Having been to North Street the past week, it was time for a long overdue visit to East Belfast to check out what was there.

I went to my usual alleyway, with some great pieces. Usual problem of it being too tight to get any backlift for photos.

Also got some pictures of the car park facing Arches Library, which had a new piece.

There was also a new piece on the boarding which covers a building site featuring a Hicks 54 piece painted as part of last year’s East Belfast Arts Festival.

Also at the scene, was some knitted art, which would thrill retro gamers ……. Pacman and Space Invaders

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For the first time in four weeks, and only the second time since July, I was at Windsor Park to see Linfield play.

The last time I saw Linfield play at Windsor Park, they kicked-off bottom of the league. If results went their way, Linfield could have finished today joint top of the league.

No point worrying about others, just look after ourselves.

The first-half wasn’t up to much, Linfield having more of the possession but not really doing much with it.

The second-half, wasn’t much better. Two main observations were that Andrew Waterworth is quite good at winning free-kicks. Unfortunately, the free-kicks when crossed weren’t very good, though Niall Quinn forced Wayne Drummond into two good saves from shooting free-kicks.

The other observation was poor decision being made in the final third. Passes that should be made not being made. A simple short pass was so often the difference between a move being kept alive, and a move dying.

Throughout the second-half, Coleraine’s keeper Wayne Drummond continued to make a mug of the referee with his constant time wasting. He wasn’t even being subtle about it, and yet the ref did nothing about it. The 4th official wasn’t much better, as only 3 minutes of stoppage time being added at the end, was a total pisstake.

Two things he did get right, were the red cards for Beverland and Douglas, both second yellow cards. Beverland was actually lucky not the get a second yellow soon after his first, as he kicked the ball away. Luckily for him, the referee didn’t see it as he was talking to another player.

Interestingly, this was the 4th game this season where there have been more than one red card.

Linfield huffed and puffed and had situations but very few chances. Thankfully, Peter Thompson scored from close ranger seconds into stoppage time.

Linfield weren’t fluent but were the better team without being dominant. Coleraine deserved to lose purely for their negativity.

Much improvement needed going forward is needed, but we got the win, and can build on it. We never got a winning run last season, nor were we within touching distance of the top. We’ve won five in a row and are one point off the top.

Next week’s game is the biggest of the season. The highest placed team we’ve beat this season is Coleraine in 7th. A win next week away to Glenavon can remove any flat track bully accusations and propel us into the top two for the first time this season.

Looking forward to the trips to Mourneview and The Oval in the next ten days.

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Or, the ones I missed out on.

Last Sunday, I got photos from North Street of the aftermath of Street Art painted on North Street during Culture Night. Unfortunately, I missed some. So, I went and got photos of them.

There was also a piece put up in the car park of The Sunflower Bar. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open when I passed by this morning.

Thankfully, @seedheadarts tweeted this picture. I’ll try to get my own photo in the coming weeks.

And finally, there was a quote by Chuck D written on a wall in Lisburn Road. Hilariously, the person wrote “Chess” as “Chest”, and corrected it.



As you will have seen a few posts back, I was at Culture Night on Friday night.

Part of the festivities was a series of new Street Art appearing on North Street, just as it was last year.

So, I went down this morning after the dust had settled to see the end results.

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2012 Legacy


After a four year absence, Manic Street Preachers returned to Belfast for a gig at Ulster Hall, the venue where they played their last Belfast gig in 2009.

They jumped straight into “Motorcycle Emptiness”, with James Dean Bradfield too busy dancing, he forgot to sing the first verse. It didn’t matter, the crowd did that for him.

Both Bradfield and Nicky Wire were dancing while playing their instruments. If there was a competition, i’d say Nicky Wire was the best dancer in the Manics, with James bordering on Dad Dancing at times. Sean Moore didn’t dance, as he was stuck behind his drum kit.

You got the feeling, if the gig lasted for ten more minutes, Sean Moore probably would have started dancing while playing drums.

Despite his dodgy dancing, Bradfield was at home on stage, revelling in the role of frontman.

Inbetween songs, there was small talk, but not the usual concert stuff, as Nicky Wire, wearing sunglasses indoors and with black stars on his face a la Marc Bolan, spoke about their early Belfast gigs in The Limelight, while Bradfield dedicated a song to local(ish) singer Andy Cairns.

Most bizarre anecdote was Nicky recalling their first visit to Belfast, where they were given a guided tour of the city by Johnny Hero, which resulted in Sean going missing, Nicky getting into an arguement, and others being drunk.

For “Your Love Alone Is Not Enough”, James just sang Nina Persson’s parts, which was strange, as they performed “$ Lonely Roads” from their current album with support act Cate Le Bon (no relation to Simon)

You would have thought she could have done Nina Persson’s bit in “Your Love Alone ……”

In the middle, James did a solo acoustic set. He made a mess of “This Sullen Welsh Heart” so made up for it with a version of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Andy Williams, before performing “The Everlasting”

Due to the 11pm curfew, there was no encore. There didn’t need to be.

