THE FRIDAY FIVE – 13.7.2018

1. The Lightning Seeds – All I Want
2. The Lightning Seeds – Pure
3. The Lightning Seeds – Sense
4. The Lightning Seeds – Lucky You
5. The Lightning Seeds – What If

Oh, I see you’re all Lightning Seeds fans these days. You should really check out their back catalogue if you only know that song everybody has been singing the last few weeks.

Annoyingly, they’ve done plenty of festivals and supported Madness on tour, but haven’t been to Belfast in ages.

On a World Cup theme, France will be there, the day after Bastille Day. Sounds like a good excuse for some French tunes.

FIVE SONGS BY FRENCH ACTS

1. Daft Punk – Da Funk
2. Desireless – Voyage Voyage
3. Phoenix – Entertainment
4. Daft Punk – Robot Rock
5. Air – Sexy Boy

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THE FRIDAY FIVE – 6.7.2018

1. George Ezra – Shotgun
2. Tom Odell – If You Wanna Love Somebody
3. Bay City Rollers – I Only Wanna Be With You
4. Oasis – Columbia
5. James – Coming Home (Part II)

If Brazil v Belgium is a bit boring, or if one team is a couple of goals up, you can switch over to BBC Four for The Story Of 1986.

Oh yes, the Top Of The Pops repeats have now reached 1986.

So, to get you in the mood, here’s a chart.

FIVE SONGS FROM 1986

1. Falco – Rock Me Amadeus
2. Europe – The Final Countdown
3. Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer
4. Paul Hardcastle – The Wizard
5. Genesis – Land Of Confusion

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MELODY MAKER – 23.10.1999

Not a large magazine this week, as we look back at a free sampler edition of Melody Maker, which was free for one week only as it changed to an A4 sized publication.

This edition saw Cerys Matthews as the cover star.

As you open the magazine, there is an editorial explaining the new look, as well as a look at some classic Melody Maker covers.

There is an article called Maker Breakers, detailing the breakthrough acts interviewed by Melody Maker in 1999 such as Groove Armada, Gay Dad and Muse.

Dexter Holland of The Offspring is subject of a Q and A, revealing he would watch an execution if it was broadcast on TV.

In reviews, Melody Maker went to see Travis in Aberdeen, gave four and a half stars to The Charlatans new album, while Ian Brown, Cerys Matthews and Ash were celebrity Singles Reviewers.

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

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

RICHARD ASHCROFT- LIVE AT ORMEAU PARK (BELSONIC) 16.6.2018

This year marks ten years since the first Belsonic. In those ten years, it has expanded, moved venue, changed month and then changed venue again.

When it started, it was mid August in Custom House Square. Now it is mid June in Ormeau Park.

Walking towards the venue, there were boardings put up to cut off the venue for the concert from the rest of the park. It looked rather drab. I couldn’t help but think that a mural featuring those acts who have performed at Belsonic over the past decade would have brightened up the venue.

Due to the wide nature of acts peforming, it is impossible for someone to be a fan of every act. Just the one Belsonic concert for me this year, as Richard Ashcroft would be to support Liam Gallagher, just as he did the previous night at Malahide Castle in Dublin.

The two of them will already be used to each other, having toured North America together in May.

For Richard Ashcroft, it would be a long awaited return to Belfast. The most recent gig as a solo artist (The Verve did play The Odyssey) that I am aware of is him supporting Coldplay at The Odyssey in 2005.

Upon arrival in Belfast, Ashcroft went exploring the city. I was hoping he might re-enact the Bittersweet Symphony video in the City Centre, just to send out a message to the slow walkers and footpath blockers.

He didn’t venture too far from Ormeau Park, heading to 16 Burren Way in Cregagh. If you don’t know, that’s the childhood home of George Best, and boasted to the crowd that he did a few keepy-uppies outside it.

As he entered the stage, he dedicated his performance to George Best, even having a mannequin with the Northern Ireland shirt as a stage prop, the shirt printing of ASHCROFT 11 being clear for all to see.

I’ve been a fan of Richard Ashcroft for a long time, especially loving Urban Hymns by The Verve and his debut solo album Alone With Everybody.

Disappointingly, none of the big singles from his debut solo album were played, such as Song For The Lovers, I Get My Beat, Money To Burn and C’mon People.

Ashcroft was delayed getting on stage by about fifteen minutes. Thankfully, due to the delays in getting in.

Security searches getting in were segregated by gender. The breakdown of the crowd was overwhelmingly male. It was obvious this would be the case.

However, staffing did not reflect this. While men were made to wait in slow moving queues, women were able to get in quicker.

If you were a woman or part of a group of women attending with a man or group of men, you were having to loiter about and wait for your friend(s) to get through.

Surely, getting info from sales from Ticketmaster could have helped them prepare better.

