2018 IN PICTURES – SEPTEMBER

September 2018 began for me with a trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Ards on the first day of the month, for a match that finished 0-0.

The following day, I headed out on bike to check out the latest scribbles on the Belfast Peace Wall.

On the third day of the month, yes, three successive days of photo adventures, I headed to The Limelight to see The Kooks in concert.

The following weekend, it was a football double header, taking in Linfield’s trip to Warrenpoint Town, and then Northern Ireland’s first ever UEFA Nations League match, at home to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

There was more football, taking in Linfield’s matches against Dungannon Swifts and Coleraine.

Sandwiched inbetween that was a trip to The Palm House to see Kyle Falconer in concert, and then Belfast Culture Night.

In the aftermath of Culture Night, I was out getting photos of new Street Art which appeared in Belfast, as part of Hit The North.

The month ended with me taking in Linfield’s home match with Ballymena United.

Linfield v Ards

Belfast Peace Wall Art

Belfast Peace Wall Art Photo Album

The Kooks live at The Limelight

The Kooks live at The Limelight Photo Album

Warrenpoint Town v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Bosnia-Herzegovina

Northern Ireland v Bosnia-Herzegovina Photo Album

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Kyle Falconer live at The Palm House

Kyle Falconer live at The Palm House Photo Album

Culture Night Belfast 2018

Culture Night Belfast 2018 Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

North Street Art

North Street Art Work In Progress

North Street Art Photo Album

Linfield v Ballymena United

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2018 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

August 2018 was a busy month, and it began at Mourneview Park for the start of the 2018-2019 season as Linfield beat Glenavon 1-0.

The following weekend, I headed to Custom House Square to see George Ezra in concert. That was followed by a day trip to Bangor where I squeezed in some Street Art photos, including a mural of John Lydon.

It was then back to the football as I went to see Edinburgh City take on Albion Rovers in the Scottish Challenge Cup while on a short break in Edinburgh. I also managed to get some Street Art photos while in Edinburgh.

Upon my return to Belfast, was a trip to Seaview to see Linfield take on Crusaders.

The next few days were spent at Custom House Square, seeing Kasabian, Turin Brakes and Travis in concert.

The following Saturday was a trip to Solitude to see Linfield take on Cliftonville.

Glenavon v Linfield

George Ezra live at Custom House Square

George Ezra live at Custom House Square Photo Album

Bangor Street Art

Bangor Street Art Photo Album

Edinburgh City v Albion Rovers

Edinburgh City v Albion Rovers Photo Album

Edinburgh Street Art

Edinburgh Street Art Photo Album

Crusaders v Linfield

Kasabian live at Custom House Square

Kasabian live at Custom House Square Photo Album

Turin Brakes live at Custom House Square

Turin Brakes live at Custom House Square Photo Album

Travis live at Custom House Square

Travis live at Custom House Square Photo Album

Cliftonville v Linfield

2018 IN PICTURES – JUNE

Not a lot happened in June 2018. All I did was go to see Richard Ashcroft and Liam Gallagher at Belsonic, and getting some Street Art photos out and about in Belfast.

Richard Ashcroft live at Ormeau Park

Richard Ashcroft live at Ormeau Park Photo Album

Liam Gallagher live at Ormeau Park

Liam Gallagher live at Ormeau Park

York Street Art

York Street Art Photo Album

Landmarks

Landmarks Photo Album

2018 IN PICTURES – MAY

May 2018 began for me by chasing Street Art, getting photos of Murals at Bankmore Square and Bank Square.

That was then followed by a trip to The Odyssey to see Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

The following weekend, I headed to Manchester to see United take on Watford, as well as getting some Street Art photos, both in the City Centre (mostly, Northern Quarter) and then Pomona Wharf.

On the Bank Holiday Weekend at the end of the month, I headed to Titanic Slipways for BBC’s Biggest Weekend where I saw Manic Street Preachers, Beck, Ash and Franz Ferdinand.

