THE FRIDAY FIVE – 17.11.2017

1. The Killers – Run For Cover
2. Arcade Fire – Creature Comfort
3. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Fort Knox
4. Roy Orbison and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – I Drove All Night
5. Yazoo – Only You (2017 Version)

This Sunday is International Men’s Day. So, prepare yourself for some manly charts. Grrrr!!!

If you’re celebrating, enjoy yourself. That’s cool. If it’s just another day to you, enjoy yourself. That’s cool.

Just don’t be a self hating dick about it. Seriously, nobody wants to hear an attention seeker desperate for attention by sticking the boot into people to show how wonderful they are to people who hate them.

SONGS BY MALE SINGERS

1. Prince – Gold
2. John Parr – St Elmo’s Fire
3. Peter Gabriel – Big Time
4. Holly Johnson – Love Train
5. Seal – Kiss From A Rose

SONGS WITH MALE NAMES IN THE TITLE

1. Oasis – Little James
2. Bat For Lashes – Daniel
3. REM – What’s The Frequency Kenneth?
4. Joshua Kaddison – Jesse
5. Rednex – Cotton Eye Joe

SONGS WITH MAN IN THE TITLE

1. Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror
2. Hall and Oates – Family Man
3. Human League – One Man In My Heart
4. The Verve – Lucky Man
5. David Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World

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MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MELODY MAKER – 17.11.1999

Nina Persson of The Cardigans, or Nina Cardigan as she has been dubbed, is the cover star of this week’s edition of Melody Maker, having been dubbed “The Sexiest Woman In Rock”

In other news, Ian Brown has made a comeback gig at Conway Hall in London, performing a cover of Billie Jean by Michael Jackson during the encore.

Oasis and Blur are also in news, with Blur subject to a South Bank Show special, while Oasis have announced Andy Bell of Hurricane #1 as a new member.

Blur were among the winners at the MTV Awards in Dublin, an event which gets covered by Melody Maker.

Skin from Skunk Anansie gets asked about the forthcoming new Oasis album, and she describes herself as being “intersted” in hearing it.

Making a comeback is 1980s TV show The Tube, with Donna Air and Chris Moyles presenting alongside original presenters Jools Holland and Paula Yates.

Mark McKeever won the letter of the week for e-mailing in to complain about how crap the music scene in Belfast is.

Cover star Nina Persson gets a double page interview, stating that the majority of her fans are female.

There are two pages dedicated to 1993, as Melody Maker looks back at the 90s, during the decade’s final days.

Brian Molko gets interviewed as Placebo are busy recording their third album.

Jonathan Davis of Korn talks about his five obsessions, one of which is playing a bagpipe.

In reviews, Melody Maker went to see Eminem, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Badly Drawn Boy in concert, though not at the same time.

Rick Witter of Shed Seven is subject to a Q and A, revealing that he would watch a public execution if it was broadcast on TV.

If you wanted, there was a lyrics sheet for So Low, Ocean Colour Scene’s new single.

In gigs, James (with support from Cast), Ian Brown and Shed Seven were going on tour in the coming weeks.

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

OMD – LIVE AT MANDELA HALL 24.10.2017

“It’s great to be back, it’s been a long time” said OMD singer Andy McCluskey to the crowd at Mandela Hall. He wasn’t wrong. It had been 8 years since they were last in Belfast, supporting Simple Minds at The Odyssey. You have to go back to 1991 (Ulster Hall) for their last headline concert in Belfast, referenced by McCluskey during the set. Paul Humphries didn’t remember that gig, possibly because he had left the band by that stage.

I love Simple Minds and OMD. To be honest, I have no clue why I didn’t go to that Odyssey gig. I genuinely can’t think why. What a wasted opportunity.

It is the pester power of Northern Ireland fans that brought them back to Belfast, as McCluskey recently stated in an interview with Sunday Life.

For me, it began with a sick day off school in 1996.

I flicked through the channels and spotted something on the music channels (There were only two back then, it was VH1)

It was a cheery, happy, Britpop song called Walking On The Milky Way by a band called OMD. I loved it. Little did I know it was different, very different from the rest of their back catalogue.

I did know, not to confused them with OMC, who were in the charts around the same time. How bizarre.

A while later, I heard Enola Gay on a radio station. I knew I liked two OMD songs. I only knew two OMD songs.

