- The Divine Comedy – The Best Mistakes
- Queen – It’s A Hard Life
- OMD – Tesla Girls
- The Charlatans – Blackened Blue Eyes
- The Anxiety – Meet Me At Our Spot
- Franz Ferdinand – Billy Goodbye
- Sting – Rushing Water
- U2 – Your Song Saved My Life
- Deco – Torn
- Stereophonics – Do Ya Feel My Love?
Anything that Bangor has, Ards has to have. That’s the rules.
Having spent three years at Bangor Tec and attended the 1993 Irish Cup Final, I know what they’re like. They just can’t get along.
So, when Bangor had some Street Art during the Summer, it was only a matter of time before Ards got some Street Art of their own.
Not that i’m complaining about that.
A few weeks ago, Arts held Ards Art Jam, where a group of Artists painted walls in Meeting House Lane in the Town Centre.
Of course, I headed over to get photos as soon as they were finished.
I headed down on the next available Sunday morning. Very simple reasons and very obvious, not many people about. Certainly helps regarding Covid, and not having disruption when taking photos.
I’d never driven to Ards before, but it was easy to find when you follow road signs. Who knew?
After parking, I went for a walkabout, seeing some other murals unrelated to the event, one a montage of Ards lanmarks and people by Mark Ervine.
There was an advertising mural to promote a Beauty Parlour called Feminine Touch.
I’m not a fan of advertising murals, but this was at the side of the shop. If you didn’t turn you head around to see the front of the shop, you wouldn’t know it was an advertising mural.
I went for a walk and found it straight away. Stumbled upon it, if you will. I just got lucky.
From there, I went snap happy and got photos, despite the lack of backlift.
There was one mural in a locked Car Park, so I had to improvise with my angles.
There was even a mural of Steven McQueen to promote a Barbers.
I’m tempted to set up a website dedicated to dead celebrities promoting local business.
There’s a mural of Audrey Hepburn in East Belfast to promote a Nail Bar.
In fact, the last time I was in Ards was in 2009 to get a photo of a mural of George Best that I had been informed about.
It turned out to be an awful advertising mural for a Taxi Firm called Best Taxis.
They were hardly going to paint one of former Bangor manager Nigel Best.
There’s plenty of other available wallspace in Ards, so hopefully there will be plenty more Street Art events in years to come.
Beginning to think that Linfield should have saved some of the eleven goals they scored against PSNI four days previously, as they endured a frustrating afternoon, having to settle for a point at Shamrock Park.
Even though Linfield had won on their last five visits to Portadown, four of those victories had been by one goal, including a come from behind win in September.
Linfield had a lot of early possession but the best they could offer was a speculative long ranger shot from Niall Quinn.
From where I was sat, behind the other goal, I thought it was going in, jumping up to celebrate and making myself look very silly.
Jordan Stewart was next to be frustrated. Not once, but twice.
First with a header denied by a save from close range, then he burst through on goal only to be denied by Portadown’s keeper making himself big and blocking the shot.
It wasn’t all one way traffic, with Portadown having enough time in Linfield’s defensive third to show they couldn’t be discounted as an attacking force.
0-0 at half-time but no need to panic, especially with Linfield attacking their own fans. They did need to step it up.
Step it up they did, being camped in Portadown’s defensive third, but all it brought was a flurry of corners.
Those corners were easily cleared by Portadown though, Linfield couldn’t take advantage of them. You got the feeling that the only way that Linfield would get a goal would be from a moment of inspiration from one of their own players, or a moment of stupidity from a Portadown player.
The way the game had been going, neither of those two scenarios was looking likely.
Matt Green got on the end of a cross but the ball agonisingly went across the goal while Jordan Stewart had a low shot cleared off the line.
Such was Linfield’s frustration in front of goal, it was even more important not to concede, especially with Portadown killing and stalling the game at every available opportunity.
In search of a winner, Billy Chadwick came on for Matt Green, or “Billy Hat-Trick” as somebody behind me dubbed him after his treble against the PSNI. Just one would have done.
I was wondering why Martin Donnelly wasn’t introduced. Turns out he wasn’t on the bench. Injured, I presume.
