THE 1975 – LIVE AT ORMEAU PARK 16.6.2017 (BELSONIC)

The last time The 1975 played in Belfast, singer Matt Healy declared that they were getting so big they were running out of venues to play in Belfast. So it appears the solution was to give them a park.

Ormeau Park is the new venue for Belsonic, hosting it’s second gig of this year’s event, with Arcade Fire playing on the Tuesday before.

I’m not really that into Arcade Fire but I did consider going, but mainly for The Kooks, who were supporting. However, a cost of Β£45 a ticket just to see the support band was a bit offputting.

The Kooks announced a Dublin gig for January 2018 on Monday. I suspect it was embargoed as Belsonic were hoping Republic of Ireland based Kooks fans would travel to this, under the impression they wouldn’t be coming to Dublin.

It’s not uncommon for bands to announce Belfast gigs soon after playing Belsonic (KT Tunstall did last year), so i’m crossing my fingers for a Kooks headline gig in Belfast in early 2018.

Anyway, back to The 1975. The band were regular visitors to Northern Ireland during the period of their self-titled first album.

However, Northern Ireland had been a noticable absence from their touring to promote their not in any way creepily titled second album I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unware Of It, so this gig was to be welcomed by their Northern Ireland fans.

Matt Healy welcomed this support, speaking about how so many people from “To be fair, such a small place” had come out to see the band.

As if there wasn’t enough pressure on the band to perform, there was added pressure in the fact that I was missing out on Paramore at Waterfront Hall to see this, that gig being announced for the same night, and I already had my ticket for this.

This was my first Belsonic at Ormeau Park, the only entrance being closer to the Ravenhill Road, which felt like a never ending walk on a warm evening, a rare occasion when the weather in Belfast behaved itself.

The band came on an burst into Love Me, the lead single from ILIWYS,FYASBYSUOI. Already a dancey song you can boogie to, partly due to it’s close resemblance to Fame by David Bowie, the thumping bass when played live made it sound so much better and dancier.

Unfortunately, as with any outdoor event in Belfast, Ormeau Park was riddled with smelly tramps, puffing and vaping away with no consideration for others.

They’ll probably gurn about their human rights being breached (ignoring my human right of some clean air when out enjoying myself), but seriously, just dig a fucking hole at the back and stick them in there and let the rest of us enjoy ourselves in peace.

As a city we need to have a serious conversation about this. It’s a sad state of affairs when you have to hold your nose and cover your mouth when walking in the City Centre and when at outdoor concerts.

I am absolutely no civic pride in Belfast. It’s a smelly shithole. No amount of Game Of Thrones related advertising can change that.

Although, one highlight was seeing a fat millbeg drop her feg, bend down to pick it up and then fall over. Not going to lie, it put a massive smile on my face.

As well as fagbreaths, crowd members were treated to a recent phenomenon of backpacks at concerts. Seriously, why the fuck do you need to bring a backpack to a one day concert?

There appears to be a correlation that the vast majority of fuckwits who aimlessly walk about from side to side (literally, every concert) appear to be wearing backpacks.

Hopefully, Belsonic will start banning people wearing backpacks like other events, or at least ask them to use their brains and make them put them down by their side.

I know these rules have been brought in as part of the fight against international terrorism, but stopping fuckwits banging into people is a happy spin-off

After a dancey start, the concert then had a few iffy moments, most notably an avant garde instrumental solo. The 1975 do music to dance to, people want to dance. Do the maths.

If I wanted to watch four men arse about on keyboards, I would have went to see Kraftwerk at the Waterfront Hall a few weeks ago.

Eventually, we got back on track, but then took a detour as Matt Healy started to talk about politics. I didn’t actually hear what he said, as a man behind me shouted “Oh for fuck sake, stop talking about about politics”

A very sound observation.

The main complaint was that there were too many slow songs. People wanted to dance, and made the most of it when the opportunity came.

Healy then introduced Chocolate, describing it as “self explanatory”.

In a weird way, I was tempted to eat a bar of chocolate I had in my coat pocket in a way of life imitating music, like that time I listened to Rotterdam by The Beautiful South on my ipod whenever I was in Rotterdam.