By 2002, I had recently joined the Music Library at Belfast Central Library. I decided to be curious and borrow The OMD Singles, a 1998 Greatest Hits compilation.

I was not to be disappointed. Not once was the skip button pressed. It became one of my favourite albums.

At this point, Andy McCluskey was enjoying chart success, including the number 1s that eluded OMD in his new role as Songwriter for Atomic Kitten.

OMD would later reform and tour, but there was to be no Belfast gig, until now.

When I arrived at the venue, I wasn’t really in the mood for it. I was tired, had a sore head, and was drenched due to walking from Belfast City Hospital. The reason why I was parked there because people in Elmwood Avenue found parking one car in one parking bay to be too much fucking effort.

Forget about The Punishment Of Luxury, this was The Punishment Of Idiot Drivers.

The band appeared on stage, with Andy doing his trademark Dad Dancing. At 58, he is of peak Dad Dancing age. His best Dad Dancing years are still ahead of him. In truth, he has been dad dancing since his early 20s.

I googled his name for this article just to make sure if was McCluskey rather than McCloskey. The first suggestion was “Andy McCluskey Dancing”

Two songs in, he grabbed his Bass, proceeding to play it like Brian May rather than John Deacon.

To keep up with the Queen theme, we even had the fans doing a Radio Ga Ga style clapping in unison during Locomotion.

McCluskey then asked the crowd if they had their dancing shoes on. He certainly had. The answer was a resounding yes.

He was putting his life in his hands dancing on stage, saying that the stage was sticky due to years of cheap university beer. Ahhh, the (in)famous Mandela Hall sticky floor. I’d forgotten about it until he mentioned it. It wasn’t too bad where I was. You don’t think they’ve got round to finally cleaning it?

I wasn’t sure if I was an a Pop Concert or an Aerobics Class. Either way, it was brilliant.

Nevermind Aerobics Oz Style, this was Arobics OMD Style. I might pitch that to Sky Sports as a TV show idea.

If Joan Of Arc had a heart, it probably would have been racing from all the dancing.

Paul and Andy then had an onstage argument, sort of. It was staged as Paul, dripping of sweat, complained about standing under the lights, and that Andy’s job was a “Piece of cake”, so Andy invited him out to sing, which he did, performing Forever Live And Die.

While doing so, he was hit by a bra thrown from the crowd, but carried on like a pro, adding that the bra wasn’t his size.

Fans arriving were given a chance to vote for a song to appear on the setlist on a poll via the website, with a magic password for this at the venue.

The choices were The New Stone Age and Generic Engineering.

Genetic Engineering won with 75% of the vote.

Andy introduced this by saying that people had voted wisely, unlike a couple of Junes ago when they voted for Trump.

I think he’s got Brexit and Trump a bit confused there.

There were a lot of hits played – Messages, Locomotion, Souvenir, Tesla Girls, Joan Of Arc, Maid Of Orleans, So In Love, Forever Live And Die, Enola Gay and Sailing On The Seven Seas.

Not bad.

We also got to hear new song The Punishment Of Luxury, the excellent title track to their new album.

I would have loved it if they played If You Leave, If You Want It or Dreaming, but that is being greedy.

During the encore, they played the song that started it all for me, Walking On The Milky Way, with a slight change in arrangement.

They could just about fit four people on stage, they were hardly going to fit an orchestra as well.

As they left the stage, they said they won’t leave it so long before returning to Belfast. If they don’t return before 2043, we’ll be demanding answers.

In 2043, Andy McCluskey will be 84 years old. He’ll probably still be energetically dancing around on stage.

In the words of If You Leave, promise me, just one more night.

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.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MELODY MAKER – 27.9.2000

JJ72, remember them? They were the cover stars of this edition of Melody Maker in late September 2000.

In news, Blur have announced a new single, Music Is My Radar, to promote their Greatest Hits album, and Melody Maker canvasses fans for their views, with mixed responses.

Anarchy reigned at Green Day’s gig at Virgin Megastore to promote their new album Warning, spraypainting in the store and tearing into Slipknot and Blink 182.

Travis fans have launched a website dedicated to the hotness of Dougie Payne. The website is sadly no more.

There was a new series of The 11 O’Clock Show on Channel 4, with new presenters, Iain Lee and Sarah Alexander.

