- Cat Burns – People Pleaser
- David Byrne and Miley Cyrus – Let’s Dance
- Ash with the RTE Concert Orchestra – Shining Light
- U2 – New Year’s Day
- Queen – Hammer To Fall
Tag Archives: Ash
2022 IN PICTURES – DECEMBER (SO FAR ….)
December began with a trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Carrick Rangers.
That was then followed by a tip to Telegraph Building to see Blossoms in concert.
A spell of frost descended on Belfast, but now snow. I was all psyched up for snow photos, for nothing.
There was then a football free weekend for me, with Linfield in Scotland.
The following weekend, I headed to Ulster Hall to see Ash in concert, followed by Linfield’s home match against Dungannon Swifts.
As you will have noticed, there is still a week of the month left.
What I have planned is Bangor v Dunmurry Rec, Glentoran v Linfield, a walk up Cavehill and possibly Lisnabreeny Hill.
Here’s to more phototaking in 2023 and beyond.
Blossoms live at Telegraph Building
Blossoms live at Telegraph Building Photo Album
Ash live at Ulster Hall Photo Album
ASH – LIVE AT ULSTER HALL 16.12.2022
30 years? Did Ash get together in school? Well, yes, but I was thinking Primary School or Nursery School. Surely they can’t be that old?
Believe it or not, it has been 30 years since Ash formed, so they headed to Ulster Hall to do a celebratory concert.
Exactly a year to the day since their 25th anniversary concert at The Limelight.
Probably should have paid attention in Maths instead of forming a band.
Well, there is a simple explanation for that.
The concert in December 2021 had been delayed by eighteen months from the Summer of 2020, and was originally to celebrate a quarter of a century since they first released music.
When they have a concert in Belfast in December, it gets informally labelled The Ash Christmas Bash.
This was my fourth such Bash, having attended in 2015, 2018 and 2021, although the 2021 wasn’t originally scheduled for that month, or even that year.
You will have noticed they are triennial, so I wasn’t expecting another one until 2024, but such a milestone deserves a rewriting of the unwritten rule.
One thing that is guaranteed at The Ash Christmas Bash is chaos. If you love chaos, then this is the concert for you.
There was the added bonus with the late announcement that this would be filmed and broadcast live on the BBC website and made available in audio on BBC Sounds.
If you want to, you can watch it here.
As showtime approached, Gemma Bradley appeared on stage with her back to the crowd to do an introductory piece to camera, then we heard The A-Team Theme over the speakers, but not as we know it.
Seemingly, in 1977, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit, and relocated to Downpatrick.
We were then treated to a cover version of Flash by Queen, except it was “ASH!!!! SAVIOURS OF THE UNIVERSE!!!!!”
I would genuinely love it if they recorded this version and performed it live.
You could tell it was a big night as Tim turned up in a blazer, although this was dumped a few songs in. Mark’s idea of formal was to wear his favourite Star Wars t-shirt.
We were informed by Tim that Mark was still vowing vengeance on whoever stole his Princess Leia cardboard cutout at a gig at The Limelight many years ago.
As it was a very cold night outside, we were all relying on Ash to warm us up. It certainly was warm and sweaty in the venue.
The setlist began with a few biggies such as Goldfinger, Shining Light and A Life Less Ordinary.
For some reason, when I go to a concert, I like to stand on the left hand side of the floor. No idea why, I just do.
From where I was stood, I could see who was loitering at the side of the stage. I spotted an Undertone.
However, it would be a Snower (perhaps appropriate for this time of year) or a Patroler joining them next on stage, with Nathan Connolly joining the action, just as he did in 2015.
More biggies followed in the shape of Uncle Pat and Oh Yeah before Tim started asking where the Bass Player was.
I had originally thought he had nipped off to the toilet for a minute, but it turned out he has jumped into the crowd. I only knew that the next day because a friend on Instagram was posting selfies with him.
By now, Mark was back on stage. There was now a guest star entering the arena, Santa Claus himself, coming on during Kung Fu, dancing and doing kung fu.
Kung Fu Santa, now that is a film that has to be made.
Not sure what the plot is, but Santa and Kung Fu is a sure fire winner.
Whilst the weather had been cold all week, the weather didn’t deliver any snow, so Ash brought snow to the crowd, a confetti gun firing off white confetti into the crowd. I was covered in it, some of it was falling all over my house when I got home.
