THE FRIDAY FIVE- 3.3.2017

1. John Hassell and the April Rainers – Intercity 125
2. Pale Waves – There’s A Honey
3. Ryan Adams – Streets Of Philidelphia
4. Blossoms – In Da Club/Carelss Whisper
5. Ray Davies – Rock N Roll Cowboys

In gig news this week, it’s all about people not coming to Belfast. The Kooks are already on a Greatest Hits tour which bypasses Belfast, but now they’ve announced a European tour with Blossoms as support. It would be brilliant if that line-up came to Belfast. That said, i’m going to see Blossoms on Wednesday night as a headliner, having already seen them support Paul Weller. Regular readers will know I think Blossoms are brilliant.

Erasure have announced a new album and tour for May which has no Belfast gig. I’m staring expectantly towards the organisers of Belfast Pride. Outdoor show, Custom House Square. You know it makes sense. Go on go on go on go on. That’s just me hoping and wishing rather than any inside info by the way.

Shed Seven are back with their first album since 2001 and are touring in December. It gets better, they have Cast as support. Guess what? No Belfast gig. Seeing as Cast have been to Belfast the last two years, i’m hoping John Power has a word in Rick Witter’s ear and rectifies this.

Ryan Adams is coming to Belfast in September. Unfortunately, it had sold out by the lunchtime of the day it went on sale. So, if you know anybody selling a spare standing ticket, get in touch.

On Monday lunchtime, I chanced my arm by going to the Venue Box Office during my final ten minutes of lunch. I was third in line, and manage to spend all ten minutes queuing. The person at the front couldn’t make their mind about about what seats they wanted for whatever show they were booking for, then proceeded to pay with a credit card that wouldn’t work.

The next person had a complaint about tickets they had recently purchased and were referred to Ticketmaster but then proceeded to argue that the problem had to be dealt with by the Venue Box Office Staff.

Seriously, how the fuck do people get out of the house and be so fucking stupid?

Also announced in the past week was the line-up for Party At The Palace in August at Linlithgow Palace. If you’re wondering where that is, it’s near Edinburgh.

Regular readers will know I go to Edinburgh every August. Very tempted to make this the weekend I head over.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS APPEARING AT PARTY AT THE PALACE

1. Lightning Seeds – All I Want
2. Razorlight – America
3. Ash – Oh Yeah
4. Amy MacDonald – This Is The Life
5. Kaiser Chiefs – Oh My God

Finally, I spotted an article wondering whatever happened to the mythical and mystical place in music history called 3 Alveston Place. 90s kids will know what i’m talking about. You can read the article here.

This Wednesday, is International Richard Herring Being A Sneering Dick On Twitter Day. Or, if you prefer, International Women’s Day.

If it’s just another day to you, or if you’re doing something to commemorate it, enjoy yourself. Except if you’re planning on sitting in front of the computer screaming “IT’S NOVEMBER 19TH!!!!” all day. You’re a bit of a weirdo and you need help.

This blog will be commemorating it in the only way it knows, by having a series of charts of songs by and about women

FIVE SONGS BY WOMEN

1. Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
2. Kylie Minogue – I Believe In You
3. Madonna – Rain
4. Taylor Swift – Ours
5. Laura Branigan – Self Control

FIVE SONGS BY GIRL GROUPS

1. Girls Aloud – Biology
2. Eternal – I Wanna Be The Only One
3. Bananarama – Cruel Summer
4. The Saturdays – Up
5. All Saints – Pure Shores

FIVE SONGS BY BANDS WITH FEMALE SINGERS

1. Chvrches – Lies
2. Paramore – That’s What You Get
3. Blondie – Heart Of Glass
4. Echosmith – Cool Kids
5. The Pretenders – I’ll Stand By You

FIVE SONGS WITH FEMALE NAMES IN THE TITLE

1. The Beatles – Dear Prudence
2. Bastille – Laura Palmer
3. Cosmic Rough Riders – Melanie
4. Glasvegas – Geraldine
5. Britney Spears – If You Seek Amy

FIVE SONGS WITH FEMALE PRONOUNS IN THE TITLE

1. Oasis – She Is Love
2. James – She’s A Star
3. U2 – Hallelujah Here She Comes
4. The Kooks – She Moves In Her Own Way
5. Shed Seven – She Left Me On Friday

FIVE SONGS WITH GIRL/WOMAN IN THE TITLE

1. Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl
2. Kate Bush – Rubberband Girl
3. Ash – Girl From Mars
4. Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire
5. Simple Minds – Chelsea Girl

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 18.3.2016

1. The 1975 – The Sound
2. Jake Bugg – Gimme The Love
3. James – Nothing But Love
4. The Last Shadow Puppets – Aviation
5. Gwen Stefani – Misery

First of all, apologies for not doing a St Paddy’s Day chart for you last week. I forgot. Too busy doing a Red Hot Chilli Peppers one.