Linfield could have done with something different. Even though it hasn’t happened for Ahmed Salam (That’s being kind), it might have been worth throwing him on in the final minutes.
It looked Christy Manzinga was going to win it for Linfield, just as he did in September, when he hooked an effort just wide from a corner.
In injury time, he tried a repeat of his winning goal in September, but this time fired over when a pass to the right was a better option. It would have went in in September, but now he’s hit a bit of a dry spell in front of goal, it was only ever going over.
So late in the game, Linfield fans knew it would be their last attack, and so it proved as Portadown held on for a 0-0 draw.
A frustrating day. Linfield had so much of the ball but couldn’t do much with it.
It got even worse when other results were digested, with wins for Glentoran, Larne and Cliftonville.
Cliftonville are six points ahead of Linfield but have played a game more. They are due at Windsor Park in mid November so that can change very quickly.
Before that, a visit to Seaview.
As I walked down Ormeau Avenue after leaving Blossoms in March 2020, I knew it wouldn’t be long until I returned to The Limelight to see Lightning Seeds the following weekend.
Lightning Seeds at The Limelight would turn out to be my next concert, I just didn’t anticipate that it would be twenty months away.
The original date was Saturday 14th March 2020. Yes, the week that everything all “Kicked off” if you will. It was a late postponement, but I was expected, having already seen Linfield v Larne postponed a few days earlier. Both my plans for that Saturday were postponed. It would turn out that my plans for a lot of Saturdays after that would bite the dust.
It was rescheduled for Wednesday 27th May 2020, because Covid was going to be all sorted by then. Such naive optimism. It probably would have been sorted by then if this country wasn’t so thick as shit.
Further postponements came, to September 2020, then Friday 21st May 2021.
Thankfully, that one in May was postponed as it would have clashed with the Irish Cup Final. Sorry guys, but priorities.
September 2021, try again. Nope, another postponement, this time to November 2021.
As my ticket for this was purchased in January 2020, this will be one of the last concerts for which I will have a physical ticket stub to go into my Ticket Tin, an empty box of Quality Street which holds all my ticket stubs from concerts and football matches. Stupid online ticketing.
In anticipation of the obvious question, yes, it’s the band that did that song, and yes, they’ve done other songs.
One of those bands that you probably know more songs of theirs than you realise.
Of course, with this year having an international football tournament, they’ve had a spell at Number 1 this year. With the 2022 World Cup being in Winter, they might even get next year’s Christmas Number 1 if England win it.
This wasn’t their first time at The Limelight, but it was the first in a while, 22 years in fact, in 1999.
As part of my Magazine Archive series, I have a copy of Melody Maker which has a discount coupon for a ticket. Now to build a Time Machine.
Regarding the Magazine Archive, you may have noticed no new articles. I’ve ran out of pre-written articles. I have a lot of magazines to review but no time to do it. I was too important to go on Furlough and i’m too young to retire. Some day i’ll get around to uploading new articles.
For some reason, I have tweeted my disappointment about a concert at The Limelight in 2010 being cancelled. I literally have no recollection of this.
I was a bit reticent at first about going to this, it would have been very reassuring if masks were a bit more frequent amongst the crowd.
Mask exemptions are the new bad back. Everybody has one when it suits in order to try and get out of doing something. Let’s be honest, the vast majority of them are spoofers. I don’t care how much of a Tory that makes me sound. Maskexemptionitis is so contagious, I fully expect it to be declared a Pandemic by the end of the month.
This gig brought out the stars. Well, sort of. I spotted Chris Page from Newsline.
Eagle eyed crowd member may have noticed Abi Harding, formerly of The Zutons, playing Keyboards.
The band were advertised as going on stage at 7.30pm, but didn’t arrive until around 7.48pm.
I know we’ve been waiting over eighteen months, it’s not that bad in comparison, but still.
This tour was to support the 25th anniversary of the release of Jollificiation, which was released in September 1994. Do the maths, this tour has been delayed so long, it’s still going on one week short of the 25th anniversary of the follow-up album Dizzy Heights.
