THE FRIDAY FIVE – 22.4.2016

1. Blossoms – Getaway
2. Aurora – Conquerer
3. The Lumineers – Ophelia
4. Tegan and Sara – U-Turn
5. Space – Avenging Angels

As I type (Thursday night), news has just emerged that Prince has died. It doesn’t feel real.

I remember being in London in February 2014 when he was announcing random gigs at small venues, and hoping that he would announce one the weekend I was there and that I would get a ticket. It was not to be.

Soon after, he announced a series of UK gigs. I kept hoping he would announce a Belfast one. It was not to be.

Here’s fove Prince songs for you

FIVE SONGS BY PRINCE

1. Gold
2. Cream
3. Batdance
4. Raspberry Beret
5. Kiss

Tomorrow, is St George’s Day, so here’s a couple of charts for our English readers

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM ENGLAND

1. Then Jerico – Big Area
2. Lightning Seeds – All I Want
3. Charli XCX – Boom Clap
4. The Cure – Friday I’m In Love
5. Stephanie Kirkham – Inappropriate

FIVE SONGS BY MUSICIANS CALLED GEORGE

1. Wham – Freedom
2. One Night Only – Say You Don’t Want It
3. George Harrison – Got My Mind Set On You
4. Culture Club – Karma Chameleon
5. George Ezra – Budapest

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 3.5.1980

The first tournament of the 1980s is approaching, Euro 80, and Shoot is attempting to do Ron Greenwood’s job for him by picking the England squad for this tournament.

Shoot gives a double page spread to this, with their selection, and the reasons for their selection.

While England’s players are heading to Italy, Ipswich Town’s players are heading to Hungary to appear in a film called Escape To Victory

In other news, Billy Humphries was considering making a comeback for Ards at the age of 42, while Aston Villa were keen on signing Mick Ferguson from Coventry.

In letters, Stephen Cochrane from Hartlepool writes in to suggest his local side will be a top flight club by 1987.

Scotland are also in international action, and Derek Johnstone uses his column to write about his hopes for an international. With Scotland not going to the European Championship, he can’t resist a dig at England by writing that this is how they must have felt sitting at home watching Scotland at the 1974 and 1978 World Cups.

Shoot interviews Manchester born pop star Andy Gibb about his love of Manchester United, saying that George Best was his hero. He supports United, but wants City to do well. In the interview, he says he doesn’t get to Old Trafford often, but visits Vicarage Road to see his local team Watford.

Gibb also reveals he has football matches in his local park with his three elder brothers Barry, Maurice and Robin (That’s the Bee Gees, by the way) who he describes as “Soccer mad”, which are videotaped, then they watch back when they get home.

West Germany captain Bernard Dietz gets a double page interview, where he states that England can win the competition. They were eliminated in the group stage while West Germany won the competition.

A possible future domestic opponent of Bernard Dietz is Liverpool midfielder Terry McDermott, who tells Shoot he is considering a move to a West German club.

Terry Venables uses his column to declare that players who do cynical fouls will never prosper in football.

As part of their build-up to Euro 80, Shoot looks at previous European Championships. This week, they look back at Euro 72.

In ads, Admiral take out a full page for their England kit and tracksuit range. One of the tracksuits is modelled by Trevor Francis. It’s unknown if it was purchased in Shepherd’s Bush.

Alan Hansen gets a full page profile where he reveals his favourite music is Billy Joel, and The Commodores, while his favourite other team is Manchester United.

In transfer news, Aston Villa manager Ron Saunders was fuming after Everton hijacked their bid to sign Dumbarton’s striker Graeme Sharp after they had agreed a fee with the Scottish club.

Shoot does a feature on Grimsby winger Mike Brolly, complete with a picture of him holding a brolly.

In other ads, there is an advert for a free Euro 80 sticker album, but not in Shoot, in two other publications – Roy Of The Rovers, and Tiger.

There is a poster of Celtic players and manager Billy McNeill celebrating winning the 1980 league title. They would soon look stupid as it was Aberdeen who claimed the trophy that season.

