THE SOUND OF 2016 : 51-76

51. White Spaces ft Jim Kerr – The Man Who Sold The World
52. Stone Roses – It’s A Beautiful Thing
53. We Are Scientists – Too Late
54. Biffy Clyro – Wolves Of Winter
55. Oasis – Stand By Me (Mustique Demo)
56. Laether Strip – Waterfront
57. Bruce Springsteen – Purple Rain
58. Birdy – Keeping You Head Up
59. Madness – Mr Apples
60. The 1975 – Somebody Else
61. Ellie Goulding – Army
62. Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz – Midnight Gold
63. Simple Minds ft KT Tunstall – Promised You A Miracle
64. Chvrches – Warning Call
65. Tom Odell – Magnetised
66. Nina Nesbitt – Chewing Gum
67. Halsey – New Americana
68. Lorde – Life On Mars?
69. All Saints – One Strike
70. Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
71. The 1975 – A Change Of Heart
72. Paul Simon – Wristband
73. Blink 182 – Home Is Such A Lonely Place
74. Laura Mvula – Overcome
75. Graham Nash – This Path Tonight

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ELLIE GOULDING – LIVE AT TITANIC BELFAST (BELSONIC) 28.6.2016

It’s fair to say that Ellie Goulding is no stranger to Northern Ireland since releasing her debut album in 2010, playing a varying range of venues – Spring and Airbrake, Ulster Hall, Ward Park, Waterfront Hall, The Odyssey, Boucher Road Playing Fields.

On Tuesday night, she added Titanic Belfast to the list, headlining as part of the Belsonic festival, on the penultimate night of the June series of the concerts.

I gave a miss to her last two Belfast concerts. I couldn’t be bothered with paying for a Calvin Harris ticket when I wanted to see Ellie Goulding, and I gave her last Odyssey gig as miss as it was part of the Halcyon Tour that I had seen her perform on the previous year.

I’ve seen her twice before, in 2010 and 2013. Adding 2016 to the list, it looks like it’s a triennial event for me, but it just happens that way.

Support for this gig came in the shape of Walking On Cars and The Coronas. I actually missed Walking On Cars, which was a pity as i’d heard some of their songs and liked them, despite their annoying marketing technique of advertising what seems like every five minutes on XFM.

The Coronas were on the Belsonic bill, as support, just as they were for Stereophonics last year. Like last year, they were decent. Also like last year, they announced mid set they would be performing at Ulster Hall in December.

Ellie Goulding is now at the stage of her career where she can do a Greatest Hits set, and that’s what people were expecting. What they weren’t expecting was a technical fault in the first song when an LED screen (should it not be an Ellie-D screen) failed, showing up the Windows start page.

The crowd cheered. Classic Belfast, never slow in cheering when things go monumentally wrong.

Ellie played on, while the screen got fixed in the background.

The playlist was a bit skewed. She isn’t a Dance artist but she does music you can dance to. One minute people would be dancing, then she would play a slow song, which killed the mood. People were here to dance.

If you wanted to hear her biggest hits, you weren’t to be disappointed, as you would have got to hear Something In The Way You Move, Goodness Gracious, Outside, Figure 8, Lights, Burn, I Need Your Love, Anything Could Happen and Love Me Like You Do.

It was my first Belsonic at their new venue, having moved to Titanic Quarter from Custom House Square, where the festival had taken place since it’s inception in 2008.

I was unsure about the move, but I was prepared to give it a chance. I did my evening cycle a week before there just to do a dry run to see what the venue is like.

It was on the day of the Germany v Northern Ireland match in Euro 2016, so I was going past as people were leaving the Fanzone that was showing the match.

I have to admit I was worried this would be an utter shambles, as massive queues formed to pay for car parking at The Odyssey, due to there not being the option of giving money to Odyssey staff at the Exit Gate, like when there is a concert on at The Odyssey.

That’s why I liked Custom House Square. I was able to park for free opposite the Fire Station on Ormeau Avenue and just walk down.

