PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – AUGUST

After League Of Ireland and UEFA Cup football during June and July, the domestic season began for me in August, when Linfield welcomed Ballymena United to Windsor Park on the opening day of the season.

Four days later, I visited Taylor’s Avenue for the first time, as Linfield travelled to newly promoted Carrick Rangers.

To round off a busy week, it was back to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

The following weekend, I was in Scotland for my annual trip to the Edinburgh Festival, and made the most of it by taking in matches at Hearts, Rangers and Dunfermline.

Upon my return from Scotland, it was back to Windsor Park, my third time this month, to see Linfield take on Portadown, and get a win that continued their perfect start to the season.

Linfield v Ballymena United

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Heart of Midlothian v Partick Thistle

Heart Of Midlothian v Partick Thistle Photo Album

Rangers v Hibernian

Rangers v Hibernian Photo Album

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee Photo Album

Linfield v Portadown

2015 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

August is usually a busy month, but it was a bit slow to get going. My first event came on the 8th of the month, when I went to see Linfield start the new Irish League season, against Ballymena United.

Four days later, I was visiting Taylor’s Avenue for the first time, as Linfield travelled to newly promoted Carrick Rangers.

Three days later, I was back at Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

The next day, I headed to the Peace Wall in Belfast to get some snaps.

Belsonic then began in Belfast, and I attended two of these concerts, Paloma Faith and Stereophonics.

The day after that Stereophonics gig, I was Edinburgh bound for my annual trip to the Edinburgh Festival.

While there, I went to see some football, as Hearts took on Partick Thistle at Tynecastle.

It wasn’t all football, as I managed to get some photos of Street Art in Edinburgh.

A couple of football trips within Scotland, first to Glasgow to see Rangers take on Hibs, and then Dunfermline to see Dunfermline take on Dundee.

There was also some music to fit in while in Scotland, as I headed to Princes Street Gardens to see James in concert.

Upon my return from Scotland, it was back to Windsor Park to see Linfield beat Portadown and pull clear at the top of the league.

Linfield v Ballymena United

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Belfast Peace Wall Art

Belfast Peace Wall Art Photo Album

Paloma Faith Live At Custom House Square

Paloma Faith Live At Custom House Square Photo Album

Stereophonics Live At Custom House Square

Stereophonics Live At Custom House Square Photo Album

Heart Of Midlothian v Partick Thistle

Heart Of Midlothian v Partick Thistle Photo Album

Edinburgh Street Art

Edinburgh Street Art Photo Album

Rangers v Hibernian

Rangers v Hibernian Photo Album

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee Photo Album

James Live At Princes Street Gardens

James Live At Princes Street Gardens Photo Album

Linfield v Portadown

JAMES – LIVE AT PRINCES STREET GARDENS, EDINBURGH 26.8.2015 (MAGNERS SUMMER NIGHTS)

James made a return to Scotland after last November’s controversial concert in Glasgow, by performing a gig at Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh as part of Magners Summer Nights, a music festival taking place in two cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Their last gig in Scotland, in Glasgow in November 2014, saw the leader of the Scottish Conservatives erupt in anger and uproar as they didn’t play Sit Down.

It gets funnier, as when I saw them in Glasgow in 2013, they did play Sit Down.

As the crowd waited for James to appear on stage, Gordon Strachan could be spotted loitering at the side of the stage.

It wouldn’t have been that surprising. Gordon Strachan is from Edinburgh and is a good friend of Tim Booth, meeting the Leeds supporting singer in the Player’s Lounge at Elland Road when Strachan played there.

If Scotland qualify for Euro 2016, don’t be surprised if James do their official song.

The support band, Little Eye, from Glasgow, were very good.

Tim Booth introduced the band as they arrived on stage, thanking fans for coming to see them “in amongst all this culture”

There are two things which are certain at a James gig, Tim dancing very badly, and Tim jumping into the crowd. We got both of those inside the first two songs.

Tim commented that he got anally probed at that Glasgow gig when he jumped into the crowd, before Jim pointing out that Edinburgh was more civilised.

Tim also told of how the Glasgow crowd were so busy trying to get photos of and with him, he was almost dropped by people using one hand to carry him when he needed two.

While singing Johnny Yen, Booth dedicated to some members of the “27 Club”, singing “God bless you Amy Winehouse, God bless you Kurt Cobain, God bless you Jimi Hendrix”

Booth reminisced about how Morrissey and Johnnny Marr (James toured with The Smiths during their early days) told him it should be their next single. He ignored them.

There was one fan who was enjoying it so much, she invaded the stage, before being removed from security.

Eventually, the band invited their favourite dancers from the crowd to join them onstage for their final song. Gordon Strachan sadly, wasn’t joining them onstage for a dance.

