THE SOUND OF 2016 : 1-25

And here we are, what you’ve been waiting for, to find out the best song of 2016. Not long to go until it is revealed. Are you ready? Are you ready?

Oh ok, I’ll shut up, here’s the Top 25.

1. The Strumbellas – Spirits
2. James – Nothing But Love
3. Iggy Pop – Gardenia
4. The Courteeners – No One Will Ever Replace Us
5. Christine and the Queens – Tilted
6. The Temper Trap – Fall Together
7. Chvrches ft Hayley Williams – Bury It
8. Clean Cut Kid – We Used To Be In Love
9. Sia – The Greatest
10. Oasis – D’You Know What I Mean? (NG’s 2016 Rethink)
11. Travis – Animals
12. Stone Roses – All For One
13. Bastille – Good Grief
14. Travis – Magnificent Time
15. Aurora – Conquerer
16. Biffy Clyro – Howl
17. Bastille – Send Them Off
18. The Lumineers – Ophelia
19. Grimes – California
20. Travis – 3 Miles High
21. Two Door Cinema Club – Are We Ready? (Wreck)
22. Blossoms – Getaway
23. KT Tunstall – Maybe It’s A Good Thing
24. Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
25. Clean Cut Kid – Make Believe

Thank you for your support over the past year and I’ll hope to bring you more Friday Fives and pointless themed charts throughout 2017.

Congratulations to The Strumbellas, who join Kasabian, Feist, Sons and Daughters, Little Boots, Marina and the Diamonds, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Taylor Swift, Haim, Jamie T and Blossoms in the Hall Of Fame.

Hopefully, over the past four weeks, i’ve helped you discover some songs you’ve never heard before.

If you haven’t heard the winning song, here it is ……

Want to get excited for music in 2017? Here’s four words for you – Liam. Gallagher. Solo. Album.

2016 IN PICTURES – NOVEMBER

November 2016 began with an eventful trip to Lurgan to see Linfield recover from being both two goals and two men down against Glenavon to secure an unlikely draw.

It was followed by a busy week. I was out on the road again to see Linfield take on Ballymena, before heading to The Odyssey to see Bastille in concert.

Two days later, I was at Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Azerbaijan, before heading back on the road to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

I then headed to near the Royal Mail’s office to photograph a new mural of various popculture icons such as David Bowie, Christopher Walken, Kes and Adam Ant.

The following midweek, I was back at Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Croatia in a friendly, before heading back to Windsor Park the following Saturday to see Linfield take on Cliftonville.

November ended with a weekend in Manchester, going to see United take on Feyenoord and West Ham, see Bury take on Millwall via Broadhurst Park, as well as capturing Street Art in Manchester and Salford Quays, and some stickers left by Feyenoord fans around the city.

Those trips to Old Trafford were my first since Jose Mourinho became United manager.

Glenavon v Linfield

Ballymena United v Linfield

Bastille live at The Odyssey

Bastille live at The Odyssey Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan Photo Album

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Down By The Royal Mail II

Down By The Royal Mail II Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Croatia

Northern Ireland v Croatia Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v Feyenoord

Manchester United v Feyenoord Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art

Salford Quays Street Art Photo Album

Feyenoord Stickers

Feyenoord Stickers Photo Album

Bury v Millwall

Bury v Millwall Photo Album

Broadhurst Park

Manchester United v West Ham United

Manchester United v West Ham United Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 18.11.2016

1. Bastille – Send Them Off
2. Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
3. Tove Lo – True Disaster
4. Bruno Mars – 24k Magic
5. Catfish and the Bottlemen – Outside

Tomorrow, is International Men’s Day. Just another day for me, but if you’re commemorating it, enjoy yourself.

Some people even choose to celebrate it by being a self-hating dick on Twitter.

But most importantly, it’s an opportunity to do some theme charts. And yes, I do the same on International Women’s Day. It’s on March 8th if you don’t know. You may be shocked to realise you can point out the date of something and not be a sneering dick like Richard Herring.

SONGS WITH MAN/MEN/BOY IN THE TITLE

1. Duran Duran – Wildboys
2. Michael Jackson – Man In the Mirror
3. The Verve – Lucky Man
4. The Charlatans – North Country Boy
5. Andrew Gold – Lonely Boy

SONGS BY MEN

1. Simple Minds – She’s A River
2. U2 – The Fly
3. Bruce Springsteen – Badlands
4. Enrique Iglesias – Do You Know?
5. 10CC – The Things We Do For Love

SONGS WITH MEN’S NAME IN THE TITLE

1. Elliott Smith – Son Of Sam
2. Bat For Lashes – Daniel
3. Joshua Kaddison – Jesse
4. Oasis – Little James
5. Rednex – Cotton Eye Joe

BASTILLE – LIVE AT THE ODYSSEY 9.11.2016

Regular visitors to Belfast, Bastille dropped by on their biggest tour to date to perform at The Odyssey.

It’s been a gradual climb for the band, as singer Dan Smith reference during the show. Their first Belfast gig was at The Oh Yeah Centre, then Mandela Hall, then Ulster Hall, supporting The Killers at Tennent’s Vital, headlining Belsonic, and then this gig at The Odyssey.

My own Bastille history is varied. I faffed about too much in 2013 and missed out on getting a ticket for their Ulster Hall. The following year, I saw them supporting The Killers at Tennent’s Vital. When they performed at Belsonic last year I was away, so missed out on them.

