THE FRIDAY FIVE – 8.3.2019

1. Catfish and the Bottlemen – Longshot
2. Chvrches and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra – Miracle
3. KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See
4. The Prodigy – Firestarter
5. Rose Elinor Dougall – First Sign

Today, is International Women’s Day. As is now tradition on this blog, i’ll do some themed charts.

If you doing something or going to something, enjoy yourself.

If you’re not that bothered and it’s just another day to you, enjoy yourself.

Whatever you’re doing, just don’t be a dick about it. You know who I mean, the sort of person who sits in front of a computer screaming IT’S NOVEMBER 19TH!!!!!!

Here’s some charts

FIVE SONGS BY FEMALE VOCALISTS

1. Donna Lewis – I Love You Always Forever
2. Celine Dion – It’s All Coming Back To Me
3. Madonna – Who’s That Girl?
4. Amy Studt – Misfit
5. Britney Spears – Boys

FIVE SONGS BY FEMALE FRONTED BANDS

1. Blondie – Heart Of Glass
2. Chvrches – Lies
3. Paramore – Hard Times
4. Altered Images – Don’t Talk To Me About Love
5. Garbage – Stupid Girl

FIVE SONGS BY GIRL GROUPS

1. Sugababes – Soul Sound
2. Alisha’s Attic – I Am I Feel
3. Bananarama – Love In The First Degree
4. Girls Aloud – Biology
5. Little Mix – Black Magic

FIVE SONGS WITH A GIRL’S NAME IN THE TITLE

1. The Killers – Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine
2. Toto – Roseanna
3. Oasis – Lyla
4. Marillion – Kayleigh
5. Franz Ferdinand – Eleanor Put Your Boots On

FIVE SONGS WITH GIRL OR WOMAN IN THE TITLE

1. Rick Springfield – Jessie’s Girl
2. White Town – Your Woman
3. Kate Bush – Rubberband Girl
4. Fergie – Big Girls Don’t Cry
5. Billy Joel – Uptown Girl

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2018 IN PICTURES – MAY

May 2018 began for me by chasing Street Art, getting photos of Murals at Bankmore Square and Bank Square.

That was then followed by a trip to The Odyssey to see Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

The following weekend, I headed to Manchester to see United take on Watford, as well as getting some Street Art photos, both in the City Centre (mostly, Northern Quarter) and then Pomona Wharf.

On the Bank Holiday Weekend at the end of the month, I headed to Titanic Slipways for BBC’s Biggest Weekend where I saw Manic Street Preachers, Beck, Ash and Franz Ferdinand.

The end of the month was dominated by Street Art, going to check out Street Art on Bruce Street, and attending Wardrobe Jam.

Bankmore Square Street Art

Bankmore Square Street Art Photo Album

Bank Square Street Art

Bank Square Street Art Photo Album

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at The Odyssey

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at The Odyssey

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art

Salford Quays Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v Watford

Manchester United v Watford Photo Album

Manic Street Preachers live at Titanic Slipways

Manic Street Preachers live at Titanic Slipways Photo Album

Beck live at Titanic Slipways

Beck live at Titanic Slipways Photo Album

Ash live at Titanic Slipways

Ash live at Titanic Slipways Photo Album

Franz Ferdinand live at Titanic Slipways

Franz Ferdinand live at Titanic Slipways Photo Album

Bruce Street Art

Bruce Street Art Photo Album

Wardrobe Jam

Wardrobe Jam Photo Album

FRANZ FERDINAND – LIVE AT TITANIC SLIPWAYS (BIGGEST WEEKEND) 26.5.2018

It had been a while, but Franz Ferdinand were back in Belfast, performing at Biggest Weekend at Titanic Slipways.

I had seen Franz Ferdinand before. It was a while ago, back in 2005 at Tennent’s Vital in Botanic Gardens along side Scissor Sisters.

Frustratingly, their short-lived but superb supergroup with Sparks, FFS, were playing Edinburgh when I was there in August 2015, but I was unable to see them. I went to see Aisling Bea instead.