The band let us in on a little secret that i’ll share with you – They’re working on new music for release in 2023.
They then played Darkest Hour Of The Night, a recent song but a favourite for me.
That was then followed by Girl From Mars.
It would be a Boy From Stroke City and a Boy From Coleraine who would be entertaining the crowd in one of the more bizarre musical collaborations ever.
Damian O’Neill, the Undertone that I spotted loitering at the side of the stage came on. He’s appeared on stage with them a few times, he should probably ask for full membership.
On guest vocals, James Nesbitt. Yes, that James Nesbitt, taking off his coat to reveal a retro Northern Ireland shirt with “Ash 30” printed on the back.
I did warn you that The Ash Christmas Bash is chaotic.
As the band finished their set, the chaos didn’t end there, with Jump In The Line (AKA, Shake Shake Shake Senora) by Harry Belafonte playing on the speaker, giving Rick the opportunity to escape from behind his drumkit to showcase his dancing skills.
The rest of the band were making their way to the Dressing Room, came back to join him and showcase their dancing skills.
A rather enjoyable 30th anniversary concert.
Might as well mark Friday 20th December 2052 in the diary.
Ash live at The Limelight 2021
Ash live at The Limelight 2018
Ash live at Titanic Slipways 2018
2021 IN PICTURES – DECEMBER (SO FAR ….)
December began with a trip to Coleraine, to see Linfield get a vital win.
That was followed by a trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield draw with Warrenpoint Town.
Time for one last concert in 2021, to see Ash at The Limelight.
The following night, I headed to Inver Park to see Linfield take on Larne.
Another match in a football dominated month, this time back to Windsor Park to see Linfield beat Ballymena United.
Of course, this entry is titled “December (So Far) as there is another week of the month left to go.
I was hoping to use my time off for hillwalks and obviously getting some photos but the weather hasn’t been kind. Hopefully, i’ll be able to get out before I return to work.
Let’s not forget, off to Windsor Park on Monday for Linfield v Glentoran. Undecided as yet about the Steel and Sons Cup Final.
Hope you enjoyed my photographic look through 2021.
Let’s hope I have something to photograph in 2022. Let’s not be stupid and get everything close again.
Ash live at The Limelight Photo Album
ASH – LIVE AT THE LIMELIGHT 16.12.2021
This concert should have taken place at the end of May 2020, to kickstart the Summer of 2020. A lot of things didn’t happen in the Summer of 2020. Instead, the rearrangements to October 2020, May 2021 and then December 2021 meant that this became the now triennial Ash Christmas Bash.
In 2015 and 2018 (later in the month, coincidentally both on 20th December) they held concerts in the run-up to Christmas, dubbed The Ash Christmas Bash, which descended into anarchy and farce. The good sort.
Even though this concert didn’t have the same billing, it was. We all knew it was.
The reason for this tour, was to promote a compilation album called Teenage Wildlife, released to celebrate 25 years of Ash as a recording act, except it is now 26 years. Almost 27, as we are two months short of it being two years since it was released, braving a very wet Belfast City Centre to see Tim Wheeler perform a solo acoustic set in HMV to promote it.
To be honest, as with the other concerts I have attended, I was a bit unsure about going to this because of you know what, especially when The Charlatans and Supergrass became the first of many band over the next few days to immediately postpone their tours.
Eventually, I decided to go, wearing two masks and having a hand held fan with me to be extra sure. I’d got my Booster Jab the night before.
For this concert, The Limelight were making something vaguely resembling an effort for once, checking Covid Passes as people went in. They even had signage up requesting people wear masks. Obviously, they didn’t enforce it, that would be too much of an effort.
You may be shocked to discover that Maskexemptionitis is still rife. If only somebody could find a cure for it.
Oh sorry, I forgot, Magnum Carter.
Eventually, Ash appeared onstage, jumping straight into Goldfinger, one of many of their big hits played early on.
Might as well give the people what they want.
That was followed by Shining Light, A Life Less Ordinary and Oh Yeah, as well as Darkest Hour Of The Night, the single to promote the compilation released nearly two years ago that they are only getting around to promote.
I was expecting some changes to the lyrics in Buzzkill to reference you know what, but that would be letting you know what win.
