LIAM GALLAGHER – LIVE AT ORMEAU PARK (BELSONIC) 16.6.2018

Before he was that guy on Twitter who calls people a potato, Liam Gallagher was once a rock star. He was quite good at it. He still is.

His magical powers aren’t just for belting out a tune, he can influence the weather.

On lunchtime of the day of this concert, Belfast was covered in a monsoon of rain. Liam turns to Twitter and tells the rain to fuck off, which it does for the rest of this day, meaning there was no need to bring a raincoat to this.

There were plenty of raincoats in the crowd through, of the Stone Island variety. Accompanied by sky blue bucket hats, charity shop sunglasses and a pack of fags to make themselves look really hard. Harry Enfield really nailed the Gallagher Fanboys back in the day. Still as funny now as it was in the 90s.

The crowd assembled, nicely warmed up by Richard Ashcroft and ready to be entertained. Or at least, make it worth missing Croatia v Nigeria for.

Big shout out to the group who shouted “MON THE LINFIELD!!!!” as I walked past them to get my spot.

Changing spots was unfortunately something I was doing quite a lot. Mainly due to the fact the venue was infested by smelly tramps. Literally surrounded by them. Puff puff vape vape. Dirty fucking tramps.

The thing about Liam Gallagher is, when you get a decent view of him on stage, you’ve got a decent view of him for the whole concert. He doesn’t really move about. He’s not going to stride about from side to side like Freddie Mercury.

He stands on stage and sings. That’s what you’ve paid for, and that is what you’re getting.

A chant of “Championes, Championes” blasted out on the PA, never had Liam down as a Crusaders fan, signified his impending arrival on stage. The screen on stage showed a video of him backstage as he walked on, pointing right into the camera.

He arrive on stage and went straight into Rock n Roll Star, a statement of intent and then Morning Glory.

However, Liam has recent music as well, a solo album As Your Were. It’s quite decent, and all the biggies from it were played – Greedy Soul, Wall of Glass, Bold and For What It’s Worth, before bouncing back into Oasis classic, albeit less obvious ones such as Bring In On Down and Listen Up.

Liam Gallagher has the ability to be both predictable and unpredictable at the same time.

It’s always important to get a good mix. We were here to see Liam Gallagher who was once in Oasis, not Liam Gallagher from Oasis.

Back to solo hits, I’ve All I Need soon followed. It’s a song that has grown on me. Really grown.

I thought it was ok when I got the album, but with every listen (it’s currently on heavy rotation on Radio X) I love it.

He started the set with two era defining Oasis songs, and finished it with two more. Whatever, their first Top 5 hit which brought them to a bigger audience, followed by D’You Know What I Mean?, the first single from Be Here Now, both landmarks on his career.

This concert came a few days before another Gallagher landmark. June 20th was the 9th anniversary of the fifth and most recent time I have seen Oasis in concert. It is still my belief there will be a sixth time.

If there insn’t, i’m at peace with that, given both Gallaghers solo outputs.

As Liam walked off the stage, we awaited his return for the encore.

We didn’t get Liam, we got his drummer sneaking onto the stage under darkness, to belt out the opening beats from Supersonic. Another landmark, it was Oasis first single.

Oasis songs in the setlist weren’t to everyone’s liking, as Liam took aim at what he described as Keyboard Warriors who criticise him for playing too many Oasis songs (to be fair, he only has one solo album worth of material to work from. That will change in 2019 though)

It was a bit hypocritical of him, considering he had his own setlist criticism, complaining about the pre-gig setlist on the tannoy, especially the absence of I Am The Resurrection by Stone Roses.

It felt like there was a theme to the setlist, with the Oasis songs being landmarks. The next one was Some Might Say, their first UK Number 1. It sounds brilliant live but there is one problem. The “You know what some might say” backing vocals at the end don’t quite sound the same when sung by someone other than Noel Gallagher.

That was followed by Live Forever, their first UK Top 10 single, which he dedicated to Alex Higgins, and mimicked taking a Snooker shot.

Through all this encore, we were treated to a guest appearance from Bonehead, whose garden didn’t need looked after so he came out for his one gig a year.

As he ended his set, Gallagher told the crowd that going past various pubs when travelling to the venue had seen him licking his lips in anticipation, which is what his plans were, telling the crowd he was away for a Guinness.

He had earnt it.

Those plans, a bit further ahead, include a return to Belfast at some point in 2019.

