Stereophonics have been around for a bit, thanking their Belfast fans for 20 years of support, during a concert that was two days after the 19th anniversary of their first Number One album, Performance and Cocktails.

Regular visitors to Belfast, this was their first indoor concert in Belfast since November 2013, but they have played Belsonic twice since then.

What you get now is a Greatest Hits set. It’s been that way for at least ten years. Let’s face it, who goes to a concert to watch a band perform obscure B-Sides?

They began with more recent classics such as Cest La Vie, I Wanna Get Lost With You and Caught By The Wind.

Caught By The Wind being the standout single released from most recent album Scream Above The Sounds, alongside All In One Night.

Both singles giving off an atmospheric 80s Den Henley vibe.

Don’t be mocking Don Henley, he’s the acceptable face of singing drummers. If they were sounding like Phil Collins, that would be a different matter.

Four songs in, they returned to their debut album, which Jones noted had been released 20 years ago, playing More Life In A Tramp’s Vest.

While the song played, the large screen behind them a compilation of home videos from the band’s early days, with both Kelly and Richard Jones (no relation) both sporting long hairdos. The much missed Stuart Cable sported the same style throughout his time with the band.

During those days, they were known as Tragic Love Company. They had enough video editing skills in them days to write a caption on the screen. Thankfully, they changed their name, as there is only space for one band called TLC.

They then moved onto a song they wrote in San Francisco called Have A Nice Day, though it sounds like Kelly Jones sings “Have an ass day”. It can’t be unheard.

That was then followed by my favourite Stereophonics song, Superman, performed with all the groove and swagger you heard on record.

It was a different stage from previous Stereophonics concerts. Rather than your traditional rock n roll stage design, this stage extended in the middle across the floor, to where the halfway line on the Ice Hockey pitch would be.

You can tell i’m not an expert in stage design. If you went to see U2 in 2015 or Muse in 2016 at The Odyssey.

I was stood at the end of the stage, meaning I had a decent view when they were there, and a decent view when they were in the more traditional rock n roll stage position.

Stagehands snuck some decorations onto that area as the band moved up there. It was dressed as a lounge, similar to that in the video for Handbags and Gladrags, one of the songs that was performed during this section.

Oh yes, there were plenty of lava lamps.

As the band walked over to their new home, we were treated to an instrumental cover of Sweet Home Alabama.

One of the highlights of this section was an acoustic version of Pick A Part That’s New.

That was one of many songs from the first two albums that were played in succession such as Just Looking, Traffic, A Thousand Trees, The Bartender And The Thief

By now, we were at the encore, which included Local Boy In The Photograph.

It looked like they were going to go through a concert without playing Dakota, as Kelly began playing some wandering notes on his guitar, before slowly singing the words “Made me feel like the one, made me feel like the one”.

Everybody in the venue sang it back at him.

They then burst into the version we all know and love. A fantastic tune, their only Number One. It was a good way to sign off.

Photo Album

Stereophonics live at Titanic Belfast June 2016

Stereophonics live at Custom House Square August 2015

Stereophonics live at The Odyssey November 2013

Stereophonics live at Waterfront Hall March 2013

Stereophonics live at Custom House Square August 2010



Earlier in the day, Paul Weller’s Social Media channels pointed out that it was exactly 41 years to the day since he signed his first record deal, as a member of The Jam.

Four decades and one year later, he is still strutting his stuff, and did so in Belfast, the city getting it’s turn after he had spent the previous three evenings performing in Dublin.

Support came from a band called Tights. No wait, it’s Touts. It’s just the accent. These Derry boys were so loud, they’d probably be banned by Sister Michael, though I doubt they’ll be getting booked to perform at any of Jennie Joyce’s house parties.

It seems as though Touts are the support band at every concert in Belfast, having supported Blossoms, Kasabian (Well, or so they thought until Kasabian pulled out at the last minute) and ASIWYFA in the past year.

If you like The Jam, The Strypes and/or The Undertones, this is the band for you.

A lot of support bands bore the life out of you, but not these guys. They were acting as if it was their own headline show.

The setlist was described by Weller as “Some old, and some new” a few songs in, as he introduced From The Floorboards Up, describing it as an old song, though considering it was released in 2005, it’s not as old as some of the other songs that made an appearance in this setlist.

Weller wasn’t slow in exploring all areas of his back catalogue, having a short section dedicated to The Style Council, playing Have You Ever had It Blue? and My Ever Changing Moods back to back. The latter brought about a very serious outbreak of Dad Dancing in the crowd.

