THE HALF-TERM HALF CENTURY, 2017

We’ve reached that time of year when we are halfway through the year and it is time to do the Top 50 songs of the year so far.

There’s no scientific formula to it. I just went through The Friday Five, and tried to assemble them into some sort of order.

If you love pointless stats, there are three former “The Sound Of …..” winners in the chart.

Remember, it can all change by the time of the main chart in December.

It could even be a Gallagher brother duopoly.

1. Liam Gallagher – Wall Of Glass
2. Rose Elinor Dougall – Closer
3. The Killers – The Man
4. Paramore – Hard Times
5. John Hassell and the April Rainers – Intercity 125
6. Rose Elinor Dougall – All At Once
7. Royal Blood – Lights Out
8. Blondie – Long Time
9. Kasabian – You’re In Love With A Psycho
10. Pale Waves – There’s A Honey
11. George Ezra – Don’t Matter Now
12. Harry Styles – Sign Of The Times
13. Lorde – Green Light
14. Arcade Fire – Everything Now
15. Beth Ditto – Fire
16. Dagny – Wearing Nothing
17. Haim – Want You Back
18. The Kooks – Be Who You Are
19. Haim – Little Of Your Love
20. The XX – On Hold
21. Coldplay – Something Just Like This
22. Amy MacDonald – Dream On
23. Erasure – Love You To The Sky
24. Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill
25. Rag n Bone Man – Skin
26. Liam Gallagher – Chinatown
27. The Charlatans – Plastic Machinery
28. James – Sit Down (Game Of Thrones 2017 version)
29. Joy Williams – Ordinary World
30. Liam Gallagher – Bold
31. Muse – Dig Deep
32. Shed Zeppelin – Good Times, Bad Times, Disco Down
33. Barry Manilow – New York State Of Mind
34. Kasabian – Bless This Acid House
35. Robin Bengtsson – I Can’t Go On
36. Black Grape – Pop Voodoo
37. Imagine Dragons – Believer
38. Matt Maltese – As The World Caves In
39. The Courteeners – Don’t Look Back In Anger
40. Maggie Rogers – Alaska
41. Ryan Adams – To Be Without You
42. Miley Cyrus – Malibu
43. Cast – Faith
44. Blossoms – In Da Club/Carelss Whisper
45. Imelda May – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
46. Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus – Don’t Dream It’s Over
47. Rory Lavelle – Poor Pride
48. Rose Elinor Dougall – Hell and Back
49. Amy MacDonald – Automatic
50. Paul Draper – Things People Want

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THE FRIDAY FIVE – 30.6.2017

1. Liam Gallagher – Bold
2. George Ezra – Don’t Matter Now
3. The Killers – The Man
4. Rogue Emperor – Holy Ghost
5. Dagny – Wearing Nothing

A couple of national celebrations days this week giving me an excuse to do some charts, starting with Canada Day tomorrow

FIVE SONGS BY CANADIAN ACTS

1. Men Without Hats – The Safety Dance
2. Tegan and Sara – The Con
3. Celine Dion – It’s All Coming Back To Me Now
4. K’Naan – Wavin Flag
5. Glass Tiger – Don’t Forget Me

Not only that, it’s Dan Aykroyd’s birthday. Surely the two should just combined and called Danada Day?

A bit further, Trumpistan will be celebrating Independence Day. So, here’s a couple of charts commemorating the musical talents and inspiration of Murica.

FIVE SONGS BY AMERICAN ACTS

1. Tom Petty – Freefallin
2. Jane Wiedlin – Rush Hour
3. Ryan Adams – So Alive
4. Blondie – Heart Of Glass
5. Katy Perry – Wide Awake

SONGS WITH USA OR AMERICA(N) IN THE TITLE

1. Razorlight – America
2. U2 – The Hands That Built America
3. Miley Cyrus – Party In The USA
4. David Bowie – Young Americans
5. Green Day – American Idiot

SONGS WITH AMERICAN CITIES OR STATES IN THE TITLE

1. Ryan Adams – New York, New York
2. Bruce Springsteen – Streets Of Philadelphia
3. Beach Boys – California Girls
4. Tony Christie – Is This The Way To Amarillo
5. Bran Van 3000 – Drinking In LA

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- 3.3.2017

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 – 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 – 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.

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : JUN 27 – JUL 3

We start this week, with Leigh Nash, 38 this week, of Sixpence None The Richer, inviting us all to kiss her.

Meanwhile, it’s 12 years this week since John Entwhistle died (Apologies for the picture and sound quality on this)

Back to birthdays, Clint Boon was 55 this week.

Nicole Scherzinger, the only Pussycat Doll whose name people know, turned 36 this week.

Remember when Abs from Five had a solo career?

Meanwhile, Cheryl Cole turned 31 this week.

