THE FRIDAY FIVE – 2.6.2017

1. Liam Gallagher – Wall Of Glass
2. The Courteeners – Don’t Look Back In Anger
3. Maggie Rogers – Alaska
4. OMD – Isotype
5. Ray Davies – Broken

In gig news, Erasure have announced a tour for early 2018 with no Belfast gig. Boooo. I’m pining my hopes on Belfast Pride saving the day. Come on, be the heroes we need. DISCLAIMER – I have no inside information, i’m just letting my imagination run wild. What’s the point in having an imagination if you can’t let it run wild?

Liam Gallagher’s first solo show on Tuesday night sounded rather good. I know this, because it seemed like everyone was broadcasting it onto social media via their phone. A reminder that not all heroes wear capes.

I’m not saying I have a favourite Gallagher brother, but Noel does Belfast gigs when he goes on tour.

Hopefully, a full tour will follow when the album is released towards the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the Top Of The Pops juggernaut on BBC Four has reached 1984. The Story Of 1984 is on tonight at 9pm.

So, to celebrate, here’s a 1984 chart for you.

FIVE SONGS FROM 1984

1. Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes
2. Wham! – Freedom
3. Duran Duran – Wild Boys
4. Depeche Mode – Master and Servant
5. Strawberry Sitchblade – Since Yesterday

Ryan Adams update. Still looking for a ticket for his Ulster Hall gig in September. Standing, Face Value.

EMIC MURAL – LOWER ORMEAU ROAD

A new mural in Belfast that I came across by chance. I was cycling into the City Centre to get some photos of another mural, and as I headed down Lower Ormeau Road, happened to spot a work in progress in Farnham Street, along the side of The Rose and Crown pub.

Over the coming days, I documented the process and the mural progressed, before photographing the finished piece.

The mural is by an artist called Emic, who has done a lot of work in Belfast City Centre, most recently, this Dancer one.

Photo Album

FILTHY McMURAL

Glen Molloy has been a busy boy recently. As well as doing a mural on Hill Street (You’ll be seeing a blog about that soon), he has been spending some time on Dublin Road recently, doing a mural beside Filthy McNasty’s.

The theme is Northern Ireland Legends, and this mural features Carl Frampton, Liam Neeson, Neil Hannon and Ricky Warwick.

I happened to spot this when it was a work in progress, so I continued to snap it while it was being created, right up until the finished piece.

It’s sponsored by a drinks company. I’m not going to post their name because i’m still mad at them for organising a private concert by The 1975 in 2014 (or was it The 2014 in 1975? I’m not sure) and they didn’t fix it for me to win a ticket.

They did keep updates on their Twitter feed via a photo and a video.

Photo Album

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SCORE – MAY 1999

This week, we go back to the turn of the century, and the short lived Irish League magazine Score, with Kevin Horlock being the cover star, in action for Northern Ireland against Germany in a recent European Championship Qualifier.

As you open the magazine, there is a full page profile of Dundela.

David Larmour of Linfield gets a profile, across the page of a profile of Davy O’Hare. It is expected that O’Hare will spend the summer of 1999 choosing between signing for Linfield (Neil Inglis getting binned after an error in the Irish Cup Semi-Final) or Glentoran (Wayne Russell possibly signing for Bohemians).

Paul Leeman takes a quiz on Irish League football, only managing a score of 8 out of 10, getting a question wrong on when Glentoran last won the league.

Lee Feeney writes a diary on his time in Glasgow, having just signed for Rangers. One of team-mates is Scott Young’s brother, with whom he has Irish League banter.

Another ex Linfield player profiled is Billy Murray, who had come out of retirement in his 40s to play in John Easton’s Testimonial, and looks back on his career, mostly spent with Linfield.

The magazine is Belfast centric, and all the clubs in the city have a news update, from the four top flight clubs to those in the lower leagues.

Joining the four Belfast clubs in the top flight for 1999-2000 will be Distillery, soon to be renamed Lisburn Distillery, and Jim McCloskey gives the lowdown on his team-mates.

Glentoran won the league title in 1999, and the celebrations get a full page profile.

The back page focuses on the national side with fans being urged to get behind manager Lawrie McMenemy, at the halfway point of Euro 2000 Qualifiers.

