THE FRIDAY FIVE – 29.6.2018

1. James – Coming Home (Part II)
2. Weezer – Roseanna
3. Weezer – Africa
4. Liam Gallagher – I’ve All I Need
5. Johnny Marr – Hi Hello

It’s a rest day in the World Cup, but don’t worry, you can survive this difficult 24 hours.

Women’s NIFL Cup Final is on the BBC Red Button, meanwhile, BBC Four will be making the licence fee a bargain tonight with a whole night dedicated to Duran Duran. Remember, it’s only a few weeks until Duran Duran Appreciation Day (August 10th)

And after all that, BBC Scotland will be broadcasting highlights of TRNSMT.

Decent night of TV viewing to make up for the lack of football.

Also, Canada Day and Independence Day coming up as well. Sounds like an excuse for a couple of themed charts.

FIVE SONGS BY AMERICAN ACTS

1. Toto – Africa
2. Britney Spears – Boys
3. Dan Hartman – I Can Dream About You
4. Deep Blue Something – Breakfast At Tiffanys
5. Christina Aguilera – Keeps Getting better

FIVE SONGS BY CANADIAN ACTS

1. Celine Dion – It’s All Coming Back To Me Now
2. Tegan and Sara – Closer
3. Nelly Furtado – All Good Things
4. Tom Cochrane – Life Is A Highway
5. Appleton – Fantasy

FIVE SONGS BY DURAN DURAN

1. Ordinary World
2. Wild Boys
3. Hungry Like The Wolf
4. Serious
5. Reach Out For The Sunrise

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LIAM GALLAGHER – LIVE AT ORMEAU PARK (BELSONIC) 16.6.2018

Before he was that guy on Twitter who calls people a potato, Liam Gallagher was once a rock star. He was quite good at it. He still is.

His magical powers aren’t just for belting out a tune, he can influence the weather.

On lunchtime of the day of this concert, Belfast was covered in a monsoon of rain. Liam turns to Twitter and tells the rain to fuck off, which it does for the rest of this day, meaning there was no need to bring a raincoat to this.

There were plenty of raincoats in the crowd through, of the Stone Island variety. Accompanied by sky blue bucket hats, charity shop sunglasses and a pack of fags to make themselves look really hard. Harry Enfield really nailed the Gallagher Fanboys back in the day. Still as funny now as it was in the 90s.

The crowd assembled, nicely warmed up by Richard Ashcroft and ready to be entertained. Or at least, make it worth missing Croatia v Nigeria for.

Big shout out to the group who shouted “MON THE LINFIELD!!!!” as I walked past them to get my spot.

Changing spots was unfortunately something I was doing quite a lot. Mainly due to the fact the venue was infested by smelly tramps. Literally surrounded by them. Puff puff vape vape. Dirty fucking tramps.

The thing about Liam Gallagher is, when you get a decent view of him on stage, you’ve got a decent view of him for the whole concert. He doesn’t really move about. He’s not going to stride about from side to side like Freddie Mercury.

He stands on stage and sings. That’s what you’ve paid for, and that is what you’re getting.

A chant of “Championes, Championes” blasted out on the PA, never had Liam down as a Crusaders fan, signified his impending arrival on stage. The screen on stage showed a video of him backstage as he walked on, pointing right into the camera.

He arrive on stage and went straight into Rock n Roll Star, a statement of intent and then Morning Glory.

However, Liam has recent music as well, a solo album As Your Were. It’s quite decent, and all the biggies from it were played – Greedy Soul, Wall of Glass, Bold and For What It’s Worth, before bouncing back into Oasis classic, albeit less obvious ones such as Bring In On Down and Listen Up.

Liam Gallagher has the ability to be both predictable and unpredictable at the same time.

It’s always important to get a good mix. We were here to see Liam Gallagher who was once in Oasis, not Liam Gallagher from Oasis.

Back to solo hits, I’ve All I Need soon followed. It’s a song that has grown on me. Really grown.

