April began with a football free Saturday, so I headed to Scrabo Country Park, got lucky with the weather and got lots of nice photos.

The rest of the month was all about football, the next two weekends saw me attend Linfield’s matches against Cliftonville and Glentoran.

With two Public Holidays for Easter, I decided to go for walks up Cregagh Glen and then up Cavehill.

That was then followed by Linfield’s matches against Crusaders, Larne and Coleraine.

Just hours after seeing Linfield winning the League against Coleraine, I headed to Custom House Square to see Echo and the Bunnymen, my first concert of 2022.

Scrabo Country Park

Scrabo Country Park Photo Album

Cliftonville v Linfield

Linfield v Glentoran

Cregagh Glen/Lisnabreeny Hill

Cregagh Glen/Lisnabreeny Hill Photo Album


Cavehill Photo Album

Crusaders v Linfield

Linfield v Larne

Linfield v Coleraine

Linfield v Coleraine Photo Album

Echo and the Bunnymen live at Custom Hosue Square

Echo and the Bunnymen live at Custom House Square Photo Album


It was a busy Saturday for me, having to make a quick dash from the celebrations at Windsor Park to Custom House Square to see Echo and the Bunnymen perform as part of Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.

The 5.30pm kick-off (I booked my ticket for this before the kick-off was moved) wasn’t ideal, and made me worry that I might actually miss part of the show.

Thankfully, that was not the case, being able to get a lift and arriving just after 8pm, with the stage time being confirmed for 9.15pm making me feel a bit more at ease.

When I arrived, there was plenty of space on the floor.

The support, if you will, according to the e-mail I got from the organisers in advance of the show, was a DJ set from Terri Hooley.

In true Hooley fashion, you could hear his influence even though he wasn’t in the room, a curated playlist of 80s/90s Indie/Guitar Classics entertaining the crowd.

For me, this would be a long awaited first concert of 2022. I’m not sure how I managed to go until the last day of April without seeing one.

Unfortunately, this concert, like everyday life, was spoilt by “The Belfast Disease”.

No matter where I went in the venue, the stench of cigarette and vape smoke was overwhelming.

Was it too much effort to have a tent for all the fucking tramps to go to, well away from the main venue?

Having the main front door wide open and letting them congregate there was the arrangements here.

Absolute fucking scum. Let’s not sugarcoat it, let’s just call it what it is.

Don’t even reprimand me for my language. If anything, i’m being lenient.

Why are we, as a society, normalised to living in a smoke riddled shithole?

Why do we just shrug and accept it?

Politicians like to talk about “Inclusivity” but it’s about more than flags and murals, it’s about being able to actually enjoy what Belfast has to offer.

I can’t do that if I have to hold my nose and cover my mouth to protect myself when i’m going to a concert

I’ve already had to stop going to outdoor concerts because of it, to my own detriment as i’ll be missing out on Simple Minds, Stereophonics and Madness this Summer.

It’s not worth it. It’s not worth going to an outdoor concert as I usually find myself literally struggling to breathe.

There’s no point in confronting someone, nobody will back me up and i’ll get thrown out for causing trouble.

There’s no point in raising it with Venue Staff, nothing will get done.

Let’s lose this attitude of turning a blind eye to vaping, that “It’s not proper smoking”.

It fucking well is and i’m not going to tolerate having it blown in my face when i’m at a concert.

Or indeed, any social situation.

Belfast, as a city, really needs to up it’s game.

We live in a society that works to appease our absolute worst rather than letting our best lead.

Please don’t make CQAF become an event not worth bothering with, because it’s an event I look forward to hearing announcements about shows as they usually have stuff I like and enjoy.

It won’t be worth it if i’m going to have to put up with this every time I go to a show.

Back to The Bunnymen, and it was the usual drill, going through the hits. Well, it was a show called 40 Years Of Magical Songs.

Amongst those played were Rescue, Bring On The Dancing Horses, Seven Seas, Bedbugs and Ballyhoo, Villiers Terrace, Nothing Lasts Forever, Never Stop and Lips Like Sugar.