I parked at The Odyssey for this and it wasn’t too bad getting out. The queues for paying were relatively small and the car park wasn’t that full, which I found a bit surprising, albeit pleasantly surprising.

It’s far too early to say if the move has been a good thing or a bad thing, there are both positive and negative aspects, but it’s good to see that my initial fears weren’t realised.

The show itself was decent, but I do feel that her live show is better suited to an indoor venue.

By my law of seeing Ellie Goulding, I won’t see her again until 2019. Where? I don’t know. She never seems to play the same Belfast venue twice.

Photo Album

See Also

Ellie Goulding Live At Waterfront Hall April 2013

Ellie Goulding Live At Waterfront Hall April 2013 Photo Album

Ellie Goulding Live At Ulster Hall November 2010

Ellie Goulding Live At Ulster Hall November 2010 Photo Album

2016 : THE HALF-TERM HALF CENTURY

It’s that time of year again, where we have reached the halfway point. So, as is tradition, it’s time to look back at the 50 best songs of the year so far.

1. The Strumbellas – Spirits
2. James – Nothing But Love
3. Iggy Pop – Gardenia
4. Blossoms – Getaway
5. Aurora – Conquerer
6. Travis – Magnificent Time
7. Blossoms – At Most A Kiss
8. Grimes – California
9. The Lumineers – Ophelia
10. James – Dear John
11. Christine and the Queens – Tilted
12. Stone Roses – All For One
13. Bloc Party – Virtue
14. Manic Street Preachers – Feels Like Heaven
15. Taylor Swift – Out Of The Woods
16. Last Shadow Puppets – Bad Habits
17. The Temper Trap – Fall Together
18. The Coral – Miss Fortune
19. The Last Shadow Puppets – Aviation
20. Jake Bugg – Gimme The Love
21. Lukas Graham – 7 Years
22. White Spaces ft Jim Kerr – The Man Who Sold The World
23. Tom Odell – Magnetised
24. Foxes – Feet Don’t Fail Me Now
25. Tegan and Sara – Boyfriend
26. Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
27. Ellie Goulding – Army
28. Biffy Clyro – Wolves Of Winter
29. Halsey – New Americana
30. Richard Ashcroft – This Is How It Feels
31. Bruce Springsteen – Purple Rain
32. The 1975 – The Sound
33. DNCE – Cake By The Ocean
34. Lorde – Life On Mars?
35. The 1975 – A Change Of Heart
36. All Saints – One Strike
37. Laura Tesoro – What’s The Pressure?
38. Birdy – Keeping You Head Up
39. Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz – Midnight Gold
40. Tame Impala – The Less I Know The Better
41. Paul Simon – Wristband
42. Laura Mvula – Overcome
43. Manic Street Preachers – Together Stronger
44. Sergey Lazarev – You Are The Only One
45. Graham Nash – This Path Tonight
46. Tegan and Sara – U-Turn
47. Chvrches – Warning Call
48. Richard Ashcroft – Hold On
49. Nina Nesbitt – Chewing Gum
50. Travis – 3 Miles High

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 26.2.2016

1. Lorde – Life On Mars?
2. Foxes – Feet Don’t Fail Me Now
3. Richard Ashcroft – This Is How It Feels
4. All Saints – One Strike
5. Lush – Out Of Control

Last night, saw the announcement of the line-up for Belsonic. It’s a bit different this year, in more ways than one.

For a start, it’s moved from August to June, and it’s now taking place at Titanic instead of Custom House Square. To be honest, i’m not that enamoured with the move to a new venue. I thought Custom House Square was perfectly fine in terms of location.

That was one of the great things about Belsonic, that you knew where and when it would be, instead of moving around every few years like Tennent’s Vital.

I remember in 2010 blogging about the expansion of Belsonic and how ambitious it was. It’s fair to say it has worked spectacularly. Hopefully, this move will do likewise, i’m prepared to give it a chance.