You know the drill, they perform the album in full, and then move on to the hits.
Ian Broudie was rather excitedly telling the audience that “We almost there” eight songs in, almost moving on the the hits that people want to hear.
Those hits came after a short break, such as Sense, Pure, All I Want, What If, You Showed Me and Life Of Riley.
Of course, you can’t hear Life Of Riley without planning to vote for Ian Wright or Eric Cantona for Goal Of The Month in the hope of winning tickets to a team of your choice and £200 in Premium Bonds.
That song was written about his son, Riley Broudie. No longer a baby, now a fully grown adult who is now a member of Lightning Seeds, just to make you all feel old.
It was a bit disappointing that there was no piano solo in All I Want, it’s the best bit of the song.
We were treated to a cover of Be My Baby by The Ronettes.
It wasn’t all plain sailing, it felt like there were some sound problems with the speakers, while Ian Broudie deviated during one song to complain about feedback before making a series of shrugging gestures with his hands.
We weren’t treated to Three Lions though. I guess somebody would have complained. It’s Belfast, we have to find something to get offended about. Pity, you’d expect to hear Ossie’s Dream if you went to see Chas and Dave.
The week following this, I should have been going to see Paul Weller at Ulster Hall, but that got cancelled due to being unable to find a new date. That was the same for Beabadoobee at Oh Yeah Centre in September.
Doves at The Limelight on my birthday next year has also been cancelled, but that was due to Jimi Goodwin’s personal issues which he will hopefully overcome.
Up next is The Charlatans at The Limelight towards the end of November, although I may be tempted by OMD when I am in Brighton later in the month. We shall see.
2022 will see Queen, Erasure and Kings Of Leon visit Belfast.
I’d love to go, but I can’t justify the outlay.
£84 for Queen WITHOUT Freddie Mercury, while Erasure and Kings Of Leon have Booking Fees of £6 to £7 for tickets I have to print at home myself.
Taking the piss. Too many business seem to think that a bit of crying on the news, people will feel morally bound to give them money. That’s not how it works. If you’re going to rip people off, you’re not getting my custom. I may relent nearer the time due to my love of those bands, but i’m planning on holding out.
Yes, you’ve lost money, but you will get back to where you were, it’ll just take a while. If the last eighteen months have taught us anything, it’s important to do things right rather than quick. I’ll be amazed if any of these concerts sell out, then Concert Promoters will be on the news crying about people not buying concert tickets.
Booking Fees have doubled since the pandemic, without any justification.
Even the Northern Ireland football team are at it, where tickets for the match against Lithuania will cost more than it cost me to fly to Lithuania in 2019.
I’ve just had a quick look on Wizz Air. You can fly from Northern Ireland to Lithuania and back in mid January for 2p cheaper than a match ticket to Northern Ireland v Lithuania.
I was always going to give these World Cup games a miss and start again for Euro 2024, but this made my mind up. I’m expecting a lot of competitions on Social Media this week.
The amount of economic gaslighting through the media by Politicians is making me very uncomfortable.
“You must return to the office and spend at lunchtime”. Not if it’s not safe enough yet.
“You must go to the pub. It’s your duty”. No, it is not.
“You must spend your High Street Voucher in Belfast City Centre”. Give me a reason to go into Belfast City Centre. It’s a rancid shithole where you can’t go five seconds without having cigarette smoke blown into your face, where you can’t move due to the amount of building work and you are constantly having to avoid broken glass. Do better, and you’ll get my custom.
Especially so, when prices of other things are going up.
It’s a collaborative effort. If business want to rip people off, then people won’t and shouldn’t support them. Money is their oxygen. If they don’t play fair, starve them. It’s the only way they’ll listen.
I do want to actually attend some concerts in 2022.
It was nice to get back into the concert, can’t say I enjoyed having my feet stood on by women either side of me dancing too much. Literally every concert I go to. Even the annoying things i’ve missed. Ouch.
It had been a while, but while using up Annual Leave, I decided to head to Dublin for a day, and it would have been rude not to get some Street Art photos.