Meanwhile, final details were announced that Mandela Hall will be closing next month. Don’t worry, i’m not going to write some arse-licking “You had to be there” obituary. Went to a few gigs there, and they were mostly decent.

Never again shall I walk like a Spaceman due to the sticky floors.

So, my Mandela Memories – Little Boots in 2009 (a week before I moved this blog to WordPress, meaning I can’t link to a write-up), Tegan and Sara in 2010, Marina and the Diamonds in 2010 and KT Tunstall in 2016.

I’ve also seen some men perform there too. Starsailor in 2003, when James Walsh triumphantly announced that Gary Jules had beaten The Darkness to Christmas Number 1, Ocean Colour Scene in 2010, The Kooks in 2015 and Echo and the Bunnymen in 2015.

The reason why Mandela Hall is closing is due to a redevelopment of the Students Union facility. To compensate for this, Elmwood Hall, next door, will now be used.

I’m hoping to go to a concert there sometime, same with The Telegraph Building. Just need a band I like to perform there.

My last concert there was OMD in October 2017. Not going to lie, it was one of the best concerts i’ve ever been to.

Not a bad way to go out.

Photo Album

Liam Gallagher live at The Odyssey October 2017

Advertisements

RICHARD ASHCROFT- LIVE AT ORMEAU PARK (BELSONIC) 16.6.2018

This year marks ten years since the first Belsonic. In those ten years, it has expanded, moved venue, changed month and then changed venue again.

When it started, it was mid August in Custom House Square. Now it is mid June in Ormeau Park.

Walking towards the venue, there were boardings put up to cut off the venue for the concert from the rest of the park. It looked rather drab. I couldn’t help but think that a mural featuring those acts who have performed at Belsonic over the past decade would have brightened up the venue.

Due to the wide nature of acts peforming, it is impossible for someone to be a fan of every act. Just the one Belsonic concert for me this year, as Richard Ashcroft would be to support Liam Gallagher, just as he did the previous night at Malahide Castle in Dublin.

The two of them will already be used to each other, having toured North America together in May.

For Richard Ashcroft, it would be a long awaited return to Belfast. The most recent gig as a solo artist (The Verve did play The Odyssey) that I am aware of is him supporting Coldplay at The Odyssey in 2005.

Upon arrival in Belfast, Ashcroft went exploring the city. I was hoping he might re-enact the Bittersweet Symphony video in the City Centre, just to send out a message to the slow walkers and footpath blockers.

He didn’t venture too far from Ormeau Park, heading to 16 Burren Way in Cregagh. If you don’t know, that’s the childhood home of George Best, and boasted to the crowd that he did a few keepy-uppies outside it.

As he entered the stage, he dedicated his performance to George Best, even having a mannequin with the Northern Ireland shirt as a stage prop, the shirt printing of ASHCROFT 11 being clear for all to see.

I’ve been a fan of Richard Ashcroft for a long time, especially loving Urban Hymns by The Verve and his debut solo album Alone With Everybody.

Disappointingly, none of the big singles from his debut solo album were played, such as Song For The Lovers, I Get My Beat, Money To Burn and C’mon People.

Ashcroft was delayed getting on stage by about fifteen minutes. Thankfully, due to the delays in getting in.

Security searches getting in were segregated by gender. The breakdown of the crowd was overwhelmingly male. It was obvious this would be the case.

However, staffing did not reflect this. While men were made to wait in slow moving queues, women were able to get in quicker.

If you were a woman or part of a group of women attending with a man or group of men, you were having to loiter about and wait for your friend(s) to get through.

Surely, getting info from sales from Ticketmaster could have helped them prepare better.

The same complaint would apply if it was an act appearing who would attract a majority female audience at their concerts.

Going through security, I had a bar of chocolate confiscated. Yes, really.

Cigarettes and vapes are fine, but a bar of chocolate is not allowed. What sort of fucked-up society are we living in?

There were times when you could barely breathe due to the fumes, but apparently someone having a bar of chocolate is more of a health and safety concern?

The Eventsec goon who confiscated my chocolate didn’t look when chucking it in a bag, and it hit the top of the bag and didn’t go in. I took back what was mine when he was searching people after me. Up yours Eventsec.

As hinted, this was another outdoor event in Belfast infested with fucking tramps that can’t go a few hours without a smoke. Literally surrounded by them.

Am I the only person who sees this?

As a society, we seem to just scratch our arses when it comes to the matter.

I know I keep mentioning it, but i’m going to keep mentioning it until it gets tackled and addressed.