Before finishing their set, Healy spoke about their first gig in Belfast, in front of 25 people at The Oh Yeah Centre.

When he reminisced about it at their last Belfast gig, Ulster Hall in 2014, he said there were 15 people in attendance.

It’s like Oasis at The Limelight, the crowd gets bigger each year.

The next time The 1975 play in Belfast, he’ll be reminiscing about the time they played in front of 35 people at The Oh Yeah Centre.

Photo Album

The 1975 Live At Ulster Hall February 2014

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THE FRIDAY FIVE – 24.3.2017

1. Kasabian – You’re In Love With A Psycho
2. Blondie – Long Time
3. The Music Gang – How Can I Compete?
4. Chuck Berry- Johnny B Goode
5. Saint Etienne – Heather

So, some gig news. Got myself a ticket to see Amy MacDonald at Custom House Square in August. Her last Belfast gig was so long ago (feel free to correct me if i’m wrong) that it was in Auntie Annie’s. She’s actually supporting Foy Vance. I’m not that fussed on Foy Vance, so i’ll be going to see her instead.

It won’t be the first time i’ve went to a concert just for the support band, having seen The Charlatans at Falls Park in 2013 while not being fussed about Happy Mondays. Also, in 2011, I left an outdoor Laura Marling concert early because it was a monsoon. I had a free ticket so it was no loss to me. Worst thing was, the next evening was beautiful sunshine.

That concert seems to be part of a series of concerts known as CHSQ, which as any abbreviations expert will tell you stands for Switzerland Squared.

I hope Switzerland Squared becomes my favourite music festival in Belfast.

Talking of festivals in Belfast, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival is due to publish it’s programme soon. I had a dream Birdy was doing a concert there. I don’t think that has any merit or value, but I just thought i’d share it.

Shed Seven (with support from Cast) announced some extra tour dates. No Belfast date. Fuck sake.

Martin Garrix announced as the last Belsonic headline. At least they had the decency to tease that it would be an EDM (that’s Electronic Dance Music for all you old farts out there) “superstar” on social media, so I knew it was going to be shite.

Kasabian announced some gigs for (relatively) smaller venues in April. They did the same in 2014, so hopes up for an Odyseey gig later in the year.

Anyone fancy taking me to Electric Picnic to see Duran Duran and Madness?

Would love to see Duran Duran. The closest i’ve got was John Taylor doing a Q and A with fans at the Edinburgh Festival in 2013.

Also, i’m still looking for a Ryan Adams ticket for September.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 3.2.2017

1. Cast – Faith
2. Rose Elinor Dougall – Hell and Back
3. London Grammar – Big Picture
4. Blondie – Fun
5. The 1975 – Chocolate

Been an interesting week for gig announcements. The 1975 will be playing Belsonic. That’ll do nicely. I know they’ll be at the tail end of a tour they’ve been doing for eighteen months, nut it’s a tour that hasn’t taken in Belfast or Northern Ireland so far, so it’ll be great to belatedly have them here.

Simple Minds announced KT Tunstall as support for their Waterfront Hall gig. Not that surprising, she is supporting them in Europe. The down side is that it’ll lessen the chances of KT Tunstall doing her own gig in Belfast this year.

I was planning on going to that but decided I couldn’t be bothered once it turned out to be an all seated gig. Anyway, i’ll be otherwise engaged, as i’m going to see Limmy at Mandela Hall that night.

Rose Elinor Dougall has announced a tour for April but there’s no Belfast gig. Got her album this week but haven’t got round to listening to it in full yet.

If you’re planning on going to Scotland this summer, TRNSMT line-up looks decent, especially the Saturday.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 23.12.2016 (AND SOME MUSICAL THOUGHTS FOR 2017)

1. Robert Goulet – Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
2. The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping
3. Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas
4. Fountains of Wayne – Alien For Christmas
5. John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

You didn’t think I wouldn’t have any Christmas songs this week? I’m not that much of a Scrooge.