GEORGE EZRA – LIVE AT THE LIMELIGHT 26.5.2017

Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but I was at The Limelight on Friday night to see George Ezra in concert. The thing is, it’s supposed to be a secret.

Billed as the Top Secret Tour, it was anything but. Announced at a few weeks notice, taking in Northern Ireland (there was a gig in Derry the following night. Ezra had previously been to Derry in 2014 as part of Other Voices Festival), Republic of Ireland (gigs in Dublin and Limerick followed his brief stay in Northern Ireland), before moving on to Wales and then South-West England.

To use a football analogy, these were the music equivalent of pre-season friendlies, as Ezra aims to fine-tune himself and get match fitness (or should that not be gig fitness?) ahead of a busy summer of festivals.

However, a gig at The Limelight is in no way comparable to a kickabout against Dunmurry Rec. A Limelight crowd demands to be entertained.

Ezra is no stranger to The Limelight, having played there in October 2014.

Back then, his debut album Wanted On Voyage was enjoying it’s second week at Number One in the UK Album Chart, having eventually climbed there just over three months after it’s release.

Now, he is at another milestone in his career as he arrived in Belfast, getting ready to release his currently untitled second album, and Belfast was going to get a preview of this new material

Entering the stage at 9.30pm, I was home from his last Belfast gig by that point, he was held up by a band member not being ready, before jumping into Cassy O, one of the singles from Wanted On Voyage.

After that, he played a new song. Unfortunately, I was unable to get titles of the new songs.

Ezra then mentioned about travelling to Barcelona. The crowd cheered because they were anticipating him to play Barcelona. Well, not quite.

His debut album Wanted On Voyage was written while travelling around Europe, inspiring song titles such as Budapest and Barcelona.

This inspired one Internet Prankster to run a story that Ezra was planning to do a whole album about cities beginning with B.

The reason why Ezra was talking about Barcelona, was that he went back there to get inspiration for his second album, and found somewhere to stay using Airbnb, but chose the option of living with someone instead of having a flat to himself.

Eventually, he did play Barcelona.

He announced that this was his first gig in eighteen months, and had spent most of 2016 writing and recording, admitting that 2016 was the first year in his life that he felt scared and anxious by what was going on in the world, and that he felt like he was running away from it all.

Ezra said that the setlist will be a mixture of old and new material. Naturally, all artists have old and new songs. An artist on their second album doesn’t even have a mid point in their career.

One of the highlights of the new songs was one called (Something …..) Happy People. I didn’t get what the first word in the title was. It was nothing like the REM (with Kate Pierson on uncredited vocals) song that the title almost sounds like, but it’s still good.

A lot of the new songs had a Bluesey, Americanised sound, songs you can sing and clap along to, which most of the crowd did, before finishing with Budapest during the encore.

Ezra commented that he had to go to Belfast to get a tan, with this gig coming on the warmest day of the year, before commenting that he will be back soon.

Belfast may not be able to guarantee sunshine for his return, but it looks likely if he does return, it will be in a bigger venue than The Limelight.

Photo Album

George Ezra Live At The Limelight October 2014

PHOTO OF THE SEASON : 2016-2017

So, the 2016-2017 season is over for me. I hope you’ve enjoyed my photographic look back at the season just gone.

I’ve selected some of my favourites, so feel free to vote for the one you like the best.

POLSKA

Taken back in June 2016 at Northern Ireland v Poland, I like the composition, how everyone is fixated on the action at the other end of the pitch, and the colour co-ordination of both sets of fans.



WILGAR

Taken at a pre-season game between Linfield and Dundela, it captures the joys of going to football matches in pre-season, sunshine and relaxation ahead of the hard slog ahead.



SEAVIEW

I like the framing of this, as the crowd is in position, awaiting kick-off in a big match.



CELEBRATION

Linfield fans celebrating Jimmy Callacher’s winner against Glentoran in October. I just like this for some reason other than the obvious.

PALMERSTON

There’s just something about the architecture of old football grounds that does it for me. This is out of use turnstiles at Palmerston Park, home of Queen of the South.

APPEAL

Linfield fans appeal in unison, all making the same hand gestures, for a goal to be allowed. The goal was disallowed for a foul.