I thought it was ok when I got the album, but with every listen (it’s currently on heavy rotation on Radio X) I love it.

He started the set with two era defining Oasis songs, and finished it with two more. Whatever, their first Top 5 hit which brought them to a bigger audience, followed by D’You Know What I Mean?, the first single from Be Here Now, both landmarks on his career.

This concert came a few days before another Gallagher landmark. June 20th was the 9th anniversary of the fifth and most recent time I have seen Oasis in concert. It is still my belief there will be a sixth time.

If there insn’t, i’m at peace with that, given both Gallaghers solo outputs.

As Liam walked off the stage, we awaited his return for the encore.

We didn’t get Liam, we got his drummer sneaking onto the stage under darkness, to belt out the opening beats from Supersonic. Another landmark, it was Oasis first single.

Oasis songs in the setlist weren’t to everyone’s liking, as Liam took aim at what he described as Keyboard Warriors who criticise him for playing too many Oasis songs (to be fair, he only has one solo album worth of material to work from. That will change in 2019 though)

It was a bit hypocritical of him, considering he had his own setlist criticism, complaining about the pre-gig setlist on the tannoy, especially the absence of I Am The Resurrection by Stone Roses.

It felt like there was a theme to the setlist, with the Oasis songs being landmarks. The next one was Some Might Say, their first UK Number 1. It sounds brilliant live but there is one problem. The “You know what some might say” backing vocals at the end don’t quite sound the same when sung by someone other than Noel Gallagher.

That was followed by Live Forever, their first UK Top 10 single, which he dedicated to Alex Higgins, and mimicked taking a Snooker shot.

Through all this encore, we were treated to a guest appearance from Bonehead, whose garden didn’t need looked after so he came out for his one gig a year.

As he ended his set, Gallagher told the crowd that going past various pubs when travelling to the venue had seen him licking his lips in anticipation, which is what his plans were, telling the crowd he was away for a Guinness.

He had earnt it.

Those plans, a bit further ahead, include a return to Belfast at some point in 2019.

Meanwhile, final details were announced that Mandela Hall will be closing next month. Don’t worry, i’m not going to write some arse-licking “You had to be there” obituary. Went to a few gigs there, and they were mostly decent.

Never again shall I walk like a Spaceman due to the sticky floors.

So, my Mandela Memories – Little Boots in 2009 (a week before I moved this blog to WordPress, meaning I can’t link to a write-up), Tegan and Sara in 2010, Marina and the Diamonds in 2010 and KT Tunstall in 2016.

I’ve also seen some men perform there too. Starsailor in 2003, when James Walsh triumphantly announced that Gary Jules had beaten The Darkness to Christmas Number 1, Ocean Colour Scene in 2010, The Kooks in 2015 and Echo and the Bunnymen in 2015.

The reason why Mandela Hall is closing is due to a redevelopment of the Students Union facility. To compensate for this, Elmwood Hall, next door, will now be used.

I’m hoping to go to a concert there sometime, same with The Telegraph Building. Just need a band I like to perform there.

My last concert there was OMD in October 2017. Not going to lie, it was one of the best concerts i’ve ever been to.

Not a bad way to go out.

Photo Album

Liam Gallagher live at The Odyssey October 2017

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 SOUND OF 2017 : 1-25

So, here it is, the Top 25 Songs Of 2017

1. Liam Gallagher – For What It’s Worth
2. Rose Elinor Dougall – Closer
3. The Killers – Run For Cover
4. Paramore – Hard Times
5. Liam Gallagher – Bold
6. U2 – Get Out Of Your Own Way
7. Liam Gallagher – Wall Of Glass
8. The Killers – The Man
9. Rose Elinor Dougall – All At Once
10. Haim – Little Of Your Love
11. Arcade Fire – Everything Now
12. Liam Gallagher – Come Back To Me
13. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – She Taught Me to Fly
14. U2 – You’re The Best Thing About Me
15. Royal Blood – Lights Out
16. Biffy Clyro – Friends and Enemies
17. Tears For Fears – I Love You But I’m Lost
18. Kasabian – You’re In Love With A Psycho
19. Lorde – Green Light
20. Arcade Fire – Creature Comfort
21. Kasabian – Bless This Acid House
22. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – If Love Is The Law
23. Bastille – Basketcase
24. Paloma Faith – Crybaby
25. John Hassell and the April Rainers – Intercity 125