The end of the month was dominated by Street Art, going to check out Street Art on Bruce Street, and attending Wardrobe Jam.

Bankmore Square Street Art

Bankmore Square Street Art Photo Album

Bank Square Street Art

Bank Square Street Art Photo Album

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at The Odyssey

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at The Odyssey

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art

Salford Quays Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v Watford

Manchester United v Watford Photo Album

Manic Street Preachers live at Titanic Slipways

Manic Street Preachers live at Titanic Slipways Photo Album

Beck live at Titanic Slipways

Beck live at Titanic Slipways Photo Album

Ash live at Titanic Slipways

Ash live at Titanic Slipways Photo Album

Franz Ferdinand live at Titanic Slipways

Franz Ferdinand live at Titanic Slipways Photo Album

Bruce Street Art

Bruce Street Art Photo Album

Wardrobe Jam

Wardrobe Jam Photo Album

2018 IN PICTURES – MARCH

March 2018 began for me photographing snow. Yes, you read that right, the snow came down in the early days of March 2018.

That snow caused the postponement of Linfield’s Irish Cup tie against Cliftonville, so I had to wait a week for my first football match of the month, as Linfield took on Carrick Rangers.

That was then followed up the following midweek by Linfield’s Irish Cup tie against Cliftonville.

Two days later, I headed to The Odyssey to see Stereophonics in concert.

St Patrick’s Day was spent watching Linfield draw 1-1 at home to Glentoran.

The following Thursday, I headed to The Limelight to see Feeder in concert.

Off work the next day due to needing to use up excess Annual Leave, I made the long journey to Ballinamallard to see Linfield drop two points in the last minute.

That weekend, and the month, ended with me heading to East Belfast to get photos of some new murals that had appeared during the month.

Belfast Snow March 2018

Belfast Snow March 2018 Photo Album – Thursday 1st March

Belfast Snow March 2018 Photo Album – Saturday 3rd March

Linfield v Carrick Rangers

Linfield v Cliftonville

Stereophonics live at The Odyssey

Stereophonics live at The Odyssey Photo Album

Linfield v Glentoran

Feeder live at The Limelight

Feeder live at The Limelight Photo Album

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Northern Ireland v South Korea

Northern Ireland v South Korea Photo Album

East Belfast Street Art

East Belfast Street Art Photo Album

2018 IN PICTURES – FEBRUARY

February 2018 began with a trip to The Limelight, a first proper concert of the year, to see Shed Seven supported by John Power.

That was followed the following midweek by a trip to Warrenpoint to see Linfield take on Warrenpoint Town.

The following Saturday, was Linfield’s 0-0 draw with Dungannon Swifts.

The following week was very busy, with Paul Weller at Ulster Hall followed by Ulster v Edinburgh and then Cliftonville v Linfield.

The weekend after that was a trip to the seaside, to see Linfield take on Ards.

That was then followed by a midweek trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield lose to Glenavon.

Around that time, it was getting cold. So cold, there was the possibility of snow. That didn’t come until March 1st, so you’ll have to wait until next month’s round-up to see that.

John Power live at The Limelight

John Power live at The Limelight Photo Album

Shed Seven live at The Limelight

Shed Seven live at The Limelight Photo Album

Warrenpoint Town v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Paul Weller live at Ulster Hall

Paul Weller live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

Ulster v Edinburgh

Ulster v Edinburgh Photo Album

Cliftonville v Linfield

Ards v Linfield

Linfield v Glenavon

2018 IN PICTURES – JANUARY

2018 was supposed to start for me heading to Coleraine, but the weather saw Linfield’s match on New Year’s Day postponed.

I had to wait a week for a photo adventure, heading to a very wet Carrick to see Linfield grind out a 1-0 win.

A week and a bit later, it was my first visit of the year to Windsor Park, to see Linfield take on Glenavon.