The Manics spoke (and later tweeted) about how they loved Belfast, and Belfast, loved them back.

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Manic Street Preachers Live At Ulster Hall 2009

Manic Street Preachers Live At Ulster Hall 2009 Photo Album


A wee road trip this weekend, but it was nice weather for it, to Ferney Park, to see Linfield take on Ballinamallard United, trying to get a 4th win in a row, build a bit of momentum, and to put a bit of pressure on the top 3.

The first-half, saw both teams, as pundits say, “feeling each other out”

Linfield were the better team, but weren’t dominant, having situations rather than chances. You got the feeling, that if they played the same, and just stepped it up, things would be ok.

Curiously, like the previous 4 meetings, the teams went in level at half-time. Like the previous 4 games, the home team had never won, but it was a repeat of last December’s win, rather than March’s draw that Linfield needed.

Linfield started out strong in the second-half, upping the tempo. Instead of situations, Linfield were now having chances. Unfortunately, all those chances were saved by Alvin Rouse.

At about 65 minutes, with the score at 0-0, it felt like a bit of a contradiction. Linfield were the only team creating chances, it felt like it was only a matter of time before one was taken. At the same time, Alvin Rouse was making so many saves, it looked like being “One of those days”

Thankfully, the goal came, assisted by Andre Waterworth, and finished by Jamie Mulgrew. The game had now changed. A 2nd came soon after, scored by Waterworth.

He ran through and showed more fight than the defender, won a ball he had no right to win, got a bit lucky with the finish, but made his own luck by fighting so hard for the ball.

Thankfully, that goal gave Linfield some breathing space. A 3rd goal didn’t come, and there were chances. Waterworth’s goal would prove crucial ad Ballinamallard scored a late goal to make it 2-1.

It looked like injury time was going to be a lot more nervous than it should have been, but Linfield had enough about them to kill the game and ensure the result.

4 wins in a row and only 3 points off the top, things are looking a bit brighter. A lot of work needs to be done and a lot of improvements need to be made, but a bit of momentum and positivity shouldn’t be sniffed at.

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On Friday night, I was here, there, and everywhere in Belfast City Centre, for Culture Night, only in it’s 5th year, but already now cemented in the diary as a must attend, unfortunately, the last big outdoor public event before Christmas.

The event mostly, but not exclusively, took place in the Cathedral Quarter, which is where I was mostly based.

After parking, I headed past City Hall and through Anne Street, eventually arriving at North Street, the main hub of the event.

This year, like last year, there was a live painting of Street Art. I managed to get some shots of them being painted. Like last year, I made a note to come back later to get pictures of the artwork with more light and less people.

I then had a walkabout, round to the University of Ulster, where there was plenty of stuff to see, with stilt walkers wandering about the streets, and live bands as you head towards the university.

I then headed to Oh Yeah Centre and Black Box, both of which had live bands performing.

But all the action wasn’t taking place indoors, as there was plenty happening on the street, including Street Countdown, which, as the name suggests, is a live, on the street version of the TV show Countdown.

From there, I headed towards Garfield Street, bumping into Batman, and a Dragon (not together though), as you do, to check up on the new Street Art, which was now complete.

While on Garfield Street, I stopped to watch a performer playing Banjo, doing covers of Dance/Techno/Hip Hop songs, before doing a composition called “Whatever Happened To Timothy?”, a song dedicated to the change from posh vicar’s son to gangsta DJ that has occurred in Tim Westwood’s life.

As well as growing in Belfast, Culture Night has now expanded outside of Belfast to other places in Northern Ireland, including Lisburn, where I headed to Island Arts Centre to see Silhouette perform in a free gig as part of Culture Night Lisburn.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to see any of the events in the city. I’m already looking forward to next year, but might change my plans, possibly taking a half day of work in order to get there earlier and take in both Belfast in Lisburn.

A good night’s entertainment was had, and i’m already looking forward.

I have a year to sort out my plans, in terms of where I go, and at what time, but one thing it certain, i’ll be there.

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Silhouette Live At Island Arts Centre Photo Album

Culture Night Belfast 2012

Culture Night Belfast 2012 Photo Album


As you will have gathered by my last post, I was in Manchester over the weekend

With the United match having an early kick-off, I made the most of the opportunity to spend the rest of the afternoon in the city.

Manchester is one of my favourite cities, and it’s a massive regret that in 20 years of going to matches at Old Trafford, it was well over a decade before I explored the city before or after (depending on the kick-off time) the game.

Went to the National Football Museum for the 3rd time, my 2nd at it’s current Manchester base (my 1st visit was at it’s original Preston home in 2006)

It’s well worth a visit if you love football, covering all aspects of the game, on the pitch, off the pitch, to merchandising and media coverage.

I then headed around the City Centre and looked around shops before taking in a performance by a band called The Piccadilly Rats, two of whom wore rat masks, another one in a monkey mask, while an elderly gentleman in a tracksuit did hip-hop dancing

It was a nice day for photography, so managed to get some nice shots.

I made the most of my time in Manchester on Saturday, it was just a pity I didn’t have any more.

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