Congratulations to Liam Gallagher, emulating his brother in winning this prize in 2011. Get in touch and I’ll arrange some sort of presentation when you’re in Belfast for Belsonic.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this rundown and discovered some new songs you had never heard before.

If you haven’t heard the winning song yet, here it is.

We’ll end, with the list of previous winners.

2016
The Strumbelles – Spirits
2015 Blossoms – Charlemagne
2014 Jamie T – Zombie
2013 Haim – The Wire
2012 Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever 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 SOUND OF 2017 : 26-50

26. Beth Ditto – Fire
27. Harry Styles – Sign Of The Times
28. Blondie – Long Time
29. Pale Waves – There’s A Honey
30. Foo Fighters – Run
31. OMD – The Punishment Of Luxury
32. Shed Seven – Room In My House
33. Liam Gallagher – Chinatown
34. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Holy Mountain
35. Jake Shears – Creep City
36. Dagny – Wearing Nothing
37. Rory Lavelle – Sonny
38. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Keep On Reaching
39. The XX – I Dare You
40. Stereophonics – Caught By The Wind
41. George Ezra – Don’t Matter Now
42. Haim – Want You Back
43. Robert Plant and the Sensational Shapeshifters – New World
44. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Black And White Sunshine
45. Tom Grennan – Found What I’ve Been Looking For
46. The Chainsmokers – Paris
47. Rory Lavelle – Poor Pride
48. Amy MacDonald – Dream On
49. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Fort Knox
50. The Charlatans – Plastic Machinery

2017 IN PICTURES – OCTOBER

In the first week of October 2017, I headed to Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Germany in a World Cup Qualifier.

That was sandwiched inbetween me going out around Belfast to check out Street Art which was painted as part of Hit The North, these pieces were still works in progress when I went to photograph them in September

The following day, I went to my one Rugby match a year, as Ulster beat Wasps in the European Cup.

It was back to football the following day, seeing Linfield take on Coleraine.

There was a glut of concerts towards the end of the month, going to see Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, OMD and Liam Gallagher, with Linfield’s matches against Ards and Crusaders sandwiched inbetween.

Northern Ireland v Germany

Northern Ireland v Germany Photo Album

Hit The North Mop-Up

Hit The North Mop-Up Photo Album

Ulster v Wasps

Ulster v Wasps Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott live at The Limelight

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott live at The Limelight Photo Album

Linfield v Crusaders

OMD live at Mandela Hall

OMD live at Mandela Hall Photo Album

Linfield v Ards

Liam Gallagher live at The Odyssey

Liam Gallagher live at The Odyssey Photo Album

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MELODY MAKER – 16.2.2000

Fran Healy of Travis is the cover star of this week’s edition of Melody Maker, as the band look to make it big in America.

As you open the magazine, Nina Persson poses for a photoshoot with Vic and Bob, after she recorded the theme tune to Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) that they are starring in.

Oasis are on a media blitz to promote their new album, with Liam Gallagher appearing as a guest in The Big Breakfast.

The Brit Award nominations are announced, with Ian Brown, Travis and Stereophonics speaking to Melody Maker about their nominations.

Matt Bellamy gets asked about the Brit Awards, describing them as “so much bullshit”.

Mansun get asked to choose their favourite music videos of all time, choosing ones by David Bowie, Nirvana and Blondie.

Travis attempts to crack America get four pages of coverage.

