August began with a trip to Dublin to see Blur (supported by Bat For Lashes and The Strypes), for the first time, and possibly the only time, which was why I was so desperate to go.

As the concert was a Thursday, I decided to make a weekend of it, having not stayed in Dublin since 2011. While I was there, I saw lots of Street Art photos (I didn’t go in search of them, but I stumbled upon some, so it would have been rude not to get photos.

Also, while I was in Dublin, I went to see St Patrick’s Athletic take on Drogheda United (my original choice of Bray Wanderers v Shelbourne was moved to a later date) which finished 0-0.

It was my second visit to Richmond Park, both of which have finished 0-0. There’s probably a Banning Order against me attending another match there.

Upon my return from Dublin, that wasn’t the end of the fun, as I went to see The Charlatans at Falls Park. Like Blur, this was my first time seeing them, and possibly my only chance to.

The following weekend, the new season started, and I was at Shamrock Park to see Linfield take on Portadown

My next football match, was the rearranged from March game between Northern Ireland and Russia, which Northern Ireland won 1-0.

That weekend, I was travelling again, this time to Edinburgh, for the festival, but I took in a football match, Hibs v Dundee United, and got some Street Art photos.

After returning from Edinburgh, it was all about Belsonic, my only concert of it being Suede. I was already excited about Suede (like Blur and The Charlatans, never seen them, might be my only chance) but James being added as a support (seen them twice, but never in Northern Ireland) was the icing on the cake.

To end an exciting month, I went to see Linfield play Glentoran. It finished 0-0.

Dublin Street Art

Dublin Street Art Photo Album

Blur Live At IMMA Dublin

Blur Live At IMMA Dublin Photo Album

Bat For Lashes Photo Album

The Strypes Photo Album

St Patrick’s Athletic v Drogheda United

St Patrick’s Athletic v Drogheda United Photo Album

The Charlatans Live At Falls Park

The Charlatans Live At Falls Park Photo Album

Echo Raptors Live At Falls Park Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Russia

Northern Ireland v Russia Photo Album

Hibernian v Dundee United

Hibernian v Dundee United Photo Album

Edinburgh Street Art

Edinburgh Street Art Photo Album

Runaway Go Live At Belsonic

Runaway Go Live At Belsonic Photo Album

James Live At Belsonic

James Live At Belsonic Photo Album

Suede Live At Belsonic

Suede Live At Belsonic Photo Album

Linfield v Glentoran

BLUR – LIVE AT IMMA 1.8.2013

There are some concerts that, when they are announced, you just have to go to. This, Blur’s only UK or Ireland gig in 2013, was one of them.

I’ve loved Blur for ages, but had never seen them live. The five month wait between purchasing the ticket, and the concert, seemed to last forever.

In Dublin on the day of the concert, I ventured into Tower Records. There was plenty of posters promoting the concert. However, the “Band of the week” in that particular store? Oasis. You got the love the sense of humour in that, accidental or not.

Something I only discovered when I arrived in Dublin was that IMMA was hosting “Blur 21”, an exhibition looking back at 21 years of Blur.

Unfortunately, it ended that day. It’s a pity it wasn’t on for one more day as I would have loved to have seen it.

I headed over to the venue via Luas. Not really knowing where I was going, I follows the crowd and managed to find it.

On the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, it was a massive open air gig. I managed to get into their, which as it turned out, was the place to be.

First band up, was The Strypes, 60s influenced teenagers from Cavan.

It’s a bit of a cliche to mention their ages (15-17) when in fact they have the stage persona, confidence and swagger of performers twice their age.

Even though they were supporting, and it wasn’t specifically “their crowd”, they still looked at home, and at ease.

If you haven’t heard it already, you should check out their debut single “Blue Collar Jane”

Next up, was Bat For Lashes. It was a strange combination of support acts, but it worked.

She played a mixture of slow and uptempo songs, the best of which, was saved for last, with a disco version of “Daniel”

As the was about to leave the stage, the grey skies disappeared and the sun came out. A sign perhaps?

The crowd were now impatient for Blur, chanting “Tender” amongst themselves. There were false alarms and cheers, but still, they wouldn’t appear on stage, before finally, they appeared.

At some concerts, you have to wait a couple of songs for a bit singalong hit. Not this one, as Blur opened with “Girls and Boys”

A bunch of 40 somethings on stage went back to their 20s, 30 somethings in the crowd went back to their teenage years, while 20 somethings younger got what Blur was about.

For three glorious minutes, it was 1994 again.

For the first couple of songs, Damon Albarn was throwing water from a bottle into the crowd. It became a badge of honour, as people rushed to get soaked by him.

They then ran through their catalog of hits, hits such as”Beetlebum” and “There’s No Other Way”, with Albarn jumping into the crowd during “Country House”

But there were some surprises, as Albarn tuned in his guitar and leaned towards he microphone, only to fool the crowd, as Blur went into the Graham Coxon sung “Coffee and TV” then mixing into “Tender”

There was one more big surprise, as a familiar voice was then heard saying hello to the crowd. It was, of course, Phil Daniels.

Daniels made another appearance at the encore, mostly just standing onstage and waving to the crowd, where they played “Under The Westway”, “For Tomorrow” and “The Universal”

Towards the end of “The Universal”, Albarn ran towards the crowd, high fiving those in the front row, and saying his goodbyes.

So that was it then. Not quite, one more surprise, but it probably wasn’t that surprising, as Dave Rowntree started playing that recognisable drum beat.

The crowd waited for then guitar riff, but could only hear drums, before finally, the guitar riff came.

The crowd waited, and waited, before finally, Albarn screamed WOO HOO!!!!

A superb ending to a superb concert.

Blur Photo Album

Bat For Lashes Photo Album

The Strypes Photo Album