Belfast City Council could take the lead on the matter and make smoke free venues a clause when granting licences for events.

If the Organisers can instruct Eventsec to confiscate chocolate from people, they can get Eventsec to confiscate cigarettes and vapes. Put it on the posters and tickets so everybody knows.

If somebody complains, fuck em, They can fuck off and go elsewhere. Society is moving on, and we don’t need tramps like that infesting outdoor events.

The important thing is, nobody was able to bring any chocolate into the venue.

Back to Ashcroft, and unsurprisingly, we was belting out a lot of The Verve’s hits – Sonnet (shamefully low chart position) and Lucky Man, which he dedicated to Kate, who I presume is Kate Radley from Spiritualized, his wife.

The Drugs Don’t Work, The Verve’s only Number 1, is a bloody awful song. He performed it, but solo acoustically, and it wasn’t that bad, to be fair.

Ashcroft, then went into a Yer Da type rant about how music was better in the old days, while revealing that he doesn’t do “Banter” with the crowd because he can’t hear them due to an earpiece.

He was pumped up, throwing his microphone down during one song, and by the end of the show, having half of his shirt unbuttoned, and pulling a muscleman pose similar to Mario Balotelli when he scored against Germany in Euro 2012.

We also got some solo hits, such as the fantastic Break The Night With Colour, before he ended on Bittersweet Symphony, before announcing that he will be returning to Belfast before the end of the year, but left us all in suspense by not saying where or when.

Looking forward to it.

Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 22.6.2018

1. Richard Ashcroft – Break The Night With Colour
2. Liam Gallagher – I’ve All I Need
3. Miles Kane – Loaded
4. The Kooks – No Pressure
5. Florence and the Machine – Hunger

Exciting news, 1986 episodes of Top Of The Pops will be starting next month. Can’t wait.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : 16 – APRIL 1973

This week, we go to the US and 16 Magazine, a teen magazine which ran until 2001.

As you open the magazine, there is a poster of Donny Osmond, and an article about him being “Kicked out” of his house, but only because the painters were in.

There is a feature on Rick Springfield, as he goes on tour in Europe.

In promotions, for just $1, you could get a poster of your favourite pin-up such as Marc Bolan, Butch Patrick or Bobby Sherman.

Rick Springfield and Donny Osmond were joined in a lyrics page, featuring the words to their newest singles.

There is a new columnist introduced, Latoyah Jackson, who will answer your queries in a segment called Tell It To Toy.

Donny Osmond answers questions from readers in a segment called Dear Donny, revealing that a neat and well groomed girl catches his eye, and that Marie Osmond goes to his concerts.

There is a look at celebrity birthdays and things they like, including Andy and David Williams (twins), Marlon Jackson and Jay Osmond.

In adverts, there was an advert for a book called How To Be Popular And Pretty, which cost $1.

There is a look at the role of Keith Partridge in The Partridge Family, hypothetically looking at who would replace David Cassidy if he was to leave the show. Suggestions for playing Keith Partridge included Shaun Cassidy, Sean Kelly and Steve Hudis.

There is another poster, this time of Marc Bolan, described as “England’s brightest superstar”

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 8.6.2018

1. The Kooks – No Pressure
2. Johnny Marr – Hi Hello
3. Courtney Barrett – Nameless Faceless
4. Christine and the Queens – Girlfriend
5. Aurora – Queendom

And now, the first of many apologies.

Apologies for not having a Friday Five last week, I was too busy doing blogs from Biggest Weekend.

The last time I did a Friday Five, I totally forgot that it was Her Majesty Kylie Minogue’s 50th birthday.

Belatedly, he’s a chart to celebrate Kylie’s half century on earth.

FIVE SONGS BY KYLIE MINOGUE

1. I Believe In You
2. Better Than Today
3. I Should Be So Lucky
4. 2 Hearts
5. Some Kind Of Bliss

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the World Cup starts. So here, is a series of musical charts based on the groups. You may notice that some acts are appearing under FIFA’s nationality rules.

