THE FRIDAY FIVE – 7.6.2019

1. Billie Eilish – Bury A Friend
2. Liam Gallagher – Shockwave
3. Lewis Capaldi – Grace
4. Feeder – Save Us
5. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Rattling Rose

So, are you all excited? Tonight is The Story Of 1988 on BBC Four. So, to get you in the mood ahead of that and the next year of Top Of The Pops repeats, here’s a chart for you.

FIVE SONGS FROM 1988

1. Jane Weidlin – Rush Hour
2. U2 – Angel Of Harlem
3. Ofra Haza – Im Nin Alu
4. Desireless – Voyage Voyage
5. Kylie Minogue – I Should Be Lucky

It appears that yesterday was Sweden’s National Day. I only found out after their promotional bus was packing up outside Belfast City Hall. So here’s some Swedish songs for you

FIVE SONGS BY SWEDISH ACTS

1. Europe – The Final Countdown
2. Roxette – Joyride
3. The Cardigans – Lovefool
4. Ace Of Base – The Sign
5. Emilia – Big Big World

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FEEDER – LIVE AT HOLYWOOD RUGBY CLUB (HOLYWOOD HARMONY) 1.6.2019

So, I went to North Down’s big concert.

No not that one, the one the following Saturday, as Feeder performed at Holywood Rugby Club as part of Holywood Harmony.

If you don’t know, Holywood Harmony is a relatively new music festival taking place in Holywood, funnily enough, usually in the first weekend of June.

Getting there was easy, I decided to drive though the train was also available as an option, and managed to get parked at a Public Car Park a five minute walk from the venue.

Holywood is one of my semi regular cycling routes, so I know my way about the town, so I knew how to find the venue easily enough. If you do visit Holywood any time soon, may I recommend you visit The Cove, which is an absolutely fantastic retro/vintage store.

It’s good that there are concerts and events in Northern Ireland outside of Belfast. Even though Belfast concerts are convenient for me, it’s good to see something different in the concert listings.

I arrived at the venue at around 8pm, so I missed Dea Matrona, which was a pity as I’ve seen some videos of their songs and they sound decent.

Fun Lovin Criminals were only a couple of minutes into their set when I arrived.

They are a band who are a bit background music to me. If they were on the radio I wouldn’t turn them down, but I might not turn them up. If they were the headline act and Feeder the main support, I might have headed home after Feeder’s set.

That sounds like I think they’re rubbish, that’s not true, they’ve done some decent tunes.

Curiously, I won their 2001 album Loco in a competition on a website.

Huey told the crowd that their Puerto Rican groove was keeping the rain away, blaming Flybe for a slight spittle of raindrops after one of their aicrafts flew over the venue.

The set wasn’t without difficulties, as a power failure saw them have to leave the stage for a few minutes, only for more technical difficulties which saw the microphones not working.

Huey’s interaction with the crowd that we did hear included him bigging up Feeder, a bit of mutual appreciation between the bands with Grant Nicholas returning the favour, bigging up Fun Loving Criminals, as well as complimenting “The three girls” who were on earlier, that being Dea Matrona.

Huey also started a diplomatic incident with shoutouts to Belfast.

Thoughts and prayers are with the Postman or Postwoman whose route covers his house, as he will be bombarded with angry letters from people pointing out that Holywood is in North Down and East Belfast and that they’ll never sell their house for £1m if people think they live in East Belfast.

I think somebody might have briefed Grant Nicholas behind the scenes as he did shout outs to Holywood during his set, although there were occasional slips where he referred to being in Belfast.

In previous years, this festival had been held in a tent, but this year was the first year it became an outdoor event. I’d bought my ticket on the basis that this would be in a tent, so it was disheartening when I discovered it would be outdoors.

Not because of the weather, but because of you know what, or rather, you know who.

As with any outdoor event in Northern Ireland, it was infested with absolute fucking tramps on the fags and vapes, Stewards as well, so my hopes of some clean air while enjoying Feeder were zero.

Yep, it’s still an epidemic and a battle we are losing. Disgracefully, it’s a battle we as a society don’t even seem interested in winning.

Demand better. I’ve seen that plastered on election posters the past two months. That’s what i’m doing. Hopefully, the newly elected council line-ups will be making it a priority during this forthcoming term.

