ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN – LIVE AT CUSTOM HOUSE SQUARE 3.5.2019 (CATHEDRAL QUARTER ARTS FESTIVAL)

If I was Philip Lowry, i’d be insisting that Echo and the Bunnymen perform at Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, as they performed at the event for the first time since 2010, the last time he scored in an Irish Cup Final.

It wasn’t their first return to Belfast since then, stopping off in the city in 2015, but not since.

To the frustration of their Belfast fans, they made a visit to Dublin last year when touring their most recent album, The Stars, The Oceans and The Moon, an orchestral reworking of their greatest hits.

Fans in Belfast were treated to their greatest hits, but no orchestra, it was the crowd who provided the support, singing along to all of their favourites.

It was the weekend of Ian McCulloch’s 60th birthday, which took place two days after the concert, a section of the crowd signing Happy Birthday to him. I’m not sure if it was to celebrate his birthday. but he prepared for this gig with grub at Fish City.

It wasn’t the first time i’d seen a pop star on or around their birthday. In fact, it wasn’t even the first member of Echo and the Bunnymen, having seen them in Glasgow in 2013 the day after Will Sergeant’s birthday, when McCulloch got the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to him.

Outside of The Bunnymen, I saw The Kooks the day before Luke Pritchard’s 30th birthday in 2015.

Throughout the concert, McCulloch complained about having itchy feet, but that he wasn’t prepared to take his shoes off as it wasn’t a good look. Didn’t do Sandie Shaw any harm.

For some reason, some numpty in the crowd kept chanting “Pete De Frietas”. You know the sort, tedious bores who think they’re funny and that the band want to have “Banter” with them.

McCulloch corrected his pronunciation of “De Freetas” by pointing out it was “De Freytas”

Among the hits performed were Bedbugs and Ballyhoo, Rescue, Never Stop, Villiers Terrace, Nothing Lasts Forever, Seven Seas, The Killing Moon and The Cutter.

The version of Nothing Lasts Forever was a nice chilled out acoustic version of the song, one of a few songs which saw them deviate into snippets of covers of famous songs such as Jean Genie, Walk On The Wild Side, Don’t Let Me Down and Sex Machine

With so many big hits in the main set, it was interesting to see what they saved for the encore. They finished with Lips Like Sugar and Do It Clean.

Photo Album

Echo and the Bunnymen live at Mandela Hall 2015

Echo and the Bunnymen live at SECC 2013

Echo and the Bunnymen live at Custom House Square 2010

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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

TRAVIS – LIVE AT CUSTOM HOUSE SQUARE 22.8.2018

Waking up on Wednesday morning to the sound of rain, it looked ominous. Of course, with Travis coming to town, it was always going to piss down, possibly because Francis Healy lied when he was 17.

Thankfully, by the time the band took to the stage at Custom House Square, it was now dry, and stayed that way.

This concert was part of a tour where Travis play their 1999 album The Man Who in full. I’m not sure why. 19 years isn’t a milestone anniversary that is usually commemorated.

I’m not a fan of these playing albums in full tours. The only album that should be played in full on a tour is a Greatest Hits album.

I’d been to one of these types of concerts, when Ocean Colour Scene toured Moseley Shoals, so I knew what the deal was. They perform the album, and then do the hits.

Though, most of Travis big hits appear on The Man Who – Writing To Reach You, Driftwood, Turn and Why Does It Always Rain On Me?

Surprisingly, when they played Why Does It Always Rain On Me?, it didn’t rain, a song described by Fran Healy as about going on holiday to escape the rain in Scotland, only to find more rain in his new location.

Thankfully, it wasn’t windy either, due to Healy wearing a kilt, meaning that Angus Young isn’t the only Scottish musician who can confidently expose bare legs on stage, as Francis Healy is now morphing into Francis Rossi by having a manbun these days.

His partner in crime, Dougie Payne, brother of Max, was dressed in shirt and tie.