That Belsonic concert last year, they were still touring their debut album Bad Blood. This time around, they were performing songs from their second album Wild World, a grandiose concept album projecting images of media overlords.

The band get their name because singer Dan Smith was born on Bastille Day. Imagine if he was born two days earlier, it would have been a laugh to see a band called King Billy’s White Horse doing a gig in Belfast.

Support came from Rationale. I’d seen them on Jools Holland a few weeks ago. They were decent. Chilled out songs you can dance to. There was also a band called Keywest (You probably had to do a double take there because you thought I wrote Kanye West) who were also decent, even though their songs were more toetappers than dancers.

Eventually, Bastille appeared on stage, jumping straight into new single Send Them Off, which was not a reference to the events at Mourneview Park the previous Saturday, with it’s distinctive brass riff and groove getting everyone dancing before performing on of the big hits from their debut album, Laura Palmer.

As the world continued to digest Donald Trump’s election victory in America, Dan Smith urged the crowd to “forget about certain people for one night”

Smith was everywhere during the show, walking through the crowd, walking along the seated area, singing from the mixing desk area, even singing from the balcony of a corporate area during the encore.

Naturally, each of these occasions saw eager fans desperate from their idol.

All the big hits were on the setlist, Things We Lost In The Fire, Bad Blod, Of The Night, Good Grief, with the crowd being sent home with Pompeii.

On social media afterwards, the band tweeted visiting the Game Of Thrones throne, a random trend amongst bands who visit Belfast. It appears that nobody can come to Belfast to do a concert without posting a photo on social media with Bastille joining Jimmy Eat World and KT Tunstall in this trend.

There were some new gigs announced this week which tempt me, mostly of a Scottish theme.

Simple Minds are touring, with KT Tunstall supporting them in Mainland Europe. Fingers crossed for a Belfast gig with that line-up.

Meanwhile, Primal Scream are headlining Bundoran Sea Sessions (no date for their gig yet) which might tempt me to do a Innishowen Cycling/Finn Harps/Sligo Rovers/Primal Scream weekend.

Live at the Marquee in Cork announced it’s first headliners this week – Elton John, Cliff Richard and Nathan Carter. I know, underwhelming. Might leave it until 2018 before I visit Cork again.

Photo Album

Bastille live at Boucher Road Playing Fields

Bastille live at Boucher Road Playing Fields Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 2.9.2016

1. Tom Chaplin – Quicksand
2. The Courteeners – No One Will Ever Replace Us
3. Bastille – Send Them Off
4. KT Tunstall – Hard Girls
5. Squeeze – This Summer

This Monday sees what would have been Freddie Mercury’s 70th birthday.

So, in honour of this milestone, here’s a look at Queen’s five finest moments

FIVE SONGS BY QUEEN

1. Seven Seas Of Rhye
2. Let Me Live
3. Innuendo
4. Bicycle Race
5. I Want It All

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 15.7.2016

1. Chvrches ft Hayley Williams – Bury It
2. Primal Scream – 100% Or Nothing
3. Bastille – Good Grief
4. Charles Trenet – La Mer
5. Izzy Bizu & the BB Orchestra – La Foule

So, yesterday was Bastille day. I could do a chart of songs by the band Bastille, but they’re already on the main chart. How about a French Top Five instead?

FIVE SONGS BY FRENCH ACTS

1. Daft Punk – Da Funk
2. Desireless – Voyage Voyage
3. Air – Sexy Boy
4. Christine and the Queens – Tilted
5. Justice – D.A.N.C.E

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 8.7.2016

1. Bastille – Good Grief
2. Two Door Cinema Club – Are We Ready? (Wreck)
3. Oasis – Half The World Away
4. Walking On Cars – Catch Me If You Can
5. Kylie Minogue – This Wheel’s On Fire

First of all, an apology. Or rather, two apologies.

Because I posted the Half-Term Half Century last Friday, meaning there was no Friday Five, and thus, no chart to celebrate Canada Day or Independence Day. Sorry Canada and America.

Better later than never I guess.

FIVE SONGS BY CANADIAN ARTISTS

1. Feist – 1, 2, 3, 4
2. Tegan and Sara – Closer
3. Celine Dion – It’s All Coming Back To Me
4. Carly Rae Jepsen – Run Away With Me
5. Arcade Fire – Wake Up

PS : It falls on the same day as Dan Aykroyd’s birthday. It should really be called Danada Day

FIVE SONGS BY AMERICAN ARTISTS

1. Prince – Gold
2. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Down On The Corner
3. Tom Petty – Freefallin
4. REM – Orange Crush
5. Katy Perry – Hot n Cold

The Limelight have had a good week of announcing gigs for the later part of the year, with Feeder, Cast and Ocean Colour Scene all lined up.

Best of all, they’ve even got a gig by AC/DC.

Oh wait, sorry, it’s ABC. Misread the listings. Still, that’s good.

Here are charts to get you in the mood for Cast and Ocean Colour Scene.

FIVE SONGS BY CAST

1. Finetime
2. Flying
3. Alright
4. Sandstorm
5. Beat Mama

FIVE SONGS BY OCEAN COLOUR SCENE

1. The Circle
2. Better Day
3. The Riverboat Song
4. The Day We Caught The Train
5. July