On the other side of the world, Melody Maker covers Big Day Out in Australia, where Foo Fighters, Primal Scream and Blink 182 were among the performers.

Concert Reviews went on the road this week, with Muse in Munich getting five stars, compared with Stereophonics getting two and a half stars for their Toronto gig.

Tim Burgess is the subject of a Q and A, where he reveals he looks into a mirror a lot of times a day.

In lyrics, the lyrics to Oasis new single Go Let It Out get dissected.

LIAM GALLAGHER – LIVE AT THE ODYSSEY 30.10.2017

You could say that the date and venue was apt. The Odyssey, 30th October. It was on that date in 2008 that Oasis played their last concert in Belfast. Nine years to the day, Liam Gallagher was back at The Odyssey.

He has been in Belfast in the time inbetween, playing there twice with Beady Eye in 2011, at Ulster Hall in April of that year and then at Custom House Square for Belsonic later that year.

Having already been announced for a festival on the Sunday night in Dublin (It’s a Bank Holiday Weekend in the Republic Of Ireland, in case you’re wondering) there was the hope that he might pop by in Belfast, especially as we missed out on his mini tour in June.

Our prayers were answered, with a Belfast gig to kick off his Winter Tour being announced.

It was originally in the venue where Beady Eye played their only indoor show in Belfast, Ulster Hall, but such was the demand, that was instantly upgraded to The Odyssey.

Before he was The King Of Twitter, Liam Gallagher was a Rock N Roll Star. On the evidence of Monday night at The Odyssey, that is still very much the case.

As he entered the stage with the classic Oasis walk-on of Fuckin In the Bushes blasting out, those were the words he uttered.

He could have been describing himself, but he was introducing the first song, Rock N Roll Star, track 1 on Definitely Maybe, a call to arms and statement of intent.

This was then followed by Morning Glory, the title track from Oasis second album. If you thought this was going to be a chronological look at Gallagher’s career, you would be wrong, we would be returning to Definitely Maybe throughout the night.

The first two songs were reminding us of who Liam Gallagher was, the next few songs were now looking at who he is now, dipping into his debut solo album, As You Were, named after his Twitter catchphrase.

The album stands up on it’s own merits. It’s decent. There are some A* songs on it and a few As. I reviewed it on Twitter. You can find it here.

And yes, i’ll be doing the same when Who Stole The Moon? comes through my letterbox later this month.

Gallagher was playing to a crowd that was well warmed up by the support acts.

First up, was Kyle Falconer, formerly of The View, now solo. His material sounded a lot like The View. If you like The View, as I do, then you’ll like it.

After him, was The Strypes. I’d previously seem them supporting Blur in 2013. I know, crossing the divide. If you love The Jam, you’ll love these guys. They are very good.

If you watch The Championship on Channel Five, you will recognise Get Into It, voted by this blog as the 2nd Best Song Of 2015. There’s no higher honour than that.

I was amused to see the singer in a smart suit and the rest of the band in jeans and trainers, it reminded me of a recent Top Of The Pops repeat on BBC Four where Bryan Ferry was wearing a tuxedo and the rest of Roxy Music were dressed like The Smiths.

I’m sure there were quite a lot of people in the crowd checking, double checking and triple checking their ticket to make sure they brought the right one.

There was bound to be someone who tried to get in with a ticket to Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds for May 2018.

Both Gallaghers will be on tour throughout 2018, so if you’re dreaming of you know what, it will have to wait until 2019, 25 years on from Definitely Maybe and 10 years on from their split. Got to love nice round numbers.

The set was then to be dominated by songs from As You Were, with Greedy Soul, a bit of a grower, being up first, followed by debut solo single Wall Of Glass.

Up next was For What It’s Worth, a Beatlesesque ballad that stands up to any Oasis classic, sounding even better live than it does on record.

This was followed by Bold, a song debuted at festivals this summer, it sounded fantastic and was worth the wait to hear it on record, venturing into 80s Power Ballard territory as Liam sings “Lay it on me” over and over accompanied only by a pounding drumbeat.

