ASH – LIVE AT HMV BELFAST 15.2.2020

Well, it was just Tim Wheeler actually. Rick McMurray and Mark Hamilton weren’t there. They might have been out shopping at Victoria Square, though probably not with the weather outside, weather that was addressed by Wheeler as he made his entrance and exit.

It was an entrance that was met with a rather polite “Wa-hey!” rather than raucous applause, with Wheeler thanking the crowd for turning up with the poor weather outside.

You can usually rely on Ash for a HMV gig. Usually when they release something, they’ll turn up in Donegall Arcade to promote it.

I had missed their previous HMV appearance in 2018 as, frustratingly, it was happening while I was at Biggest Weekend, that I saw them at the next day. Their last one before that, was in 2015, a warm-up, in their words, for the next gig two days later supporting Foo Fighters at Slane.

I have previously purchased a Greatest Hits compilation, Intergalactic Sonic 7s in 2002, but i’m not sure where it is, so this updated compilation will be handy to listen to in the car.

What they are currently promoting is a Best Of/Greatest Hits compilation called Teenage Wildlife, to commemorate 25 years since their first release.

Just under half and hour, they crammed as many hits as they could into this short gig, hits such as A Life Less Ordinary, Oh Yeah and Shining Light.

It was a family affair for Wheeler, who gave a shout out to his niece and nephew, who were in the crowd, planning to catch up on Red Dead Redemption with them, the last time he played with them, he killed a horse.

That video game based bantz might make sense to you, but not to me, as the last video game I played was on the Sega Mega Drive.

As a result of having youngsters in the crowd, Wheeler had to tone down on the language on Buzzkill, just as Neil Hannon had to be less sweary due to youngsters in attendance when he played HMV in 2016.

Also on the playlist was a new song Darkest Hour Of The Night, recorded especially for this new compilation.

As he finished the set Wheeler announced there would be a Belfast concert in May. He didn’t say where or when.

My guess would be the final weekend of the month, as Ash had just been announced to perform at All Aboard Festival in Dun Laoghaire (near Dublin, if you don’t know) so I would expect a Belfast gig to be that weekend.

Photo Album

Ash live at The Limelight 2018

Ash live at Titanic Slipways 2018

Ash live at The Empire 2015

2016 IN PICTURES – SEPTEMBER

It was a musical start to September 2016, by going to see Squeeze in concert at Ulster Hall, then going to see The Divine Comedy perform at HMV two days later.

It was back to football the following weekend as Linfield took on Portadown.

I was then off to Liverpool for a wedding and made a trip out of it, getting some Street Art photos in Liverpool.

The following weekend after my return from Liverpool, it was back to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Ards.

Having photographed Street Art in Liverpool, I was photographing Street Art in Belfast, of North Street and surrounding areas, having missed Culture Night due to being in Liverpool.

Squeeze live at Ulster Hall

Squeeze live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

The Divine Comedy live at HMV Belfast

The Divine Comedy live at HMV Belfast Photo Album

Linfield v Portadown

Liverpool Street Art

Liverpool Street Art Photo

Linfield v Ards

North Street Art

North Street Art Photo Album

THE DIVINE COMEDY – LIVE AT HMV BELFAST 6.9.2016

The Divine Comedy, or rather, Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy popped into HMV in Belfast City Centre to perform an acoustic set to promote the band’s new album Foreverland, which was played on the instore stereo as fans waited for him to appear, a fact noted by Neil Hannon, who remarked that was what the songs should be sounding like, as he entered the, um, stage by placing his coat over a poster of himself.

He lived up to the band’s name on a night that ventured from the divine to the comedic, which saw Hannon commenting on the humidity in Belfast, that this was his favourite type of rain because your umbrella won’t blow about, playing a mixture of old and new songs, changing the lyrics to some of the songs due to there being a family with young children in the front row.

By the way, the new album that was playing in the background as fans waited sounds rather good.

Photo Album

2014 IN PICTURES – JULY

July began for me with a trip to Dublin, then Bray, primarily for a concert headlined by James and Paloma Faith, a bit of football to see Bray Wanderers, and some Dublin Street Art.

The following week, Linfield’s season was back up and running with the second leg of the UEFA Cup tie against B36 Torshavn at Mourneview Park, my first time seeing Warren Feeney’s Linfield in the flesh.

A 1-1 draw was enough to giver Linfield a tie in the next round against AIK, again at Mourneview Park, where and Andrew Waterworth goal secured a 1-0 win. Unfortunately, a 2-0 defeat in the away leg eliminated Linfield.

Two days later, it was back on the football wagon for Linfield’s friendly against Cowdenbeath. The only reason I went was to see Clandeboye Park, after having had some work done.

The month ended with another Wonder Villains gig, an instore at HMV.

Bray Wanderers v Drogheda United

Bray Wanderers v Drogheda United Photo Album

James – Live At Killruddery

James – Live At Killruddery Photo Album

Paloma Faith – Live At Killruddery

Paloma Faith – Live At Killruddery Photo Album

Dublin Street Art

Dublin Street Art Photo Album

Linfield v B36 Torshavn

Linfield v AIK

Linfield v Cowdenbeath

Wonder Villains Live At The Loft Photo Album

2014 IN PICTURES – JUNE

No football, but there was still plenty of stuff to do in June.

The first weekend saw me head to The Limelight for Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott. If the names sound familiar, that’s because they were the vocal duo in The Beautiful South from 1994 onwards.

I never saw The Beautiful South during their lifespan, so it was good to see this gig.

Two weeks later, was a gig with a difference – it was on a roof. I went to see Wonder Villains launch their album on the roof of the Oh Yeah Centre in Belfast.

The following Saturday, I was out in Belfast City Centre, getting some Street Art shots, the highlight of which was some Sunflowers opposite The Sunflower Bar.

Later that day, was a HMV instore gig by Runaway Go, at a new dedicated performance area.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott Live At The Limelight

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott Live At The Limelight Photo Album

Wonder Villains Live At The Oh Yeah Centre

Wonder Villains Live At The Oh Yeah Centre Photo Album

Sunflowers and Stripes

Runaway Go Live At The Loft

Runaway Go Live At The Loft Photo Album

RUNAWAY GO – LIVE AT THE LOFT 28.6.2014

For the second successive Saturday, it was an afternoon concert for me, this time seeing Runaway Go at The Loft, or if you prefer, 3rd floor of HMV at Donegall Arcade.

Previous instore gigs i’d been too at HMV had been a bit chaotic simply due to the lack of space when bands had been performing on the ground floor. Generally, the view was crap.

This new layout is a lot more specious and enjoyable experience.

Over the past few Saturdays, HMV had been staging lunchtime concerts with local acts on the bill. Today’s concert ws by Runaway Go, a band i’d previously seen a couple of times, most notably at Belsonic, supporting James and Suede.

Today’s set was more acoustic based, but still enjoyable. They’ve got an album out in October, so looking forward to that.

Photo Album

Runaway Go Live At Belsonic 2013

Runaway Go Live At Belsonic Photo Album

AND SO, I TRIED, TO WATCH YOU FROM AFAR

I’ve said it again and again, but if HMV Donegall Arcade wants to host instore concerts, it really needs to get their store make-up sorted so that people can actually enjoy the experience without having their view obscruted by the shelves and a lack of space.

Popped in to see And So I Watch You From Afar promote their new EP, and they were excellent, well worth checking out.