Somebody started a rumour that i’ve cleared my diary to watch Christmas With Daniel O’Donnell on RTE 1 at 9.30pm tomorrow. It might be true, or it might not be true.

This week, saw the first headliners for Belsonic 2017 announced, a lot earlier than usual (recent years have been announced between February and April)

Just the two announced, and they were, well, underwhelming.

If you don’t know, it’s Jess Glynne and Axwell Ingrosso (who sounds like a Swiss footballer)

I know i’m guilty of complaining about bands I don’t like/have never heard of being on the bill when Belsonic headliners are announced, because I should know by now that not every Belsonic concert will appeal to me due to the line-up being so vast and varied.

These concerts will be at Ormeau Park, the third venue in the last three years. It’s slightly concerning that it’s starting to have a nomadic existence like what Tennent’s Vital used to have.

I thought Titanic worked as a venue in my own observations. Spatious, easy to get to and out of. I didn’t experience any real problems, even though Ormeau Park will be very convenient for me.

I really hope they don’t go down the Tennent’s Vital route of having pits. I find the idea that someone could just turn up ten minutes before showtime and get a better view than me, simply because they’re mates of a mate of a mate of a mate of someone who works for a sponsor.

I love Belsonic because it’s not Tennent’s Vital. I really hope it doesn’t go down a road of trying to be Tennent’s Vital.

I would imagine there will be more concerts announced in the new year.

One of the fun things I like to do when announcements are announced is to try and predict who will be performing.

As you can see from the link, my predictions were well off.

Belsonic isn’t the only festival in Belfast/Greater Belfast. There’s also Catherdal Quarter Arts Festival, Feile and Open House Festival (Bangor) which will be staging concerts.

So, i’m going to post my musical hopes for people coming to Belfast. The only 2017 concert I have in my diary is Blossoms. They’re brilliant. You may remember them winning The Sound Of 2015 on this blog. If you want to see how good they are, they’ll be on Top Of The Pops on New Year’s Eve.

You may remember me getting excited about Simple Minds coming to Waterfront Hall in June next year. Well, it’s an all seated gig and I can’t be arsed with that.

So, i’m going to post my hopes for those who I would love to come to Belfast in 2017.

Cast and Embrace will have albums out in 2017, so hopefully they’ll fit in a Belfast gig.

Kaiser Chiefs, Paul Weller, The Kooks, Amy MacDonald, KT Tunstall and Two Door Cinema Club all have 2017 tours announced but no Belfast gig. Hopefully some of them well be adding Belfast to their schedule.

Rose Elinor Dougall is a singer I absolutely adore, a former member of The Pipettes (Remember them? They were brilliant too) who is releasing her first album in six years, so i’m hoping she stops off in Belfast.

This week, Red Hot Chili Peppers were supposed to be doing two concerts in Dublin, but due to Anthony Kiedis being unwell, they have been postponed until September 2017.

Wouldn’t it be great if they snuck in a couple of Odyssey gigs around that.

If you were to sum up 2017 in four words, it would be ………… LIAM. GALLAGHER. SOLO. ALBUM. Which i’m hoping is as entertaining as his Twitter.

It may be brilliant, it may be bad, it won’t be boring. Cannot wait for it. Potato.

Meanwhile, the race for Christmas Number 1 (Usually dominated by X-Factor in the same way Celtic have dominated the SPL over the last few years) is between Rangers and Little Mix, which gives me an excuse to post my favourite Youtube videos, from the time Celtic and Rangers players formed a band with a man in a tiger costume to record a charity single to promote Glasgow as a tourist destination.

Think of it as my seasonal gift to you.

Merry Christmas.

2016 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

August began for me with a trip to Fermanagh to see Linfield take on Ballinamallard United in the opening game of the Irish League season.

The following day, I ventured to Cupar Way to check out the Peace Wall in Belfast, something I do every six months to have a look at the Street Art.

After that, came a triple whammy if Irish League matches, taking in Linfield’s games against Coleraine, Crusaders and Glenavon.

That was then followed by a triple whammy of concerts – Madness and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at Belsonic, then Red Hot Chili Peppers at Vital.

