THE BIG IF, BOTANIC GARDENS – 15.6.2013

I braved the rain on Saturday to head to Botanic Gardens for The Big IF, organised by a number of organisations to put pressure on the G8 to act on Hunger.

I wasn’t sure what the event was going to be like, but it was free and not far from home, so I took a chance. The line up details were sketchy, but when it was announced on Saturday that Two Door Cinema Club would be appearing, that confirmed my attendance.

I entered the venue via the entrance at Queen’s PEC, and I was a bit surprised that I couldn’t see any stalls relating to the groups that make up The Big IF.

The event was a very simple set-up, one stage and a very tight running order. It was so tight, there was no “dead air”. When one act finished, the next act was getting ready to come on to the stage.

The event started at 1pm, and I managed to get there just after 3pm. I was a bit surprised that I managed to get into the 3rd row, right up at the front of the stage.

No doubt the weather will have put a lot of people off attending, especially with the tickets being free, but it was still an enjoyable enough afternoon, though there were some technical hitches both with sound, and with some of the films on the big screen.

The line up was mostly Northern Ireland based, bar the exception of Jim Broadbent reciting poetry. On the bill was Jordan O’Keefe from Britain’s Got Talent, Beyond Skin (a multi national arts/music group based in Belfast), Belfast Communuity Gospel Choir, Prodijig, Duke Special with Genral Fiasco, and Two Door Cinema Club.

I’m not sure how late to the event Two Door Cinema Club were booked, but I was surprised their name wasn’t used to try and promote it more.

Even more surprising, was the fact that they weren’t headlining. I can only assume they had a short window in which to perform, and were needed to be elsewhere.

Two Door Cinema Club’s set began in comical fashion. Fellow Bangorian Zoe Salmon, who was compering the event, hadn’t got round to saying they were up next, when a curtain accidentally moved over slightly, enough to reveal Alex Trimble, who politely waved at a crowd, who were a mixture of cheering and laughing.

Their set was enjoyable, though short, doing acoustic versions of their biggest hits.

The honour of headlining, went to Flash Harry. Well, if they were going to get someone involved in politics (Harry Hamilton was an Alliance candidate in 2011, having been a UUP candidate in 2010) and does a bit of singing, it’s better him than William McCrea.

I didn’t hang around once Two Door Cinema Club had finished, and a lot of people did the same. It was, however, still an enjoyable day despite the weather and technical hitches.

Meanwhile, out and about in Belfast, there are people using the G8 for thier own artistic agendas. Graffiti in Botanic, the most Belfasty political graffiti ever, simply says “GREED IS SHITE“, with € replacing the Es, while outside Belfast City Hall, headstones and flowers were placed, to raise awareness of deaths in Syria.

Photo Album

 

 

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 8.6.2012 (AND IT’S A SHAMELESS EURO 2012 SPECIAL)

1. Rawbau – Tejkitize
2. General Fiasco – Rebel Get By
3. Alex Clare – Too Close
4. Ren Harvieu – Open Up Your Arms
5. Coldplay ft Rihanna – Princess Of China

Euro 2012 starts today, and thus, I shall be shamelessly cashing in on this by doing football related charts. We start, with five football related songs

FIVE FOOTBALL RELATED SONGS

1. Dana – Yer Man
2. Manchester United 1994 FA Cup Final Squad – Come On You Reds
3. Glenn and Chris – Diamond Lights
4. Andy Cameron – Ally’s Army
5. Lightning Seeds ft Frank Skinner and David Baddiel – Three Lions

History is full of great football songs, I might as well have, as they say in football, have a subs bench. These musical subs are so good, there isn’t even room for The Anfield Rap. Now that is strength in depth.

FIVE MORE FOOTBALL SONGS

1. Giorgio Chinaghlia – I’m Football Crazy
2. Andy Cole – Outstanding
3. Christina Strumer – Fieber
4. Chas and Dave – Ossie’s Dream
5. James – Goal Goal Goal

A further twist, I thought i’d do a group by group chart from acts from the competing countries. I’m gutted that Moldova didn’t qualify, as I can’t put in Dragostea Din Tei by O-Zone.

Imagine if I did this for Euro 2008, purely with Austria qualifying, I could have had Falco.

With Switzerland also qualifying, I could have used it as a platform to profess my undying love for Celine Dion. She may have been born in Canada, but through representing Switzerland in Eurovision 1988, that would qualify her under FIFA rules.

Group A was a struggle due to the lack of Polish postars I know of, and Greece producing dross like Demis Roussos and Nana Mouskouri, but I got a chart together.