All the biggies were played – Sit Down, She’s A Star, Laid, Just Like Fred Astaire. It’s unknown if Ruth Davidson was there to hear Sit Down.

The only downside was, it felt like a NEDs Day Out, with pissed-up Neddies trying to storm their way to the front and getting involved in or starting fights.

It appears it was worse in other parts of the venue than where I was.

For the encore, they played Moving On and Come Home, and then it was time to go home, as fireworks blasted out from the Edinburgh Tattoo nearby.

James had kicked-off the Edinburgh leg of Summer Nights, leaving a high standard for Flaming Lips and Waterboys to follow.

Photo Album

See Also

James Live At Sheffield Academy 2010

James Live At Sheffield Academy 2010 Photo Album

James Live At SECC 2013

James Live At SECC 2013 Photo Album

James Live At Custom House Square 2013

James Live At Custom House Square 2013 Photo Album

James Live At Killruddery 2014

James Live At Killruddery 2014 Photo Album

EDINBURGH STREET ART 2015

While in Edinburgh, I managed to grab some Street Art photos.

Like my previous Street Art photos, they were all mostly in New Street. There is new building work going ahead for shopping/hotel facilities, and the area being boarded up is prime for Street Art.

The downside is, once the building is complete, the Street Art will be gone.

I also managed to get some photos in Candlemaker Row and West End.

Photo Album

See Also

Edinburgh Street Art 2014

Edinburgh Street Art 2014 Photo Album

Edinburgh Street Art 2013

Edinburgh Street Art 2013 Photo Album

THE EDINBURGH CELEB SPOTTING BLOG 2015

Celeb Spotting is as big a part of going to the Edinburgh Festival as going to actual shows. Every year, you’re guaranteed to see somebody remotely famous there.

This year was no different, although I had to wait a while. I arrived on the Saturday morning, and didn’t see a celeb until the Monday night.

Monday 24th August

Gyles Brandreth – Walking towards Potterrow
Al Murray – Walking towards Assembley at Potterrow*
Jimeoin – Walking along Forrest Road.

Tuesday 25th August

Al Murray – Hailing a cab on Princes Street**

Wednesday 26th August

Matt Forde – Talking to flyerers at Pleasance
Gordon Strachan – Loitering backstage at the James concert at Princes Street Gardens

* Al Murray has made so many appearances on this blog, it’s as much a certainty of being in Edinburgh as it raining.

** I’m not stalking Al Murray.

Celeb Spotting 2014

Celeb Spotting 2013

Celeb Spotting 2012

Celeb Spotting 2011

EDINBLOG 2015

August is my favourite month of the year, for the simple reason that it’s the month that I visit the Edinburgh Festival. If I could, i’d go there for the whole month.

I actually went later in the month than I usually do. The latest i’ve been since I first visited in 2009.

This year, for the first time, I bought my tickets in advance rather than waiting to purchase when I arrived. I got everything I wanted, barring having to rearranging my Saturday night and Monday night choices.

All I had to do when I arrived at the ticket office was to swipe my Debit Card, and my tickets printed off. It wasn’t totally problem free, as the printer ran out of paper when printing off my tickets. Only a minor hitch in an otherwise efficient system.

I flew out on the Saturday morning, and after getting my tickets and getting checked in, Saturday afternoon was all about football, as I headed to Tynecastle to watch Hearts take on Partick Thistle.

Despite being an Edinburgh veteran, I managed to get lost en route by not paying attention at Haymarket Station and taking a wrong turn.

I managed to make it to the ground in plenty of time for kick-off regardless, and saw Hearts maintain their lead at the top of the SPL with a 3-0 win.

I only went to one show on the Saturday, Stewart Francis at Assembly George Square. You will recognise him from various panel shows, specialising in bad puns. Groans and laughter were plentiful in equal measure.

On the Sunday, I decided to head to Glasgow for a few hours, while taking in Rangers v Hibs. Before I set off for Glasgow, I got some photos of Street Art in Edinburgh, near Waverley Station.

Every year that i’ve visited Edinburgh, i’ve always wanted to visit another city or town in Scotland, just to escape for a few years.

I have in my head to visit Stirling some time. Maybe next year?

I was a bit delayed getting out of Glasgow, I missed the start of John Lloyd’s show. That, and the fact I got lost en route to the venue. I am an Edinburgh veteran, trust me. It’s just that there are so many venues called Assembly.

Turns out it was Assembley opposite Hotel Du Vin rather than the one at Potterrow.

You probably know more about John Lloyd than you think you do mostly famed for his work behind the scenes on Spitting Image and creating QI. His show was an entertaining look at trivia and knowledge.

Later on Sunday, I headed to Pleasance to see James Acaster. I’d previously seen him do a slot at a charity gig in London a few years ago, so I was looking forward to seeing him.