Oasis fans love to psychoanalyse, and the line “There’s no love worth chasing yesterday” will have raised a few eyebrows considering that Noel Gallagher’s second album is called Chasing Yesterday.

Chinatown is one of my favourite songs from As You Were but it wasn’t played. Not that surprising as it is hard to see where it would fit in a live set. Fantastic song though.

We then returned to Oasis classics, with Some Might Say, led by a thunderous drum beat.

This might not be the place to mention “The N Word”, but as good as Liam sounded, it did miss Noel’s backing vocals. They are part of the reason why the song is so good.

As well as vocals, Liam was banging his tambourine He even threw on into the crowd. I narrowly missed out on it. If he had just a slight bit more power, it would have landed right into my hands.

Considering the scrum that followed, it was probably a good thing I didn’t catch it.

It wouldn’t be the first time Liam Gallagher caused a bit of bother by throwing something across a room at a concert.

I had a decent view. Then a fight broke out in front of me. While that was being broken up, I snuck into the space that opened up like a deep lying goalscoring midfielder. You snooze, you lose.

Then a moshpit started to my right, so more space opened up in front of me top move forward. Result.

More Oasis classics followed in the shape of Slide Away (Should have been a single) and I’m Outta Time (A forgotten classic) before returning to As You Were with the absolutely superb Come Back To Me.

Eternal crowd favourite Cigarettes and Alcohol was played. That’s what the venue was full of as well, fucking smelly tramps puffing and vaping away.

I really don’t want to add indoor concerts to outdoor concerts, football matches, going for a walk, eating outside on a nice day, going to a beer garden and queuing for a bus to the list of things you can’t do in Belfast without having cigarette smoke blown into your face.

Vapes are supposedly to get people off smoking. Bollocks. Every lunchtime I see the same old sour faces puffing away.

I’m going to raising this until this is addressed as a society and as a city.

Why should I have my enjoyment of events held to ransom by inconsiderate arseholes?

Belfast really is a city full of crayon eaters.

Thankfully, I was surrounded by women doused in weapons grade perfume which drowned out the smell.

To give an indication of where vapes stand in society, i’d rather breathe in eggy farts.

European Capital Of Culture my arse. European Capital Of Smelly Tramps more like.

For the encore, we were treated to Supersonic and an acoustic version Live Forever, Liam letting the crowd sing the bits sung by Noel.

As he finished his set, Liam described Belfast as “The bollocks”, telling the crowd that they knew that anyway.

The front page of Tuesday’s edition of Irish News had a photo of him, and a caption that said he sang Wonderwall. He didn’t.

I’m guessing someone wrote a review without being there. You could have guessed he would wheel out big Oasis hits, but Liam Gallagher is anything but predictable.

The only rendition of Wonderwall came in the Car Park as someone blasted it out on their car stereo. It was the only way to kill time in what felt like a never ending queue. It felt like that by the time we were going to get out, we’d be having to about turn to get a parking space for Noel’s concert in May 2018.

Liam tweeted that there are many things he would like to say to Belfast but he didn’t know how.

He could say he is coming back.

Oh wait, he is.

On the Friday before, it was already announced that he would be returning to Belfast in June 2018 to play at Ormeau Park at Belsonic.

Liam Gallagher. Belsonic. Saturday night. It’s a potent combination. There’s going to be a lot of whoppers at it. It’s something we have to put up with unfortunately.

Just imagine if Northern Ireland qualify for the World Cup and are playing their opening group match that day. That will be fun.

Live Forever was the last song, the lights came on and Sid Vicious version of My Way.

Hopefully, the end is near and Liam Gallagher’s career isn’t heading to the final curtain.

It certainly was an apt way to end, Liam Gallagher does it his way.

Photo Album

Oasis live at The Odyssey October 2008 Photo Album

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.