This was my first time seeing Travis, though it should have been my second. I won a ticket for T In The Park in 2002. Travis were due to perform, but had to pull out due to Neil Primrose suffering injury on holiday. While waiting for a band to appear on a stage, BBC Scotland arranged for the audience to record a get well soon message.

The Man Who was a soundtrack to my late teens, though really, for me, it was a stop-gap until the forth Oasis album. Travis were everywhere back then.

They continued to bring out brilliant tunes, but by 2003, people stopped buying their records.

Healy told the crowd about a concert in Belfast while touring The Man Who first time around, saying it took place in “A classical building”.

Half the crowd shouted “Ulster Hall” while the other half shouted “Waterfront Hall”. Research on the internet suggests they played Waterfront Hall on Sunday 12th December 1999.

At that gig, somebody threw a pair of knickers at him, which he threw to the side of the stage, hitting and distracting their sound mixer.

Of those songs that people (idiots) no longer buy, was My Eyes, released in 2007 but written in 2006 on the day he found out he was going to be a dad, adding that his son is now addicted to Fortnite, whatever that means.

Apparantly, it’s a video game. The last video game I played was on the Sega Mega Drive.

Fans were treated to hits such as Love Will Come Though, Side (their best song, should have been the lead single from The Invisible Band), Closer, Flowers In The Window and Sing.

Fittingly, for the encore of a concert celebrating an album released in 1999, they signed off with the biggest song of 1999. It wasn’t one of theirs, it was a cover of Baby One More Time by Britney Spears, as Healy declared “See you soon”, teasing at a quick return to Belfast.

Photo Album

TURIN BRAKES – LIVE AT CUSTOM HOUSE SQUARE 22.8.2018 (CHSQ)

Can’t believe i’ve got cheap travel to go and see Cristiano Ronaldo play for Juventus. Oh, wait, i’ve already done that Turin Brakes joke when I saw them in January.

Not a Travel Agent that specialises in a city in Italy, Turin Brakes are a band, and a band I loved in my late teens, so when it was announced that they would be supporting Travis on tour this Summer, it was great that Belfast would be also included when it was announced they would be joining Travis at Custom House Square.

They were a perfect warm-up for Travis, nice wee chilled out tunes that you can tap your toes to, the band playing, in their words, under the influence of some Guinness in a pub opposite The Black Box, a venue they fondly remembered, playing hits such as Painkiller and Underdog.

Photo Album

Turin Brakes live at Fopp Covent Garden January 2018

KASABIAN – LIVE AT CUSTOM HOUSE SQUARE 20.8.2018 (CHSQ)

There is always some sort of wait for a concert. For Kasabian fans in Belfast, they had to wait a little bit longer for this one, taking place 363 days later than it should have, having been cancelled due to illness with fans in the venue in August last year.

Nearly a year on, fans returned to Custom House Square, except for the three that died waiting.

Waking up on Monday morning to rain, the weather picked up where it left off from that night in August 2017. Thankfully, it got better, drying up during the day, though there was drizzle at the start of Kasabian’s set before getting worse by 10pm, necessitating the need for me to use the poncho in my pocket, which some kind concert neighbours helped me put on. See, not all Belfast people are arseholes.

Yep, another outdoor Belfast concert infested with scummy tramps. You know what i’m referring to.

Last August, Blossoms were the support act. With a new album and doing the festival circuit this Summer, it wasn’t unreasonable to hope they would make a return to Belfast, but it wasn’t to be.

Blossoms have a tour announced for later this year but no Belfast gig, so fingers crossed that means they’ll be doing a festival here in Summer 2019.

The support act for this concert was a band called DMAs, who were decent even though they looked like the world’s shittest football hooligan firm.

Kasabian entered the stage and went straight into blasting out their hits, leaving very little time for interaction with the crowd – Club Foot, Ill Ray, Underdog, Shoot The Runner, Days Are Forgotten, Eez-Eh and You’re In Love With A Psycho all delighting the crowd.

