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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BLOSSOMS – LIVE AT THE LIMELIGHT 3.3.2020

Death, Taxes and Blossoms at The Limelight.

Even before the release of their debut album, Blossoms usually pop by Ormeau Avenue once a year. Well, apart from 2019. They were determined to make up for this.

However, their first trip to Belfast, and my first time seeing them, was at the more swankier surroundings of Waterfront Hall, supporting Paul Weller in 2015.

I was excited by this, as i’d already heard of them, knowing them as the band that do the song Charlemagne that I love, which ended up being voted The Song Of 2015.

They’ve done a lot of support slots in their career – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Charlatans and The Kooks have all had them as guests, sadly not at any concerts I’ve seen them that.

Surprising perhaps, for a band who have seen two of their three albums hit Number 1. The middle one “only” reached Number 4.

This would be a hits set, except their singles don’t really chart that high. They have radio hits, you know more songs of theirs than you realise, as noted during a recent interview with the BBC.

Despite their album success and radio hits, Blossoms are regulars at The Limelight. You’d expect them to be playing bigger venues.

There first visit here was in 2016, six months before the release of their debut album. I wasn’t at that. A concert that saw the venue upgraded from Voodoo to The Limelight, but a night looked back on with tragedy, as their support band that night, Viola Beach, died in a motor accident on tour the following weekend.

I was there in 2017 at The Limelight, just over six months after the release of that debut album.

They returned a few months later, as support to Kasabian, and I was there. There for Kasabian, but Blossoms was a nice bonus.

When I say supporting Kasabian, that was the plan. However, having warmed the crowd up, they would then be left cold as a bout of sickness saw Kasabian cancel their performance.

2018 saw another return to The Limelight. However, I would not be there, as I was in Manchester, watching United labour to a 1-0 win over Young Boys Berne.

So, 2020, a brief Irish tour announced, with The Limelight once again on the list

There was a surreal moment for me making my way to the venue. Walking along, minding my own business, somebody stops me to ask me to take a photo of them.

It was a group of fellas posing in the middle of the road, nothing usual there, but the Steve McManaman lookalike in the middle looked familiar. It was none other than Tom Ogden, lead singer of Blossoms.

I took the photos, and we all just walked to the venue.

Support came from The Lathums, who were decent.

Tom Ogden commented on how glad he was to be in “Beautiful Belfast”. I’m not sure where in Belfast he has visited.

Previous concerts have seen them dedicate a song to a member of the audience who had recently been dumped. That didn’t happen this time.

Three albums in, and they have a lot of hits behind them, all of which got played, songs like Your Girlfriend, There’s A Reason Why, I Can’t Stand It, Blown Rose, Honey Sweet and At Most A Kiss, as well as sneaking in covers of You’re Gorgeous and Half A World Away.

When doing an instrumental break after At Most A Kiss, the person in front of me turned around and shouted “CHARLEMAGNE!!” at me.

Of course, that was coming up next, the band signing off with their debut single, sending the fans home happy.

Talking of Paul Weller, who introduced them to Belfast, he’ll be coming back to Belfast in October for a concert at Ulster Hall. I’ve already got a ticket for that.

Having seen them (Well, one third of them) in HMV, Ash have announced a concert for The Limelight for a concert in May. Yep, already got a ticket for that.

Ian Brown is heading to Waterfront Hall in May. No ticket yet, undecided. I do enjoy some of his solo stuff.

Also coming to Belfast in Genesis. Love a lot of their big hits but waiting to decide wether to go. I saw the announcement video on Radio 2’s social media feeds and Phil Collins sounds as though his voice is fucked.

Also announced, is KT Tunstall for North Berwick for Fringe By The Sea in August. I might make this my weekend to go to Edinburgh. It would make up on missing out on her when she played North Berwick when I was in Edinburgh in 2017.

A lot to look forward to.

Photo Album

Blossoms live at Custom House Square 2017

Blossoms live at The Limelight 2017