Due to the current situation, I was a bit apprehensive about visiting Dublin. It’s not somewhere where space is readily available, and people standing about stopping you getting anywhere is a regular occurrence.
In fact, when I visited Wicklow in August, the only time I set foot in Dublin was to get off the Enterprise and walk across Connolly Station to get the DART to Bray.
Eventually, I decided to go. My dad had been and said it wasn’t too bad, so I took his work for it.
My previous visits had been towards the end of the week in the Summer, so it wouldn’t be that crowded on a Monday at the start of November.
I usually go to Dublin once a year (not in 2020, obviously) so I know my way about, where to go and spot some Street Art.
As I exited Connolly Station and headed towards O’Connell Street, I knew if I took a right before Supervalu, there would be some pieces.
I was not disappointed, and there was a bonus from afar at the far end of that street.
Naturally, I headed to Temple Bar, spotting a pub done up in the style which even had a mural of him.
Another spot I headed to that is usually reliable is Smithfield, and I was not disappointed.
Dublin Canvas has been going for a few years, painting electricity boxes on streets, so I got a few snaps of ones that I passed that I had never seen before.
When Linfield play Dungannon Swifts, they generally have three types of results. A draw, a barely deserved win, or a routine hammering.
At face value, this might look like another routine hammering, but the truth was far from it.
It is coming up to eight years since Linfield last lost a League game to Dungannon Swifts, although they did lose 4-3 to them at Stangmore Park in a Pre-Season Friendly in August.
I’m beginning to think we let them win that one just so they could have a win when it didn’t matter.
This one did matter, although it felt like a Pre-Season Friendly in the early stages, with not much attacking cohesion from Linfield.
However, on 16 minutes, they made the breakthrough, when Matthew Clarke was able to barge his way into the penalty area, and fire home with his left foot.
If you thought that would be the opening of the floodgates, you would be mistaken.
The best they could offer was a header from Jimmy Callacher.
He seemed quite annoyed about that and had a determination that he was going to get a goal every time he went up for a set piece.
Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be his day.
It wasn’t many people’s day in an attacking sense for Linfield, Christy Manzinga, for so long this season enduring a frustrating afternoon, having a shot blocked after cutting in from the right, before being denied by a block and then seeing a volley hit the ground and then be turned around for a corner.
Dungannon were having some shots on goal that were easily saved by Chris Johns, but you had a feeling you had seen this game before.
One game that came to mind was Newry at home in 2011. Early goal, game meanders, then a lucky bounce in injury time presents an opportunity to make it 1-1.
Linfield needed a second goal, and as soon as possible.
They weren’t going to get it with misplaced passes, of which there were plenty.
One of them, from Kirk Millar almost resulted in a spectacular long range strike for Dungannon, to the sound to groans from the North Stand.
That seemed to spur Millar into life, who responded by doing what he does best, setting up a goal, this time from Matt Green, who finished from close range from his cross.
The goal came about after Millar took advantage of a stray pass by a Dungannon player. Linfield had taken advantage of Dungannon’s misplaced passes, while Dungannon had failed to take advantage of Linfield’s misplaced passes.
It prompted Millar to run to the Linfield support in the North Stand and make the “Shuush” gesture, which is one of the worst things in football according to the Henry Winter Outrage Chart. I was wondering if it would be the first time a player has been booked for antagonising his own supporters.
I doubt the referee would be that stupid. as they would turn their ire to him if he did.
Soon after, it was 3-0, the same combination with Kirk Millar crossing for Matt Green to make it 3-0 with an effort that should really have been saved by the keeper.
A scoreline that flattered Linfield, but they’ll take it.
With Cliftonville, Larne and Coleraine all winning, it kept the pressure on at the top of the table.
Ideally, Linfield would have been playing Ballymena at home on the Tuesday after this, but the rearranged League Cup tie against PSNI took priority.
As enjoyable as getting double figures was, I would have preferred an undeserved scrappy 1-0 win over Ballymena.
While Linfield were inactive in League terms, it allowed Cliftonville to stretch their lead with a 4-0 win over Portadown. The 1-1 draw between Larne and Glentoran was perfect. That combination of results made it even more frustrating that match wasn’t played, for varying reasons.