The band entered the stage with Alex Kapranos wearing a suit with trainers. It would soon become apparent why.

Franz Ferdinand have a sound and they don’t deviate from it. It’s a great sound, that’s why.

They do guitar music you can dance to, or is it dance music you can play guitar to?

Either way, the crowd, myself included, was toetapping along as they performed their biggest hits.

Alex Kapranos was doing more than toetapping, doing all sorts of dancing, pirouetting, and even managing a few Peter Schmeichel-esque starjumps while playing guitar.

If anyone from Strictly was watching, sign him up.

They began with Always Ascending, the title track from their current album, before following it up with No You Girls.

Then followed Matinee, one of the two major hits from their debut album that made me fall in love with them back in 2004.

Back then, we was on BBC 2 telling Terry Wogan how he made.

Sadly, of course, Terry Wogan isn’t on BBC 2, or any channel these days, so the lyrics were changed to simply say “So i’m on BBC 2, telling Terry how i’ve made it”.

It could be Terry Christian?

That was then followed by Do You Want To?, the lead single from their second album You Could Have Had It So Much Better, which spawned other fantastic singles such as The Fallen and Eleanor Put your Boots On.

Saving the best, they finished on Take Me Out (like a few couples have. No likey, no lighty)

And that, was my Biggest Weekend over. I didn’t bother hanging around for Underworld.I was already danced out anyway.

Photo Album

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THE FRIDAY FIVE – 9.2.2018

1. Kylie Minogue – Dancing
2. Ash – Buzzkill
3. Desperate Journalist – It Gets Better
4. Shed Seven – The Heroes
5. Cast – Flying

Didn’t get tickets for U2 last week, so going to try again this morning. Wish me luck.

Forgot to mention, Madness are playing Galway International Arts Festival. Always been looking for an excuse to visit Galway.

Some new additions to the Biggest Weekend line-up this week. Going to try and get tickets for both days.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS PERFORMING AT BIGGEST WEEKEND BELFAST

1. The Breeders – Cannonball
2. Beck – Blue Moon
3. Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness
4. Ash – Oh Yeah
5. Franz Ferdinand – Do You Want To?

Next Wednesday is Valentine’s Day, so if you’re feeling all loved up, here’s a chart for you.

FIVE SONGS WITH LOVE IN THE TITLE

1. Bananarama – Love In The First Degree
2. Erasure – I Love To Hate You
3. Oasis – She Is Love
4. The Feeling – Love It When You Call
5. Lulu – Love Loves to Love

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 27.10.2017

1. Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending
2. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Fort Knox
3. OMD – Dreaming
4. Liam Gallagher – For What It’s Worth
5. Tiny Magnetic Pets – Girl In A White Dress

It seems that Belsonic announcements get earlier and earlier. There’s one this morning. It’ll probably be some shite DJ. If it is someone I like, i’ll probably end up begrudgingly going.

It’s become a joyless experience in recent years being surrounded by shitfaced 15 year old and spending the whole night having to hold your nose and cover your mouth due to a plague of smelly tramps who can go a few hours without a fag or a vape.

I remember when Belsonic used to be good.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 4.3.2016

1. Lukas Graham – 7 Years
2. James – Nothing But Love
3. Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
4. Richard Ashcroft – This Is How It Feels
5. Nathaniel Rateliffe and the Bad Sweats – I Need Never Get Old

Firstly this week, an apology. Who to? The nation of Wales, all 3 million of them. Last Tuesday was St David’s Day and I forgot to do a Welsh Music Chart.

A bit belatedly, here is a Welsh Music Chart for St David’s Day.

FIVE SONGS BY WELSH ACTS

1. Stereophonics – Dakota
2. Donna Lewis – I Love You Always Forever
3. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart
4. Manic Street Preachers – Autumn Song
5. Lisa Scott-Lee – Electric

I could just about get away with offending the Welsh, but there’s one group of people you shouldn’t offend, and that’s Internet Feminists, which is why there was never any danger of me forgetting International Women’s Day next Tuesday.