We were treated to Weller showcasing his piano skills by playing his classic hit You Do Something To Me and Wo Se Mama, the standout track from his current album A Kind Revolution.

Naturally, he delved into The Jam’s hits, dedicating Eton Rifles to “Theresa May and her fucking mob” to loud cheers. For clarity, if it was needed, I don’t think it was a tribute.

The bigger solo hits also got an outing, songs such as Friday Street and Peacock Suit. I would have loved to have heard The Changingman, as it was the song that got me into Weller.

Back to The Jam, he played Start, where he was joined on stage by a young fan, who jammed with Steve Craddock, before Weller left the stage.

I know, he has a song called Start and plays it at the end.

Except, it wasn’t. After what seemed like an eternity, Weller returned to the stage to do an acoustic set.

It didn’t really work. It was a Thursday night and we were all in the mood for the weekend. If he was going to go acoustic, we wanted hits to sing along to.

We eventually got that in the shape of That’s Entertainment and Wild Wood.

He left the stage again and returned for a second encore, signing off with Town Called Malice.

I’d previously seen him at Waterfront Hall in November 2015, when he was a bit iffy and off form.

This was not the case at Ulster Hall.

Photo Album

Paul Weller live at Waterfront Hall November 2015


Well this was an unexpected bonus.

Shed Seven headed out on tour in late 2017 but sadly, Belfast was left off the list. However, a bout of illness was to work in Belfast’s favour.

A throat infection saw a couple of concerts scheduled for November have to be postponed. One of those concerts was Dublin. When new dates for these concerts were announced, an extra Belfast gig was slotted in alongside the Dublin one, to the delight of Northern Ireland fans.

Curiously, Erasure had to cancel a couple of Dublin concerts this week. Their tour also left out Belfast, so hopefully they’ll be following Shed Seven’s lead.

Appropriately, they entered the stage to the theme tune to The Return Of The Magnificent Seven. Shed Seven are now the only band who can use that now that Madness are now a six piece.

They were backed by a brass section, one of whom was wearing a Shed Zeppelin t-shirt from the concert at Royal Albert Hall on November 31st last year where they formed a supergroup with the surviving members of Led Zeppelin and performed each others hits.

Oh wait, that was an April Fool’s joke.

They went straight into Room In My House, from their most recent album Instant Pleasures. It was instantly pleasurable, and there wasn’t a lot of room in this house.

Instant Pleasures was their first new album in sixteen years, with Rick Witter stating that the album only actually took three years, they were just lazy bastards for the thirteen years prior to that.

I got into Shed Seven after seeing the video for She Left Me On Friday on The Chart Show in 1998. I’d heard nothing like it. I also loved other singles from that album Let It Ride such as The Heroes, Devil in Your Shoes and Chasing Rainbows.

The following year, they released a Singles Compilation/Greatest Hits album titled Going For Gold, named after one of their earlier hits, promoted with the footstomping single Disco Down.

It was just wall to wall tunes. I listened to that album a lot, on repeat.

I remember purchasing their next proper album Truth Be Told, and that was it, they disappeared and never released an album until 2017.

One song in, Rick Witter addressed what he described as “The elephant in the room”, namely the cut above his left eye.

He said there was ten of them and one of him, but he floored them all, before admitting what happened was the slightly heroic and less rock n roll truth that he fell over at 10am one morning.

Witter interacted with the crowd like a Gameshow Host, with one person coming from Kendal for this gig, and another coming from Leeds (he was booed when he revealed he was from Leeds. Tough crowd), prompting Witter to ask if there was anyone in the venue actually from Belfast. A big roar went up.

All the hits were there, songs such as Disco Down, Going For Gold, She Left Me On Friday, On Standby, Dolphin, High Hopes and Devil In Your Shoes.

Meanwhile, for Chasing Rainbows, the lighting flashed all the colours of the rainbow.

Overall, the night was a pot of gold. Well, that’s what Shed Seven were going for.

Photo Album


Arriving on stage ten minutes late sipping a cup of tea, John Power told the crowd at The Limelight that he was “Caught unaware”, as he was joined by bandmate Jay Lewis, as half of Cast supported Shed Seven.

Back at the end of last year, Shed Seven were on tour, named Shedvember or Shedcember depending on the month, with Cast as the support act.

That tour didn’t include a Belfast gig. This was a bonus gig added when their Dublin gig was postponed, and half of Cast were able to make it to Belfast to support The Sheds as they finished off the tour a bit later than anticipated.

