Unless something dramatic happens, this was my final concert of 2019, and it ended how it started, by seeing a Scottish act at Ulster Hall.
Primal Scream rolled into Belfast, as they seem to do every three years, to promote a Greatest Hits album called Maximum Rock n Roll. I didn’t realise there were limits on Rock n Roll.
This time there would be a change of venue from those concerts in 2013 and 2016, with Ulster Hall hosting them instead of The Limelight, a return to the venue after 25 years according to Gillespie, before adding that his memory was hazy. A quick search online suggests it was 1992 rather than 1994.
As with my last visit to Ulster Hall, there would be no cloakroom facilities. So, I had a choice between wearing a raincoat indoors like a dick, or carrying my raincoat like a dick. I went for the option of looking like a dick.
Bobby Gillespie strode on stage, wearing a pink suit, but looking more like The Joker than Mr Blobby, being tripped out and chilled out, as per his usual vibe.
On Tuesdays we wear pink. So fetch.
Elsewhere on stage, Andrew Innes and Simone Butler, bounced off each other, metaphorically not literally, as they plucked their strings.
Those three were the only ones on stage who were visible, with Keyboards and Drums being hidden by their large equipment.
Butlet is now a permanent member of the band, having replace Mani who left to work on Stone Roses third album, which i’m sure will be released soon. Just finishing it off i’m sure.
For the early stage of the concert, it was mostly hits from their B List and C List, a lot of guitar driven songs and not a lot of dancing.
As a result, this concert took a while to get going.
Then, Gillespie asks the crowd “Do you want to party?”, before an automated voiced asked that immortal question, “Just what is it that you want?”
The party had now started, with Innes revelling in getting the opportunity to do the guitar solos he had been waiting all night to do.
At the end of that song, Gillespie said the next song had a choir and asked the crowd if they would fill in. We all knew what it would be, Moving On Up, and we all sang along, giving the band a standing ovation, and when our hands were sore, started stomping our feet.
From there, we moved on to Jailbird, then Country Girl, before finishing on Rocks, before Gillespie wished the crowd Merry Christmas.
It took a while to get going, but when it did, Primal Scream were unstoppable, a very enjoyable concert.
From Rocks to Roxette, and it was sad to hear about the death of Marie Fredriksson earlier in the day. Can’t say I would have rushed to see them in concert (They played Dublin in 2015) but you have to acknowledge they had some absolutely banging tunes back in the day.
So that is me in terms of concerts for 2019, but I’ve already got concerts for 2020 booked – Badly Drawn Boy in January, Blossoms in March, and Paul Heaton/Jacqui Abbott in April.
There are a few i’m going to pin my hopes on for 2020.
Crowded House announced a concert for Dublin on July 1st, the night i’ll be leaving Dublin after a short break. This triggered a rediscovering of Crowded House for me, it’s easy to forget how good they were.
They announced a UK tour this week. No Belfast gig. Hopefully, a Belfast concert can be squeezed in around their Dublin and Cork concerts.
While i’m in Dublin in late June/early July, Haim will be playing Dublin. Tempted, but then I remember that I hate outdoor concerts.
As a result, i’ll be giving Liam Gallagher at Boucher Road a miss. Sat in a field in the middle of nowhere, miles away from the stage as the Golden Circle is kept for people who know people and plebs like me can fuck off. Add into that, the place will stink of fags and vapes, and it will be infested with spotty faced fuckwits from Ards putting on crap Manchester accents and doing the Gallagher Strut, boasting how they’ll “Beat up some Cockney bastards”. I think i’ll pass.
Next time Liam, just do The Odyssey. I’ll pin my hopes on Noel turning up there.
Duran Duran have announced an outdoor concert for Dublin in the Summer with a new album also on the way in 2020. Fingers crossed a tour later in the year that takes in Belfast.
Ash are playing Dublin concert for New Year’s Eve, so i’ll be expecting a Dublin concert in 2020 to be embargoed, with a Dublin/Belfast double header being announced.
I’m hoping to go away over the July Holidays, i’m still trying to get those plans in place. I’ll keep an eye out on the listings for Galway International Arts Festival and Live At The Marquee in Cork around those dates.
So, that’s my plans for 2020. We shall see if it comes to fruition.