The following weekend, I headed to London. Unsurprisingly, I was out with my camera, capturing a lot of Street Art, going to see Turin Brakes do an instore concert at Fopp, and seeing Millwall take on Rochdale in the FA Cup.

Upon my return from London, it was to Coleraine, to end the month with a rearranged game that should have kicked off the month.

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Linfield v Glenavon

London Street Art

London Street Art Photo Album 1

London Street Art Photo Album 2

Turin Brakes live at Fopp Covent Garden

Turin Brakes live at Fopp Covent Garden Photo Album

Millwall v Rochdale

Millwall v Rochdale Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

CAST – LIVE AT THE LIMELIGHT 23.11.2018

Death, taxes and Cast at The Limelight.

In the last few years, it’s felt like a certainty, an almost annual event.

It hasn’t been every year, but the last football season Cast weren’t in Ormeau Avenue in some shape or form was in 2014-2015.

When I say some shape or form, what I mean was, the last time Cast performed at The Limelight was in February this year, when only half of them were there. It was better than nothing though.

In late 2017, Cast were the support act for Shed Seven in a tour which didn’t include Belfast. However, a dose of illness in Shed Seven worked in Belfast’s favour when a Dublin concert had to be cancelled, and a Belfast date was added when the Dublin one was rearranged.

The full band weren’t able to appear, so John Power and Jay Lewis turned up to perform Cast’s back catalogue.

There is something about when Cast appear in Belfast, that they do so at the weekend. Their three previous visits have been Friday, Saturday and Saturday.

Cast’s back catalogue was the theme, as this was officially a Greatest Hits Tour, with the band promoting a new singles compilation album.

We began with some of the lesser known singles, before eventually moving on to the biggies, all sung word for word by the crowd, even covering for John Power at one point when he missed a word, hits such as Finetime, Sandstorm, Walkaway, Flying, Guiding Star, Live The Dream and I’m so Lonely.

We even got to hear Beat Mama, which I don’t remember being played live before. I do stand to be corrected though.

An underrated song, which was their last Top Ten hit and the lead single from Magic Hour in 1999.

The first stage of the concert saw Keith O’Neill and Jay Lewis on Rhythm Section having a musical duel, before O’Neill was left to perform drum solos on stage.

Eventually, the band appeared for the encore, their failure to do so in 2016 caused some annoyance amongst the crowd that night.

It was an encore which included Alright, with John Power signing off “See you soon” to the crowd.

On recent form, that would probably be correct.

This would have been the first of two visits to Ormeau Avenue in the space of a week, but i’ll be missing Blossoms due to being in Manchester. Hopefully, it needs to get rescheduled as that would suit me a lot better.

My first Limelight gig of 2019 will be Razorlight in February, the day after Chvrches, so that’ll be something to look forward to.

I’ll be giving Foo Fighters a miss at Vital as Vital is dire. Shit venue, stinks of fags, and a shit view, unless you’re a mate of a sponsor.

I’ve already got a CQAF event in my diary, as i’ll be going to see Kieran Hodgson at The MAC, which is nice, as I missed out on seeing him in Edinburgh this Summer.

And i’m sure Cast will be at The Limelight at some point.

Photo Album

John Power live at The Limelight February 2018

Cast live at The Limelight December 2016

Cast live at The Limelight October 2015

U2 – LIVE AT THE ODYSSEY 28.10.2018

We had the innocence, now for the experience, as U2 returned to Belfast three years after their last visit, an improvement on the eighteen year wait fans had between Botanic Gardens in 1997 and The Odyssey in 2015.

At that Odyssey concert in 2015, Bono entered the stage through the main floor. I got into a good position close to the stage and where he would walk past me, but he didn’t, fooling a lot of us by entering via the inside of the LED screen.

As the background music played, my ears became curious as People Have The Power by Patti Smith started blasting out, as this was the song Bono walked out to in 2015.