Looking at the line-up, There are two periods of six day gaps, which suggests there are more headliners to come. This would make it a month long event, similar to Live At The Maqruee in Cork. No offence to the Corkonians, but Belsonic has a better line-up this year.

When I was following the launch event on Twitter, and saw it mentioned as taking place in June, with no dates being mentioned, I was worried that a concert i’d want to go to would be on whenever i’m in France. Thankfully not, as it turned out.

So, of the line-up, here’s a chart for you.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS APPEARING AT BELSONIC 2016

1. Stereophonics – Dakota
2. Biffy Clyro – The Captain
3. Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
4. Faithless – Don’t Leave
5. The Vaccines – If You Wanna

Meanwhile, talking of music events in Cork, Indiependence, taking place in a farm in County Cork announced it’s line-up, and it’s rather good. Here’s a chart from those on it.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS APPEARING AT INDIEPENDENCE

1. The Kooks – She Moves In Her Own Way
2. The Strypes – Get Into It
3. Editors – A Ton Of Love
4. Ash – A Life Less Ordinary
5. Idlewild – American English

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 5.2.2016

1. Franz Ferdinand – Matinee
2. Ellie Goulding – Army
3. Beauty Sleep – The Dark
4. Frank Turner – Mittens
5. Primal Scream and Sky Ferreira – When The Light Comes In

Today, sees tickets for Squeeze at Ulster Hall (Not until Setpember. That’s seven long months away) go on sale. Hoping to get one for this. To get you in the mood, here’s a Squeeze Top Five.

FIVE SONGS BY SQUEEZE

1. This Summer
2. Hourglass
3. Black Coffee In Bed
4. Another Nail In My Heart
5. Tempted

This coming Wednesday, is Ash Wednesday. I know it’s a religious event and this isn’t a religious blog, but it sounds like a good excuse for an Ash Top Five.

In the interests of equality, if there are any bands out there called Ramadan or Yom Kippur, send a few CDs my way and i’ll do a Top Five whenever those events occur.

FIVE SONGS BY ASH

1. Oh Yeah
2. Envy
3. Girl From Mars
4. Jesus Says
5. Cocoon

And finally, venturing into the world of TV, there is one show (it is music related) that I feel compelled to recommend for you. I was literally crying with laughter at times.

That show is Brian Pern : 45 Years Of Prog and Roll, starring Rhys Thomas, Simon Day and Paul Whitehouse. Off to a good start.

If you love The Fast Show and music history, you’ll love this.

Spoiler alert, features Noddy Holder fishing and Peter Gabriel getting worked up about seat belts.

You can watch it here.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 8.1.2016

1. Ellie Goulding – Army
2. Phil Lynott – Yellow Pearl
3. Eliza and the Bear – It Gets Cold
4. Kygo ft Maty Noyes – Stay
5. Taylor Swift – Out Of The Woods

Tonight, sees Top Of The Pops : The Story Of 1981 on BBC Four (10pm) looking back at the music of 1981 in anticipation for the repeats of 1981 episodes of Top Of The Pops on BBC Four next Thursday.

As is now tradition, here’s a 1981 chart to get you in the mood.

FIVE SONGS FROM 1981

1. Kim Wilde – Kids In America
2. Human League – Don’t You Want Me Baby
3. Aneka – Japanese Boy
4. Tenpole Tudor – Swords Of A Thousand Men
5. Jo Dolce – Shaddap You Face

Honourable mention for Ossie’s Dream. Even though it’s a rival football team, it’s still a quality tune.

Also, a new series of The Life Of Rock begins on BBC Four next Thursday as well. I cannot recommend that show enough.

THE SOUND OF 2015 : 1-25

So here we go, what you’ve been waiting for …….. The Top 25 songs of 2015. Enjoy.