SONGS BY ARTISTS FROM COUNTRIES IN GROUPS A-B

1. Tatu – All The Things She Said
2. Enrique Iglesias – Do You Know?
3. Nelly Furtado – Maneater
4. Tatu – All About Us
5. Baccara – Yes Sir, I Can Boogie

SONGS BY ARTISTS FROM COUNTRIES IN GROUPS C-D

1. Alphabeat – Boyfriend
2. Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks
3. Desireless – Voyage Voyage
4. Steffan Dennis – Don’t It Make You Feel Good
5. Daft Punk – Robot Rock

SONGS BY ARTISTS FROM COUNTRIES IN GROUPS E-F

1. Yello – Oh Yeah
2. Ace Of Base – The Sign
3. Freiheit – Keeping The Dream Alive
4. Modern Talking – Brother Louie
5. Emilia – Big Big World

SONGS BY ARTISTS FROM COUNTRIES IN GROUPS G-H

1. Glenn and Chris – Diamond Lights
2. Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know
3. FR David – Words
4. The 5678s – Woo Hoo
5. Shakira – Underneath Your Clothes

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MELODY MAKER – 25.10.2000

It’s late 2000, and Melody Maker is on tour with Eminem and Limp Bizkit.

Two Welsh rock stars were in the news this week, with James Dean Bradfield stopping an assault on old man, while Kelly Jones solo tour was given a “cautious welcome” by fans giving their opinions to Melody Maker.

Ash have announced that everyone will love their upcoming new album.

Suede were in Iceland to perform at a festival, a trip described as “farcical”.

There are four pages dedicated to Eminem and Limp Bizkit, with Melody Maker giving it to Limp Bizkit, slightly, for the best act.

Ten years after their first release, Alex and Graham from Blur look back at the band’s ten finest moments.

In reviews, Melody Maker visits Muse, The Bluetones, Coldplay and Idlewild in concert.

ASH – LIVE AT TITANIC SLIPWAYS (BIGGEST WEEKEND) 26.5.2018

For me, it would be Ash who would be kicking off the second day of Biggest Weekend, as I headed back to Titanic Slipways to see them on the Saturday.

I could get used to afternoon concerts.

With a scheduled stage time of 4.10pm, i’d be heading over earlier than I did the previous day. Of the Saturday line-up, Ash and Franz Ferdinand were the acts I wanted to see the most.

For some, it would be the second time of the weekend they would be seeing Ash, as they did an instore appearance at HMV on the Friday teatime.

I wasn’t at that as I was heading to Biggest Weekend. I’m sure there were others in the same situation. I know we were getting to see them anyway, but it would have been nice to see them twice, and in a different kind of setting. They really could have scheduled that better.

I might have been in East Belfast, but it felt like Kiev with the amount of Liverpool shirts in the venue. Hope they enjoyed hearing the score when watching underworld. Born Slippy would be an apt description of Loris Karius handling and shotstopping.

Of all the concerts to go on Saturday, I was thankful, I wasn’t at Echo and the Bunnymen in Birmingham, with the band grumpy at having to do the concert after previously cancelling it because they wanted to watch Liverpool v Real Madrid and then relenting after anger from fans.

Ian McCullough enters the stage grumpy (to be fair, he’s always grumpy) as Liverpool go 1-0 down in a room full of Aston Villa supporters annoyed that their side has just lost 1-0 to Fulham in the Championship Play-Off Final. Gloriously miserable.

Ash at Titanic was thankfully a lot more upbeat, as the band began with Burn Baby Burn (which is what a lot of the crowd were doing due to the sun), which the audience were told when the band was being introduced was the first song played on 6 Music.

Afterwards, they announced they only had 35 minutes left, and were going to perform hits, which is what they did, performing songs such as King Fu, Oh Yeah, Shining Light and Girl From Mars, as well as more recent hit Annabel.

There was a brief chat where Tim Wheeler reminisced about Ash most famous concert, which recently celebrated it’s 20th anniversary, at Waterfront Hall, when Bono turned up as a guest alongside David Trimble and John Hume.

Guest stars seem to be a bit of a theme when Ash play Belfast.

When I saw them at The Empire in 2015, Nathan Connolly from Snow Patrol joined them onstage.

Tim announced that “Two legends from Derry” would be joining them.

Who could it be? Nadine Coyle? Dana? Fionnuala that owns the chippy?

Sadly, it wouldn’t be Baltimora. That would have been remarkable.

It was Mickey Bradley and Damien O’Neill from The Undertones.

Both of them had contributed to the recording of Buzzkill from Ash’s current album, which they performed together.

It would have been a waste to bring them down from Derry for just one song.

Tim Wheeler then reminisced about getting a guitar on Christmas Day and the first song he learnt. He said he was now getting the best guitar lesson in the world, as the men who wrote it would be performing it with him.