One man in front of me was enjoying himself so much, he was jumping up an down as if Madness were playing a ninety minute version of One Step Beyond.

Eventually, the band made reference to the cancelled concert last year, with Tom saying “Sorry, I was ill” and the band dedicated LSF to the fans who came back the second time.

Serge then turned his attention to residents in nearby apartments, asking one person to get him a packet of crisps, which he did, a packet of Space Raiders, since you ask. Tom then asked if he could move in with him.

By the time we got to the encore, the band ended with Fire. They were on fire. It was worth the wait.

Photo Album

Kasabian live at The Odyssey December 2014

GEORGE EZRA – LIVE AT CUSTOM HOUSE SQUARE (CHSQ) 10.8.2018

No pressure on George here, but I was giving up not one, but two, football matches to be here – missing Linfield’s match against Institute as well as Man United being on TV.

At around 9.10pm, George entered the stage to the sound of Soul Bossa Nova by Quincy Jones, which you know better as the theme tune to Austin Powers, though you would hardly describe him as an International Man Of Mystery, his drummer banging out a thunderous drum beat and ventured close to In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins, the lighting went similarly thunderous as he took his place at the mic stand.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the cue for inclement weather as Belfast stayed dry, despite rain earlier in the day.

He jumped straight into Cassy O, a song which was my introduction to his music, and the same for a lot of people, as the crowd along “Cassy oh oh oh oh oh” at the chorus.

This might have been his third concert in Belfast, but his introduction to Northern Ireland on the other side of the Glenshane Pass, in Derry as part of Other Voices.

His two other concerts in Belfast, both at The Limelight, have represented milestones in his career.

In 2014, the performed there shortly after his debut album Wanted On Voyage had got to Number 1, though it is a concert that is yet to reach the mythical levels of Oasis at the same venue on the night Definitely Maybe did the same.

Fast forward two and a half years to May 2017, and he was back to preview songs from his second album in what was billed as the Top Secret Tour. This concert, the first of a series of outdoor concerts called CHSQ (abbreviation fans will note that this means Switzerland Squared) was anything but secret, selling out well in advance.

By the time Ezra took to the stage, Linfield were 2-0 up, so I could enjoy the concert without having to worry about the score, although I thought that when they went 2-0 up just as Noel Gallagher entered the stage at The Odyssey in May. Thankfully, there was no repeat of what happened that night.

From one Gallagher to another, entering this concert had similar problems to Liam Gallagher’s at Ormeau Park in June. There was an equal split amongst security staff when entering, but an unequal gender split in the make up of the crowd, which was largely female.

While men were able to quickly negotiate shorter queues for getting in, women were having to wait in larger queues (the reverse was the situation at the Liam Gallagher concert)

Not very convenient if you are attending as part of a mixed gender group, as you have to stand about and wait for the rest of your party to get searched.

Is it really to hard to collate information from ticket sales and staff accordingly?

Of those that were in the venue, it was infested with rancid hags. Everywhere you went, puff puff vape vape.

I know I mention this at every outdoor concert, but I will continue to mention it until it is addressed.

I am fed up of being held to ransom by inconsiderate arseholes. Why should I have to spend evenings holding my nose and covering my nose when watching my favourite acts?

Belfast likes to market itself as some sort of trendy and cosmopolitan place to visit. It’s not, it’s a rancid shithole. Outdoor concerts are just one of many things you can’t do in the city without having cigarette smoke blown into your face.

As said before, smoke free venues should be part of the licensing criteria for outdoor events. If Eventsec can be instructed to confiscate bars of chocolate, they can confiscate cigarettes and vapes.

Time for Belfast City Council to take some action and address this. Their apathy will give us a shithole of a city to live in.

Sadly, our Politicians are more interested in avoiding parking fees and complaining about the names of bus stops than tackling real issues that affect people.

You know i’m right on this matter. Smokers, feel free to justify your behaviour. You can’t, because you’re scummy tramps.

