THE FRIDAY FIVE – 21.4.2017

1. Paramore – Hard Times
2. Kasabian – Bless This Acid House
3. Prince – Deliverance
4. Camens – Boys Will Stray
5. Spoon – Hot Thoughts

Today is Robert Smiths’s birthday, and it’s his favourite day of the week. It’s the first time it’s fallen on a Friday since 2006, and won’t happen again until 2023, so he had better enjoy it.

To celebrate, here’s a The Cure Top Five

FIVE SONGS BY THE CURE

1. Friday I’m In Love
2. Lullaby
3. Hot Hot Hot
4. Close To Me
5. In Between Days

This Sunday, is St George’s Day, so time to lie back and think of England with some themed playlists for you

FIVE SONGS BY SINGERS CALLED GEORGE OR BANDS WITH SOMEONE CALLED GEORGE

1. Wham! – Freedom
2. One Night Only – Say You Don’t Want It
3. George Baker Selection – Little Green Bag
4. George Ezra – Blame It On Me
5. The Beatles – While My Guitar Gently Weeps

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM ENGLAND

1. Pulp – A Little Soul
2. Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence
3. Cast – Finetime
4. The Beautiful South – Ole Red Eyes Is Back
5. Duran Duran – Ordinary World

Gig news, Paramore are coming to Belfast. The downside is, i’m already going to see The 1975 that night. If their marketing team had any brains, they could get them to do a gig at the bar of a South Belfast hotel and call it “PARAMORE AT THE PARADOR”

No doubt you all saw May’s big announcement on Tuesday morning. Brian that is, not Theresa. “Queen” are coming to The Odyssey in November. I’m not a big fan of him as a solo artist (apart from What Do You Want From Me?) but Adam Lambert is a capable vocalist and Queen + Adam Lambert looked decent at their BBC New Year’s Eve concert in 2014/2015. However, £74? For £74, i’m expecting Freddie Mercury and John Deacon on stage, and David Bowie to make a guest appearance on Under Pressure.

Ever since BBC Four had a night of programming dedicated to Depeche Mode, i’m been rediscovering how brilliant they are. There’ll be a Belfast gig this year, date to be announced, so I might pop along to see them.

Ryan Adams update. Still looking for a ticket for his Ulster Hall gig.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : VOX – AUGUST 1995

It’s the summer of 1995 and Britpop is on the rise, but it’s an American, Michael Stipe of REM, who is the cover star of this edition of Vox.

In news, Depeche Mode are now down to three members following the departure of Alan Wilder, while Oasis have announced that their second album, “Morning Glory” is finished and ready for release in September, while there were rumours that Paul Weller would join Oasis on stage at Glastonbury.

The Cure announced plans for a new album in February 1996, Nancy Sinatra posed for Playboy at the age of 52, and the BBC were planning six hours of programming to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Live Aid.

Vox looks at the trend of Indie bands becoming pin-ups, and Boybands getting serious, with contributions from PJ Harvey, Holly Johnson, and Martin Carr from Boo Radleys.

Bands tipped for success include Whale, Thurman and Cast.

Armando Ianucci is interviewed, ahead of the launch of his new satire show, Saturday Night Armistice, which is accompanied by a picture of him licking an iron.

Chemical Brothers get a two page interview about heir recent successes, while three pages are dedicated to Oasis singles cover art, with comments and anecdotes from Brian Cannon (Art Director) and Michael Spencer Jones (Photographer)

There’s more Oasis a few pages later, as Paul Slattery, a photographer who accompanied them on tour, shows off his best photos from the year he spent with them.

Therapy? get a four page interview, accompanied with a photo of them dressed as clowns.

The National Lottery has recently been set up, so Vox asks various bands such as Dodgy, Shampoo, Supergrass, Pulp, Sparks and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin what they would do if they won the lottery.

Gene were that months guest reviewers, sticking the boot into Paul Weller’s single “Wings Of Speed”, with Martin Rossiter stating “This is a dreadful ballad. If Mariah Carey sang this, we’d all be slagging it right off”

The Verve are interviewed over two pages in LA, with the introductory line “Can The Verve follow in Oasis footsteps?”

Jim and William Reid from Jesus and Mary Chain are asked about their most hated things, aiming their vitriol at UB40 and Chris De Burgh.