In international news, Bobby Robson is wanted by Barcelona to be their new manager. It would eventually take him 16 years to get the job. Meanwhile, one Spanish newspaper had a leftfield candidate for the post, Ian Paisley. It was a printing error as they got him confused with Liverpool manager Bob Paisley.

Andy Gray uses his column to suggest that there should be full-time referees in football.

The magazine ends on the back page with a poster of John Toshack in his Wales kit.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 7.12.1985

Pat Jennings is the cover star of this week’s edition of Shoot, celebrating a clean sheet at Wembley in a 0-0 draw between England and Northern Ireland that was enough to send Northern Ireland to the 1986 World Cup.

England were the only unbeaten team in European qualification, and Bryan Robson uses his column to compliment the players who helped England get there, such as Gary Stevens, Paul Bracewell and suggests that Peter Barnes could be a long shot for the squad.

Shoot gives a double page photo spread to Pat Jennings and his saves that secured Northern Ireland the draw at Wembley they needed to qualify.

Terry Butcher will be a key man for England in Mexico, and gets a double page spread as he returns from injury, aiming to keep Ipswich in the top flight.

Alan Ball is the subject of a new series where Shoot collates quotes about a famous footballing figure, where former team-mat Gordon West reveals that defeat makes him cry.

Shoot’s editorial appeals to UEFA to allow English clubs back into Europe, after a season in exile as a result of the Heysel Disaster.

As well as Bryan Robson, Peter Reid jumps on the Paul Bracewell bandwagon, praising him in his column.

Linfield get a feature as they aim to win their 5th successive title in what is their centenary season, despite the absence of Martin McGaughey through injury.

Jimmy Greaves Letters Page has a letter suggesting that England’s 0-0 draw with Northern Ireland was fixed, but Greaves disputes this by praising Northern Ireland, who narrowly lost to England in Belfast and beat Romania home and away.

In news, Aston Villa are in danger of losing their shirt sponsorship deal with Mita Copiers as a result of the TV blackout due to a dispute with broadcasters, while the FAI and Sligo Rovers denied a claim by Leicester City player Steve Lynex that he was run out of town by a gunman when on trial at Sligo.

Mark Hughes offered tickets to a 12 year old Sheffield Wednesday fan to their visit to Old Trafford later in the season, after he was hit by a ball that Hughes hit into a crowd when the sides met at Hillsbrough.

Les Sealey had his car stolen, but what he wants back the most is his shin pads, which he has worn throughout his career and views them as lucky.

Aberdeen get a team profile, where talk of a Clean Sweep of Scottish trophies has been banned, according to Willie Miller.

Staying in Scotland, they believe they’ve unearthed a new Danny McGrain, but it’s a Rangers player, Hugh Burns.

In foreign news, Brazil’s older players such as Socrates, Zico and Falcao are worried that Mario Zagallo will axe them for the World Cup if he is appointed manager. Derry City’s crowds of 7,000 are the biggest in the League Of Ireland, while San Marino are applying for membership to FIFA and UEFA, and hope to enter the qualifiers for the 1990 World Cup.

David Williams of Norwich City gets a feature, having taken the unusual step of quitting as Bristol Rovers manager (He was a 30 year old player/manager) to become a player at Norwich City.

Mark Falco gets a feature, after having to fight off competition to gain a place in Tottenham Hotspur’s starting team.

Franz Carr of Nottingham Forest has made such an impression, that Bobby Robson has marked him as one of England’s stars of the 1990 World Cup. No pressure on him, as Shoot bills him “The new George Best”

Charlie Nicholas uses his column to cheerlead for Steve Williams, his Arsenal team-mate to be in the England squad.

Shoot does a feature on Charlton Athletic, aiming for promotion to the top flight, despite having to play their home matches at Selhurst Park.

In adverts, Bucks Fizz are advertising calculators.

Frank McAvennie is the subject of this week’s “Focus On ….” where he reveals his favourite bands are U2 and Queen.

