2016 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

August began for me with a trip to Fermanagh to see Linfield take on Ballinamallard United in the opening game of the Irish League season.

The following day, I ventured to Cupar Way to check out the Peace Wall in Belfast, something I do every six months to have a look at the Street Art.

After that, came a triple whammy if Irish League matches, taking in Linfield’s games against Coleraine, Crusaders and Glenavon.

That was then followed by a triple whammy of concerts – Madness and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at Belsonic, then Red Hot Chili Peppers at Vital.

The month ended with a trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Belfast Peace Wall

Belfast Peace Wall Photo Album

Linfield v Coleraine

Crusaders v Linfield

Linfield v Glenavon

Madness live at Titanic Belfast

Madness live at Titanic Belfast Photo Album

Catfish and the Bottlemen Photo Album

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at Titanic Belfast

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at Titanic Belfast Photo Album

Red Hot Chili Peppers live at Boucher Road Playing Fields

Red Hot Chili Peppers live at Boucher Road Playing Fields Photo Album

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Advertisements

THE SOUND OF 2016 : 51-76

51. White Spaces ft Jim Kerr – The Man Who Sold The World
52. Stone Roses – It’s A Beautiful Thing
53. We Are Scientists – Too Late
54. Biffy Clyro – Wolves Of Winter
55. Oasis – Stand By Me (Mustique Demo)
56. Laether Strip – Waterfront
57. Bruce Springsteen – Purple Rain
58. Birdy – Keeping You Head Up
59. Madness – Mr Apples
60. The 1975 – Somebody Else
61. Ellie Goulding – Army
62. Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz – Midnight Gold
63. Simple Minds ft KT Tunstall – Promised You A Miracle
64. Chvrches – Warning Call
65. Tom Odell – Magnetised
66. Nina Nesbitt – Chewing Gum
67. Halsey – New Americana
68. Lorde – Life On Mars?
69. All Saints – One Strike
70. Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
71. The 1975 – A Change Of Heart
72. Paul Simon – Wristband
73. Blink 182 – Home Is Such A Lonely Place
74. Laura Mvula – Overcome
75. Graham Nash – This Path Tonight

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 2.12.2016

1. Rag n Bone Man – Human
2. Clean Cut Kid – Make Believe
3. Rory Lavelle – All These Horrors
4. Madness – Can’t Touch Us Now
5. Two Door Cinema Club – Outside

One of the best things about this time of year is that concerts for the following summer get announced. One such concert, is Green Day at Ormeau Park in Belfast.

Undecided about going to this, as it’s going to be a Shitebagfest. That’s not a slight on Green Day fans, it’s just the nature of big outdoor concerts in Belfast sadly.

I’ve seen Green Day before, at T In The Park in 2002. They did a cover of Shout by Lulu and were backed by a brass band in fancy dress.

Anyway, here’s a Green Day Top Five

FIVE SONGS BY GREEN DAY

1. 21 Guns
2. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
3. The Saints Are Coming (with U2)
4. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)
5. Warning

Meanwhile, Sounds Of The City in Manchester announced their line-up. It’s an outdoor event at Castlefield Bowl. It usually has a brilliant line-up, and this year is no exception. James and Blossoms would be a great weekend if you plan on heading over.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS PERFORMING AT SOUNDS OF THE CITY

1. James – She’s A Star
2. Blossoms – Charlemagne
3. Richard Ashcroft – C’mon People (We’re Making It Now)
4. The Levellers – One Way Of Live
5. The Waterboys – The Whole Of The Moon

THE SOUND OF 2016 : 76-100

Well, 2016 is almost over and what a year of music it has been. Bowie died, Prince died, and Phil Collins announced a comeback. It hasn’t been all bad. There were some songs I liked, and I’ve put them into a chart.

There’s nothing scientific to it, I just cut and pasted Friday Fives and spent half an hour trying to put them into an order based on what I liked the most over the past year.

You may notice a few rerecordings and previously unreleased versions of songs that have already been released. Well, my chart, my rules.

So, who will join the list of previous winners? You’ll have to wait a few weeks to find out.