FIVE SONGS FROM EURO 2012 GROUP A COUNTRIES

1. Tatu – All The Things She Said
2. Karel Fialka – Hey Matthew
3. Jan Hammer – Miami Vice Theme
4. Tatu – All About Us
5. Jan Hammer – Crockett’s Theme

If Group A was a struggle for the wrong reasons, Group B was a struggle for all the right reasons. I didn’t even need to use Nelly Furtado as a ringer for Portugal, there was so much musical talent from Denmark, Germany and Holland, or even having to include Van Halen, courtesy of the Dutch born guitarist Eddie Van Halen.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM COUNTRIES IN EURO 2012 GROUP B

1. Alphabeat – Boyfriend
2. Shocking Blue – Venus
3. Harold Faltermeyer – Axel F
4. Focus – Slyvia
5. Goombay Dance Band – Seven Tears

Group C was difficult to choose with the musical powerhouse of Republic of Ireland, responsible for the likes of Jedward, Boyzone, Westlife and B*Witched in it, alongside Spain and Italy. Croatia really lets the group down.

Controversy may surround the inclusuion of Electric Dreams, with Sheffield not being in Italy, but Giorgio Moroder is the main name on the song, and Phil Oakey only a credited guest vocalist. Plus, remember the fundamental rule of The Friday Five …….. My chart, my rules.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM EURO 2012 GROUP C

1. Spagna – Call Me
2. Giorio Moroder ft Phil Oakey – Together In Electric Dreams
3. Samantha Mumba – Always Come Back To Your Love
4. Gala – Freed From Desire
5. Baccara – Yes Sir, I Can Boogie

Group D sees me “Positively discriminate” against England. Nothing against England, but it feels wrong to include the likes of Oasis, Blur, Pulp, James and Ocean Colour Scene on a Europop chart

Ukraine sees me draw a blank, but I did like that woman who won Eurovision for them a few years back by ripping off Wildboys by Duran Duran.

Thankfully, the group is salvaged by pop heavyweights France and Sweden

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM COUNTRIES IN EURO 2012 GROUP D

1. Ace Of Base – The Sign
2. Andreas Johnson – Glorious
3. Daft Punk – Da Funk
4. Emilia – Big Big World
5. Air – Kelly Watch The Stars

And finally, the Olympic Flame came to Northern Ireland this week. So, I thought i’d use this to embrace the pyromaniac within, and do a chart of fire related songs.

FIVE FIRE RELATED SONGS

1. Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start The Fire
2. Midnight Oil – Beds Are Burning’
3. U2 – The Unforgettable Fire
4. Bruce Springsteen – I’m On Fire
5. The Prodigy – Firestarter

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 25.5.2012

1. Alex Clare – Too Close
2. Gotye – Eyes Wide Open
3. Ben Howard – Only Love
4. Little Boots – Headphones
5. General Fiasco – Rebel Get By

It’s Eurovision!!!! Oh yes, it’s that time of year. When Englebert Humperdink was announced, I did a Eurovision Top Five. It would be rude to let this weekend pass without a chart, so here’s the Top Five from last year.

FIVE EUROVISION 2011 SONGS

1. A Friend In London – New Tomorrow
2. Anna Rossinelli – In Love For A While
3. Jedward – Lipstick
4. Getter Jaani – Rockefeller Street
5. Lucia Perez – Que Mi Quiten Lo Bialao

This week saw the unveiling of the trailer for the new James Bond movie. So, in honour of this, here’s a Top Five of Bond themes.

FIVE BOND THEMES

1. Carly Simon – Nobody Does It Better
2. Duran Duran – View To A Kill
3. Louis Armstrong – We Have All The Time In The World
4. Alicia Keys and Jack White – Another Way To Die
5. Chris Cornell – You Know My Name

It’s Paul Weller’s birthday today. I only know this because I saw it on Twitter. So, in honour of this, here’s a Top Five of Paul Weller solo songs.

FIVE PAUL WELLER SONGS

1. Changing Man
2. Mermaids
3. Sunflower
4. Instant Karma
5. From The Floorboards Up

This Monday sees Noel Gallagher’s birthday, so here’s the Top Five from his solo album, which I can’t urge you enough to buy.

PS : As a side note, i’ve applied for tickets to see him at Itunes Festival. Hopefully, if I do win, I get enough notice to get flights arranged, unlike when I won Manics tickets last year.

FIVE NOEL GALLAGHER SONGS

1. AKA ……. What A Life
2. I Wanna Live In A Dream
3. Everybody’s On The Run
4. AKA …… Broken Arrow
5. Stop The Clocks

Well, this week saw us have our one week of Summer and Sunshine. So, in honour of this, here’s five sun and five summer songs, to cheer you up when it starts pissing rain next week.

FIVE SUN SONGS

1. Crowded House – Distant Sun
2. Zoe – Sunshine On A Rainy Day
3. The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun
4. Elliott Minor – Solaris
5. Jamiroquai – Seven Days In Sunny June

FIVE SUMMER SONGS

1. Don Henley – Boys Of Summer
2. Bananarama – Cruel Summer
3. Lovin Spoonful – Summer In The City
4. Lostprophets – Last Summer
5. Squeeze – This Summer