That song, of course, was Teenage Kicks by The Undertones, which Ash signed off with.

This was a local gig for Ash, after that, the line-up took on a Swedish theme with Neneh Cherry followed by First Aid Kit.

I like some Neneh Cherry songs, so it would have been rude not to stay for her. It wasn’t a long set, but it was more than Seven Seconds (Sorry).

Incidentally, that wasn’t performed, not that unsurprising given the logistics involved in getting Yossou N’Dour over or getting someone to sing his parts.

We did get Manchild, which was her opening song.

We also had some new songs, as she apologised for having to read some lyrics off a sheet which she blamed on “Old age” (She’s only 54) but added that and advantage is that she is now known as “Big mamma” in her house.

She then announced that her final song would be “A jazz song”. Surely she wouldn’t do a set and not perform Buffalo Stance?

She did a bass and synth heavy reinterpretation of the song as we know it. It was superb. It was definitely better than Kayleigh’s version in Car Share.

I wasn’t really that fussed on First Aid Kit (though I do love My Silver Lining) so I decided to go for a bite to eat during their set.

Talking of which, I do understand economics and cashing in when there’s a market, but some of the prices being charged for food and drink (I can’t comment on the bar, i’m talking about the food vans) were scandalous and taking the piss.

It was made worse that there was no readmission so people couldn’t pop over to The Odyssey or to a cafe beside Spar for a bite to eat. People were stuck where they were, and got exploited as a result.

So, fed and rested (and ripped off) I was now ready for Franz Ferdinand. You can see photos of Neneh Cherry here.

Ash Photo Album

Ash live at The Empire 2015

BECK – LIVE AT TITANIC SLIPWAYS (BIGGEST WEEKEND 25.5.2018)

Beck Hansen, no relation to Alan Hansen but he does look like David Jensen, rolled in to Belfast last Friday to perform at Biggest Weekend.

I was primarily there on Friday to see Manic Street Preachers, but it would have been rude not to hang around for Beck.

I am partial to a bit of Beck, loving tunes such as Loser, Where It’s At, Devil’s Haircut, Sexx Laws and Blue Moon.

I wouldn’t be a die hard devotee, but if i’m listening to the radio and the Presenter says “and now, something new from Beck” i’m not going to change the channel because I know there’s a high chance it will be decent.

By the time he took the stage, the weather had improved, and had reverted back to the sunshine that was there earlier in the day.

Walking onto stage, he jumped straight into Devil’s Haircut, with it’s distinct guitar riff, before performing new favourite Up All Night.

He was giving off a funky Prince vibe throughout, even going so far as to do a solo acoustic cover of Raspberry Beret by Prince.

That wasn’t the only cover of the night, there were brief snippets of Good Times, Alternative Ulster, Good Times, Cars and Once In A Lifetime as he individually introduced each member of his band during Where It’s At.

Music fans in Dublin have received a bonus of this event in Dublin, with some acts sneaking in a Dublin concert around this Belfast date.

Beck was one of those, doing a Dublin concert two days before this, while The Breeders were able to slot in a previously postponed Dublin date around this.

If his Dublin concert was anything like this, it would have been a treat. Belfast certainly got a treat.

Photo Album

MANIC STREET PREACHERS – LIVE AT TITANIC SLIPWAYS (BIGGEST WEEKEND) 25.5.2018

It’s not a Big Weekend, it’s the Biggest Weekend.

Not quite Radio 1’s Big Weekend, but an event primarily to fill the gap in the BBC’s schedules due to there being no Glastonbury this year, so the idea of Biggest Weekend was born.

It was a series of four concerts, one each in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales over two days over the May Bank Holiday Weekend. The days allocated for Northern Ireland would be Friday and Saturday.

Surprisingly, the Northern Ireland one was held in Belfast. I say surprisingly, because the main feature of Radio 1’s Big Weekend, was that it was held in towns or cities that don’t usually appear on tour schedules.

That was true of the other three venues – Coventry (England), Perth (Scotland) and Swansea (Wales)

Belfast was the choice for Northern Ireland, in Titanic Slipways in the East of the city.

This was a venue that had previous experience of hosting live music events, previously hosting Proms In The Park and Belsonic (in 2016).

I went to a couple of Belsonic gigs in 2016, and the big thing that stood out was that the stage was in a different location, facing the back of Titanic Centre rather than it’s back to the street outside.

Like in 2016, it was spatious. Very spatious, which made it easy for getting around on foot.