BRISTOL ROVERS 3-0 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 25.3.2016

As I was in Cardiff for the Wales v Northern Ireland match, I decided to make a weekend of it and stay afterwards in the South-West of England.

I was spoilt for choice when it came to matches, with Swindon Town, Cheltenham Town and Bristol Rovers all in close proximity to where I was staying. I plumped for Bristol Rovers, and it turned out to be a good choice.

The match against Cambridge United was a sell-out, with Rovers fans hopeful of a second successive promotion. As recently as February 27th, a 1-0 defeat at Wycombe left them 10th, but five successive wins had now seen them kick-off in the third automatic promotion place.

With Good Friday not being a Public Holiday in Northern Ireland, the 3pm kick-off went this was the first time i’d been to a football match during a working day.

Bristol Rovers had envisaged that by March 2016, they’d be playing at a brand new UWE Stadium. It’s not names after Uwe Rosler, it’s so named as it is in collaboration with the University of Western England.

For various reasons, that fell through, so Rovers are still at The Memorial Ground, their home since 1996, that they used to share with Bristol Rugby, until they moved out in 2014. The entrance to the ground still references it as the home of Bristol Rugby.

The ground is named as a tribute to local Rugby players who died in World War I, and there is a memorial to them as you enter the ground.

Prior to that, Rovers played at Twerton Park in nearby Bath for ten years after having to leave Eastville in 1986 due to financial difficulties.

Stadium issues were the last thing on people’s minds, it was all about three points and promotion.

I managed to get to the ground a bit later than hoped due to buses running a reduced service. I literally just got off at the same stop as people in Rovers shirts, and managed to make my way to the ground with no problem.

My ticket was behind the goal, in the North Terrace.

As I was relatively late, a lot of the good spaces were taken, I had to take what I could get, a spot beside the corner flag.

Rovers fans packed into the North Terrace were expectant of victory, but had their watch their side be on the back foot in the opening minute, with Cambridge testing their keeper with a shot. On of many nervous moments for Rovers in the opening minutes.

There was some Northern Ireland interest in this match, in the shape of Rovers defender Mark McChrystal.

Rovers fans were soon celebrating, when Billy Bodin (Son of Paul, who missed that penalty for Wales against Romania in 1993) got enough space to fire a speculative shot goalwards, which went under Cambridge’s keeper and put Rovers 1-0 up.

It was poor goalkeeping, not that Rovers fans cared.

Soon after, it was 2-0, Bodin again, after he got enough space in the penalty area to head in via the crossbar.

After scoring with their first two chances, it was fair to say that any nerves Rovers would have had were now gone.

Now playing with a swagger, they almost made it 3-0 close to half time, when a Clarke volley narrowly went over the bar.

Cambridge had some attacking possession in the second-half, but never looked like scoring. The next goal was always going to be a Rovers one, and it came on 73 minutes, when Matty Taylor created space in the box to fire home to make it 3-0.

The game won, Rovers fans went into party mood, singing “Wael Wael give us a wave” at the club’s new owner, Wael Al Qaid. He obliged.

They then sang “Wael Wael, give us a dance”. He didn’t oblige.

The next song, was “We’re Man City in disguise” – a reference to their bank account perhaps and not their recent form, as they’re doing a bit better than Man City at the moment.

The next chant aimed at the Owner was “We want Messi”, suggesting a possible transfer target, before a more modest “We want Easter”, aimed at their manager urging him to bring Jermaine Easter off the bench. They got their wish.

He couldn’t get the goal they wanted at the time of year he shares a name with. Three points was more than enough for them.

Photo Album

BRISTOL STREET ART MARCH 2016

I headed over to Cardiff recently for the Wales v Northern Ireland match, but also took the opportunity to spend some time in Bristol.

I’d been to Bristol before, in August 2014, but it was only a day, so I didn’t get a full chance to explore the city.

On that visit, i’d managed to get a lot of Street Art pictures, and I had previously known about Bristol’s reputation for Street Art.

As I got off my bus and headed towards my hotel, the first thing that greeted me was a mural of Wallace and Gromit.

A bit random, you may think, but not really, as Aardman Animations, who make Wallace and Gromit are based in Bristol.