ELF

Taken at the Steel and Sons Cup Final. Some people like getting dressed up for Christmas.

GAYNOR

I like the composition of this, from Ross Gaynor’s posture, to substitutes chatting to each other while the game goes on.

UNITED

I like the composition of this, all eyes fixated on the penalty area and the incoming corner.

SPOT THE BALL

I like the composition of this shot, it looks like a Spot The Ball image, except that the ball is in the shot, with two players getting ready for an aerial tussle.



COLERAINE

I love the framing and seeing players in the background running to join the celebrations.

WATERWORTH

Celebrations after Andrew Waterworth’s second goal against Cliftonville, capturing the joy of the event and the achievement just about to happen.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 26.5.2017

1. Muse – Dig Deep
2. Matt Maltese – As The World Caves In
3. Royal Blood – Lights Out
4. Rory Lavelle – Sonny
5. George Ezra – Blame It On Me

On Monday, is Noel Gallagher’s 50th birthday. I know it’s purely coincidental, but we can pretend that a national holiday has been declared in honour of Noel Gallagher turning 50.

How else will this blog celebrate? With a a five song chart.

Seeing as i’m in a good mood, i’ll give you two.

FIVE NOEL GALLAGHER SUNG OASIS SONGS

1. She Is Love
2. Where Did It All Go Wrong?
3. Don’t Look Back In Anger
4. The Masterplan
5. Angel Chil

FIVE NOEL GALLAGHER SOLO SONGS

1. AKA …….. What A Life
2. In The Heat Of The Moment
3. You Know We Can’t Go Back
4. Ballad Of The Mighty I
5. I Wanna Live In A Dream (In My Record Machine)

Noel Gallagher at Titanic Belfast 2016

Noel Gallagher at The Odyssey 2015

Noel Gallagher at Custom House Square 2012

Noel Gallagher at The Odyssey 2012

Ryan Adams update. Still looking for a ticket for his Ulster Hall gig in September.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SMASH HITS – 3.1.1985

As 1985 starts, Wham! are the cover stars of Smash Hits, who join them on tour, stating that their fans enjoy their gigs than people who go to see Duran Duran, Culture Club and Spandau Ballet.

As you open the magazine, there is a poster of Adam Ant.

In news, Smash Hits launches an Australian version, to compliment the American version, which is known as Star Hits.

Ian McCullough of Echo and the Bunnymen is interviewed, as the band takes a year off.

There are three pages dedicated to Alannah Currie’s life story so far. You know, her from Thompson Twins.

Smash Hits joins Wham! on tour in Edinburgh, and Andrew Ridgeley dresses up for the occasion by wearing a tartan suit.

Concert Reviews sees Smash Hits go to see UB40, Howard Jones and Cocteau Twins.

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : MAY

There wasn’t a lot of football for me in the last month of the season.

May began for me with the Irish Cup Final between Linfield and Coleraine, which Linfield won 3-0.

My final match of the season, was a trip to Old Trafford to see a much changed Manchester United side beat Crystal Palace 2-0.

And that, was the end of 2016-2017 season for me.

2017-2018 is not too far away.

Linfield v Coleraine

Linfield v Coleraine Photo Album

Manchester United v Crystal Palace

Manchester United v Crystal Palace Photo Album

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : APRIL

April’s football watching began in Lurgan on the first day of the month, heading to Mourneview Park to see Linfield beat Dungannon Swifts 1-0 in a Irish Cup Semi-Final.

The following week, was another 1-0 win for Linfield, this time at Windsor Park in a key title decider against Crusaders.

Easter arrived in the middle of the month, and a double header of wins for Linfield, against Ballymena United and Glenavon.

The following Saturday, I headed Coleraine to see Linfield win 5-1 and go top of the League for the first time all season, with just one game to go.

That game was at Solitude, which Linfield won, and I captured the post match celebrations, as well as the celebrations later that day at Windsor Park.

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Linfield v Crusaders

Ballymena United v Linfield

Linfield v Glenavon

Coleraine v Linfield

Cliftonville v Linfield

Cliftonville v Linfield Photo Album

Windsor Park Title Celebrations

Windsor Park Title Celebrations Photo Album