Adam, Izzy and Anna from Hollyoaks were this week’s Singles Reviewers, giving the award for Single Of The Week to J Mascis + The Fog with Where’d You Go.

This magazine came with a free 24 page guide to student life.

In reviews, Melody Maker paid a visit to see Radiohead in concert, and had Coldplay’s gigs in Cambridge and Oxford as their pick of upcoming gigs.

Green Day’s new album got 3 and a half stars out of 5, after all the anarchy in Virgin Megastore.

Reef talk to Melody Maker about the making of their album Getaway, going through the process in chronological order.

PAUL HEATON AND JACQUI ABBOTT – LIVE AT THE LIMELIGHT 21.10.2017

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott returned to Belfast, a 4th concert since 2014, for a concert at The Limelight, a venue they last played in June 2014, with their last two Belfast concerts being in Ulster Hall.

It was billed as an early show, with Heaton and Abbot on stage just after 8.30pm. The crowd were ready for it, the venue packed as the support act took the stage.

Members of their backing band casually wandered onto the stage, with drums and keyboards kicking off proceedings. It looked like a false start as the crowd waited for Heaton and Abbott to appear, before they eventually appeared.

The crowd were clapping and and footstomping along, as they did for most of the concert.

Heaton stated that this was the 25th time he’d performed in Belfast, before clarifying that he just made that stat up, and didn’t actually know how many times he had performed there. He did comment that he preferred coming to Belfast in the 80s and 90s when nobody else did, commenting that the same people who were shocked at them visiting the city are now talking about how cool it is now.

As he introduced Old Red Eyes Is Back, he dedicated it to the people of Belfast.

He did also say that it was 30 years since he was first in Belfast, a Pearl Anniversary, and suggests that an appropriate present would be a Pearl Heaton CD.

We were treated to some forgotten Beautiful South classics such as Blackbird On The Wire and The Table. The Table is one of my favourite Beautiful South songs, but it didn’t chart that high due to it being the fourth single from Quench.

At the grand old age of 55, Heaton has passed his driving test, he proudly told the audience, at the fourth time of asking with only one minor. He then proceeded to introduce the backing band and Jacqui Abbott by what car they drive.

The reason why the introductions were taking place mid concert were that, according to Heaton, the tour had been jinxed so far. One of Jacqui Abbott’s friends fell in the shower and had to go to hospital, while the previous night was described as a disaster, but no reason was given why.

The previous night, they were doing a concert in Cork. So, if any Corkonians can fill me in, feel free to do so.

At the start of Rotterdam, Heaton disappeared as this was a song sung solely by Abbott, but he then reappeared to play harmonica at the end.

As with their previous gigs, we delved into Paul Heaton’s back catalogue with The Housemartins and The Beautiful South. With so many songs to choose from, it’s natural that people would be disappointed at not hearing all of their favourites.

Five Get Over Excited, You Keep It All In, Don’t Marry Her and Good As Gold were all on the setlist, that would have kept a lot of people happy.

We also got Perfect Ten, with disco style drums and guitar, allowing Heaton to show off his dad dancing. Abbott was also getting involved. I’m not sure what the woman version of dad dancing is. Mum moving?

It wasn’t planned, but it was a happy accident, but I ended up being surrounded by people who were shorter than me, meaning I got a clear view. Also, everyone in the crowd was so sound, footstomping and clapping away.

You don’t realise how much a dead on audience adds to the enjoyment of a concert until you’re at a concert and surrounded by shitebags.

Thankfully, this was shitebag free.

They were enjoying themselves so much, they lost track of time, and announced they didn’t have long left due to a curfew set by the venue. It was a nice set-up as Heaton asked what the time was, answering his own question that it was Happy Hour.

Because of this, there wasn’t going to be a long encore, just the one song. With only a little time left, it was perhaps apt that they played A Little Time, a country/rockabilly/boogie woogie version of it.

As they left the stage, Heaton told the crowd “See you soon”.

So, touring in 2018?

If so, hopefully, someone from Belsonic is getting ready to book them. I quite fancy a bit of toetapping in the sunshine at Ormeau Park next June.

Ok, sunshine in June in Belfast is a bit ambitous.

Photo Album

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott live at Ulster Hall 2016

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott live at The Limelight 2014