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.

Linfield v Carrick Rangers

Blossoms live at Telegraph Building

Blossoms live at Telegraph Building Photo Album

Ash live at Ulster Hall

Ash live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

BLOSSOMS – LIVE AT TELEGRAPH BUILDING 5.12.2022

“It’s been long overdue”, that was Tom Ogden’s words, not mine, on Blossoms return to Belfast.

He was right though, as he recalled “It was before Covid”, which was indeed correct, early March 2020.

That should have been the first of two concerts in ten days for me. The situation escalated so quickly that the second of those concerts was postponed and didn’t take place until over eighteen months later.

Before Covid, they were regular visitors to Belfast, it was almost an annual event.

For me, this would be a fourth different venue seeing them.

The first time I saw them was in Waterfront Hall supporting Paul Weller in 2015.

I only knew of them then as the band who did that song (Charlemagne) that I loved.

Three months later, they were at Voodoo. As much as I loved Charlemagne, I didn’t know any other songs so I didn’t go.

Then came a near annual visit to what would become their spiritual home, in Belfast at least – The Limelight.

March 2017, November 2018 (I missed this as I was at a United match) and then March 2020.

A few months later, came a visit to Custom House Square where they were the support act for a Kasabian concert that never happened.

So this would be a new venue for Blossoms in Belfast, I was surprised by it when it was announced.

I had been to Telegraph Building before, but only once, in 2019 to see Two Door Cinema Club, so I knew what the venue was like.

Support came from a singer called Kynsy, who scored very high on the Toe Tap Chart.

I had made a mental note to buy one of her CDs on the way out but I had forgotten by the time the concert ended.

I’ll have to remedy that at some point soon.

In other new CD news, I got the new Bruce Springsteen album. It wasn’t until the morning of this when I went for a walk up Blackmountain so I listened to it on the drive there. My only CD Player is in the car.

If you care, I give it a thumbs up.

A new venue for Blossoms, surprisingly it wasn’t a sell out.

There was a lot of people in the room, but there was still some space on the floor. More room for dancing I suppose.

Dancing was what a lot of people were doing as Blossoms blasted through their hits, playing songs such as At Most A Kiss, Honey Sweet, Blown Rose, I Can’t Stand It, If You Think This Is Real Life and Your Girlfriend.

The band then left the stage, leaving Tom on his own to do an acoustic set, starting with my favourite room.

In my previous times seeing Blossoms, this had been the cue for Tom to appeal for someone in the crowd who has recently been dumped in order to dedicate the song to them.

Not this time, that was bypassed.

One tradition was upheld, that the song then merges into covers of You’re Georgeous by Babybird and Half The World Away by Oasis.

As it was December, there was an extra one added, with an acoustic version of Last Christmas by Wham!

I’ve checked the rules of Whamageddon and this is ok. Cover versions are allowed.

Unfortunately for me, I would have been already out if I was actively playing it, as Ikea were playing it at full blast at the entrance to their store on Saturday morning as I was walking in.

The rest of the band then reappeared, to perform There’s A Reason Why and Charlemagne.

Hopefully, their next visit to Belfast won’t be a near three year wait.

Photo Album

Blossoms live at The Limelight 2020

Blossoms live at Custom House Square 2017

Blossoms live at The Limelight 2017

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.

  1. Tame Impala – Lost In Yesterday
  2. The Weeknd – Blinding Lights
  3. Powfu ft Barbadoobee – Death Bed
  4. Post Malone – Circles
  5. David Guetta and Sia – Let’s Love
  6. Royal Blood – Trouble’s Coming
  7. Beabadoobee – Care
  8. Paul Molloy – Dungaree Day
  9. Shader – Don’t You Forget About Me
  10. Georgia – Running Up That Hill
  11. Declan McKenna – Beautiful Faces
  12. Tom Grennan – Amen
  13. Andy Bell – Cherry Cola
  14. Lady Gaga – Stupid Love
  15. Dea Matrona – Roll With It
  16. Blossoms – Paperback Writer
  17. Dermot Kennedy – Giants
  18. 5 Seconds Of Summer – Wildflower
  19. Blossoms ft James Skelly – Dreaming Of You
  20. Beabadoobee – Together
  21. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Come On Outside
  22. Crowded House – Whatever You Want
  23. Tom Grennan – Something Better
  24. Samara Ginsberg – Inspector Gadget
  25. Dermot Kennedy – Power Over Me
  26. Oasis – Don’t Stop
  27. 24kgoldn – City Of Angels
  28. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – We’re Gonna Get There In The End
  29. Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott – Some Might Say
  30. Samara Ginsberg – Knight Rider
  31. Declan McKenna – Rapture
  32. Samara Ginsberg – Thomas The Tank Engine
  33. Liam Gallagher – All You’re Dreaming Of
  34. Beabadooebee – Worth It
  35. Karen O and Willie Nelson – Under Pressure
  36. Tate McRae – You Broke Me First
  37. Declan McKenna – Be An Astronaut
  38. Two Mad Men And A String Quartet – Madness Hits Medley
  39. Blossoms – It’s Going To Be A Cold Winter
  40. Arlo Parks – Black Dog
  41. New Order – Be A Rebel
  42. Izzy Bizu – Faded
  43. The 1975 – If You’re Too Shy
  44. David Latto – Geordie Munro
  45. Magnum Haus – Rip It Up
  46. Swim School – Dignity
  47. Ash – Darkest Hour Of The Night
  48. Doves – Broken Eyes
  49. AC/DC – Shot In The Dark
  50. Tom Ogden – Everyday I Write The Book

PAST WINNERS

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 – MARCH/APRIL

March 2020, that was an, um, interesting month.

As I turned over the calendar on the first day of the month, I had three football matches and three concerts planned, with hopefully another football match on the last day of the month where Northern Ireland would qualify for Euro 2020.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

As we all know, most of the month was spent indoors. However, I still managed some photo adventures in the first week of the month before Lockdown started.

The first day of the month saw me check out a mural of Andrew Weatherall in Belfast, before heading to The Limelight to see Blossoms in concert a few days later.

I then headed to Taylor’s Avenue on the first Saturday of the month to see Linfield take on Carrick Rangers, securing a fifth successive win, looking forward to the following weekend’s match at home to Larne.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

Unsurprisingly, there was not one single photo adventure in April 2020. Not even a single photo taken.

Andrew Weatherall Mural

Andrew Weatherall Mural Photo Album

Blossoms live at The Limelight

Blossoms live at The Limelight Photo Album

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

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