Meanwhile, the draw for the Women’s Euro 2022 was made. Very tempting to go over and watch Northern Ireland, but the draw wasn’t kind, placing them in Southampton.
No offence to Southampton, it’s just that it only has one air route from Belfast, meaning the prices are sky high (no pun intended) compared with other English cities which may have two airlines running routes there.
First game is during the July Holidays, so it would be a good excuse to get away.
Forget about Hampshire, my next football trip will be to Portadown.
The last time I headed Foyleside*/** for a bit of Street Art Spotting was in the Summer of 2019, a rather enjoyable day trip by train.
Since then, a lot has changed, and I’m not talking about the composition of wallspace in the city.
(* I did head up that direction in November 2019 to see Linfield play Institute, but didn’t spend much time in the City Centre)
(** I went up for work in March 2020, on the day that you know what was kicking off and events were starting to be postponed)
As I left on that Saturday in 2019, I thought I would make it an annual event, a free Saturday when he football is over, time to start looking at he calendar for free Saturdays in June 2020 before the European Championship started.
Of course, I never made a visit in 2020, and 2021 looked set to be heading the same way.
However, with Annual Leave to use, I thought I might as well use one of those days off to head over.
In normal times, I would have headed up early, but not a chance I would be going up with commuter traffic.
Instead, I headed over to get the 9.10am train, meaning I would arrive just before 11.30am, giving me plenty of time to check out the place.
If you’re wondering why I got the train instead of the bus, it’s because the 212 doesn’t really have a quiet time. It’s busy all day long.
I didn’t have long to wait for my first Street Art spot, being greeted by a Rainbow Crossing as I crossed the road to go to Guildhall Square.
It wasn’t easy to get decent photos of it due to people and cars using that crossing for it’s intended purpose and getting in shot.
Earlier this year, there was a Street Art Festival called Roots which meant that this wasn’t going to be a wasted trip. UV Arts, a local arts organisation also organises Street Art and Murals alongside this.
The last time I visited, I headed to Glendermott Street as my first port of call. The reason for this is that there was a mural of a woman in a hat. It’s still there. I was wondering if it had been replaced. You can’t really miss it if you’re travelling in to the city on the 212.
I did manage to miss a mural across the road on Bonds Street. Thankfully, I was able to get one later in the day when there was still some daylight to work with.
The trip wasn’t exclusively for Street Art, I did intend to explore the place, walking the full length of the walls. I know, such a cliche.
There was a motive behind it, to visit one of my favourite shops, Yellow Yard, an emporium of music, art, books, clothes and stationery.
I also visited Social Street Market, which featured a lot of interesting, random and bizarre items. There was a box of comic books for 50p each which was sadly wasted on me. There was also a painting collage of the stars of the Leeds United team of 95/96. Again, that was wasted on me.
If you care, or need a refresher, they finished 13th and got gubbed 3-0 by Aston Villa in the League Cup Final.
Other shops that are well worth a visit include No 1 Guildhall Street, Bedlam and Smart Swag.
I then went for a walkabout in search of Street Art, spotting a piece along Richmond Square, where a Shopping Centre and Government Offices are joined.
There was one I specifically wanted to see. It was one of a man called Richard Moore, known locally as Derry Lama, meeting the Dalai Lama.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because it was featured earlier this year in a Travelogue on ITV called Home Sweet Home, presented by Joanna Lumley.
I did have to cheat and look up what street it is on, and thankfully the street it was on, Great James Street, was easy to find.
There were quite a few pieces on that street, so it was well worth a visit.
By now, it was late afternoon, so I headed to the Peace Bridge to try and get some sunset photos.
The sunset was a bit meh, so it was then time for a bite to eat and then back to the train station for the 6.38pm (again, to avoid commuters) train home.
Talking of places with two names, up next for me (in terms of Northern Ireland, there will be a trip to Dublin sandwiched inbetween) is a visit to Ards/Newtownards, which has recently held a Street Art Festival.
Anything Bangor has, Ards has to get.