When he performed at The Limelight in 2017, Ezra was debuting material from his second album. Barring the single Don’t Matter Now, which had just been released, nobody really knew the new songs. By now, we were all familiar with them.

Rather than the usual “How are you INSERT NAME OF TOWN?” and “YOU GUYS ROCK!!!” between songs, Ezra told stories of the origins of the songs, how they came to be and what inspired them. There were some interesting stories.

A lot of his work has been inspired by visiting Barcelona, a song he performed. I shouldn’t really need to tell you that it’s not a Freddie Mercury/Montserrat Caballe cover.

Having visited Barcelona in 2011 and 2015, I can confirm it is an utterly brilliant city.

It wasn’t all fun, as he remarked that spending a month housesharing with a stanger might not have been his smartest idea.

It was the story of a visit to Sweden that produced the biggest cheer. A friend had put him in touch with three Swedish women to live with. The problem was, they love Eurovision and they were making him watch it for the first time. He wanted to have some alcohol while watching it, but the town he was in has an alcohol curfew, so he had to resort to purchasing some rum illegally on the black market, to the cheers of the crowd, with Ezra remarking “You’re better than that”.

Naturally, i’ve reported him to Rex Banner.

His storytelling usually involved accidentally revealing what song was next within two sentences, meaning there was no suspense in his stories.

He might have only two albums, but Ezra has a lot of hits, all of which were performed – Budapest, Blame It On Me, Barcelona, Budapest, Don’t Matter Now, Listen To The Man and Paradise.

As he left the stage, the crowd began singing Shotgun, a subtle hint for what they wanted during the encore, which he delivered.

As fans left the venue (which took an age, due to only one exit) we were treated to Public Address announcements which could be best described as Yer Da taking control of a microphone in a pub to do a stand-up routine. After a few pints. Every bit as horrific as it sounds.

Photo Album

George Ezra live at The Limelight May 2017

George Ezra live at The Limelight October 2014

2017 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

August began for me at Wilgar Park, seeing Linfield take on Dundela in a Friendly.

The following night, was another Pre-Season Friendly, as I was on the road to see Manchester United take on Sampdoria at Lansdowne Road.

That weekend, I was travelling some more, heading to Edinburgh for a weekend away, getting some Street Art photos and taking in Edinburgh City v Montrose.

When I returned home, I was out getting some Street Art photos, the aftermath of Hit The East Festival in Eats Belfast.

The following weekend, the Irish League season started, with Linfield taking on Carrick Rangers at Windsor Park, followed by a midweek trip to Ards and a trip to Dungannon Swifts.

As soon as the final whistle blew at Stangmore Park, I was straight back to Belfast to see Amy MacDonald perform at Custom House Square.

A few days later, I was back at Custom House Square to see Blossoms warm up for Kasabian, or so I thought, as Kasabian pulled out at the last minute.

A few days after that, I was back at Custom House Square, to see Ocean Colour Scene in concert.

The following day, I headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Ballymena United.

My photo adventures for August ended by getting snaps of murals of Jimmy Cricket, Jimmy Nesbitt, Jimmy Young and Carl Cox.

Dundela v Linfield

Manchester United v Sampdoria

Manchester United v Sampdoria Photo Album

Edinburgh Street Art

Edinburgh Street Art Photo Album

Edinburgh City v Montrose

Edinburgh City v Montrose Photo Album

East Belfast Street Art

East Belfast Street Art Photo Album

Linfield v Carrick Rangers

Ards v Linfield

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Amy MacDonald live at Custom House Square

Amy MacDonald live at Custom House Square Photo Album

Blossoms live at Custom House Square

Blossoms live at Custom House Square Photo Album

Ocean Colour Scene live at Custom House Square

Ocean Colour Scene live at Custom House Square Photo Album

Linfield v Ballymena United

The Three Jimmys and Carl Cox

The Three Jimmys Photo Album

Carl Cox Photo Album

2017 IN PICTURES – MAY

May 2017 began with Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and a trip to Custom House Square to see The Divine Comedy in concert.