The month ended with a trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Belfast Peace Wall

Belfast Peace Wall Photo Album

Linfield v Coleraine

Crusaders v Linfield

Linfield v Glenavon

Madness live at Titanic Belfast

Madness live at Titanic Belfast Photo Album

Catfish and the Bottlemen Photo Album

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at Titanic Belfast

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at Titanic Belfast Photo Album

Red Hot Chili Peppers live at Boucher Road Playing Fields

Red Hot Chili Peppers live at Boucher Road Playing Fields Photo Album

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

2016 IN PICTURES – JUNE

June 2016 was a month that was dominated by Euro 2016.

The early days of the month were spent chronicling a mural in East Belfast to commemorate Northern Ireland’s qualification, getting pictures of the final piece upon my return from France.

Oh yes, I was in France. Wasn’t that fussed about France as a country, but loved the three matches (France v Romania, Northern Ireland v Poland, Republic of Ireland v Sweden) I was at.

I also got some Street Art photos in Paris, and London, as I flew back from Gatwick due to there being no Paris-Belfast flights on a Tuesday.

Not a lot else happened in the rest of the month. That was, until, the final, when I attended two Belsonic concerts.

Belsonic? Yes, this year, it moved to June (though there were later concerts in August) and I went to see Elli Goulding and Stereophonics.

And it was at a new venue, Titanic Belfast.

There was even some domestic club football this month, as the last day of the month saw Linfield lose 1-0 at home to Cork City in the UEFA Cup.

Pride, Passion Belief

Pride, Passion, Belief Photo Album

Paris Street Art

Paris Street Art Photo Album

France v Romania

France v Romania Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Poland

Northern Ireland v Poland Photo Album

Republic of Ireland v Sweden

Republic of Ireland v Sweden Photo Album

London Street Art

London Street Art Photo Album

Ellie Goulding live at Titanic Belfast

Ellie Goulding live at Titanic Belfast Photo Album

Stereophonics live at Titanic Belfast

Stereophonics live at Titanic Belfast Photo Album

Linfield v Cork City

NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS – LIVE AT TITANIC BELFAST (BELSONIC) 23.8.2016

Nearly eighteen months after it began, Noel Gallagher’s tour to promote his second solo album, Chasing Yesterday, returned to Belfast, the city where it all began in March 2015, as the tour reaches it’s final stages.

It was Gallagher’s fourth solo gig in Belfast, following a nice symmetry of Odyssey, Belsonic, Odyssey, Belsonic, though it was a change of venue from 2012, at Titanic Belfast rather than Custom House Square.

Support came from Catfish and the Bottlemen, which sounds like the spellcheck version of Echo and the Bunnymen, but don’t let that put you off.

They are rather good, one of those bands who you know more songs than you realise, performing their catchy hits such as Pacifier, 7 and Cocoon, to a lot of dancing.

Some people even left when they finished their set. Their loss.

This gig came on the day that the current issue of Q hit the shelves, with it’s cover star being Liam Gallagher, saying he has new music recorded. He’s even been laying down the gauntlet on Twitter, before announcing that he will release a solo album in 2017.

Noel was here to let his music do the talking, appearing on stage and bursting straight into solo hits such as Everybody’s on the Run, Lock All the Doors, In the Heat of the Moment and Riverman before giving the crowd a bit of Oasis with Fade Away, performing in the style of the version that appeared on the War Child album.

With a back catalogue like his, it was always going to be a difficult balancing act between his solo career and Oasis hits.

The Oasis songs that were played were largely different from the recorded versions. Not just vocally, but musically. It was Oasis being reimagined, which is what Noel has done recently, remixing Be He Now for a 20th anniversary re-release, even though it will be ten and a half months before the actual anniversary.

There were no songs from Be Here Now, the album in Oasis back catalogue that was raided most was The Masterplan, with fans being treated to a forgotten Oasis classics, D’Yer Wanna Be A Spaceman? and Listen Up.

Amongst the Oasis classics performed by him was Live Forever. I say he performed it, he sang “Maybe ……” and the crowd did the rest, the song being performed acoustically.