The cup of tea that Power was sipping from featured the artwork to Screamadelica, and Power stated that it belonged to Bobby Gillespie, that he left it there. He didn’t say if it had been in The Limelight since 2013 or 2016.

Power asked the crowd if they wanted hits, they replied yes, so he gave them hits.

Finetime lost a bit through the absence of drums, but still sounded brilliant. What we had was a condensed acoustic singsong through Cast’s back catalogue – Sandstorm, Live The Dream, Guiding Star and Free Me.

Flying was cut short to accommodate other songs, as a voice from the side was telling Power that the set was almost over, to which he replied “Eight minutes? Let’s make it ten”

Power and Lewis left the stage and didn’t return. The last time Cast played The Limelight, they played no encore, which caused a bit of unrest. Thankfully, there was no unrest this time. We were all perfectly warmed up for Shed Seven.

Photo Album

Cast live at The Limelight 2016

Cast live at The Limelight 2015


I’ve never been to Italy before and I’ve love to see Juventus in the flesh. I could even make do with going to a Torino match. Oh wait, it said Turin Brakes for free, not Turin Breaks for free.

This wouldn’t be a runner-up prize, I loved Turin Brakes back in 2001, and when it was announced that they would be doing an instore gig at Fopp in Covent Garden on the weekend I was in London, I knew I would be taking advantage of it.

What is Fopp? It is the most amazing shop in the world. CDs, DVDs, everything from film and music and ridiculously cheap prices. I love it. I make a point of visiting it whenever I visit England or Scotland.

Sadly, they don’t have any Northern Ireland stores, so we’ll just have to do without. Come on Fopp, if Greggs can come over here ………

Turin Brakes started off as a duo but have bow expanded to a four piece. They were playing a free gig in Fopp as they had just released their new album that day (Friday 26th January 2018) titled Invisible Storm.

Before starting their set, they apologised in advance if they “Fucked it up” as they are still learning the songs.

They played three songs from their new album, the highlight of which was Life Forms, before finishing on their biggest hits Underdog (Save Me) and Painkiller.

Photo Album


Here we are, the final photo round-up of 2017, looking back at my adventures in December. Well, December so far.

December began with a trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

That was followed by a trip to Ulster Hall to see The Divine Comedy in concert.

I was hoping to follow that with a trip to Carrick to see Linfield play Carrick Rangers, but that was postponed due to snow.

I decided to make the most of a football free Saturday, by going out and getting pictures of the snow in Belfast.

There was one final concert for 2017, as I headed to The Limelight to see The Charlatans.

The following day, I flew to Manchester, to see United take on Bournemouth primarily, but I also managed to squeeze in some Street Art photos from Manchester and Salford Quays.

Upon my return, I headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield play Warrenpoint Town and draw 3-3.

The following Saturday, it was another visit to Windsor Park to see Linfield beat Cliftonville 2-0.

There’s still eight days left in December, i’ll be at The Oval on Boxing Day, and then back to Windsor Park next Saturday for more photo adventures.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series looking back at 2017 In Pictures. I’m already looking forward to see what 2018 will bring in terms of photo adventures.

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

The Divine Comedy live at Ulster Hall

The Divine Comedy live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

Belfast Snow December 2017

Snow – Friday 8th December Photo Album

Snow – Saturday 9th December Photo Album

Snow – Sunday 10th December Photo Album

The Charlatans live at The Limelight

The Charlatans live at The Limelight Photo Album

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth

Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art

Salford Quays Street Art Photo Album

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

Linfield v Cliftonville


November began with a long trip to Fermanagh to see Linfield take on Ballinamallard. It was raining goals and raining rain as Linfield won 6-0.

From going West, it was going East that was next on my agenda, as Northern Ireland took on Switzerland with the aim of going to Russia. They lost 1-0.

The following day, it was a trip to Ballymena, to see Linfield lose 2-1.

The following Friday, the entertainment was of a musical variety, as The Killers came to The Odyssey.

The photos continued on a musical theme, getting photos of a Run DMC mural in Belfast, as well as some Street Art beside Apache.

It was back to football, seeing Linfield beat Coleraine and Glenavon.

The last day of the month saw me cycle to Lisburn to get some Street art photos, including a mural of Top Cat.

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Switzerland

Northern Ireland v Switzerland Photo Album

Ballymena United v Linfield

The Killers live at The Odyssey

The Killers live at The Odyssey Photo Album

Run DMC/Apache Mural

Run DMC Mural Photo Album

Apache Mural Photo Album

Linfield v Coleraine

Glenavon v Linfield

Lisburn Street Art

Lisburn Street Art Photo Album


In the first week of October 2017, I headed to Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Germany in a World Cup Qualifier.