So, to celebrate this event, here’s some related charts for you – Female acts and songs with female names and pronouns.

FIVE SONGS BY FEMALE SINGERS

1. Nina Nesbitt – He’s the One I’m Bringing Back
2. Jane Weidling – Rush Hour
3. Lisa Loeb – Stay
4. Sinead Lohan – Whatever It Takes
5. Brianna Corrigan – Love Me Now

FIVE SONGS BY GIRL GROUPS

1. Sugababes – Soul Sound
2. Little Mix – Black Magic
3. Girls Aloud – Biology
4. Madasun – Don’t You Worry
5. All Saints – Pure shores

FIVE SONGS BY FEMALE FRONTED BANDS

1. Chvrches – Leave A Trace
2. Blondie – Heart Of Glass
3. Texas – Black Eyed Boy
4. Hole – Celebrity Skin
5. Sixpence None The Richer – Kiss Me

FIVE SONGS WITH FEMALE NAMES IN THE TITLE

1. The Killers – Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine
2. Oasis – Lyla
3. Jon Bon Jovi – Janey Don’t You Take Your Love To Town
4. Glasvegas – Geraldine
5. Franz Ferdinand – Eleanor Put Your Puts On

FIVE SONGS WITH WOMAN/GIRL/SHE/ HER IN THE TITLE

1. The Kooks – She Moves In Her Own Way
2. White Town – Your Woman
3. Ash – Girl From Mars
4. Neil Finn – She Will Have Her Way
5. Kate Bush – Rubberband Girl

Of course, when International Men’s Day comes around, there’ll be similar charts for the menfolk.

If you don’t know when International Men’s Day is, just go on Twitter on Tuesday and you’ll have smug and self righteous comedians (looking at you Richard Herring) and journalists pointing it out to you in a patronising manner.

It’s on November 19th, if you want to save yourself the effort of being spoken down to by patronising wankers (looking at you Richard Herring) desperate to boost their own personal brand.

That’s eight months away. Until then, you have St Patrick’s Day, St George’s Day, Euro 2016 and International Yorkshire Day charts to listen to.

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.

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

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : MAR 14 – MAR 20

We kick off this week is IKEA Brand Ambassador Jona Lewie. Often thought of as a One Hit Wonder, he is actually a Two Hit Wonder.

If you’re wondering where he is these days, well, you can always find him in the kitchen at parties.

Remember Hanson? One of them turns 31 this week. I can’t remember which one thought. On the topic of Hanson “Where’s The Love?” is probably their best song.

Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 is 42 this week. I’m not really a massive fan (though ironically, I do like some stuff by Angels and Airwaves, The Transplants, and Boxcar Racer) but “I Miss You” is a brilliant song.

Also celebrating a birthday this week is William, or Will.I.Am, which bizarrely is the website code for Armenia. I wonder if there is an Armenian pop star called Will.I.Com?

Gregory’s Girl and Queen Of VH1 in the 90s, Clare Grogan is 52 this week. I bet it must be hell being invited to her birthday party and trying not to sing this.

Of course, it was St Paddy’s Day this week, and no doubt you’ll be expecting something along that theme. Well, believe it or not, there are two Irish pop birthdays that day. Caroline Corr …..

…… and Stephen Gately, who would have been 38 this week.

And also born on St Patrick’s Day (but he’s not Irish) was Justin Hawkins of The Darkness.

A death anniversary now, and it’s 17 years since Jermaine Stewart died.

Remember, you don’t have to take your clothes off to have a good time reading this blog. If you do, I won’t be held responsible, especially if you’re on Public Transport.

Get your lighters at the ready for an epic Power Ballad ….

Terry Hall was 55 this week and has performed on the show with three different acts, The Specials, Fun Boy Three and Colourfield.

42 today is Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand.

Alex Kapranos can currently be seen on BBC 2 telling Terry Wogan how he made it, but what he made is unclear. Talking of Terry Wogan ……..

38 today, is the man with the poshest name in Nu Metal, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park

And finally, a Soul classic from Newcastle’s finest musical export. Yes, you heard that right.