Each of the four concerts had a radio station leading it. For Belfast, it was 6 Music.

I wouldn’t be an avid listener to 6 Music, but when I do listen to it, they usually have decent tunes on it.

The line-up for this concert was varied. At £18 a ticket, even if you only saw one act, it would be worth it.

For me, there were two acts that stood out for me on the Friday, Manic Street Preachers and Beck.

Unsure of what time Manic Street Preachers would be on stage at, I booked a half-day off work, in case it was during my working hours.

As it turned out, when the set times were published on the Thursday, they would be scheduled for 6.20pm (they wre actually a few minutes late)

I could have went straight from work, but I made the most of the half-day, having a relaxing afternoon before arriving at the venue just before 5pm, to get a bite to eat before going to see The Manics.

It would be a performance without Nicky Wire, as news broke at lunchtime on Friday that he wouldn’t be onstage due to a family member being ill.

I didn’t catch the name of the stand-in, but he has nice legs according to James Dean Bradfield, talking inbetween songs, who apologised that he wouldn’t be wearing a leopardskin skirt like Nicky Wire.

One observation was that the venue had a lot of Wellends. I’m not sure why, he wasn’t performing, though it was the great man’s 60th birthday. I think they might have been there for Touts, who were performing on another stage in the venue.

Another observation was that the venue was infested with absolute fucking tramps. Puff puff vape vape everywhere you go. Standard for any outdoor event in Belfast sadly.

Anyone who smokes in a crowded public area is a dirty fucking tramp. There is no debate, it is a statement of fact. Belfast is infested with them.

Can we have just one outdoor event in Belfast that doesn’t stink of fags and vapes?

Eating outside on a nice day, going to a beer garden, going to a football match, going to an outdoor concert, walking down the street. Just some of the things you can’t do in Belfast without having to hold your nose and cover your mouth.

You can’t even queue for a bus for crying out loud.

A few years back, some people couldn’t even fly from Belfast to Glasgow because some fucking idiot couldn’t even go a short time without and lit up in the toilet, forcing the flight back to Belfast.

But yeah, i’m just a moany cunt and there’s not a serious social problem that needs to be addressed on a city and country wide basis.

Imagine being a smoker and thinking that you’re cool. Oh mate.

Mate. Mate mate mate. Oh mate. I really don’t know how to break it to you.

Cue the response that “Lots of cool people smoke, like Bill Hicks and David Bowie”.

They’re dead.

Watching the TV coverage, every crowd shot had a vape cloud in the background. Utterly embarrassing as a showcase for Belfast.

Can’t say i’ve ever walked past Primark and seen a milly in her pyjamas having a smoke and thought she is so cool.

We are the majority and our enjoyment of events is being held to ransom by dirty tramps.

I am absolutely fed up of having to hold my nose and cover my mouth every time I go to an outdoor concert. This needs addressed and addressed as soon as possible.

Eventually, James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore entered the stage, introduced by Stuart Maconie, jumping straight into International Blue, the lead single from their current album Resistance Is Futile (Yes, the most Manic Street Preachers sounding album title you could think of)

It was one of several new songs – Distant Colours, People Give In and Hold Me Like A Heaven that can stand up to any Manic Street Preachers classic.

Of course, the classics were played as well the first of those, Motorcycle Emptiness prompted and outburst of dad dancing from James Dean Bradfield. It was one of several dad dancing moments during the gig. It’s not a new thing from past experience.

I was a bit of a relative latecomer to The Manics, only really getting into them when they released Everything Must Go.

It was the follow-up to that album that provided the mainstay of classics, such as If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next and You Stole The Sun From My Heart from This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours.

Sunny when I arrived at the venue, the weather had now got a bit dull. Manic Street Preachers, were anything but.

They ended on Design For Life, with Bradfield thanking everyone who attended, especially those who had seen them previously at The Limelight and Mandela Hall in the 1990s.

A good start to the music for me (there had been acts on stage from 1pm) with Beck to come. Orbital would be headlining the Friday night in Belfast, presumably because they have a song called Belfast.

Simple Minds were performing in Perth and had a hit called Belfast Child (As much as I like Simple Minds, that is an utter wank song) and sadly wouldn’t be coming to Belfast.

Manic Street Preachers more than made up for it.

To paraphrase Jim Kerr, they are still very much alive and kicking.

Photo Album

Manic Street Preachers live at Ulster Hall 2013

Manic Street Preachers live at Ulster 2009 Photo Album