Throughout the concert, Mark Hamilton was adopted Peter Hook-esque poses with his Bass, holding it in every position possible. You could have just stood watching him all night and be entertained.
It wasn’t just their own hits, as they included a cover of Another Girl Another Planet and one of Rocking Around The Christmas Tree, as tradition dictated they have to, in their words, massacre at least one Christmas classic.
Before leaving the stage, Tim Wheeler declared “See you next year” that Ash would be going on tour in 2022 to celebrate 30 years since they started performing as a live act.
All being well, that is, because of you know what. I admire his optimism.
I only have one concert in my diary for 2020, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at Ulster Hall.
At least I did, returning home to an e-mail from Ulster Hall to say that concert has been postponed until a (as yet unannounced) new date.
Although, it was on my dad’s birthday, which saved me from an awkward double booking. Phew.
I was hoping to see The Cure at The Odyssey in December (It’s on Robert Smith’s favourite day of the week) but not with a £7 Booking Fee. I will probably relent nearer the time.
Just remember that if someone from The Odyssey is ever on the news complaining that they are struggling financially because of you know what.
As a footnote to this concert, Ash appeared on a TV show called Live At The Waterfront. Funnily enough, it was filmed at Waterfront Hall. It was broadcast on Sky Arts so if you have Sky Q, you should be able to download it.
So, 2024, the next Ash Christmas Bash. Let’s try and have Covid consigned to history by then. Is that too much to ask for?
Ash live at The Limelight 2018
Ash live at Titanic Slipways 2018
THE FRIDAY FIVE – 10.12.2021
- Taylor Swift – All Too Well (Taylor’s version)
- The Anxiety – Meet Me At Our Spot
- Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
- Ash – Oh Yeah
- Sam Fender – Seventeen Going Under
THE SOUND OF 2020
We haven’t had our first 24 hours of 2021 yet and I can’t imagine that many want to look back at 2020, but it’s time for my annual look back at the best songs of the past year.
I’m not going to insult you by cutting and pasting the usual about how it was a great year and all that. It really wasn’t.
Even though we got treated to some interesting covers and live online concerts from bored pop stars in lockdown, i’d swap all that for a return to normality.
As much as i’ve loved Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Kitchen Disco, i’d rather it not have to exist, if you know what I mean.
I actually have concert tickets for 2021, unsurprisingly, most are carried over from 2020.
Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott are first up in April, although that is looking ambitious, considering that Paul Weller scheduled for the week before has already been put back to November.
Also in the diary is Lightning Seeds, Ash, Doves and Beabadoobee.
Hopefully, when I do get back to concerts, it won’t be in the first batch. Let’s be honest, they’ll be full of tanked up bellends determined to “make up for” what they’ve “missed out on”.
You don’t realise how much a sound crowd adds to a concert until you’re surrounded by bellends.
So, enjoy the best songs of 2020. Hopefully, i’ve introduced you to something you’ll like.
Let’s hope 2021 will be a lot better than 2020, although we’re working off a very low bar.
- Tame Impala – Lost In Yesterday
- The Weeknd – Blinding Lights
- Powfu ft Barbadoobee – Death Bed
- Post Malone – Circles
- David Guetta and Sia – Let’s Love
- Royal Blood – Trouble’s Coming
- Beabadoobee – Care
- Paul Molloy – Dungaree Day
- Shader – Don’t You Forget About Me
- Georgia – Running Up That Hill
- Declan McKenna – Beautiful Faces
- Tom Grennan – Amen
- Andy Bell – Cherry Cola
- Lady Gaga – Stupid Love
- Dea Matrona – Roll With It
- Blossoms – Paperback Writer
- Dermot Kennedy – Giants
- 5 Seconds Of Summer – Wildflower
- Blossoms ft James Skelly – Dreaming Of You
- Beabadoobee – Together
- Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Come On Outside
- Crowded House – Whatever You Want
- Tom Grennan – Something Better
- Samara Ginsberg – Inspector Gadget
- Dermot Kennedy – Power Over Me
- Oasis – Don’t Stop
- 24kgoldn – City Of Angels
- Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – We’re Gonna Get There In The End
- Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott – Some Might Say
- Samara Ginsberg – Knight Rider