That was followed that weekend, by the Irish Cup Final, where Linfield beat Coleraine 3-0.

I then filled a football free Saturday afternoon by cycling to Lisburn and getting some Street Art photos.

Well, just the one football free Saturday, as the following weekend, I took in one more football match, travelling to Manchester to see United take on Crystal Palace.

While I was in Manchester, I took the opportunity to get some Street Art photos.

The month ended with a trip to The Limelight to see George Ezra in concert

The Divine Comedy live at Custom House Square

The Divine Comedy live at Custom House Square Photo Album

Linfield v Coleraine

Linfield v Coleraine Photo Album

Lisburn Street Art – May 2017

Lisburn Street Art – May 2017 Photo Album

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v Crystal Palace

Manchester United v Crystal Palace Photo Album

George Ezra live at The Limelight

George Ezra live at The Limelight Photo Album

OCEAN COLOUR SCENE – LIVE AT CUSTOM HOUSE SQUARE 25.8.2017 (CHSQ)

Bit of a late purchase this, as I waited until Linfield definitely weren’t playing on the Friday night of the Bank Holiday Weekend before purchasing my ticket, as Ocean Colour Scene rolled into Belfast to perform as part of CHSQ.

Custom House Square isn’t a new venue for Ocean Colour Scene, having performed a free concert there in 2007 (and a few minutes in 2008) as part of Belfast City Council’s celebrations when 2007 turned into 2008.

For me, it was my forth OCS gig, with Mandela Hall in 2010 and The Limelight in 2016 being added to that Custom House Square concert.

There was confusion as to when the band were due to appear, with the organisers saying 9pm, but the band’s Facebook site saying 9.15pm.

Considering that those who were waiting for the band were drenched due to the inclement weather, it would have been nice if they came on at 9pm.

The band are still touring the 20th anniversary of Moseley Shoals, released in 1996.

I’m not a fan of anniversary tours. Just play the hits for crying out loud.

Anyway, this year is the 20th anniversary of the far superior Marchin Already.

Support came from Carl Barat and The Jackals, a side project of Carl Barat from The Libertines. Apart from two songs (Don’t Look Back Into The Sun, Gunja Din), i’m not that arsed about The Libertines, so wasn’t grieving the fact I missed him.

The main support came from The Coral, back after a haitus, best remembered for mid 00s such as Pass It On, In The Morning and Thinking Of You, all well received by the crowd who danced along with complete disregard for how wet they were.

As well as having to wear my coat hood over for most of the gig due to the rain, I also spent most of the gig having to cover my nose due to the sheer number of smelly tramps in attendance.

I go forwards, I go backwards, I go left, I go right. No matter where I went, I was getting cigarette and vape smoke blown in my face. It was a plague. A fucking plague of smelly tramps. That is the only word to describe it.

Seriously Belfast, sort this fucking shit out. It’s not cool.

Having missed their gig at The Limelight last December due to a back injury, Oscar Harrison was back on drums.

That gig in December 2016 wasn’t the first time he had missed an OCS engagement in Belfast.

In October 2001, I met Steve and Damon when they went to the bar I worked in after appearing on The John Daly Show. Alan White from Oasis was filling in on drums and I met him too.

I just thought i’d drop that story in about the time I met half of Ocean Colour Scene and a member of Oasis.

One advantage, or disadvantage, or a band playing an album in full is that you know the order of the setlist when you arrive.

Track 1, The Riverboat Song, with it’s distinctive guitar riff kicked off the show. In a normal show, it would have been saved for the encore.

During the early stages of the show, Simon seemed to be channeling Freddie Mercury, trying to be a showman, even engaging in dad dancing, quite appropriate for the singer of a band derided as “Dad Rock” by their haters.

I’m as shocked as you that there are people who hate Ocean Colour Scene.