Still, here’s some songs for you to get through your hangover today.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM NORTHERN IRELAND

1. Wonder Villains – TV
2. Ash – A Life Less Ordinary
3. The Adventures – Broken Land
4. The Divine Comedy – The Pop Singer’s Fear Of The Pollen Count
5. Baltimora – Tarzan Boy

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

1. U2 – The Fly
2. Heathers – Remember When
3. Phil Lynott – Yellow Pearl
4. The Cranberries – Dream
5. Kodaline – High Hopes

Meanwhile, this week saw the latest Belsonic headliner announced – Chemical Brothers. I love Chemical Brothers, but live dance music doesn’t do it for me. Anyway, i’ll be in France when they are in Belfast.

I saw them live at T In The Park once, so if you are going, you’ll probably have a good night.

Now, if Belsonic could hurry up and get Noel Gallagher, The 1975, Chvrches and Madness to do headline gigs, that would be nice. I’m not asking for much.

Anyway, here’s a Chemical Brothers chart for you.

FIVE SONGS BY CHEMICAL BROTHERS

1. Go
2. Galvanize
3. Do It Again
4. The Test
5. Out Of Control

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 4.3.2016

1. Lukas Graham – 7 Years
2. James – Nothing But Love
3. Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
4. Richard Ashcroft – This Is How It Feels
5. Nathaniel Rateliffe and the Bad Sweats – I Need Never Get Old

Firstly this week, an apology. Who to? The nation of Wales, all 3 million of them. Last Tuesday was St David’s Day and I forgot to do a Welsh Music Chart.

A bit belatedly, here is a Welsh Music Chart for St David’s Day.

FIVE SONGS BY WELSH ACTS

1. Stereophonics – Dakota
2. Donna Lewis – I Love You Always Forever
3. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart
4. Manic Street Preachers – Autumn Song
5. Lisa Scott-Lee – Electric

I could just about get away with offending the Welsh, but there’s one group of people you shouldn’t offend, and that’s Internet Feminists, which is why there was never any danger of me forgetting International Women’s Day next Tuesday.

So, to celebrate this event, here’s some related charts for you – Female acts and songs with female names and pronouns.

FIVE SONGS BY FEMALE SINGERS

1. Nina Nesbitt – He’s the One I’m Bringing Back
2. Jane Weidling – Rush Hour
3. Lisa Loeb – Stay
4. Sinead Lohan – Whatever It Takes
5. Brianna Corrigan – Love Me Now

FIVE SONGS BY GIRL GROUPS

1. Sugababes – Soul Sound
2. Little Mix – Black Magic
3. Girls Aloud – Biology
4. Madasun – Don’t You Worry
5. All Saints – Pure shores

FIVE SONGS BY FEMALE FRONTED BANDS

1. Chvrches – Leave A Trace
2. Blondie – Heart Of Glass
3. Texas – Black Eyed Boy
4. Hole – Celebrity Skin
5. Sixpence None The Richer – Kiss Me

FIVE SONGS WITH FEMALE NAMES IN THE TITLE

1. The Killers – Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine
2. Oasis – Lyla
3. Jon Bon Jovi – Janey Don’t You Take Your Love To Town
4. Glasvegas – Geraldine
5. Franz Ferdinand – Eleanor Put Your Puts On

FIVE SONGS WITH WOMAN/GIRL/SHE/ HER IN THE TITLE

1. The Kooks – She Moves In Her Own Way
2. White Town – Your Woman
3. Ash – Girl From Mars
4. Neil Finn – She Will Have Her Way
5. Kate Bush – Rubberband Girl

Of course, when International Men’s Day comes around, there’ll be similar charts for the menfolk.

If you don’t know when International Men’s Day is, just go on Twitter on Tuesday and you’ll have smug and self righteous comedians (looking at you Richard Herring) and journalists pointing it out to you in a patronising manner.

It’s on November 19th, if you want to save yourself the effort of being spoken down to by patronising wankers (looking at you Richard Herring) desperate to boost their own personal brand.