- Declan McKenna – Rapture
- Samara Ginsberg – Thomas The Tank Engine
- Liam Gallagher – All You’re Dreaming Of
- Beabadooebee – Worth It
- Karen O and Willie Nelson – Under Pressure
- Tate McRae – You Broke Me First
- Declan McKenna – Be An Astronaut
- Two Mad Men And A String Quartet – Madness Hits Medley
- Blossoms – It’s Going To Be A Cold Winter
- Arlo Parks – Black Dog
- New Order – Be A Rebel
- Izzy Bizu – Faded
- The 1975 – If You’re Too Shy
- David Latto – Geordie Munro
- Magnum Haus – Rip It Up
- Swim School – Dignity
- Ash – Darkest Hour Of The Night
- Doves – Broken Eyes
- AC/DC – Shot In The Dark
- Tom Ogden – Everyday I Write The Book
2019 Vampire Weekend – Harmony Hall
2018 Lovelytheband – Broken
2017 Liam Gallagher – For What It’s Worth
2016 The Strumbellas – Spirits
2015 Blossoms – Charlemagne
2014 Jamie T – Zombie
2013 Haim – The Wire
2012 Taylor Swift – We Are Never Getting Back Together
2011 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA …. What A Life
2010 Marina and the Diamonds – Shampain
2009 Little Boots- New In Town
2008 Sons and Daughters – Darling
2007 Feist – 1, 2, 3, 4
2020 IN PICTURES – FEBRUARY
My first photo adventure of February was a midweek trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield beat Dungannon Swifts to go top of the table.
The football continued, seeing Linfield get wins against Warrenpoint Town and Ballymena United.
I made the most of a football free Saturday afternoon in the middle of the month to see Ash (Well, it was just Tim Wheeler on his own) doing an acoustic concert in HMV.
More football the following weekend, heading to Windsor Park to see Linfield hammer Crusaders 4-0.
The following weekend had the bonus of an extra day, with it being a leap year. I spent Leap Year’s Day walking up Cavehill and getting some photos.
Ash live at HMV Belfast Photo Album
ASH – LIVE AT HMV BELFAST 15.2.2020
Well, it was just Tim Wheeler actually. Rick McMurray and Mark Hamilton weren’t there. They might have been out shopping at Victoria Square, though probably not with the weather outside, weather that was addressed by Wheeler as he made his entrance and exit.
It was an entrance that was met with a rather polite “Wa-hey!” rather than raucous applause, with Wheeler thanking the crowd for turning up with the poor weather outside.
You can usually rely on Ash for a HMV gig. Usually when they release something, they’ll turn up in Donegall Arcade to promote it.
I had missed their previous HMV appearance in 2018 as, frustratingly, it was happening while I was at Biggest Weekend, that I saw them at the next day. Their last one before that, was in 2015, a warm-up, in their words, for the next gig two days later supporting Foo Fighters at Slane.
I have previously purchased a Greatest Hits compilation, Intergalactic Sonic 7s in 2002, but i’m not sure where it is, so this updated compilation will be handy to listen to in the car.
What they are currently promoting is a Best Of/Greatest Hits compilation called Teenage Wildlife, to commemorate 25 years since their first release.
Just under half and hour, they crammed as many hits as they could into this short gig, hits such as A Life Less Ordinary, Oh Yeah and Shining Light.
It was a family affair for Wheeler, who gave a shout out to his niece and nephew, who were in the crowd, planning to catch up on Red Dead Redemption with them, the last time he played with them, he killed a horse.
That video game based bantz might make sense to you, but not to me, as the last video game I played was on the Sega Mega Drive.
As a result of having youngsters in the crowd, Wheeler had to tone down on the language on Buzzkill, just as Neil Hannon had to be less sweary due to youngsters in attendance when he played HMV in 2016.
Also on the playlist was a new song Darkest Hour Of The Night, recorded especially for this new compilation.
As he finished the set Wheeler announced there would be a Belfast concert in May. He didn’t say where or when.
My guess would be the final weekend of the month, as Ash had just been announced to perform at All Aboard Festival in Dun Laoghaire (near Dublin, if you don’t know) so I would expect a Belfast gig to be that weekend.
Ash live at The Limelight 2018
Ash live at Titanic Slipways 2018
THE FRIDAY FIVE – 7.2.2020
1. The 1975 – Me And You Together Song
2. Ash – Darkest Hour Of The Night
3. Blossoms – If You Think This Is Real Life
4. Camelphat – Rabbit Hole
5. Harry Styles – Adore You