2006-2009 were done on Bebo, so the articles are sadly gone, but you can click on the links to previous countdowns. There are a few former winners in this year’s chart.

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

76. Wyvern Lingo – Letter To Willow
77. DNCE – Cake By The Ocean
78. Tegan and Sara – Faint Of Heart
79. Bruno Mars – 24k Magic
80. Frank Turner – Mittens
81. David Bowie – Killing A Little Time
82. Garbage – Empty
83. James – Dear John
84. Primal Scream and Sky Ferreira – When The Light Comes In
85. Travis – Everything At Once
86. Manic Street Preachers – Together Stronger
87. Laura Tesoro – What’s The Pressure?
88. Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz – Midnight Gold
89. Sergey Lazarev – You Are The Only One
90. KT Tunstall – Evil Eye
91. Tove Lo – True Disaster
92. Kings Of Leon – Waste A Moment
93. The Divine Comedy – How Can You Leave Me On My Own?
94. Bear’s Den – Dew On The Vine
95. Richard Ashcroft – Hold On
96. Izzy Bizu & the BBC Orchestra – La Foule
97. Travis – What Will Come
98. Madness – Herbert
99. Primal Scream – Mantra For A State Of Mind
100. Madness – Can’t Touch Us Now

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 25.11.2016

1. The Afghan Whigs – Regret
2. Rory Lavelle – All These Horrors
3. Madness – Can’t Stop Us Now
4. Bear’s Den – Dew On The Vine
5. Blink 182 – Home Is Such A Lonely Place

Next Wednesday is St Andrew’s Day. As this blog loves any excuse for a theme chart, here’s two. One for Scottish acts, and one for musical Andrews. Though there will be no Andys, which is bad news if you want pre 1987 Duran Duran or post 1999 Oasis.

FIVE SONGS BY SCOTTISH ACTS

1. Twin Atlantic – Heart and Soul
2. The View – Blondie
3. Nina Nesbitt – He’s The One I’m Bringing Back
4. Aztec Camara – Somewhere In My Heart
5. Del Amitri – Roll To Me

FIVE SONGS BY SINGERS CALLED ANDREW OR BANDS WITH A MEMBER CALLED ANDREW

1. Wax – Bridge To Your Heart
2. INXS – Baby Don’t Cry
3. Wham! – Freedom
4. Hozier – Take Me To Church
5. Roachford – Cuddly Toy

MADNESS – LIVE AT TITANIC BELFAST (BELSONIC) 20.8.2016

It’s fair to say that 2016 has been a Summer of Madness in Northern Ireland. Normally when you hear such a description, you’re expecting non stop riots. This is a good Madness, and Northern Ireland Madheads had three opportunities to indulge in their favourite band this summer.

In July, the musical Our House had a run at Grand Opera House, while Belsonic offered fans the chance to experience the real thing.

It was the second time that Madness had headlined Belsonic, having appeared at Custom House Square in 2012. Like in 2016, a few days later they were followed by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

There is a tenuous link between Madness and Noel Gallagher, as it was an inebriated Madness (who had just come off stage after performing) who replaced Oasis at short notice in 2009 at the French music festival where a backstage spat resulted in Oasis split.

Madness are always a popular booking at festivals, having done the afternoon legends slot at Glastonbury. Quite impressive for a band in their 50s, as most who get that slot are at an advanced age people watching on TV had thought they were dead.

Madness aren’t dead, but they are down a member, with Chas Smash leaving in 2014.

That loss is evident in the opening song, as he would traditionally kick off a Madness gig with his intro to One Step Beyond, their signature tune. One of many, you could say.

It was Madness first gig in Belfast since December 2014. They have been touring a lot since then. A tour in the summer of 2015 of small to medium sized stadiums missed Belfast, making the delays of the Windsor Park redevelopment even worse. There was Ravenhill as well they could have used.

Madness have been gigging in Belfast since 1979, playing in what Suggs described as “What was left of” The Europa Hotel.