1. Blossoms – Charlemagne
2. The Strypes – Get Into It
3. Chvrches – Leave A Trace
4. Muse – Revolt
5. Chemical Brothers – Go
6. Muse – Mercy
7. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Ballad Of The Mighty I
8. Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
9. Florence and the Machine – Queen Of Peace
10. Everything Everything – Spring/Sun/Winter/Dread
11. Calvin Harris ft Haim – Pray To God
12. Mumford and Sons – The Wolf
13. The 1975 – Love Me
14. Little Mix – Black Magic
15. Taylor Swift – Style
16. Mini Mansions – Death Is A Girl
17. Florence and the Machine – Ship To Wreck
18. Muse – Dead Inside
19. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats – SOB
20. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – You Know We Can’t Go Back
21. FFS – Piss Off
22. John Newman – Come And Get It
23. Everything Everything – Regret
24. Soak – Sea Creatures
25. Paul Weller – Saturn’s Pattern

So, congratulations to Blossoms. I bet they didn’t think that supporting Paul Weller and The Charlatans on tour could be topped, but it has.

If you haven’t heard the song before, here you go …..

They join an illustrious list of winners. Sadly, Bebo has wiped their archive, so I can’t link you 2006-2008.

THE SOUND OF …… PAST WINNERS

2014 Jamie T – Zombie
2013 Haim – The Wire
2012 Taylor Swift – We Are Never Getting Back Together
2011 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA …. What A Life
2010 Marina and the Diamonds – Shampain
2009 Little Boots – New In Town
2008 Sons and Daughters – Darling
2007 Feist – 1,2, 3, 4
2006 Kasabian – Empire

2015 : THE HALF-TERM HALF CENTURY

Well, we’re now at the halfway stage of 2015 and as is tradition at this time of year, it’s time for a Top 50 Songs Of The Year So Far, and it will keep you in suspense for the next six months as to what the best song of 2015 will be. Enjoy.

1. The Strypes – Get Into It
2. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Ballad Of The Mighty I
3. Mumford and Sons – The Wolf
4. Muse – Mercy
5. Little Mix – Black Magic
6. Taylor Swift – Style
7. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – You Know We Can’t Go Back
8. Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
9. Florence and the Machine – Ship To Wreck
10. FFS – Johnny Delusonal
11. Frank Turner – The Next Storm
12. Kodaline – Honest
13. Blur – Ong Ong
14. Giorgio Moroder ft Britney Spears – Tom’s Diner
15. Mini Mansions – Death Is A Girl
16. James Bay – Hold Back The River
17. Kodaline – Ready
18. Years and Years – King
19. The Courteeners – Has The Told You That He Loves You Yet?
20. Charli XCX – Famous
21. Cathal Smyth – Do You Believe In Love?
22. Rae Morris – Under The Shadows
23. Soak – Sea Creatures
24. Imagine Dragons – Warriors
25. Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You
26. Charli XCX ft Rita Ora – Doing It
27. FFS – Piss Off
28. Brandon Flowers – Can’t Deny My Love
29. Blur – There Are Too Many Of Us
30. Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance
31. Stereophonics – Cest La Vie
32. Jason Derulo – Want To Want Me
33. Paul Weller – Going My Way
34. Mans Zelmerlow – Heroes
35. The Charlatans – Come Home Baby
36. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Riverman
37. James Taylor – Montana
38. Natalie Imbruglia – Instant Crush
39. Father John Misty – Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)
40. Muse – Psycho
41. Little Boots – Better In The Morning
42. Gravity Storm – (Don’t You) Forget About Me
43. Nick Jonas – Jealous
44. Years and Years – Shine
45. Prides – Higher Love
46. Brandon Flowers – I Can Change
47. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear – Silent Movies
48. The Strypes – Scumbag City
49. Blur – Lonesome Street
50. Florence and the Machine – What Kind Of Man

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : DEC 26 – DEC 31

The final episode of the series, which i’ve enjoyed writing and sharing with you.

You never know, the BBC might bring it back on a weekly basis. Let’s go out on a high with some classics, and some not so classic.

I’ll probably rehash this in 2024 for 60 Years Of Top Of The Pops. If not, i’ll see you in 2048 for 50 Years Of CD:UK.

And finally, Bobby Farrell died four years ago, on the same day, and in the same city as Rasputin.