Ian McCulloch’s famously big hair isn’t as big these days, smart and short is the order of the day from what I could see. The lighting was such that you could only see his silhouette, adding even more to the mystique and enigma.

Will Sergeant casually sat there, strumming his guitar, enjoying life. As a side note, he is one of the more entertaining follows on Twitter. He only set it up to plug his autobiography.

McCulloch managed to fit some rants inbetween songs.

He fondly remembered a concert at Ulster Hall in “1980-something”.

A quick look at Setlist doesn’t list a Ulster Hall gig in the 1980s (there was one in 1998) but a quick Google search suggests there was a King’s Hall gig in 1988, which was moved there from Bangor Leisure Centre.

He added that Belfast was like Liverpool but without all the shit bits, being the only place outside Liverpool, apart from Leeds, where people can understand him.

There was also a List Of Twats. with Boris Becker at the top of it, proclaiming “Boris Becker, what a twat” while adding Shaun Murphy to the list, being incredulous that he continues to get Commentary gigs.

I had to Google who he is, turns out he is a Snooker Commentator.

I’m not sure if Ian McCulloch is an avid Snooker fan or just keeps an eye out for the other Ian McCulloch.

If I ever go to an Aerosmith concert, i’ll keep an ear out to see if Joe Perry talks about Snooker.

He also mentioned his joy at the potential of Everton getting relegated, although he may have jinxed that as they won 1-0 the following day.

As it turned up, they stayed up, to the disappointment of the entire nation.

Onto the encore, and we were treated to The Cutter and The Killing Moon, but surprisingly, as i’m sure a lot of people were anticipating it, no People Are Strange.

Unfortunately, this would be only show of CQAF. I wouldn’t have minded going to Shaparak Khorsandi and/or Lucy Porter, but it clashed with my trip to Edinburgh.

A bit ironic, as I usually go to Edinburgh to see Comedy, now i’m missing out on Comedy because i’m going to Edinburgh.

Elsewhere on the concert front for 2022, I have George Ezra (Thank you very much SSE Rewards), Beabadoobee, Del Amitri, Paul Weller and Feeder definitely confirmed.

I’m going to give Travis at Waterfront Hall a miss as it’s all seater but I managed to get a ticket to see (half of) Queen at The Odyssey at the end of May.

Photo Album

Echo and the Bunnymen live at Custom House Square 2019

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


  1. Alphabeat – Danmark’s Dynamite
  2. The Alarm – The Red Wall Of Cymru
  3. Olivia Rodrigo – Good 4 U
  4. Marshmello X Jonas Brothers – Leave Before You Love Me
  5. Holly Humberstone – The Walls Are Way Too Thin

You may or may not have noticed, but an international football tournament starts today.

As is tradition, here’s a group by group chart by acts from the competing countries.


  1. Yello – Oh Yeah
  2. Spagna – Call Me
  3. Stereophonics – Dakota
  4. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart
  5. Ryan Paris – Dolce Vita


  1. Tatu – All The Things She Said
  2. Alphabeat – Boyfriend
  3. The Rasmus – In The Shadows
  4. Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah
  5. Rasmussen – Higher Ground


  1. Falco – Rock Me Amadeus
  2. George Baker Selection – Little Green Bag
  3. Shocking Blue – Venus
  4. Focus – Hocus Pocus
  5. Opus – Life Is Life


  1. Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me
  2. Duran Duran – Ordinary World
  3. Del Amriti – Always The Last To Know
  4. Echo and the Bunnymen – Nothing Lasts Forever
  5. Karel Fialka – Hey Matthew


  1. Roxette – Joyride
  2. Ace Of Base – The Sign
  3. Robyn – Who’s That Girl?
  4. Baccara – Yes Sir I Can Boogie
  5. ABBA – Supertrouper


  1. Daft Punk – Robot Rock
  2. Nena – 99 Red Balloons
  3. Freiheit – Keeping The Dream Alive
  4. Desireless – Voyage Voyage
  5. Lena – Satellite


May 2019 began with a busy Bank Holiday Weekend, starting off by going to see Echo and the Bunnymen at Custom House Square, Ulster v Connacht at Ravenhill, and then checking out Street Art as part of Hit The North.