Back to his own solo hits, performing the likes of The Death of You and Me, You Know We Can’t Go Back, Ballad of the Mighty I, The Mexican and If I Had a Gun.

The only downside about Noel Gallagher gigs in Belfast, is that they seem to attract some Weapons Grade Fuckwits.

You ever see the Kevin and Perry sketch where Perry thinks he’s Liam Gallagher, starts talking in a Manchester accent and draws a beard with marker?

That was basically a lot of people in the audience.

Some guy near me managed to piss himself just after his mate got chucked out for trying to storm the the stage.

What next for Noel Gallagher? Who knows. It could be a while before Belfast sees him in the flesh, but we will get to see him in cinematic form with the release of an Oasis documentary film Supersonic in October.

This gig was my fourth Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds gig, compared to five Oasis gigs, meaning that the next time I see Noel Gallagher in action will equal that.

Or maybe, it will be a sixth Oasis gig? That’ll be unlikely considering that Liam will be busy throughout 2017.

I’m not going to get my hopes up. We all know what happens when you put your life in the hands of a rock n roll band.

Photo Album

Catfish and the Bottlemen Photo Album

See Also

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at The Odyssey 2015

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at Custom House Square 2012

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at The Odyssey 2012

MADNESS – LIVE AT TITANIC BELFAST (BELSONIC) 20.8.2016

It’s fair to say that 2016 has been a Summer of Madness in Northern Ireland. Normally when you hear such a description, you’re expecting non stop riots. This is a good Madness, and Northern Ireland Madheads had three opportunities to indulge in their favourite band this summer.

In July, the musical Our House had a run at Grand Opera House, while Belsonic offered fans the chance to experience the real thing.

It was the second time that Madness had headlined Belsonic, having appeared at Custom House Square in 2012. Like in 2016, a few days later they were followed by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

There is a tenuous link between Madness and Noel Gallagher, as it was an inebriated Madness (who had just come off stage after performing) who replaced Oasis at short notice in 2009 at the French music festival where a backstage spat resulted in Oasis split.

Madness are always a popular booking at festivals, having done the afternoon legends slot at Glastonbury. Quite impressive for a band in their 50s, as most who get that slot are at an advanced age people watching on TV had thought they were dead.

Madness aren’t dead, but they are down a member, with Chas Smash leaving in 2014.

That loss is evident in the opening song, as he would traditionally kick off a Madness gig with his intro to One Step Beyond, their signature tune. One of many, you could say.

It was Madness first gig in Belfast since December 2014. They have been touring a lot since then. A tour in the summer of 2015 of small to medium sized stadiums missed Belfast, making the delays of the Windsor Park redevelopment even worse. There was Ravenhill as well they could have used.

Madness have been gigging in Belfast since 1979, playing in what Suggs described as “What was left of” The Europa Hotel.

They entered the stage to House Of Fun, before Suggs apologised to those in the audience who were expecting to see Westlife’s comeback tour, before advising those in the audience on medication or of a nervous disposition to look away as Lee Thompson did a saxophone solo during their debut single The Prince, a song which Suggs introduce by pretending he was presenting Top Of The Pops, describing them as “A bunch of hermits from North London”.

Something threw a bra at Lee Thompson. Not the first time that’s happened in Belfast either.

Naturally, there was a lot of dad dancing. Most of it in the crowd. If you can’t be silly at a Madness gig, when can you be silly?

My Girl was performed as a slow ballad, with Suggs over dramatically pretending to cry, before the song was performed as the way we all know and love it.

As is now tradition, we were treated to a Chris Foreman, billed as the best guitarist in Madness, karaoke set. He said he had taken requests from people, and had to disappoint them, that he would continue his karaoke.

Foreman recalled a walk around Belfast earlier that day when he asked what the name of the boat parked at the docks was. When told it was Bryan, he replied “like Bryan Ferry?”

The boat parked could be seen from the stage. It was a night boat to Scotland, rather than going to Cairo.

Fans were treated to Foreman singing his own version of Living On A Prayer by Bon Jovi.