That was sandwiched inbetween me going out around Belfast to check out Street Art which was painted as part of Hit The North, these pieces were still works in progress when I went to photograph them in September

The following day, I went to my one Rugby match a year, as Ulster beat Wasps in the European Cup.

It was back to football the following day, seeing Linfield take on Coleraine.

There was a glut of concerts towards the end of the month, going to see Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, OMD and Liam Gallagher, with Linfield’s matches against Ards and Crusaders sandwiched inbetween.

Northern Ireland v Germany

Northern Ireland v Germany Photo Album

Hit The North Mop-Up

Hit The North Mop-Up Photo Album

Ulster v Wasps

Ulster v Wasps Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott live at The Limelight

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott live at The Limelight Photo Album

Linfield v Crusaders

OMD live at Mandela Hall

OMD live at Mandela Hall Photo Album

Linfield v Ards

Liam Gallagher live at The Odyssey

Liam Gallagher live at The Odyssey Photo Album


September 2017 began with a road trip, and a long one at that, to Edinburgh, to see Linfield take on Spartans in the Scottish Challenge Cup.

Two days later, it was another football match with an international feel, an actual international, as Northern Ireland took on Czech Republic at Windsor Park.

The following weekend was busy, taking in Ryan Adams at Ulster Hall and then Linfield’s match against Glentoran.

There was more football to follow, taking in Linfield’s matches against Crusaders and Ballinamallard.

The following weekend was football free but not photo free, as I was out capturing Culture Night, and Street Art painted as part of Hit The North.

The month ended with a trip to Solitude to see Linfield take on Cliftonville. The less said about which, the better.

Spartans v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Czech Republic

Northern Ireland v Czech Republic Photo Album

Ryan Adams live at Ulster Hall

Ryan Adams live at Ulster Hall

Linfield v Glentoran

Crusaders v Linfield

Linfield v Ballinamallard United

Culture Night 2017

Culture Night 2017 Photo Album

Hit The North 2017

Hit The North 2017 Photo Album

Cliftonville v Linfield


The last two Charlatans concerts in Belfast took place in tents. It was a fact that didn’t escape singer Tim Burgess as he commented on it, saying “Every gig we do here is in a tent” at the second of those, at Custom House Square in May 2015.

Two and a half years, they returned to Belfast (keeping up a recent run of coming here every two years) and we had found an actual building for them to perform in, The Limelight, which hosted the final night of their Plastic Machinery Tour.

It was a night that saw them blast through their hits, such as North Country Boy, Tellin Stories, Weirdo and The Only One I Know, which ironically, wasn’t the only one I knew.

We also got treated to Love Is The Key, not always played on their previous Belfast visits but one of my favourite Charlatans songs, if not my favourite.

Running it close in that regard is Blackened Blue Eyes, which wasn’t played. Can’t have everything I guess.

What we did get, was the (trademark?) dad dancing from Tim Burgess. It must be a Tim thing, as Tim Booth of James is just as bad, or good, depending on how you look at it.

There was a mixed reaction from the crowd then they introduced a song co-written with Paul Weller, with Tim commented that he was a mate. Tough Crowd.

What got the crowd going was the possibility of Tim stripping, as he took off his jumper to reveal a t-shirt, the crowd egging him on to strip, with guitarist Mark Collins looking on disapprovingly at them for doing so.

They did get to later see Burgess take his t-shirt off, but with a catch.

By the time of the encore, Burgess was resembling Joey in Friends when he was wearing all of Chandler’s clothes, as he was wearing three t-shirts.

The one that was visible was a green one with “SPROSTON” written on it, which he threw into the crowd, with a scrum following.

The t-short he was wearing now was one with “SALFORD LAD” written on it. He didn’t throw that into the crowd.

It probably wouldn’t have fitted me, but it would have been apt if I had caught it, as I was heading to Salford the following morning.

Later in the week, the band were announced as headliners for The Great Escape in 2018, so you can get your hopes up of a return to Belfast or Northern Ireland next year.

As well as classic hits, we got recent classics such as Plastic Machinery (Introduced by Ian Rankin on an LED Screen) and May The Good Times Be Never Ending.

The good times were never ending at The Limelight.

Photo Album

The Charlatans live at Falls Park 2013

The Charlatans live at Custom House Squad 2015