The following weekend, I headed to Manchester to see United take on Cardiff City. The less said about that match the better.

On the plus side, I did manage to get some Street Art photos from the city.

That was it. The first two weekends of the month were busy, the second two not so much.

Echo and the Bunnymen live at Custom House Square

Echo and the Bunnymen live at Custom House Square Photo Album

Ulster v Connacht

Ulster v Connacht Photo Album

Hit The North

Hit The North Photo Album – Sunday 5th May 2019

Hit The North Photo Album – Monday 7th May 2019

Hit The North Photo Album – Aftermath

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v Cardiff City

Manchester United v Cardiff City Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art

Salford Quays Street Art Photo Album


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

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 3.5.2019

1. Gang Of Youths – What Can I Do Id The Fire Goes Out?
2. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Black Star Dancing
3. Vampire Weekend – This Life
4. Echo and the Bunnymen – Bring On The Dancing Horses
5. Stereophonics – Chaos From The Top Down


It’s a double sided issue of Smash Hits this week, with Arcadia on the cover on one side, and The Cult on the other.

Simon and Nick from Arcadia are interviewed. You may remember them more as Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran.

Simon reveals he can fix a puncture on a bicycle, while Nick dyed his hair black to avoid attention.

Iron Maiden are interviewed, where they reveal they cry at lassie films, and quite like Wham!

Keith Chegwin is the subject of a Q and A, where he reveals that he borrow’s Sarah Green’s make-up.

As you turn the magazine around, there is an interview with Echo and the Bunnymen, back after a year off, and all four members tell Smash Hits what they were up to.

Cover stars The Cult get a double page interview.

Paul King, lead singer of King and future VH1 presenter reviews the singles, giving his vote for Best Single to The Fall.

In album reviews, Blancmange get 8 out 10, while Simple Minds only managed 7 out of 10.


As 1985 starts, Wham! are the cover stars of Smash Hits, who join them on tour, stating that their fans enjoy their gigs than people who go to see Duran Duran, Culture Club and Spandau Ballet.

As you open the magazine, there is a poster of Adam Ant.

In news, Smash Hits launches an Australian version, to compliment the American version, which is known as Star Hits.

Ian McCullough of Echo and the Bunnymen is interviewed, as the band takes a year off.

There are three pages dedicated to Alannah Currie’s life story so far. You know, her from Thompson Twins.

Smash Hits joins Wham! on tour in Edinburgh, and Andrew Ridgeley dresses up for the occasion by wearing a tartan suit.

Concert Reviews sees Smash Hits go to see UB40, Howard Jones and Cocteau Twins.


The start of February usually sees me head away somewhere, and this year saw me head to Barcelona for a short break.

While there, I toured the city, did a tour of the Nou Camp, got lots of Street Art pictures and went to two football matches

Upon my return from Barcelona, it was straight into Irish League action, to see Linfield take on Cliftonville at Windsor Park.

Four days later, I was headed to Stangmore Park, on my birthday, to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts, with Linfield giving me some birthday cheer by winning 3-0.

Three days later I was headed to Mandela Hall for the first time since 2011, for my first gig of 2015 – Echo and the Bunnymen.

A further three days after that, I was back at Windsor Park to see Linfield lose to Portadown.

The final day of the month saw me see Linfield take on Portadown again, this time in the Irish Cup, and at Shamrock Park. It was the same result though.


Barcelona Photo Album

Nou Camp Photo Album

Barcelona Street Art

Barcelona Street Art Photo Album 1

Barcelona Street Art Photo Album 2

Barcelona Street Art Photo Album 3

CE Europa v Masnau

CE Europa v Masnau Photo Album

Espanyol v Valencia

Espanyol v Valencia Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Echo and the Bunnymen Live At Mandela Hall

Echo and the Bunnymen Live At Mandela Hall Photo Album

Linfield v Portadown

Portadown v Linfield