When performing The Sun and the Rain, the weather obliged. Sort of. We got rain, but no sun.

It was a hit filled show, One Step Beyond was snuck in mid show, alongside Embarrassment, Wings Of A Dove, Shut Up, Our House and It Must Be Love, while Madness and Night Boat To Cairo were performed in the encore.

It typical Madness fashion, it was utterly unpredictable.

Suggs will be in Northern Ireland next Saturday, heading to Bangor to talk about his career as part of Open House Festival.

If their live shows follow the current pattern (Madness last three Belfast gigs have been 2012, 2014 and now 2016) we can expect to see them back in 2018.

Can’t wait.

Photo Album

See Also

Madness live at The Odyssey 2014

Madness live at The Odyssey 2014 Photo Album

Madness live at Custom House Square 2012

Madness live at Custom House Square 2012 Photo Album

STEREOPHONICS – LIVE AT TITANIC BELFAST (BELSONIC) 29.6.2016

Stereophonics arrived in Belfast recently to headline Belsonic for a third time. They weren’t quite the first act to do that, both Biffy Clyro and David Guetta had beaten them to that by a matter of days.

Support came from The Vaccines, a band who i’ve been a fan of for a long time but had never seen live, so getting two bands for the price of one was very welcome.

Their set full of energy and madness, everything i’d expected from The Vaccines. That’s not a pun by the way. If you didn’t already know, their debut album is called What Did You Expect From the Vaccines?

Fans were treated to hits such as If You Wanna, Wrecking Bar, Post Break-Up Sex, Dream Lover and Teenage Icon.

It’s always difficult for a support act when they’re not playing to “their crowd”, but The Vaccines had no problem winning the crowd over.

I would seriously consider going to see them if they did one of their own gigs in Belfast. In fact, i’m really regretting not going to see them when they played The Limelight last December.

Stereophonics appeared on stage 15 minutes earlier than the advertised start time, which took a lot of people by surprise. They have a lot of hits to go through, so they have to make every second count.

Hits was what the people got, which kept them happy despite getting drenched for period during the gig.

Kelly Jones made no mention of the Wales v Northern Ireland score the previous Saturday, which was very gracious.

If Northern Ireland had won, it would have been a cert that the crowd would have given them loads of abuse over it.

The only downside was the volume of fagbreaths. No matter where I stood, I was surrounded by them. Seriously Belfast, you’ve got a serious problem when you can’t even enjoy a concert because of people like you.

Hopefully next year, they’ll dig a hole somewhere at the back for them and leave the rest of us to enjoy the gig.

The new venue itself was very spacious, providing an obvious advantage, but also a disadvantage in terms of a slight loss of atmosphere.

As with the previous night, getting out of the venue was easy enough, the only downside was being effective blocked in The Odyssey Car Park by taxi drivers parking on the double yellow line outside it, meaning drivers leaving the car park had to go across two lanes instead of one just to get out.

Bravo, well done. No, seriously.

Fans lucky enough to be there were treated to hits such as Local Boy In The Photograph, A Thousand Trees, Superman, Have A Nice Day, The Bartender And The Thief, and Dakota, as well as more recent favourites such as Indian Summer and I Wanna Get Lost With You

A new song i’d never heard before was Sunny, from Keep The Village Alive, which I liked, even allowing for Kelly Jones doing a Spinal Tap-esque guitar solo.

This gig wrapped up the June session of Belsonic, another one is being lined-up in August.

I’ve already got tickets for Madness and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

A new line-up announcement today has left me with a moral dilemma, as KT Tunstall has been announced as support for The Corrs.

Now, I like KT Tunstall a lot, and I did find it a bit odd there was no Belfast gig when her October/November tour was announced earlier this week. I didn’t even factor in Belsonic.

As said, I like KT Tunstall, but i’m not that fussed on The Corrs. Should I buy a ticket and just leave after KT? I do still have a Ticketmaster voucher from my birthday.

Decisions, decisions.