Because of this, I have absolutely no enthusiasm for outdoor concerts. I’m letting the bastards win. I shouldn’t do this but I have no choice. My heart sinks when someone I like announces an outdoor show in Belfast. I either give it a miss, or go and be surrounded by scum like that.

Thankfully, The Killers are flogging an album from two years ago, so I won’t feel bad about giving their Ormeau Park concert a miss, especially as they played Belfast in November 2017 when promoting that album.

Thankfully, the rest of Belsonic, George Ezra aside, is shite, so no loss there. And as George Ezra hasn’t released new material since his last Belfast concert means giving his Belfast concert a miss will be no loss.

Grown adults who smoke or vape should be made to explain themselves. Seriously, how do you have such a lack of self awareness to be so smelly and not be embarrassed by it?

The fact that people who should be told to fuck off are emboldened and empowered to strut about like they own the place should be a bit of an indicator that we have failed as a society.

Surely i’m not the only one who feels this way? I can’t be the only one who thinks that this should not be normal or acceptable.

Come on folks, let’s be better than that.

One good thing about this concert was that there was a second stage at the other end of the pitch which had performers during the gap between acts on the main stage, which was a good way of killing time.

Feeder came on stage and belted out their hits, a lot of jumping up and down was done during Buck Rogers, with Grant Nicholas saying that he did a session on the radio with Gerry Kelly who he described as a legend.

For clarity, that’s the ex UTV guy and not the guy who parks where he likes outside gyms.

There were problems with the stage lights during Feeder’s set, sometimes the lights flickered, came on and then off, with Grant Nicholas explaining that this was due to a generator blowing.

Thankfully, I was relatively close enough to the stage (not right beside it, but still a decent view) so I was still able to see them during the lighting issues.

Coming on later than scheduled meant there was no time for an encore so they had to make up the time by blasting through as many songs as possible.

Nicholas asked the song for a request, he knew that they wanted, and teased the opening riff to Just A Day, which is what the band signed off on.

With a new album out in August, Nicholas promised a Belfast concert when they tour that album.

Of course, last week was Snow Patrol’s homecoming concert at Ward Park in Bangor. I didn’t go to it. I like some songs by them but not enough to spend all day in a field in the pishing rain surrounded by smelly tramps on the fags or vapes.

This week, it was announced they will be performing at The Duncairn Centre as part of Other Voices visit to Belfast (their second visit to Belfast)

If you don’t know, Other Voices is RTE’s flagship music show, a random blend every week, filmed in Dingle but they sometimes go on trips around the world to film in other cities. You should give it a try if you get the chance.

I’ve applied for tickets to be in the audience, so wish me luck.

I was hoping that The Divine Comedy would be doing an instore gig at HMV ahead of the release of their new album, like they did in 2016.

As yet, nothing has been announced.

If not, then my next scheduled concert isn’t until October, then it’s a bit of a cluster, with The Divine Comedy, OMD and Two Door Cinema Club all in the diary.

And maybe, i’ll look at John Power in Warrenpoint if Linfield are away to Warrenpoint Town that day.

Photo Album

Feeder live at The Limelight 2018

Feeder live at The Limelight 2016

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 17.5.2019

1. Taylor Swift ft Brendon Urie – Me
2. The Divine Comedy – Queuejumper
3. Oasis – Stop Crying Your Heart Out
4. Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start The Fire
5. Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go Go

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but it’s Eurovision this weekend. So, to get you in the mood, as if you need to be got into the mood, here’s a chart for you

FIVE SONGS FROM EUROVISION

1. Rasmussen – Higher Ground
2. Katrina and the Waves – Love Shine A Light
3. A Friend In London – New Tomorrow
4. Johnny Logan – Hold Me Now
5. Anna Rossinelli – In Love For A While

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SMASH HITS – 11.9.1996

A topless (did he ever wear a shirt in 1996?) Peter Andre is the cover star of this week’s Smash Hits, with a Superman logo painted on his chest, but with a P instead of an S.

In news, Ant and Dec have signed a £1m deal to present shows for Channel 4, while Smash Hits does a report on the highlights from the Reading Festival and V96.

Meanwhile, Boyzone have announced that their next single will be a cover of Words by Bee Gees.

Staying with Boyzone, two of Shane Lynch’s sisters have formed a pop band called Desire. Yes, that’s Keavy Lynch and Edele Lynch from B*Witched. The other member of Desire was Sinead O’Carroll, also of B*Witched. Lindsay from B*Witched wasn’t a member of Desire.