It was the next song that introduced the band as the lights dimmed, It’s A Beautiful World by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

Was this a clue as to what lay ahead?

Noel Gallagher guested with U2 on stage in 2015, while he supported the band on their Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary Tour in 2017. He is also a regular visitor to Belfast due to his work with David Holmes.

Nope. I got my hopes up prematurely. His Odyssey concert in May would be his only Belfast appearance this year. I would have to make do with Paul, Dave, Adam and Larry.

Opening with new songs The Blackout and Lights Of Home, Bono then tells the crowd “We’re a band from the North side of Dublin called The U2, and this is our new single I Will Follow”.

Well, that would have been the case if it was 1980, the setlist spanning all parts of the band’s 42 year career, with Bono saying he had spent the morning of this concert watching a TV programme by BBC Northern Ireland called Rock Goes To College filmed at McMordie Hall, the first TV concert footage of the band, even though Bono says none of the band went to college, and then commenting on the difference in fashion of the band between 1980 and 2018.

With North Dublin side Bohemian launching a new kit with Bob Marley on it, U2 must be feeling left out. Shelbourne haven’t brought out their new kit for next season, so watch this space perhaps.

Or maybe on the new St Patrick’s Athletic kit? Not a North Dublin team, but U2 once did a cover of The Saints Are Coming.

More recent classics such as All Because Of You and Beautiful Day then appeared, with the latter bringing back memories of Des Lynam introducing Premier League highlights on ITV.

Bono then moved to the inside of the big screen for The Fly, standing back to back with The Edge as they performed a duet for the chorus.

Of the five big hits from Achtung Baby, Mysterious Ways was the only one not played.

Nothing from The Joshua Tree was played due to the band touring that album in 2017. I love I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and Where The Streets Have No Name.

Curiously, I don’t really like With Or Without You, but it sounds a lot better live.

The four big Achtung Baby hits – The Fly, One, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses? were spaced out this time around rather than bunched together as they were in 2015.

The Fly is one of my favourite U2 songs, and did us all a favour by knocking Bryan Adams off Number 1 in 1991.

Just imagine being in the Record Company Officer when Bono says “Here’s our first new song in four years” and then presses play.

Other 90s classics featured such as Stay (Faraway So Close) and Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me – The latter sounding very dark and Depeche Modey, accompanied by comic book animation on the LED screen similar to the video for the song.

If you get annoyed at Spanish being spoken incorrectly, you would have been advised to leave the room for cinco minutes, as the band played Vertigo, with Bono allowing the crowd to sing “Uno, Dos, Tres, Catorce”, which anyone with a basic grasp of Spanish will tell you is “One, Two, Three, Fourteen”.

I was the lone voice shouting “Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro”.

The band made up for the poor Spanish by treating us to snippets of It’s Only Rock n Roll and Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones.

They then performed Pride, one of their best songs. On the recording, everybody was on top form, and they were still on top form when performing it on stage 34 years later, though Bono changed the lyrics of “Early morning, April four” to “Fifty years ago, April 4” as it has been pointed out that Martin Luther King was shot a lot later in the day.

We can’t have factual inaccuracies in U2 songs.

Maybe Bono doesn’t want to go where the streets have no name? He would get lost very easily. Maybe he actually has found what he’s looking for?

Now in the present day, we were treated to the two stand-out tracks from Songs Of Experience – Get Out Of Your Own Way and You’re The Best Thing About Me, before performing New Year’s Day.

Bono wasn’t slow in giving opinions on world events, decrying Brexit, which let’s face it is a dumber idea than having a giant lemon on stage, singing Ode To Joy and having a megaphone with the European flag on stage, .

Talking of U2’s 90s excesses, Mr MacPhisto made a comeback, sort of, Bono’s alter ego, or Paul Hewson’s alter ego’s alter ego, stating that he (MacPhisto) is having his work done for him in America, Brazil and Phillipines.

