THE FRIDAY FIVE – 29.3.2019

1. The Beat – Save It For Later
2. The Killers – Run For Cover
3. Mumford and Sons – Beloved
4. Feeder – Fear Of Flying
5. Florence and the Machine – Moderation

I hate it when bands I like are announced for Belsonic. Any outdoor event in Belfast is now a scumbagfest where you can barely breathe due to the stench of cigarettes and vapes. Think i’ll pass on The Killers and just wait on their next Odyssey concert.

Sad to hear of the death of Ranking Roger. As compilation albums go, Beat This : The Best Of The Beat is an absolute belter. For some reason, I never felt the urge to go an see them when they did what felt like an annual concert at The Limelight.

Ash are doing a concert in Edinburgh during the Festival. That is very tempting.

THE SOUND OF 2018

Better late than never, I decided to wait until the first day of 2019 to post my favourite songs of 2018.

It would have been a shame not to continue the tradition of this award* (*Disclaimer, no actual trophy) that goes all the way back to 2006.

I cobbled this up after browsing through my Friday Fives from 2018 with absolutely no scientific methodology whatsoever. So, here it is, the Top 50 Songs Of 2018.

1. Loveleytheband – Broken
2. Alice Merton – No Roots
3. Kyle Falconer – Family Tree
4. Rasmussen – Higher Ground
5. AJR ft Rivers Cuomo – Sober Up
6. Mumford and Sons – Guiding Light
7. Pale Waves – Eighteen
8. Jade Bird – Uh Huh
9. Kyle Falconer – Poor Me
10. Richard Ashcroft – That’s When I Feel It
11. George Ezra – Shotgun
12. Kylie Minogue – Dancing
13. Tom Grennan- Sober
14. Chvrches – Graffiti
15. Kyle Falconer – Kelly
16. Rudimental – These Days
17. Manic Street Preachers – Hold Me Like A Heaven
18. The Coral – Reaching Out For A Friend
19. Portugal, The Man – Feel It Still
20. Snow Patrol – Don’t Give In
21. Sam Fender – That Sound
22. Madame Monsieur – Mercy
23. James – Coming Home (Part II)
24. Manic Street Preachers – Distant Colours
25. Blossoms – I Can’t Stand It
26. Christine and the Queens – Girlfriend
27. Kylie Minogue – Stop Me From Falling
28. Snow Patrol – Empress
29. Dennis Lloyd – Nevermind
30. The Kooks – Four Leaf Clover
31. Blossoms – There’s A Reason Why
32. APRE – All Yours
33. Ash – Annabel
34. Pound Shop Boys – Fireman Sam
35. Editors – Cold
36. Vampire Weekend ft Danielle Haim – Sone Of A Preacher Man
37. Weezer – Africa
38. Natalie Prass – Short Court Style
39. Hozier – Nina Cried Power
40. Sleeper – Look AtYou Now
41. Turin Brakes – Lifeforms
42. Arctic Monkeys – Four Out Of Five
43. Yonaka – Creature
44. Florence and the Machine – Hunger
45. Courtney Barrett – Nameless Faceless
46. Weezer – Roseanna
47. Ten Tonnes – G.I.V.E
48. Razorlight – Carry Yourself
49. Ash – Confessions In ThePool
50. Aurora – Queendom

So, congratulations to Loveleytheband on winning this year’s poll.

If you haven’t heard it, the video is below.

They join an illustrious list of former winners, listed below.

2017 Liam Gallagher – For What It’s Worth
2016 The Strumbellas – Spirits
2015 Blossoms – Charlemagne
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

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 22.6.2018

1. Richard Ashcroft – Break The Night With Colour
2. Liam Gallagher – I’ve All I Need
3. Miles Kane – Loaded
4. The Kooks – No Pressure
5. Florence and the Machine – Hunger

Exciting news, 1986 episodes of Top Of The Pops will be starting next month. Can’t wait.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 18.5.2018

1. AJR ft Rivers Cuomo – Sober Up
2. Florence and the Machine – Hunger
3. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – All You Need Is Love
4. Arctic Monkeys – Four Out Of Five
5. Manic Street Preachers – Hold Me Like A Heaven

First of all, apologies for there being no Friday Five last week. It was due to a combination of packing for a weekend away and recovering from Noel Gallagher.

That meant I didn’t get to do a Eurovision chart. Better late than never, here’s a chart to get you in the mood for Israel in May 2019.

FIVE EUROVISION SONGS

1. Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah
2. Katrina and the Waves – Love Shine A Light
3. A Friend In London – New Tomorrow
4. Jedward – Lipstick
5. Ted Crilly and Dougal Maguire – My Lovely Horse

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 IN PICTURES – SEPTEMBER

September began for me on the road to Fermanagh, to see Linfield take on Ballinamallard, and get a 1-0 win on a lovely sunny day.