And now, two words to make 50 year old men go weak …….. Debbie Harry.

Peter Kay turned 41 this week. Helping to get this to Number 1 is his only worthwhile musical contribution.

Vince Clarke, the Mozart of Synths turned 54 this week. He’s been on TOTP with a few acts, not even making an effort to hide the fact he’s miming with …..

Depeche Mode

Yazoo

And of course, Erasure.

And sometimes, appearing on stage in mannequin form (he actually is on stage – keep an eye out for him), while Andy Bell is dressed like a Bay City Roller.

To end, i’m going to see Erasure in November. Hopefully Vince will actually be there, and not a mannequin.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 3.1.2013

1. Vance Joy – Riptide
2. David Bowie – I’d Rather Be High
3. Arcade Fire – Afterlife
4. Phil Lynott – Yellow Pearl
5. U2 – New Year’s Day

Tonight, is “Top Of The Pops – The Story Of 1979” on BBC Four, which more than likely means that repeats of Top Of The Pops on BBC Four will continue into 1979.

In celebration of this, here’s a 1979 themed chart.

FIVE SONGS FROM 1979

1. Buggles – Video Killed the Radio Star
2. Gary Numan – Cars
3. Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall
4. Blondie – Heart Of Glass
5. The Specials – Ratrace

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 8.11.2013

1. Nick Mulvey – Nitrious
2. Classified ft Olly Murs – Inner Ninja
3. The Courteeners – Van Der Graaff
4. Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home
5. Paul McCartney – New

Last week, was ‘Disco Week’ on X-Factor, and rather disappointingly, nobody sang ‘Disco 2000’, probably because it wasn’t a Disco song. X-Factor isn’t as much fun when they stick to the rules.

FIVE DISCO SONGS

1. Kelly Marie – Feels Like I’m In Love
2. Aneka – Japanese Boy
3. Boogie Box High – Jive Talkin
4. Lipps Inc – Funkytown
5. Blondie – Heart Of Glass

As a bonus, much love popular beat combo Unemployment Benefit 40 are playing a gig at The Limelight in Belfast next year, which is as random as you can get.

As a tribute, here’s a Top Five.

(NOTE : I’ve left out “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” by Robert Palmer cos it’s more of a Robert Palmer song. To include it, would be more controversial than leaving it out.

FIVE UB40 SONGS

1. Red Red Wine
2. Sing Our Own Song
3. Rat In Mi Kitchen
4. Don’t Break My Heart
5. Tell Me Is It True

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 13.7.2012

1. Katy Perry – Wide Awake
2. Florence and the Machine ft Calvin Harris – Spectrum
3. The Killers – Runaways
4. Josh Osho – Redemption Days
5. Gym Class Heroes ft Ryan Tedder – The Fighter

Last Sunday, ITV launched a three part series titled ‘The Nation’s Favourite Number One’ which will probably have some crap Robbie Williams or Spice Girls song as the winner.

To commemorate this (The UK Singkes chart turns 60 this year) i’m going to do a Top Five for every decade from the 60s on.

I have three editions of the Guinness Book Of British Hit Singles (1999, 2001, 2003) and read them from cover to cover, so I know which songs were and weren’t Number One off by heart.

I had to use Wikipedia for this decade, whatever it’s called. A marked departure from when I would check the charts on Ceefax on a Sunday night (It’s still on page 528, if you’re interested)

FIVE NUMBER ONES FROM THE 60s

1. Small Faces – All Or Nothing
2. Rolling Stones – Get Off My Cloud
3. Tommy Roe – Dizzy
4. The Beatles – Ticket To Ride
5. Bee Gees – I Just Gotta Get A Message To You

FIVE NUMBER ONES OF THE 70s

1. Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights
2. Tina Charles – I Love To Love
3. Blondie – Heart Of Glass
4. Sweet – Blockbuster
5. Status Quo – Down Down

FIVE NUMBER ONES OF THE 80s

1. Wham – Freedom
2. Nena – 99 Red Balloons
3. Blondie – Call Me
4. Joe Dolce – Shaddap You Face
5. The Jam – Going Underground

FIVE NUMBER ONES OF THE 90s

1. U2 – The Fly
2. Queen – Innuendo
3. Chesney Hawkes – the One And Only
4. Blur – Country House
5. Babylon Zoo – Spaceman

FIVE NUMBER ONES OF THE 00s

1. Tatu – All The Things She Said
2. Stereophonics – Dakota
3. Nelly Furtado – Maneater
4. Cheryl Cole – Fight For This Love
5. Billie Piper – Day And Night

FIVE NUMBER ONES OF THE 10s

1. Owl City – Fireflies
2. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
3. Rihanna ft Calvin Harris – We Found Love
4. Gotye ft Kimbra – Somebody That I Used To Know
5. Diana Vickers – Once