It is interested to note, that Keavy’s name was spelt Ceavy in this edition. It is unsure if she changed the spelling or if Smash Hits messed up.

Cover star Peter Andre gets a double page interview.

In competitions, you could win a visit to your school by Spice Girls.

In website reviews, Mariah Carey’s website gets reviewed, and is not considered to be user friendly.

Shane Lynch wasn’t the only pop star to have relatives vying for pop fame, as Michael Jackson’s nephews launched a band called 3T, who get a double page feature.

Also getting a double page feature is Oasis, after a chaotic American tour where Liam went AWOL.

Geri and Mel B from Spice Girls are Singles Reviewer, poo pooing Shampoo’s new single and giving the Best Single award to Busta Rhymes.

Also appearing in this week’s edition was Emma Bunton, giving Stephen Gately questions from a biscuit tin. He prefers Oasis over Blur.

The magazine ends with an interview with Louise Wener from Sleeper.

ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN – LIVE AT CUSTOM HOUSE SQUARE 3.5.2019 (CATHEDRAL QUARTER ARTS FESTIVAL)

If I was Philip Lowry, i’d be insisting that Echo and the Bunnymen perform at Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, as they performed at the event for the first time since 2010, the last time he scored in an Irish Cup Final.

It wasn’t their first return to Belfast since then, stopping off in the city in 2015, but not since.

To the frustration of their Belfast fans, they made a visit to Dublin last year when touring their most recent album, The Stars, The Oceans and The Moon, an orchestral reworking of their greatest hits.

Fans in Belfast were treated to their greatest hits, but no orchestra, it was the crowd who provided the support, singing along to all of their favourites.

It was the weekend of Ian McCulloch’s 60th birthday, which took place two days after the concert, a section of the crowd signing Happy Birthday to him. I’m not sure if it was to celebrate his birthday. but he prepared for this gig with grub at Fish City.

It wasn’t the first time i’d seen a pop star on or around their birthday. In fact, it wasn’t even the first member of Echo and the Bunnymen, having seen them in Glasgow in 2013 the day after Will Sergeant’s birthday, when McCulloch got the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to him.

Outside of The Bunnymen, I saw The Kooks the day before Luke Pritchard’s 30th birthday in 2015.

Throughout the concert, McCulloch complained about having itchy feet, but that he wasn’t prepared to take his shoes off as it wasn’t a good look. Didn’t do Sandie Shaw any harm.

For some reason, some numpty in the crowd kept chanting “Pete De Frietas”. You know the sort, tedious bores who think they’re funny and that the band want to have “Banter” with them.

McCulloch corrected his pronunciation of “De Freetas” by pointing out it was “De Freytas”

Among the hits performed were Bedbugs and Ballyhoo, Rescue, Never Stop, Villiers Terrace, Nothing Lasts Forever, Seven Seas, The Killing Moon and The Cutter.

The version of Nothing Lasts Forever was a nice chilled out acoustic version of the song, one of a few songs which saw them deviate into snippets of covers of famous songs such as Jean Genie, Walk On The Wild Side, Don’t Let Me Down and Sex Machine

With so many big hits in the main set, it was interesting to see what they saved for the encore. They finished with Lips Like Sugar and Do It Clean.

Photo Album

Echo and the Bunnymen live at Mandela Hall 2015

Echo and the Bunnymen live at SECC 2013

Echo and the Bunnymen live at Custom House Square 2010

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 3.5.2019

1. Gang Of Youths – What Can I Do Id The Fire Goes Out?
2. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Black Star Dancing
3. Vampire Weekend – This Life
4. Echo and the Bunnymen – Bring On The Dancing Horses
5. Stereophonics – Chaos From The Top Down

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SMASH HITS – 25.11.1992

Mark and Gary from Take That are the cover stars of Smash Hits, as the magazine joins them on tour.

Right Said Fred are interviewed, with Rob (the one with the hair) revealing that he smokes a lot and fancies Betty Boo.

Cover stars Take That get four pages of coverage on tour.

There is a Home Alone sequel out this week, and Smash Hits looks at the similarities between the two films.

Voting is underway in the Smash Hits Readers Poll, and celebs are asked how they voted, with Dominik Diamond voting a lot for Manic Street Preachers and voted his Gamesmaster colleague Patrick Moore for Best Haircut.

In Singles Reviews, Single Of The Week gets given to a re-release of Pretty Vacant by Sex Pistols.