After checking in, I then headed out to explore Bristol, and immediately spotted an incomplete tribute to David Bowie, inspired by the iconic cover to Aladdin Sane, and featuring the line “Put on your red shoes and dance the blues” (A lyric from Let’s Dance) and a tombstone reading 8th January 1947 (Bowie’s date of birth) and 10th January (the date he died, but not including the year of his death, 2016)

So that’s Belfast, Dublin (hoping to check that out in May as I have a day trip to Dublin planned over the second Bank Holiday weekend of the month), Bristol and Manchester who have Street Art tributes to David Bowie.

The one in Manchester is currently a work in progress. It’s in the Northern Quarter, just off Oldham Street (if you know Manchester). I’m looking forward to seeing it the next time i’m over for a match.

I then ventured into Bristol City Centre, photographing what I could see, before stumbling into Stokes Croft, a hotbed for Street Art.

I didn’t do the official tour. I usually try to avoid official tours as I like to stumble upon stuff myself, but it’s always handy to have that as a back-up option.

There is a mural of Abbe Pierre outside the office of Emmaus, the charity he helped to found.

On the Friday, I went to see Bristol Rovers play. When getting the bus back to the City Centre, I noticed some pieces on Gloucester Road, so I went back on the Saturday morning to photograph them. There are also a lot of independent and charity shops in that area, so it’s well worth visiting, not just for Street Art.

If the name Stokes Croft sounds familiar, it could be because of riots there in April 2011 after protests about Tesco opening up a store there.

There was a piece of Street Art referencing opposition to Tesco there.

Sunday was spent on the Harbourside. I wasn’t looking for Street Art, but I did manage to stumble upon some. Naturally of course, I had my camera ready to snap.

Photo Album 1

Photo Album 2

Bristol Street Art August 2014

Bristol Street Art August 2014 Photo Album

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 27.5.1978

World Cup fever is in full swing as this week’s edition of Shoot comes with a free wallchart.

As you open the magazine, there is a double page spread of the marksmen leading the line for each team, with Kenny Dalglish being the player profiled for Scotland.

Ray Clemence uses his column to express his desire to play against Scotland – as it was his mistake in 1976 that won the game for Scotland the last time England played at Hampden Park.

With all the coverage of England and Scotland, Wales fans weren’t ignored, as their team got a full page poster.

The rise of Nottingham Forest from a hopeless second tier team under Brian Clough to league champions gets four pages, including a centre page poster.

A combination of big spending on transfers and ground improvements has seen season ticket prices at Manchester United for 1978-1979 would cost you a whopping £45.

Love was in the air for Blackpool’s Brian Wilson, who got engaged to Anne Nolan, of popular singing group The Nolan Sisters.

One of the teams he found face that summer would be Cliftonville, who had announced a short tour of England to face Blackpool and Southport.

Derek Dougan made a visit to his native Belfast to present Linfield’s Jimmy Martin with the Footballer Of The Year Award.

Though the World Cup is close, the qualifying for Euro 1980 was closer, as Republic Of Ireland are in Copenhagen for their opening qualifier. Shoot gives this a full page preview.

Shoot goes big on Scotland, with various adverts for World Cup related merchandise including the replica kit, and a special Shoot edition solely focusing on Scotland, previewing their games in Argentina.

THE KOOKS – LIVE AT ALBERT HALL MANCHESTER 23.1.2016

Exactly ten years since the release of their debut album, Inside In Inside Out, The Kooks were in Manchester for a concert at Albert Hall, a city that singer Luke Pritchard said gives him a tingle every time he visits there.

It was a gig that was supposed to have taken place the previous month, but was cancelled due to one of their members suffering a family bereavement.

Upon hearing that the rescheduled date would be on the weekend I would be in Manchester, I decided to get a ticket, especially as they were so good when I saw them at Mandela Hall in 2015.

Inside In Inside Out got to Number 2 in the album charts in 2006, and spawned the hit singles Naive, She Moves In Her Own Way and Ooh La.

