It’s fair to say that Ellie Goulding is no stranger to Northern Ireland since releasing her debut album in 2010, playing a varying range of venues – Spring and Airbrake, Ulster Hall, Ward Park, Waterfront Hall, The Odyssey, Boucher Road Playing Fields.
On Tuesday night, she added Titanic Belfast to the list, headlining as part of the Belsonic festival, on the penultimate night of the June series of the concerts.
I gave a miss to her last two Belfast concerts. I couldn’t be bothered with paying for a Calvin Harris ticket when I wanted to see Ellie Goulding, and I gave her last Odyssey gig as miss as it was part of the Halcyon Tour that I had seen her perform on the previous year.
I’ve seen her twice before, in 2010 and 2013. Adding 2016 to the list, it looks like it’s a triennial event for me, but it just happens that way.
Support for this gig came in the shape of Walking On Cars and The Coronas. I actually missed Walking On Cars, which was a pity as i’d heard some of their songs and liked them, despite their annoying marketing technique of advertising what seems like every five minutes on XFM.
The Coronas were on the Belsonic bill, as support, just as they were for Stereophonics last year. Like last year, they were decent. Also like last year, they announced mid set they would be performing at Ulster Hall in December.
Ellie Goulding is now at the stage of her career where she can do a Greatest Hits set, and that’s what people were expecting. What they weren’t expecting was a technical fault in the first song when an LED screen (should it not be an Ellie-D screen) failed, showing up the Windows start page.
The crowd cheered. Classic Belfast, never slow in cheering when things go monumentally wrong.
Ellie played on, while the screen got fixed in the background.
The playlist was a bit skewed. She isn’t a Dance artist but she does music you can dance to. One minute people would be dancing, then she would play a slow song, which killed the mood. People were here to dance.
If you wanted to hear her biggest hits, you weren’t to be disappointed, as you would have got to hear Something In The Way You Move, Goodness Gracious, Outside, Figure 8, Lights, Burn, I Need Your Love, Anything Could Happen and Love Me Like You Do.
It was my first Belsonic at their new venue, having moved to Titanic Quarter from Custom House Square, where the festival had taken place since it’s inception in 2008.
I was unsure about the move, but I was prepared to give it a chance. I did my evening cycle a week before there just to do a dry run to see what the venue is like.
It was on the day of the Germany v Northern Ireland match in Euro 2016, so I was going past as people were leaving the Fanzone that was showing the match.
I have to admit I was worried this would be an utter shambles, as massive queues formed to pay for car parking at The Odyssey, due to there not being the option of giving money to Odyssey staff at the Exit Gate, like when there is a concert on at The Odyssey.
That’s why I liked Custom House Square. I was able to park for free opposite the Fire Station on Ormeau Avenue and just walk down.
I parked at The Odyssey for this and it wasn’t too bad getting out. The queues for paying were relatively small and the car park wasn’t that full, which I found a bit surprising, albeit pleasantly surprising.
It’s far too early to say if the move has been a good thing or a bad thing, there are both positive and negative aspects, but it’s good to see that my initial fears weren’t realised.
The show itself was decent, but I do feel that her live show is better suited to an indoor venue.
By my law of seeing Ellie Goulding, I won’t see her again until 2019. Where? I don’t know. She never seems to play the same Belfast venue twice.