. It was so tight, there was no “dead air”. When one act finished, the next act was getting ready to come on to the stage.

The event started at 1pm, and I managed to get there just after 3pm. I was a bit surprised that I managed to get into the 3rd row, right up at the front of the stage.

No doubt the weather will have put a lot of people off attending, especially with the tickets being free, but it was still an enjoyable enough afternoon, though there were some technical hitches both with sound, and with some of the films on the big screen.

The line up was mostly Northern Ireland based, bar the exception of Jim Broadbent reciting poetry. On the bill was Jordan O’Keefe from Britain’s Got Talent, Beyond Skin (a multi national arts/music group based in Belfast), Belfast Communuity Gospel Choir, Prodijig, Duke Special with Genral Fiasco, and Two Door Cinema Club.

I’m not sure how late to the event Two Door Cinema Club were booked, but I was surprised their name wasn’t used to try and promote it more.

Even more surprising, was the fact that they weren’t headlining. I can only assume they had a short window in which to perform, and were needed to be elsewhere.

Two Door Cinema Club’s set began in comical fashion. Fellow Bangorian Zoe Salmon, who was compering the event, hadn’t got round to saying they were up next, when a curtain accidentally moved over slightly, enough to reveal Alex Trimble, who politely waved at a crowd, who were a mixture of cheering and laughing.

Their set was enjoyable, though short, doing acoustic versions of their biggest hits.

The honour of headlining, went to Flash Harry. Well, if they were going to get someone involved in politics (Harry Hamilton was an Alliance candidate in 2011, having been a UUP candidate in 2010) and does a bit of singing, it’s better him than William McCrea.

I didn’t hang around once Two Door Cinema Club had finished, and a lot of people did the same. It was, however, still an enjoyable day despite the weather and technical hitches.

Meanwhile, out and about in Belfast, there are people using the G8 for thier own artistic agendas. Graffiti in Botanic, the most Belfasty political graffiti ever, simply says “GREED IS SHITE“, with € replacing the Es, while outside Belfast City Hall, headstones and flowers were placed, to raise awareness of deaths in Syria.

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ERIC CLAPTON AND THE G8

Let’s face it, Eric Clapton and the G8 are not two things you would put together in a sentence, but what links them, is that they have been mentioned in wallspace across Belfast recently.

In East Belfast, someone has simply spraypainted “CLAPTON IS GOD”, a tribute to famous graffiti that appeared in London in 1967.

I don’t know who did it, but Eric Clapton did a concert in Belfast recently. Just saying.

With the G8 in town, i’ve only seen one piece of Street Art relating to it, in the alleyway around the back of The Fly, which simply says “Hate The G8”.

Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to check out some of the work at the back of Lavery’s. The last time I was there, I managed to get a piece paying tribute to Hunter S Thompson.

That is now gone, but there is a lot of excellent artwork worth checking out, outside the beer garden.

A word of warning though if you are checking it out, there are car parking spaces, so you may have cars blocking your view, the eternal enemy of a Street Art photographer.

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