That’s eight months away. Until then, you have St Patrick’s Day, St George’s Day, Euro 2016 and International Yorkshire Day charts to listen to.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 26.2.2016

1. Lorde – Life On Mars?
2. Foxes – Feet Don’t Fail Me Now
3. Richard Ashcroft – This Is How It Feels
4. All Saints – One Strike
5. Lush – Out Of Control

Last night, saw the announcement of the line-up for Belsonic. It’s a bit different this year, in more ways than one.

For a start, it’s moved from August to June, and it’s now taking place at Titanic instead of Custom House Square. To be honest, i’m not that enamoured with the move to a new venue. I thought Custom House Square was perfectly fine in terms of location.

That was one of the great things about Belsonic, that you knew where and when it would be, instead of moving around every few years like Tennent’s Vital.

I remember in 2010 blogging about the expansion of Belsonic and how ambitious it was. It’s fair to say it has worked spectacularly. Hopefully, this move will do likewise, i’m prepared to give it a chance.

Looking at the line-up, There are two periods of six day gaps, which suggests there are more headliners to come. This would make it a month long event, similar to Live At The Maqruee in Cork. No offence to the Corkonians, but Belsonic has a better line-up this year.

When I was following the launch event on Twitter, and saw it mentioned as taking place in June, with no dates being mentioned, I was worried that a concert i’d want to go to would be on whenever i’m in France. Thankfully not, as it turned out.

So, of the line-up, here’s a chart for you.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS APPEARING AT BELSONIC 2016

1. Stereophonics – Dakota
2. Biffy Clyro – The Captain
3. Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
4. Faithless – Don’t Leave
5. The Vaccines – If You Wanna

Meanwhile, talking of music events in Cork, Indiependence, taking place in a farm in County Cork announced it’s line-up, and it’s rather good. Here’s a chart from those on it.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS APPEARING AT INDIEPENDENCE

1. The Kooks – She Moves In Her Own Way
2. The Strypes – Get Into It
3. Editors – A Ton Of Love
4. Ash – A Life Less Ordinary
5. Idlewild – American English

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 5.2.2016

1. Franz Ferdinand – Matinee
2. Ellie Goulding – Army
3. Beauty Sleep – The Dark
4. Frank Turner – Mittens
5. Primal Scream and Sky Ferreira – When The Light Comes In

Today, sees tickets for Squeeze at Ulster Hall (Not until Setpember. That’s seven long months away) go on sale. Hoping to get one for this. To get you in the mood, here’s a Squeeze Top Five.

FIVE SONGS BY SQUEEZE

1. This Summer
2. Hourglass
3. Black Coffee In Bed
4. Another Nail In My Heart
5. Tempted

This coming Wednesday, is Ash Wednesday. I know it’s a religious event and this isn’t a religious blog, but it sounds like a good excuse for an Ash Top Five.

In the interests of equality, if there are any bands out there called Ramadan or Yom Kippur, send a few CDs my way and i’ll do a Top Five whenever those events occur.

FIVE SONGS BY ASH

1. Oh Yeah
2. Envy
3. Girl From Mars
4. Jesus Says
5. Cocoon

And finally, venturing into the world of TV, there is one show (it is music related) that I feel compelled to recommend for you. I was literally crying with laughter at times.

That show is Brian Pern : 45 Years Of Prog and Roll, starring Rhys Thomas, Simon Day and Paul Whitehouse. Off to a good start.

If you love The Fast Show and music history, you’ll love this.

Spoiler alert, features Noddy Holder fishing and Peter Gabriel getting worked up about seat belts.

You can watch it here.

2015 IN PICTURES – DECEMBER (SO FAR …)

There’s still another week of the month to go, but this pictorial round-up will end in time for Christmas with a look back at the final month of 2015. So far.

The months began at The Limelight, as Marina and the Diamonds made a welcome return to Belfast after a five year absence.

Five was also the number on people’s lips on the 5th of the month, as Linfield took on Coleraine, aiming to avoid a fifth successive defeat, which thankfully they did.

Unfortunately, it was a false dawn, as I was back at Windsor Park the following Saturday to see Linfield play out a drab draw against Ballinamallard.

The following Saturday, it was a lot better, as I headed on the road to see Linfield win at Ballymena.

The day afterwards, there was The Ash Christmas Bash, at The Empire.

There’s still a week left of 2015, but that’s a round-up of what i’ve snapped so far this year.

I’ll be snap snap snapping away in 2016. I’ve got high hopes that June will be memorable.