From the road to Fermanagh to the road to France. My next football match came two days later when I saw Northern Ireland take on Hungary in a Euro 2016 Qualifier, knowing that a win sound them to France.

They didn’t get the win they wanted, but a late draw kept them on course to qualify.

Inbetween those two football matches was some graffiti spotting around Belfast.

Two days after that, I was at The Odyssey, now renamed The SSE Arena, to see Florence and the Machine perform the first concert at the newly renovated venue.

Back to Irish League action the following Saturday, a trip to Seaview to see Linfield take on Crusaders, the less said about, the better.

The following Friday, was the highlight of the year in Belfast, Culture Night, and I was out with my camera snapping the action.

I recovered from Culture Night in time the following day to head to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Warrenpoint.

The following day, I undertook a post Culture Night tradition by checking out the newly painted Street Art on North Street and the surrounding areas.

The final weekend of the month saw me head to Windsor Park to see Linfield edge past Glenavon 4-3.

Like the previous weekend, I headed to North Street to get a look at the Street Art painted for Culture Night, as some pieces were still being worked on when I went down the previous week.

I also headed to City Quays Walk for the first time, to see some Street Art that had been painted there.

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Belfast Street Art

Northern Ireland v Hungary

Northern Ireland v Hungary Photo Album

Florence and the Machine Live At The Odyssey

Florence and the Machine Live At The Odyssey Photo Album

Crusaders v Linfield

Culture Night

Culture Night Photo Album

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

North Street Art

North Street Art Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

North Street Art Part 2

North Street Art Photo Album Volume 2

City Quays Walk Street Art

FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE – LIVE AT THE ODYSSEY 9.9.2015

It was a night of new beginnings in Belfast, for both artist and venue, as Florence and the Machine kicked off her How Big How Blue How Beautiful Tour by becoming the first music act to perform at the newly revamped Odyssey Arena, or SSE Arena, as it’s now known.

There are now digital TV screens at the entrance and a VIP bar in the concourse. I was standing, so I didn’t get a chance to see what the new seats were like.

One major negative was having to queue for five minutes in order to get a wristband to walk the long way round to go to the toilet. Instead of having security hand out wristbands (not sure why they are needed in the first place), could they not just give them to people to put on themselves?

This gig was Florence’s first of the tour, though she has been performing at festivals throughout the summer, most notably, headlining Glastonbury as a late replacement for Foo Fighters, when Dave Grohl was incapacitated by a broken leg after jumping into the crowd.

It is an occupational hazard that Florence is well aware of, having been in plaster for the early part of this year after a similar mishap.

This gig was mishap free, well, until she accidentally knocked a speaker over a security guard during Dog Days. Thankfully, the security guard didn’t appear to be hurt.

Her band, one by one, walked on stage, but no Florence, she waited and built the tension. Big and dramatic is what she does. Throughout the night, you could the thunderous rhythm of the drums in each song, sounding more intense live than they do on record.

She later told the crowd that she had planned on having a choir on stage with her, but the stage wasn’t big enough.

She began by performing What The Water Gave Me and Ship To Wreck. Quite apt theme given The Odyssey’s close proximity to Belfast’s shipyards.

Florence is no stranger to Belfast, but was last here performing at Tennent’s Vital in 2012, as well as previous appearances at Belsonic in 2010 and an Ulster Hall gig in 2009.

She arrived in Belfast straight from Electric Picnic in Loais and had spent a few days in the city, and had spent the night before in a “Traditional Music Pub”, which turned out to be Kelly’s Cellars.

Florence is either everywhere or nowhere, she disappears for a while, and then just comes back. At the moment, she is everywhere.

As her current rate of albums is one every three years. She might not be in Belfast again until 2018. Florence, and the crowd, were determined to make the most of each other’s company.

She was everywhere on the stage, running about from side to side of the stage, and dancing. I say dancing, it was mainly jumping up and down and pirouetting.

Inbetween songs, Florence stated that she was on her own musical Odyssey, nicely linking to her adding that she is now playing The Odyssey.

It’s seven years since her first hit Kiss With A Fist (which wasn’t played), and she is now at the stage where she has had “a lot of hits”

All the biggies were there – Ship To Wreck, Shake It Up (my own personal favourite), Rabbit Heart, You Got The Love, Spectrum, Dog Days, Drumming Song, What Kind Of Man.

It was a night when everybody in The Odyssey was at some point singing, dancing or clapping along. At some point, doing all three.

There were a few objects thrown from the crowd. Nothing unsavoury, just a bra. Someone also made a flag for Florence, which she accepted and waved on stage. Must be a first for Belfast to see a flag universally cheered.

It’s fair to say, that Florence and her machine, were fully functional. Belfast looks forward to seeing her again in 2018. Or earlier, if she fancies.

Photo Album