The follow up, Konk went to Number 1 and spawned the Number 3 single Always Where I Need To Be. It looked like The Kooks were going to be one of the biggest bands in the world.

Then, well, nobody knows what actually happened next. It does seem unjust that a band like The Libertines were playing Manchester Arena on the night The Kooks were playing Albert Hall.

During the set, Luke Pritchard engaged in what will be the biggest concert cliche of the early months of 2016, toasting the recently departed David Bowie.

The Kooks had good reason to though, as they (just like Simple Minds) got their name from a David Bowie song.

The whole show was basically just people jumping up and down and from side to side. Unsurprisingly, the biggest jumps were saved for their biggest hits – Forgive and Forget, Naive, Ooh La, She Moves In Her Own Way, Always Where I Need To Be and Shine On.

Hopefully, when the 20th anniversary of Inside In Inside Out comes around, The Kooks will still be touring and making people jump up and down and from side to side.

Photo Album

The Kooks Live At Mandela Hall March 2015

The Kooks Live At Mandela Hall March 2015 Photo Album

MANCHESTER UNITED 0-1 SOUTHAMPTON 23.1.2016

Last weekend, I headed to Old Trafford for the second time this season. The last time I headed over, things were looking great. United were top of the league and knew that a home win over PSV Eindhoven would send them into the Last 16 of the European Cup with a game to spare.

And then it went ever so slightly wrong. An eight match winless run followed, elimination from the European Cup and falling behind in the league.

Then, a five match unbeaten run, progress in the FA Cup and everything was looking great again. Well, not quite, but it’s all relative.

I’d waited a while for this game, having booked the weekend away last July. I’d hoped (and thought) that this game would be moved by Sky to a Sunday, freeing me up to take in another game in the Greater Manchester area on the Saturday.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. On top of that, Suede were doing an instore gig at HMV at 2pm on Saturday. So that was two things I was missing out on to see United. Let’s hope it was worth it.

Not a lot was going on in the early stages, United’s best moment was a speculative long range shot from Daley Blind.

That was as good as it got for United in the first-half.

Despite not having a clear strike on goal, Southampton looked the most believable team to score, getting the ball forward and having players make runs in attacking positions.

It didn’t always come off, but if you keep doing the right things, eventually, you’ll get it right.

It should have done for Southampton when a one-two between Sadio Mane and Dusan Tadic saw Sadio Mane be through on goal, but he couldn’t get the ball under his control to shoot at goal.

Half-time, 0-0. Boos rang out at Old Trafford. I can’t say booing is something i’d do. I couldn’t put up an argument against anyone who did.

When at Old Trafford, I usually head out to the concourse at half-time to watch the highlights of the first-half on the TV screens. There were none I could think of that i’d want to watch again.

As is now tradition, Social Media lit up with the stat about half-time scores at Old Trafford, all 0s barring Norwich City’s goal in December. The only people who would be excited by that would be Binary Code enthusiasts.

I’m not sure if lots of 0s and a solitary 1 is a good thing in Binary Code. It’s certainly not a good thing in football.

Things can change so easily in football. Having left the field to jeers, United returned to cheers. The first-half was forgotten about. The game was level, and there was 45 minutes to win it.

Juan Mata came on for Marouane Fellaini. Old Trafford universally approved of this.

There was a brief flurry from Untied, but it died down, and reverted back to the first-half performance. Southampton looked to have the first chance of the half from a counter attack. but where thrwarted by a clearance from Matteo Darmian to deny Shane Long, who got injured making it.

Again, more backwards passes. Old Trafford voiced it’s disapproval. There was actually one occasion when a pass backwards was booed even though it was the right decision.

However, once the player who received the ball had it, nobody ran for him. He had nowhere to play it to. Suddenly, a good pass to keep possession and build to go forward became another bad pass going backwards by a lack of forward movement.

Even when United did go forward, they would soon lose it, giving away possession cheaply. Even worse, a lot of the time, it came from their own throw ins. One incident summed up the game for United.