Before the encore, Bono gave a shout out to Soak, the band performing One.

This concert was part of a busy social period for me.

On the Thursday before, I had hoped to see Nerina Pallot at Black box, but I wasn’t quick enough, which was a pity. I did see her in 2010 though, so I haven’t missed out on her.

I had hoped to see Simon Day on the Friday before, but that got cancelled with no reason, so I went to the Rugger instead.

The day after this concert, I headed to the Waterfront Hall for An Evening With Eric Cantona, which was a bit disappointing.

It was great to see him in the flesh again, and I had a decent view, but there were so many complaints.

He was on stage for less than an hour. Not good enough for the price of the tickets. Especially when signage in the venue had the show starting at 8pm, only for that segment to be a comedian (funny in bits, emphasis on bits, I won’t be checking him out for future shows) and an auction.

The host of the show was the owner of the promotion company. It showed. It would have been so much better if it had a professional broadcaster hosting it and asking questions, and most importantly, taking charge of proceedings.

Far too many times, you could barely hear Eric Cantona due to the number of Banter Bores in the crowd, answering questions on his behalf, chipping in and hoping that Eric will laugh at something they say, so that they can dine out on it.

Eric Cantona did not laugh at one thing they said.

You know the sort, the type of person who tells a joke three times, getting louder each time so that everybody in the pub gets to hear how funny they are.

Jeans and sheux and pints of Harp, the absolute worst of “Ladz ladz bantz bantz”.

Like I say, it was great seeing Eric Cantona, but it could have been so much better if it had basic organisation. I’ve been to similar events with Suggs and Ron Atkinson (not together) and a decent interviewer who tolerates no shit from the crowd make these things work.

Once it wasn’t nipped in the bud early on, there was no way back.

I’ve paid money to listen to Eric Cantona, not Sammy from Lisburn. Is it any fucking wonder Sammy, that she has turned the weans against you.

If the second half of the double header was disappointing, the first half of it, U2, certainly wasn’t.

Photo Album

U2 Live at The Odyssey 2015

KYLE FALCONER – LIVE AT THE PALM HOUSE 20.9.2018

Over a decade since The View burst onto the scene, lead singer Kyle Falconer has now gone solo, releasing a debut album in late July, and rolled into Belfast to perform at The Palm House.

It wasn’t the first time he had performed solo in Belfast, though he seemed to be confused when posting on Twitter, as he was one of the support acts for Liam Gallagher last October.

I thought at the time that the unreleased material was decent, and so it proved, when Family Tree was on rotation on XFM, which led me to explore his Youtube channel, and then purchase his album.

It’s the album of the year for me, albeit by default, as it’s the only album i’ve purchased this year.

In all seriousness, his solo album is very decent and you should purchase it.

It was a new venue for me, my first time in The Palm House based in Bankmore Square.

Surprisingly, it was a sparse crowd. Seriously Belfast, what is wrong with you?

On the plus side, it did mean that there was plenty of room to move around and get a decent, um, view, no pun intended.

Falconer walked onto the stage and went straight into one of the standout tracks from No Thank You, Poor Me, which lacked the dramtaic violins on the record, but made up for it with dramatic drums when played live.

All of the standout tracks on his solo album were played – The Therapist, Family Tree, Kelly and Japanese Girl, as well as The View classics such as Blondie and Grace.

He even allowed a couple of fans onto the stage (they did ask him) to perform with him.

There seems to be a Scottish theme to my concerts recently.

Last month, I saw Travis at Custom House Square, while I have just purchased a ticket to see KT Tunstall in March, to go with the ticket for Chvrches in February.

That gig by KT Tunstall is scheduled to be my first visit to Elmwood Hall.

My first visit was supposed to be at the end of October to see Simon Day, but that has been cancelled. I’m not sure why.

There might not have been a lot of people in The Palm House, but those that were there certainly enjoyed themselves.

Photo Album

The View live at The Limelight 2012