They entered the stage to House Of Fun, before Suggs apologised to those in the audience who were expecting to see Westlife’s comeback tour, before advising those in the audience on medication or of a nervous disposition to look away as Lee Thompson did a saxophone solo during their debut single The Prince, a song which Suggs introduce by pretending he was presenting Top Of The Pops, describing them as “A bunch of hermits from North London”.

Something threw a bra at Lee Thompson. Not the first time that’s happened in Belfast either.

Naturally, there was a lot of dad dancing. Most of it in the crowd. If you can’t be silly at a Madness gig, when can you be silly?

My Girl was performed as a slow ballad, with Suggs over dramatically pretending to cry, before the song was performed as the way we all know and love it.

As is now tradition, we were treated to a Chris Foreman, billed as the best guitarist in Madness, karaoke set. He said he had taken requests from people, and had to disappoint them, that he would continue his karaoke.

Foreman recalled a walk around Belfast earlier that day when he asked what the name of the boat parked at the docks was. When told it was Bryan, he replied “like Bryan Ferry?”

The boat parked could be seen from the stage. It was a night boat to Scotland, rather than going to Cairo.

Fans were treated to Foreman singing his own version of Living On A Prayer by Bon Jovi.

When performing The Sun and the Rain, the weather obliged. Sort of. We got rain, but no sun.

It was a hit filled show, One Step Beyond was snuck in mid show, alongside Embarrassment, Wings Of A Dove, Shut Up, Our House and It Must Be Love, while Madness and Night Boat To Cairo were performed in the encore.

It typical Madness fashion, it was utterly unpredictable.

Suggs will be in Northern Ireland next Saturday, heading to Bangor to talk about his career as part of Open House Festival.

If their live shows follow the current pattern (Madness last three Belfast gigs have been 2012, 2014 and now 2016) we can expect to see them back in 2018.

Can’t wait.

Photo Album

See Also

Madness live at The Odyssey 2014

Madness live at The Odyssey 2014 Photo Album

Madness live at Custom House Square 2012

Madness live at Custom House Square 2012 Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 19.8.2016

1. Laether Strip – Waterfront
2. Travis ft Josephine Oniyama – Idlewild
3. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA …… What A Life
4. Madness – House Of Fun
5. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Cabron

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 24.6.2016

First of all, apologies for no Friday Five last week. A combination of laziness and social life meant I didn’t get a chance.

Advance warning, might not be one next week. The plan is for the Chart Of The Year So Far. (Important word, the plan is)

1. Brijs – Thunder
2. Kylie Minogue – This Wheels On Fire
3. Hozier – Better Love
4. KT Tunstall – Evil Eye
5. Kaiser Chiefs – Parachute

The Top Of The Pops repeats on BBC Four have now reached 1982. At the current rate of repeats, it will probably be 2001 by November.

So, any excuse, here’s a 1982 chart for you

FIVE SONGS FROM 1982

1. Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
2. Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger
3. Madness – Our House
4. The Stranglers – Golden Brown
5. Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 29.4.2016

1. Bruce Springsteen – Purple Rain
2. Iggy Pop – Gardenia
3. Band Of Skulls – So Good
4. The 1975 – A Change Of Heart
5. Garbage – Empty

This week saw the latest batch of headliners for Belsonic announced.

After moving away from their traditional August slot to June, they’ve now added new August gigs to compliment the June ones.

The first one announced was The Corrs, rather underwhelming. Thankfully, it got better after that.

I know I shouldn’t really complain about the line-up, I should know by now that it’s so diverse i’m not actually going to like every headlining act.

The ones that appeal the most to me are Madness and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. It’ll be just like 2012.

I remember blogging about the big risks Belsonic was taking when it increased from two nights, now look at it.

Fair play to Belsonic, they’ve never been shy in taking risks or being ambitious.

Undecided about the new venue, but i’m more than willing to give it a chance. Looking forward to Belsonic 2025, a 120 night event running from May to September.

Oh, here’s a chart based on the August acts.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS APPEARING AT BELSONIC IN AUGUST

1. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA What A Life
2. Madness – Lovestruck
3. Catfish and the Bottlemen – Kathleen
4. Fatboy Slim – Right Here Right Now
5. The Corrs – So Young