His humour is very deadpan and surreal. This year, he has made a breakthrough into panel shows. This show focused on him sharing celebrity gossip about the Chilean Miners, and his experiences on jury duty.

One more show followed on the Sunday, and I managed to go to the wrong venue. Again, a case of two many venues called Assembly.

That show, was a live recording of Josh Widdecombe’s XFM Show. I’m a big fan of Widdecombe, and actually listen to the show when i’m getting ready on a Saturday morning.

As a bonus, James Acaster was on it. Double Acaster in the one night.

There was one bonus of my getting lost, as I found out where Roxburgh Hotel was. On the Monday morning, I headed there for a Record Fair. I didn’t get anything, but if I didn’t go, I knew I would have been annoyed at myself for not going, and thinking that i’d missed out on something.

I spend Monday morning wandering around the West End and visiting my two favourite shops in Edinburgh – Fopp and Football Nation.

One of the best things about Edinburgh is, that you can escape from the Fringe for a few hours if you wish, and you don’t have to go very far to do so.

One year, I spent so much time in Cowgate, Potterrow and Pleasance, I didn’t even spend a minute in Princes Street/George Street, so it’s good to get a nice mix of Edinburgh.

My first show on the Monday was to see Mark Watson do a show called Work In Progress, which as the title suggests, was to try out new material.

I’d seen him previously, as well as him hosting the Comedywealth Games last year. It was classic Watson, moving from one topic to another in rapid time.

I’ll be keeping an eye out if he does a full proper show next year.

From there, I quickly legged it from The Stand to Pleasance to see Batfan, about one performer and his obsession with Batman, and his quest to create the perfect Batman film. He’s not a fan of Joel Schumacher.

Not enough 60s Batman in it for me, but it was still enjoyable, especially some of the obscure/forgotten/unknown references. You didn’t need to be a massive fan of Batman in order to enjoy it.

I’d wanted to spend Monday night seeing FFS in concert, but unfortunately, all the tickets were sold out. I didn’t want to spend the evening at the venue in the hope that some tickets become available, so I decided to just go to a comedy show instead.

Quite literally, a case of FFS.

If you don’t know, FFS are a supergroup comprising of Franz Ferdinand and Sparks. They are rather good. Looks like i’ll have to cross my fingers for a Belfast gig.

So what would fill my FFS void? Aisling Bea. You may have seen her on various panel shows. She was very good. The audience got a bit of a fright when they entered to room, to see her dancing in a morph suit.

Tuesday morning was spent walking around Princes Street Markets and Rose Street, before going to see The Man Called Monkhouse, set in the mid 1990s around the time of the theft of his joke book and the 20th anniversary of the death of his writing partner, Dennis Goodwin, sees Monkhouse looking back at his life to that point.

The voice was good but not perfect, but the look was. It looked like Monkhouse was in the room. As a bonus, we got some classic Monkhouse one-liners as well.

That was my only show on Tuesday, as Tuesday night was spent watching football, making a short train journey to see Dunfermline Athletic take on Dundee.

On Wednesday morning, I was curious and went for a walk around York Place and ended up in Leith. Even though this was the seventh year I had visited, it’s always good to explore new parts of the city I haven’t seen before.

One part of Edinburgh i’d love to visit is Arthur’s Seat, a hill which offers some spectacular views over Edinburgh. I’d planned on going on the Thursday morning, but the weather had started to turn. I didn’t quite fancy a hill walk in the rain. Maybe next year.

It was great though to have a trip to Edinburgh without having to wear a raincoat for the first four days. There were short periods of rain in my last two days.

My only show on Wednesday was to see Matt Forde. He specialises in Political Comedy, but he’s not a preachy type of comic, instead focusing on funny things in politics and amusing observations.

I’d previously seen him on Rory Bremner’s Election Report, and was not disappointed. He began by saying that he supported Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to be Labour Leader, not for political reasons, but for the material it will offer.

Wednesday night was spent at Princes Street Gardens to see James in concert. James doing a gig was part of the reason why I chose this particular week to go to Edinburgh.

Thurdsay was my last day, where I went to Edinburgh University to browse through the various charity shops for possible bargains.

Thursday lunchtime saw one last show, Pippa Evans celebrating the guilty pleasures of life, through the medium of song, even briefly bringing back her character of Loretta Maine, who I saw make a guest appearance on MacAulay and Co a few years ago.

Talking of MacAulay and Co, it wasn’t on this year. It was cancelled by Radio Scotland, and they didn’t even bring it back for the Edinburgh Festival.

In it’s place, was Kaye Adams. I’d love to be able to tell you if it was any good, but I slept in each morning I had a ticket having stayed up too late the night before. Maybe next year.

After Pippa Evans, a wee brief stroll around Princes Street, before getting the bus back to the airport.

That was it, that was my Edinburgh adventure for 2015. I didn’t see an awful show, which is almost disappointing. Already looking forward to 2016.