He even forgot the words a few times but nobody minded. He was even laughing about it with the crowd.

Even though it was just under nine months since their last visit to Belfast, Simon Fowler told the crowd the band were “Too long away from Belfast”, referring to a near seven year gap between Belfast gigs before that.

After all the songs from Moseley Shoals were completed, we were then treated to non Moseley Shoals hits such as Better Day, Traveller’s Tune, Hundred Mile high City and Profit In Peace.

For the encore, Simon appeared on his own with an acoustic guitar before telling the crowd to “Welcome Carl to the stage”.

I know what you’re thinking, and no, it wasn’t Carl Frampton.

It was Carl Barat, who walked on to stage and flicked a lit cigarette in the direction of the crowd, narrowly missing a Security Guard who was stood with his back to the stage and unaware to move for his own safety. What a dick.

Imagine being in a band with a Professional Junkie who thinks he’s a poet and still being the biggest dick in the band.

They performed a duet of Robin Hood, which then morphed into a cover of Live Forever by Oasis, with Simon declaring “I loved Oasis” before the band finished with a cover of Daytriper by The Beatles, and The Day We Caught The Train.

Photo Album

Ocean Colour Scene live at The Limelight December 2016

Ocean Colour Scene live at Mandela Hall 2010

Ocean Colour Scene live at Custom House Square Photo Album

BLOSSOMS – LIVE AT CUSTOM HOUSE SQUARE 22.8.2017 (AND KASABIAN, NOT LIVE AT CUSTOM HOUSE SQUARE 22.8.2017)

“We’ll be back soon” said Blossoms singer Tom Ogden at the end of their concert at The Limelight in March. He was true to his word, with the band returning five and a half months later to support Kasabian at Custom House Square.

It was a nice treat, to have two bands on the bill I want to see, rather than viewing the support act as a way of filling time before the headliner.

Kasabian are one of many high profile acts who have had Blossoms supporting them in recent years – Paul Weller, The Courteeners, The Charlatans and The Kooks have all had them as support. I saw them support Paul Weller at Waterfront Hall in 2015.

Next month, will be their biggest support slot to date, when they support Noel Gallagher at his concert to reopen Manchester Arena.

To dismiss them as a support act is harsh. These boys have tunes.

Restricted to a 45 minute set, they had to play the hits. Considering they’ve only released one album, they’ve already had quite a few hits, such as Blown Rose, Getaway, At Most A Kiss and Honey Sweet, all getting the approval of a crowd who were getting drenched while the set was ongoing. We even got an instrumental version of Gimme Gimme Gimme, just like at The Limelight in March.

Just like at The Limelight in March, the band asked for a member of the audience who had been just dumped to dedicate My Favourite Room to.

At The Limelight, it was Orla (apologies if that’s not the spelling she uses) who had been dumped by Ryan. I don’t know if she was there on Tuesday.

The lucky winner, if you will, was Emma, who had just been dumped by Jack. Jack was booed by the crowd. If you’re reading this Jack, you’re a bastard.

My Favourite Room also included singalongs of Half The World Away By Oasis and Last Christmas by Wham!

I say singalongs, it was Tom singing the first line of a verse, and the crowd doing the rest.

If drunks can sing Fairytale Of New York on St Patrick’s Day, then it’s more than acceptable for people to sing Last Christmas in August.

As the band neared the end of their set, finishing on Charlemagne (voted the best song of 2015 by this blog), Tom Ogden asked the crowd if they were excited for Kasabian, before giving a shout out to Touts.

Touts were the band who were on before Blossoms, and supported them at The Limelight in March and at Castlefield Bowl in July. They’ll be supporting Paul Weller at Ulster Hall early next year.

If you saw them, you probably thought they were called Tights, due to their Peeeyuuurrrre Deee-errry (Or Peeeyyyurrree Leeonndonddeee-errrrry, if you prefer) accents.

I didn’t catch any of their performance and wasn’t really fussed about that, to be honest.