Morgan Schneiderlin took a quick free-kick which hit the referee and set up a Southampton attack. It was United’s best attacking move of the game, and it was for the opposition.

Frustrated by what they were seeing, United fans chanted for Adnan Januzaj to come on. Eventually he did. Soon after, there was a goal. Unfortunately, it came for Southampton, when Charlie Austin headed home from a free-kick.

87 minutes on the clock, there wasn’t a lot of time for United to strike back. In truth, if Southampton had scored in the first ten seconds, United wouldn’t have looked like getting an equaliser.

Five minutes added time was signalled for, Old Trafford roared United on with this news. It was false hope.

United’s only moment came when a Adnan Januzaj shot went wide. It looked closer than it was when you watched it in real time.

That was it, a win for Southampton. United’s feint title hopes suffered a blow, as did their top four hopes.

People will tolerate bad performances if you are getting results. People will tolerate bad results if performances suggest the results will get better.

United are having the (im)perfect storm of bad results and performances. Only one shot on goal, and it was a speculative one at that.

In terms of Old Trafford visits, i’m hoping to head over for the Bournemouth game in May, United’s last game of the season. Well, in the league, hopefully there’ll be at least one cup final after that.

It’s all the hope we’ve got at the moment.

MANCHESTER STREET ART JANUARY 2016

Was over in Manchester last weekend. Primarily, for the football, which was like watching paint dry.

However, the trip was salvaged by some paint that was actually dry, Street Art in the city. For Street Art in Manchester, the first port of call is the Northern Quarter, where I spotted some new pieces, most notably on Tib Street.

Considering that my last visit to Manchester was two months ago, it was unsurprising that a lot of the stuff I photographed was still there, even taking into account the quick turnover of Street Art in some cities.

There was a work in progress piece when I arrived on Friday, which ended up being completed by the time I left on Monday.

When I was last in Manchester in November, there were street pillars being painted. I had a look at the finished pieces, which go all the way up Oldham Street, which relates to a project called 16 Days Of Street Art, where female artists paint female icons throughout history.

The last time I was in Manchester, i’d plannedo n checking out the pieces on Salford Quays, but I didn’t get the chance to do so, so I planned to do so on this visit.

On Saturday, I took a wrong turn and got lost, and was stuck for time to get back on track due to meeting friends before the match.

So, on Sunday, I decided to try again, only to discover that part of the walkway at Salford Quays is closed due to subsidence.

It seemed like I was destined not to get photos of the Street Art along Salford Quays.

Well, not quite. I remembered that the Cornbrook Metrolink served where the Street Art ends, so I had a quick change in direction and hopped on the tram.

So, that was my latest Street Art adventures in Manchester. I haven’t given up on United yet, so i’ll hopefully be back at some point in 2016 to photograph some more.

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art Photo Album

2015 IN PICTURES – NOVEMBER

November took a while to get going, my first adventure being on the 7th, to see Linfield take on Crusaders. I would be spending a lot of time at Windsor Park in the opening fortnight of the month.

Windsor Park is where I would be based in the opening two weekends of the month, taking in Northern Ireland’s friendly against Latvia, then Linfield’s match against Cliftonville the next day.

The following midweek was all about music, as Paul Weller and U2 came to Belfast.

The busy month continued when I took in my annual Ulster European game, a defeat to Saracens.

The final two Saturdays of the month saw me on the road, to see Linfield lose in Mid-Ulster against Glenavon and Portadown.

Sandwiched inbetween that, was a trip to Manchester to see United take on PSV Eindhoven, where I also took the opportunity to get some Street Art photos.

Linfield v Crusaders

Northern Ireland v Latvia

Northern Ireland v Latvia Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

Paul Weller live at Waterfront Hall

Paul Weller live at Waterfront Hall Photo Album

U2 live at The Odyssey

U2 live at The Odyssey Photo Album

Ulster v Saracens

Ulster v Saracens Photo Album

Glenavon v Linfield

Manchester Street Art November 2015

Manchester Street Art November 2015 Photo Album

Manchester United v PSV Eindhoven

Manchester United v PSV Eindhoven Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield