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

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 10.3.2017

1. Rose Elinor Dougall – All At Once
2. John Hassall and the April Rainers – Intercity 125
3. Rory Lavelle – When The Crazies Come Out
4. Pale Waves – There’s A Honey
5. Coldplay – Something Just Like This

In gig news, Erasure have hinted that they’ll be doing a UK tour in 2018. At least that’s something to gt hopeful about.

Hoped to see The Pigeon Detectives doing an instore gig at HMV Belfast last Friday but it was a meet and greet rather than an instore gig, which was a bit rubbish.

The announcement of the full CQAF line-up is near, but The Divine Comedy and Rich Hall (not a singer, but a bloody hilarious comedian) are definitely worth getting excited about.

Culture Night Belfast has been confirmed for Friday 22nd September this year. Slightly annoyed, as I wanted it to be on that weekend last year. I missed the 2016 night as I was in Liverpool and was desperately hoping they would make it the weekend after. Missing it last year makes me look forward to this even more. A half day has already been applied for.

Oh, and i’m still on the lookout for a Ryan Adams ticket.

THE SOUND OF 2016 : 51-76

51. White Spaces ft Jim Kerr – The Man Who Sold The World
52. Stone Roses – It’s A Beautiful Thing
53. We Are Scientists – Too Late
54. Biffy Clyro – Wolves Of Winter
55. Oasis – Stand By Me (Mustique Demo)
56. Laether Strip – Waterfront
57. Bruce Springsteen – Purple Rain
58. Birdy – Keeping You Head Up
59. Madness – Mr Apples
60. The 1975 – Somebody Else
61. Ellie Goulding – Army
62. Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz – Midnight Gold
63. Simple Minds ft KT Tunstall – Promised You A Miracle
64. Chvrches – Warning Call
65. Tom Odell – Magnetised
66. Nina Nesbitt – Chewing Gum
67. Halsey – New Americana
68. Lorde – Life On Mars?
69. All Saints – One Strike
70. Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
71. The 1975 – A Change Of Heart
72. Paul Simon – Wristband
73. Blink 182 – Home Is Such A Lonely Place
74. Laura Mvula – Overcome
75. Graham Nash – This Path Tonight

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 7.10.2016

1. The Courteeners – No One Will Ever Replace Us
2. One Republic – Kids
3. Kasabian – Comeback Kid
4. Placebo – Jesus Son
5. Daughtry – Come Undone

This week saw the announcement that Coldplay will be doing a concert at Croke Park in the Summer of 2017. I’m going to admit something really uncool ……. I like Coldplay. Well, their singles, I can’t really be arsed listening to any of their albums in full.

I’m undecided if i’m going. If you are, here’s five songs to get you in the mood.

FIVE SONGS BY COLDPLAY

1. Violet Hill
2. Talk
3. Lost
4. Pricess of China (ft Rihanna)
5. Speed Of Sound

Forgot to comment on it last week, but Two Door Cinema Club announced a tour for January with no Belfast gig. That can mean one of three things.

1. Belsonic headliner?
2. Vital support act?
3. Bangor gig as part of Open House Festival?

1 and 3 sound quite tempting.

Also, I went to see Supersonic last Sunday. It was very enjoyable. I’m absolutely certain that there will be an Oasis reunion one day. 2017? 2018? 2019? 2035? It will happen one day.

2016 : THE HALF-TERM HALF CENTURY

It’s that time of year again, where we have reached the halfway point. So, as is tradition, it’s time to look back at the 50 best songs of the year so far.

1. The Strumbellas – Spirits
2. James – Nothing But Love
3. Iggy Pop – Gardenia
4. Blossoms – Getaway
5. Aurora – Conquerer
6. Travis – Magnificent Time
7. Blossoms – At Most A Kiss
8. Grimes – California
9. The Lumineers – Ophelia
10. James – Dear John
11. Christine and the Queens – Tilted
12. Stone Roses – All For One
13. Bloc Party – Virtue
14. Manic Street Preachers – Feels Like Heaven
15. Taylor Swift – Out Of The Woods
16. Last Shadow Puppets – Bad Habits
17. The Temper Trap – Fall Together
18. The Coral – Miss Fortune
19. The Last Shadow Puppets – Aviation
20. Jake Bugg – Gimme The Love
21. Lukas Graham – 7 Years
22. White Spaces ft Jim Kerr – The Man Who Sold The World
23. Tom Odell – Magnetised
24. Foxes – Feet Don’t Fail Me Now
25. Tegan and Sara – Boyfriend
26. Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
27. Ellie Goulding – Army
28. Biffy Clyro – Wolves Of Winter
29. Halsey – New Americana
30. Richard Ashcroft – This Is How It Feels
31. Bruce Springsteen – Purple Rain
32. The 1975 – The Sound
33. DNCE – Cake By The Ocean
34. Lorde – Life On Mars?
35. The 1975 – A Change Of Heart
36. All Saints – One Strike
37. Laura Tesoro – What’s The Pressure?
38. Birdy – Keeping You Head Up
39. Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz – Midnight Gold
40. Tame Impala – The Less I Know The Better
41. Paul Simon – Wristband
42. Laura Mvula – Overcome
43. Manic Street Preachers – Together Stronger
44. Sergey Lazarev – You Are The Only One
45. Graham Nash – This Path Tonight
46. Tegan and Sara – U-Turn
47. Chvrches – Warning Call
48. Richard Ashcroft – Hold On
49. Nina Nesbitt – Chewing Gum
50. Travis – 3 Miles High

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 11.3.2016

1. Ladyhawke – A Love Song
2. Stereophonics – White Lies
3. James – Nothing But Love
4. Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
5. Lukas Graham – 7 Years

So, the rumours are true, Red Hot Chili Peppers will be coming to Belfast in August for Tennent’s Vital. The tickets go on sale this morning. Sorry to sound smug, but i’ve already got a ticket in the pre-sale.

To get you in the mood, here’s a RHCP Top Five.

FIVE SONGS BY RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS

1. The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie
2. Cabron
3. Snow
4. Zephyr Song
5. Dani California

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.

THE SOUND OF 2015 : 76-100

So, it’s that time of year to look back at the twelve months just past, and this blog is no different.

Totally unscientific and totally guesswork, time to present to you the Top 100 Songs Of 2015, to see who will join Kasabian, Feist, Sons and Daughters, Little Boots, Marina and the Diamonds, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Taylor Swift, Haim and Jamie T on the honours list.

Spoiler alert. There are four former winners in the Top 100, and there are two acts who appear on it who also have a cover of one of their songs in the countdown.

I’ll let you guess them, and the winner. Here’s the first 25 to get you going. Another 25 will appear every Thursday for the next three weeks.

76. Hidden Cities ft Tim Halperin – Hungry Like The Wolf
77. The Libertines – Gunga Din
78. Coasts – Modern Love
79. The Charlatans – Come Home Baby
80. Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance
81. Mans Zelmerlow – Heroes
82. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Lock All The Doors
83. The Vaccines – Give Me A Sign
84. Marina and the Diamonds – Blue
85. Bear’s Den – Agape
86. Gun – Every 1’s A Winner
87. Years and Years – Desire
88. Muse – Lies
89. Olly Murs – Kiss Me
90. Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You
91. Miguel – Waves
92. Seasick Steve – Summertime Boy
93. Jason Derulo – Want To Want Me
94. The Courteeners – Has The Told You That He Loves You Yet
95. The Maccabees – Marks To Prove It
96. James Taylor – Montana
97. Coldplay – Adventure Of A Lifetime
98. Brandon Flowers – I Can Change
99. The Charlatans – Let The Good Times Be Never Ending
100. Years and Years – Shine

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 13.11.2015

1. X-Ambassadors – Renegades
2. Cee-Lo – Music To My Soul
3. Fleur East – Sax
4. Bear’s Den – Agape
5. Coldplay – Adventure Of A Lifetime

It’s a good week for gig goers in Belfast. Today, tickets go on sale for Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott (tickets shall be purchased for that) and Busted (Just a Public Service Announcement, i’m not purchasing one for that) while Paul Weller and U2 are due in town in the next seven days. Ever so slightly looking forward to those two.

Meanwhile, next Thursday is International Men’s Day. In celebration of all that manliness (grrr) here’s a man based music chart.

FIVE SONGS BY MEN

1. Ryan Adams – Bad Blood
2. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA …… What A Life
3. Paul Weller – The Changingman
4. John Parr – St Elmo’s Fire
5. Elton John – I’m Still Standing

FIVE SONGS WITH BOY, MAN OR MEN IN THE TITLE

1. Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror
2. Texas – Black Eyed Boy
3. Andrew Gold – Lonely Boy
4. David Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World
5. REM – Man On The Moon

FIVE SONGS WITH MALE NAMES IN THE TITLE

1. Rick Springfield – Jesse’s Girl
2. Elliott Smith – Son Of Sam
3. Wonder Villains – Oh Peter
4. Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros – Johnny Appleseed
5. Kasabian – Stevie

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : NME BIG BOOK – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2003

It’s the end of 2003, and NME brings out a Big Book to celebrate, as a photo collage of stars from the year such as Beyonce, Justin Hawkins, Charlie Simpson and Chris Martin form the cover.

The forward, comes from Jack and Kelly Osbourne, with Jack stating his highlight of the year was discovering The Darkness.

The format takes on a month by month review of the year, starting, obviously with January, with Danger! High Voltage by Electric Six being named Song Of The Month.

The Libertines get a double page spread, with Carl Barat looking back at 2003 with some of his favourite photos.

Coldplay go one better and have three pages, looking back at their successful year, which saw them play venues in the UK such as Earls Court and MEN Arena.

That is then followed by a Top Ten highlights from the 2003 NME Awards, which included Steve-O exposing himself in front of The Polythonic Spree.

Turning over the page, it’s The White Stripes. Or is it? Closer inspection reveals The Cheeky Girls dressed up as The White Stripes.

In the accompanying interview, Monica revealed she bought a recent edition of NME and found the articles very interesting, and she would most like to date Hugh Grant, if given a choice of Hollywood stars.

In their review of February, NME announces Move Your Feet by Junior Senior as their Song Of The Month.

NME faves The Strokes get a double page feature as they released their second album in late October.

Also getting a double page feature are Radiohead, as NME lists their Top Ten Radiohead Gigs Of The Year.

In Da Club by 50 Cent is declared Song Of The Month for March, while in news, Top Of The Pops ban t-shirts protesting against the Iraq War.

Which leads us nicely into NME’s Top Ten Anti Iraq War Songs, which includes a reworking of Faith by George Michael and Ms Dynamite.

Avril Lavigne, who had a successful 2003 gets a three page interview, where she reveals her favourite swear word is fuck.

Also getting three pages, is The Music, listing their top ten cities visited, including Blackpool, Paris and San Francisco.

NME love their Top Tens. Next up, is Top Ten Pin Badges.

The next Top Ten goes on a sombre theme, as NME remembers the ten much missed stars who died in 2003, such as Johnny Cash, Barry White, Maurice Gibb and Robert Palmer.

It’s not all Rock, as NME does a double page interview with Girls Aloud, discussing their favourite animal based stories of 2003, such as a farmer who played Classical music to his pigs being branded a noise nuisance by the local council, and a Jack Russell who mastered Surfing.

Back to The Strokes, if you wanted, you could make your own finger puppets of The Strokes.

In news, Siobhan Donaghy, former Sugababe, played at Glastonbury wearing a The Darkness t-shirt.

There is a two page review of Glastonbury, followed by a Dress Up Justin, where you can dress up Justin Hawkins from The Darkness in various outfits.

With the ipod new onto the market, NME dedicates a page to the songs you should put on yours, assuming you had one.

Dick Valentine of Electric Six gets a full page, discussing their massive hit that year, Gay Bar.

More Top Tens now, we have Top Ten Comments From Blazin Squad’s Messageboard, and Simon Amstell details his Top Ten Interviews Of 2003, in his role as host of Popworld on Channel 4.

There was also a quiz, most notably, What Christina Are You?, as you try to find out which Christina Aguilera alter ego you have.

We also get a Top Ten CD:UK Moments, featuring a spat between Louis Walsh and Mel C, where Louis defends Girls Aloud, who he manages, proclaiming “At least Girls Aloud will have successful solo careers”

Having interviewed Princess Diana and Michael Jackson (not together though), who was next for Martin Bashir? Busted. He interviewed them for NME.

And that, was 2003. Um, what a year.