It can’t be unsaid about the sheer number of smelly tramps at this gig. Seriously, it was embarrassing, trying to find somewhere without having cigarette or vape smoke being blown into my face.

We are the majority, yet our nights out are dictated by smelly tramps who haven’t even the basic decency to consider those around them and go a few hours without.

I’m fed up about outdoor events being ruined by these tramps, having to walk through the City Centre holding my nose on my lunchbreak, and don’t even start me on how useless Eventsec are at stopping this at international football matches.

It might seem drastic, but surely it’s worth putting anti-smoking clauses into the granting of licences.

Some smelly tramps might get their feelings hurt by this, Fuck em. It’s not my problem, and my enjoyment of events shouldn’t be dictated by them. I give more of a fuck about my lungs than I do about their feelings.

If there must be a compromise, built a hut for them and let them do their trampy wee habit away from everybody else.

I know I write about this a lot, but I will continue to do so until either authorities tackle it or there are societal changes in Belfast.

No amount of glossy Game Of Thrones themed advertising can disguise the fact that Belfast is a smelly smoke riddled shithole. It doesn’t have to be.

At about 8.45pm, I had managed to get a decent view, the rain had stopped, and I was in an area which had the least amount of smelly tramps surrounding me. I was all set for Kasabian.

Kasabian are no strangers to Belfast in August, with this gig falling on the tenth anniversary of them supporting The Killers at Tennent’s Vital, and just over seven years (by five days) since they headlined Belsonic at the same venue.

However, 2017 would not be joining 2007 and 2010 as Kasabian visits to Belfast.

An announcement came over the speaker “THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT …”

Nobody really paid attention. They just thought it was an automated health and safety announcment.

I have been to several Belsonic concerts in the past and never heard a health and safety announcment. It immediately struck me as odd, but nothing to get worried about.,

The announcement continued “….. DUE TO A LAST MINUTE …..”

I immediately thought to myself “Oh fuck”, I knew what was coming.

It continued “… ILLNESS, TONIGHT’S SHOW HAS BEEN CANCELLED. THERE WILL BE NO PERFORMANCE”.

The venue went silent and everyone was in disbelief. The announcement was repeated, and people began to take in what was being said.

The title of their current album For Crying Out Loud was quite apt.

The second time was met with boos, and booze, as some people chucked beer at the stage in disgust.

It clearly was a late announcement with Blossoms being unaware when their singer was under the impression Kasabian were performing as they were on stage.

Last year, The Kooks cancelled their gig at Feile on the day, so the organisers bumped The Coronas (who were supporting) into a headline slot and offered anyone who wanted to see The Kooks a refund.

Clearly, the cancellation was too late for a similar arrangement to take place here.

It was stated that a new dated would be announced. There’s not much room for maneuver from band and promoters or a Custom House Square gig in the immediate future.

It was expected that they would go on a Winter tour, the announcement will have been embargoed until their summer festival appearances had been completed.

That turned out to be the case.

There’s no Belfast gig. There was never going to be a Belfast gig on that tour, as we would have already had one this year.

There is a Dublin gig, and free days either side of it. Block out your diary for an Odyssey gig would be my hunch.

Anyone who had a ticket for Custom House Square will be compensated with admission to The Odyssey.

That’s just a hunch, I have no inside information.

That’s the second concert in a few days i’ve left early. One because I only wanted to see the support act, and the other because the headliners cancelled. It’s not a habit I want to get into.

You have to be philosophical, i’ll either get my money back or i’ll get to see Kasabian at a later date.

Let’s be honest, Kasabian will be playing a gig in Belfast in 2037 to promote Greatest Hits III, it’s not like they’ll never come to Belfast again.

As it turned out, there was a tunderstorm during when the band would have been performing their encore. That would have been, um, fun.

If you do want to read a Kasabian review, here’s their 2014 Odyssey concert.

Blossoms Live At Custom House Square Photo Album