Cover star Michael Stipe is interviewed, speaking about how REM are getting back on track, following Bill Berry’s onstage collapse earlier that year.

Mick Jones of The Clash gets a full page interview of his memories of punk.

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : JUL 18 – JUL 24

We start with a Royal Birthday. There’s no Public Holiday, but you can take the day off work if you wish. If you get into trouble for it, it’s not my fault. Brian May from Queen turned 67 this week.

Brian May will forever be associated with one of the most flamboyant and iconic performers in music history ……….. Anita Dobson.

Her TV husband walked past me once. He was on his mobile. True story.

Paul Heaton’s wife, Michelle Heaton off Liberty X turned 34 this week.

Also blowing out candles this week was Shaky’s brother, and dad of Rachel, Cat Stevens, being covered here by Maxi Priest, who actually isn’t a Priest, because he’s an Anglican

Meanwhile, the other guy in Savage Garden, the Supergroup formed by footballer Robbie Savage and Graeme Garden from The Goodies (Daniel Jones is his name, since you ask) celebrated a birthday this week.

To The Moon And Back is apt choice, as it was 45 years this week since the Moon Landing (Or Moon Landing was faked, depending on what you believe)

And we have our second Eastenders star this week …..

If i’m in a good mood next week, I might treat you with Sid Owen. If i’m in a bad mood, you might get Martine McCutcheon.

Meanwhile, Martin Gore from Depeche Mode turned 53 this week.

Also celebrating this week, is a band who share their name with the surname of a Top Of The Pops presenter, Fran Healy from Travis turned 41 this week. Not sure how successful they would have been if they were called Edmonds.

In case you’re wondering why Fran was pelted with pies, it’s because they were recreating the food fight in the video for this single.

Meanwhile, it’s now three years this week since Amy Winehouse died.

And finally, Jennifer Lopez pays tribute to defunct cable channel Play

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : JUN 27 – JUL 3

We start this week, with Leigh Nash, 38 this week, of Sixpence None The Richer, inviting us all to kiss her.

Meanwhile, it’s 12 years this week since John Entwhistle died (Apologies for the picture and sound quality on this)

Back to birthdays, Clint Boon was 55 this week.

Nicole Scherzinger, the only Pussycat Doll whose name people know, turned 36 this week.

Remember when Abs from Five had a solo career?

Meanwhile, Cheryl Cole turned 31 this week.

And now, two words to make 50 year old men go weak …….. Debbie Harry.

Peter Kay turned 41 this week. Helping to get this to Number 1 is his only worthwhile musical contribution.

Vince Clarke, the Mozart of Synths turned 54 this week. He’s been on TOTP with a few acts, not even making an effort to hide the fact he’s miming with …..

Depeche Mode

Yazoo

And of course, Erasure.

And sometimes, appearing on stage in mannequin form (he actually is on stage – keep an eye out for him), while Andy Bell is dressed like a Bay City Roller.

To end, i’m going to see Erasure in November. Hopefully Vince will actually be there, and not a mannequin.

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : MAY 9 – MAY 15

Welcome to this week’s look through the Pop Tardis, beginning with a Happy Birthday to the lead singer of Fast Fashion. However, if you’re not a French speaker, it’s Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode. You just can’t get enough of him.

Sharing a birthday is Hull’s finest export, even though, whisper it, he’s a Scouser by birth.

Another Paul born this week is Paul McGuigan, best known as Guigsy from Oasis. Yes, there are members of Oasis not called Gallagher. Bassist on the first three albums since you ask.

And another (Greater) Manchester popstar celebrating this week, Graham Gouldman, with the greatest Reggae song from a bunch of guys from Stockport ever.

DISCLAIMER : If you are ever robbed at gunpoint, it’s not advisable to try and start small talk about Cricket.

Also blowing out candles, possibly from a 30 foot Lemon Cake, is Bono.

Now, a Steve Winwood double of sorts. Here he is being covered …….

…… and sampled.

Talking of 80s rockers and Dance music, this is the only David Byrne TOTP appearance on Youtube.

Ian Astbury of The Cult is 52 this week. No surprises what video will accompany that fact.

Natalie Appleton from All Saints celebrates a birthday this week. Does anyone remember the All Saints spin-off Appleton?

And finally, Olly Murs hits the big 30. If TOTP was still on, he’d be on it every week, either performing or presenting. Just think about that.