Marina and the Diamonds live at The Limelight

Marina and the Diamonds live at The Limelight Photo Album

Linfield v Coleraine

Linfield v Ballinamallard United

Ballymena United v Linfield

Ash live at The Empire

Ash live at The Empire Photo Album

ASH – LIVE AT THE EMPIRE 20.12.2015

For my last gig of 2015, it was back to the first band I ever saw in concert, Ash, back in 1998, and also in 1999. It was a New Year’s Eve gig you see.

I’ve also seen them do instore gigs at HMV since, but this my first time seeing them live properly since that night for the Ash Christmas Party, or as singer Time Wheeler put it, The Ash Christmas Bash

Ash returned this year with Kablammo!, their first album since 2007 – the highlights of which are the singles Cocoon and Machinery, which were both played.

Naturally, as it was a Christmas Party, the set was heavy on hits, all the big ones were performed – A Life Less Ordinary, Goldfinger, Oh Yeah, Shining Light, Burn Baby Burn and Girl From Mars.

Fans were also treated to a cover of Teenage Kicks, as well as some Christmas songs.

Just another gig you may think, but there were still a lot of moments that you had to be there for.

One such moment was treating the crowd to their version of Cantina Theme from Star Wars, with Tim Wheeler, almost apologetically, telling the crowd that if they didn’t know what the song was, it meant that they weren’t a nerd, before revealing that Mark Hamilton had already watched the new movie three times.

To clarify, I had to look up on Google what the song was. Genuinely.

Both Tim and Mark also had spells in the crowd. Tim jumped in and crowdsurfed so far, it looked like he was going to finish the song in the lobby of Crescent Townhouse Hotel across the road.

Mark’s spell in the crowd came later, though he didn’t venture as far and didn’t crowdsurf, just played his bass.

It wasn’t the first time he went walkabout, briefly disappearing at the start of the encore, with Tim Wheeler commenting that they were going to be like The White Stripes.

There was a great irony of people in the front being blinded by the spotlights just as Shining Light was about to start.

It had been a hectic year for Ash in terms of touring (supporting Foo Fighters at Slane being a notable highlight), with Tim Wheeler commenting that they had been travelling all over the world since their last Belfast gig, at The Limelight in May. It was actually June. I suppose if you’re touring that much, it’s easy to lose track of dates.

There was a guest appearance during the encore, Nathan Connolly of Snow Patrol joined them, with Tim Wheeler quizzing him about possible new Snow Patrol material in 2016 before sheepishly grinning. Though it is an open secret that there will be new Snow Patrol material next year.

As for Ash, Wheeler revealed that their plans for 2016 hope to include a Belfast gig.

Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 18.9.2015

1. The View – Under The Rug
2. Muse – Lies
3. Foals – Mountain At My Gates
4. The Libertines – Gunga Din
5. New Order – Plastic

After much confusion, Muse announced a gig at The Odyssey for April 6th. Thankfully, a bigger venue and much more notice than their Ulster Hall gig earlier this year.

Just to get you in the mood for this, here’s a Muse Top Five

FIVE SONGS BY MUSE

1. Panic Stations
2. Neurton Star Collision
3. Knights Of Cydonia
4. Starlight
5. Muscle Museum

As a bonus, Ash announced a Christmas gig at The Empire. If that is more your thing, here’s an Ash Top Five

FIVE SONGS BY ASH

1. Envy
2. Oh Yeah
3. A Life Less Ordinary
4. Goldfinger
5. True Love 1980

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 29.5.2015

1. Florence and the Machine – Delilah
2. Paul Weller – Going My Way
3. Mans Zelmerlow – Heroes
4. Father John Misty – Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)
5. Little Mix – Black Magic

Yesterday teatime, I went to see Ash play an acoustic gig at HMV – performing three new songs and A Life Less Ordinary. Ash was my first gig on New Year’s Eve 1998, going into 1999. Some drunk guy clumbed onto a signpost and rearranged the directions. Such memories.

The gig was described by Tim Wheeler as “A good warm-up for Slane”, very much tongue in cheek.

On Saturday, Ash will be performing at Slane, a line-up that is already impressive before headliners Foo Fighters enter the stage.

Talking of which, remember in 2012 when Dave Grohl promised Foo Fighters would be back to Belfast?

Come on Dave, don’t let us down. There’s a Facebook group with a ridiculously low number of members here.

If you’re going, i’m very jealous of you. I won’t be so jealous when you’re trying to get out afterwards.

Anyway, here’s a Slane playlist for you

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS PERFORMING AT SLANE

1. Foo Fighters – The One
2. Hozier – Take Me To Church
3. Ash – Envy
4. Kaiser Chiefs – Modern Way
5. The Strypes – Blue Collar Jane