BADLY DRAWN BOY – LIVE AT BLACK BOX 18.1.2020

And so, 2020 in concerts is underway.

Badly Drawn Boy arrived in Belfast as part of Out To Lunch Festival. Although, this wasn’t a lunchtime engagement, taking place in the evening, as most concerts do.

It was an evening that was very cold. Hat and coat weather in fact. I got very comfortable with the headgear, it looked liked I was cosplaying as Badly Drawn Boy, but it was basically just practicality. I can see why him and The Edge always wear a hat.

Support came from Duke Special, which was a pleasant surprise as it wasn’t on the original announcement for the concert.

When speaking to the crowd, Mr Drawn Boy spoke glowingly of Duke Special.

I got into Badly Drawn Boy back in 2000, with the release of his album The Hour Of Bewilderbeast, and the singles Pissing In The Wind, Disillusion and Once Around The Block.

That interest continued over the coming years with singles such as Silent Sigh, Something To Talk About, All Possibilities and You Were Right.

As a result of that early interest, I was straight to get a ticket when this was announced.

Our paths did cross previously, as he was doing a concert in Waterford when I was there in November 2018, but I wasn’t able to get a ticket for it.

Notoriously grumpy, you never know what you are going to get with him.

The previous time I saw him in Belfast, at Mandela Hall in 2007, he stormed off halfway through his set. He returned a few minutes later and finished his set, the second half being a lot better than the first.

To use a football analogy, it’s like being 3-0 down at half-time and coming back to win 4-3.

Looking up his previous appearances in Belfast online, it appears this would be the third time I will have seen him.

Seemingly, he was one of the support acts for Primal Scream when I saw them perform in a tent in the very first first Tennent’s Vital in 2002. I genuinely can’t remember seeing him at all, but seemingly it happened.

There was one thing that we would be sure of, that it would just be him on stage, solo with no backing band.

He was loaded with the cold, and his cure was unconventional, a bottle of J2O. It seemed to work, having said that he sounded horrible in the soundcheck.

Inbetween the songs, he gave us stories about them, or just stories in general.

Stories included swearing at Movie Executives through an intercom, being excited at one of his songs being featured in Gossip Girl, even though he doesn’t watch it, his excitement at meeting Bobby Ball, Caroline Aherne and George Best (not at the same time), his meeting with Best, at a TV show in Belfast, saw him getting a lend of George’s private jet.

One downside was that the place was full of Banter Bores. You know the sort, shout out random shit thinking they’re funny, act as if they’re best mates with the performer. We’re not here to listen to you, and never forget that.

There’s a high possibility that they probably share and retweet posts by LAD. Definite Jeans and Sheux behaviour.

Why can’t we just be a normal city with normal people?

We got a lot of hits, so there wasn’t much to complain about apart from the Banter Bores, even getting some covers such as Sexual Healing and I Wanna Be Adored.

Up next, is Ash doing an instore gig at HMV in mid February.

Remember when I was complaining that Linfield’s trip to Ballymena not being moved to Saturday afternoon? Scrap that, the Friday night game suits me now.

After that, a busy March with two trips to The Limelight to see Blossoms and The Lightning Seeds.

Photo Album

2014 IN PICTURES – JANUARY

As the year is coming to an end, it’s time to have a look back. I took a lot of photos, and here are some of my favourite photos.

The year was supposed to start for me watching Linfield take on Glenavon. Unfortunately, that match was postponed, so I had to wait a further three days for my first football match of the year.

That came, at Warrenpoint, a first visit there, to see Linfield come from 2-0 down to win 3-2.

The following weekend, it was all about the oval ball as I headed to Ravenhill to see Ulster take on Montpellier.

Anyway, back to football, and the month’s fixtures sent me to Ballymena, to see Linfield come from behind to win.

January wasn’t all about Football and Rugby, there was even a concert, Hugh Cornwell at the Black Box.

Warrenpoint v Linfield

Ulster v Montpellier

Ulster v Montpellier Photo Album

Linfield v Crusaders/Ballymena United v Linfield

Hugh Cornwell Live At The Black Box

Hugh Cornwell Live At The Black Box Photo Album

HUGH CORNWELL – LIVE AT THE BLACK BOX 26.1.2014

It was a case of first and last for me on Sunday night. My first gig of 2014, which came on the last night of the Out To Lunch Festival, the winter version of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.

It came, courtesy of Hugh Cornwell, former frontman of The Stranglers.

In my youth, i’d heard of The Stranglers, mainly ‘Golden Brown’

It was the use of ‘Peaches‘ in a sportswear commercial in 2002 that got me curious. I borrowed their Greatest Hits from Belfast Central Library, and became hooked.

There was a concept to this show. Hugh Cornwell, alone, with only an acoustic guitar, playing one song from every album he has released in his career, as a member of The Stranglers, and as a solo artist.

He entered the stage to loud applause, jokingly asking “Where’s my guitarist?”

One of the early songs played was “No More Heroes”

When you think of the big Stranglers hits, they don’t sound like they would translate acoustically, but Cornwell made them work.

It was a point he acknowledged when introducing ‘Golden Brown’, a song he had never previously considered playing acoustically, until a few years ago, when paired with Eddi Reader to duet at a charity concert, who basically told him they would be performing it acoustically …….. so, he went and learnt it.

Before each song, it was introduced with a story behind the song, and anecdotes from that period in time, such as getting a free trip to Japan to approve album art work, and when ask to record a follow-up hit to ‘Golden Brown’, they re-recorded a song their record company had rejected six years earlier …… ‘Strange Little Girl’

The most surreal anecdote came when he had inspiration in the middle of the night to do a Mariachi version of ‘Golden Brown’, a few years ago.

Having recorded the song, he recorded a video for it. At the shoot, the band he was filming with had to leave early to audition …… for a commercial.

Yes, the Doritos Band.

The Punk Spirit, was still there, singling out two members of the audience for talking during one of his songs, issuing them with an ultimatum to “Shut up or fuck off”

The show, in chronological order, moved on to his solo albums, which he observed, were released every four years.

After playing from his last album, it looked like that was it, but there was still time for an encore, featuring hits such as ‘Strange Little Girl’ and ‘Duchess’, which brought the biggest singalong of the night.

After leaving the stage to a standing ovation, he then headed to the side of the stage to pose for photos and sign autographs for fans.

It is unclear if the two fans he told to “Shut up or fuck off” joined him.

Photo Album