Edinblog 2014

Edinblog 2013

Edinblog 2012

Edinblog 2011

Edinblog 2010

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 3.7.2015

1. James Bay – When We Were On Fire
2. The Staves – Teeth White
3. Olly Murs – Beautiful To Me
4. Friendly Fires – Jump In The Pool
5. Duran Duran – Pressure Off

And now, the first of two national celebrations. Wednesday was Canada. So, for my Canadian readers, here’s a chart for you.

FIVE SONGS BY CANADIAN ACTS

1. Tegan and Sara – Closer
2. Nelly Furtado – Do It Again
3. Barenaked Ladies – One Week
4. Celine Dion – It’s All Coming Back To Me Now
5. Appleton – Fantasy

And for their Southern neighbours, it’s Independence Day tomorrow. So, here’s a chart for you.

FIVE SONGS BY AMERICAN ARTISTS

1. REM – The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
2. Buffalo Tom – Going Underground
3. Madonna – Rain
4. Paramore – That’s What You Get
5. The Cars – My Best Friend’s Girl

And to finish, i’m going to see James in Edinburgh in August. Fifth time in a fifth different town (after Sheffield, Glasgow, Belfast and Bray) and i’m very excited about it.

It’s part of a Festival called Magners Summer Nights, a series of outdoor concerts in Glasgow and Edinburgh in August. If you’re going to it, here’s some songs to get you in the mood.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS PERFORMING AT MAGNERS SUMMER NIGHTSS

1. James – She’s A Star
2. Echo and the Bunnymen – Nothing Lasts Forever
3. The Waterboys – The Whole Of The Moon
4. The Flaming Lips – Fight Test
5. Ben Folds – Battle Of Who Could Care Less

2014 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

It took a while for August to get going, but when it did, it was rather good.

My first photo adventure came on the second weekend, when I headed to Portadown to see a new era begin, Linfield’s first domestic game with Warren Feeney as manager. The less said of the result, the better.

Late that night, I headed to Falls Park to see Kaiser Chiefs in concert.

The following day, I was off to Wales for a few days, specifically to see the European Super Cup Final between Real Madrid and Sevilla.

I took the opportunity to explore Cardiff, go to Bristol for a day, and spend some time in Bath. Loved the Street Art in Bristol. Would have loved to have gone on the official tour, but it wasn’t on the day I was there.

Back in Belfast, it was off to The Oval to see Linfield come from 2-0 down to beat Glentoran.

I wasn’t back in Belfast long, as it was time to head to Edinburgh, mostly for the Festival, but I did take in some football, Hearts v Hibs. I also managed to get some Street Art photos when in Edinbugh.

Not long back in Belfast, it was time for Tennent’s Vital to see Bastille and The Killers on the same bill.

Two days later, it was on the road to see Linfield, a theme through the opening weeks of the season. This time, it was to Institute, my first time there.

Two days after that, was a trip to see Linfield go out of the League Cup to Ballyclare. The less said of that, the better.

One more road trip, to Dungannon, to see Linfield get a 1-0 win. At least the month ended on a winning note.

Portadown v Linfield

Kaiser Chiefs Live At Falls Park

Kaiser Chiefs Live At Falls Park Photo Album

Bristol Street Art

Bristol Street Art Photo Album

Cardiff/Bristol/Bath

Cardiff

Cardiff Street Art

Cardiff Street Art Photo Album

Real Madrid v Sevilla

Real Madrid v Sevilla Photo album

Glentoran v Linfield

Hearts v Hibs

Hearts v Hibs Photo Album

Edinburgh Street Art

Edinburgh Street Art Photo Album

Bastille Live At Tennent’s Vital

Bastille Live At Tennent’s Vital Photo Album

The Killers Live At Tennent’s Vital

The Killers Live At Tennent’s Vital Photo Album

Institute v Linfield

Ballyclare Comrades v Linfield

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

THE EDINBURGH CELEB SPOTTING BLOG 2014

With Edinburgh hosting the world’s biggest comedy festival, there’s a very good chance you might spot some celebrities – or at least some people of been on some TV show you’ve seen.

So, as ever, I kept an eye out, and bring you the mundane spottings of slightly known people doing things and walking in places.

Thursday 14th August

Mark Dolan, walking at Potterrow.

Henry Blofeld, flyering at Edinburgh University

Friday 15th August

Seann Walsh, walking in the park near Underbelly.

Rory McGrath, walking through the Underbelly Beer Garden.

Sunday 17th August

Henning Wehn, outside Tynecastle.

Hibs team bus, stuck at a red light on Lothian Road

David O’Doherty, pushing his bike outside McEwan Hall.

Al Murray, walking along Bristo Squae, wearing a beret.

2013 Celeb Spotting

2012 Celeb Spotting

2011 Celeb Spotting