Photo Album

See Also

Stereophonics live at Custom House Square August 2015

Stereophonics live at Custom House Square August 2015 Photo Album

Stereophonics live at The Odyssey November 2013

Stereophonics live at The Odyssey November 2013 Photo Album

Stereophonics live at Waterfront Hall March 2013

Stereophonics live at Waterfront Hall March 2013

Stereophonics live at Custom House Square August 2010

Stereophonics live at Custom House Square August 2010 Photo Album

ELLIE GOULDING – LIVE AT TITANIC BELFAST (BELSONIC) 28.6.2016

It’s fair to say that Ellie Goulding is no stranger to Northern Ireland since releasing her debut album in 2010, playing a varying range of venues – Spring and Airbrake, Ulster Hall, Ward Park, Waterfront Hall, The Odyssey, Boucher Road Playing Fields.

On Tuesday night, she added Titanic Belfast to the list, headlining as part of the Belsonic festival, on the penultimate night of the June series of the concerts.

I gave a miss to her last two Belfast concerts. I couldn’t be bothered with paying for a Calvin Harris ticket when I wanted to see Ellie Goulding, and I gave her last Odyssey gig as miss as it was part of the Halcyon Tour that I had seen her perform on the previous year.

I’ve seen her twice before, in 2010 and 2013. Adding 2016 to the list, it looks like it’s a triennial event for me, but it just happens that way.

Support for this gig came in the shape of Walking On Cars and The Coronas. I actually missed Walking On Cars, which was a pity as i’d heard some of their songs and liked them, despite their annoying marketing technique of advertising what seems like every five minutes on XFM.

The Coronas were on the Belsonic bill, as support, just as they were for Stereophonics last year. Like last year, they were decent. Also like last year, they announced mid set they would be performing at Ulster Hall in December.

Ellie Goulding is now at the stage of her career where she can do a Greatest Hits set, and that’s what people were expecting. What they weren’t expecting was a technical fault in the first song when an LED screen (should it not be an Ellie-D screen) failed, showing up the Windows start page.

The crowd cheered. Classic Belfast, never slow in cheering when things go monumentally wrong.

Ellie played on, while the screen got fixed in the background.

The playlist was a bit skewed. She isn’t a Dance artist but she does music you can dance to. One minute people would be dancing, then she would play a slow song, which killed the mood. People were here to dance.

If you wanted to hear her biggest hits, you weren’t to be disappointed, as you would have got to hear Something In The Way You Move, Goodness Gracious, Outside, Figure 8, Lights, Burn, I Need Your Love, Anything Could Happen and Love Me Like You Do.

It was my first Belsonic at their new venue, having moved to Titanic Quarter from Custom House Square, where the festival had taken place since it’s inception in 2008.

I was unsure about the move, but I was prepared to give it a chance. I did my evening cycle a week before there just to do a dry run to see what the venue is like.

It was on the day of the Germany v Northern Ireland match in Euro 2016, so I was going past as people were leaving the Fanzone that was showing the match.

I have to admit I was worried this would be an utter shambles, as massive queues formed to pay for car parking at The Odyssey, due to there not being the option of giving money to Odyssey staff at the Exit Gate, like when there is a concert on at The Odyssey.

That’s why I liked Custom House Square. I was able to park for free opposite the Fire Station on Ormeau Avenue and just walk down.

I parked at The Odyssey for this and it wasn’t too bad getting out. The queues for paying were relatively small and the car park wasn’t that full, which I found a bit surprising, albeit pleasantly surprising.

It’s far too early to say if the move has been a good thing or a bad thing, there are both positive and negative aspects, but it’s good to see that my initial fears weren’t realised.

The show itself was decent, but I do feel that her live show is better suited to an indoor venue.

By my law of seeing Ellie Goulding, I won’t see her again until 2019. Where? I don’t know. She never seems to play the same Belfast venue twice.

Photo Album

See Also

Ellie Goulding Live At Waterfront Hall April 2013

Ellie Goulding Live At Waterfront Hall April 2013 Photo Album

Ellie Goulding Live At Ulster Hall November 2010

Ellie Goulding Live At Ulster Hall November 2010 Photo Album