The same complaint would apply if it was an act appearing who would attract a majority female audience at their concerts.

Going through security, I had a bar of chocolate confiscated. Yes, really.

Cigarettes and vapes are fine, but a bar of chocolate is not allowed. What sort of fucked-up society are we living in?

There were times when you could barely breathe due to the fumes, but apparently someone having a bar of chocolate is more of a health and safety concern?

The Eventsec goon who confiscated my chocolate didn’t look when chucking it in a bag, and it hit the top of the bag and didn’t go in. I took back what was mine when he was searching people after me. Up yours Eventsec.

As hinted, this was another outdoor event in Belfast infested with fucking tramps that can’t go a few hours without a smoke. Literally surrounded by them.

Am I the only person who sees this?

As a society, we seem to just scratch our arses when it comes to the matter.

I know I keep mentioning it, but i’m going to keep mentioning it until it gets tackled and addressed.

Belfast City Council could take the lead on the matter and make smoke free venues a clause when granting licences for events.

If the Organisers can instruct Eventsec to confiscate chocolate from people, they can get Eventsec to confiscate cigarettes and vapes. Put it on the posters and tickets so everybody knows.

If somebody complains, fuck em, They can fuck off and go elsewhere. Society is moving on, and we don’t need tramps like that infesting outdoor events.

The important thing is, nobody was able to bring any chocolate into the venue.

Back to Ashcroft, and unsurprisingly, we was belting out a lot of The Verve’s hits – Sonnet (shamefully low chart position) and Lucky Man, which he dedicated to Kate, who I presume is Kate Radley from Spiritualized, his wife.

The Drugs Don’t Work, The Verve’s only Number 1, is a bloody awful song. He performed it, but solo acoustically, and it wasn’t that bad, to be fair.

Ashcroft, then went into a Yer Da type rant about how music was better in the old days, while revealing that he doesn’t do “Banter” with the crowd because he can’t hear them due to an earpiece.

He was pumped up, throwing his microphone down during one song, and by the end of the show, having half of his shirt unbuttoned, and pulling a muscleman pose similar to Mario Balotelli when he scored against Germany in Euro 2012.

We also got some solo hits, such as the fantastic Break The Night With Colour, before he ended on Bittersweet Symphony, before announcing that he will be returning to Belfast before the end of the year, but left us all in suspense by not saying where or when.

Looking forward to it.

Photo Album

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 FRIDAY FIVE – 8.6.2018

1. The Kooks – No Pressure
2. Johnny Marr – Hi Hello
3. Courtney Barrett – Nameless Faceless
4. Christine and the Queens – Girlfriend
5. Aurora – Queendom

And now, the first of many apologies.

Apologies for not having a Friday Five last week, I was too busy doing blogs from Biggest Weekend.

The last time I did a Friday Five, I totally forgot that it was Her Majesty Kylie Minogue’s 50th birthday.

Belatedly, he’s a chart to celebrate Kylie’s half century on earth.

FIVE SONGS BY KYLIE MINOGUE

1. I Believe In You
2. Better Than Today
3. I Should Be So Lucky
4. 2 Hearts
5. Some Kind Of Bliss

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the World Cup starts. So here, is a series of musical charts based on the groups. You may notice that some acts are appearing under FIFA’s nationality rules.

SONGS BY ARTISTS FROM COUNTRIES IN GROUPS A-B

1. Tatu – All The Things She Said
2. Enrique Iglesias – Do You Know?
3. Nelly Furtado – Maneater
4. Tatu – All About Us
5. Baccara – Yes Sir, I Can Boogie

SONGS BY ARTISTS FROM COUNTRIES IN GROUPS C-D

1. Alphabeat – Boyfriend
2. Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks
3. Desireless – Voyage Voyage
4. Steffan Dennis – Don’t It Make You Feel Good
5. Daft Punk – Robot Rock

SONGS BY ARTISTS FROM COUNTRIES IN GROUPS E-F

1. Yello – Oh Yeah
2. Ace Of Base – The Sign
3. Freiheit – Keeping The Dream Alive
4. Modern Talking – Brother Louie
5. Emilia – Big Big World

SONGS BY ARTISTS FROM COUNTRIES IN GROUPS G-H

1. Glenn and Chris – Diamond Lights
2. Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know
3. FR David – Words
4. The 5678s – Woo Hoo
5. Shakira – Underneath Your Clothes

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MELODY MAKER – 25.10.2000

It’s late 2000, and Melody Maker is on tour with Eminem and Limp Bizkit.

Two Welsh rock stars were in the news this week, with James Dean Bradfield stopping an assault on old man, while Kelly Jones solo tour was given a “cautious welcome” by fans giving their opinions to Melody Maker.

Ash have announced that everyone will love their upcoming new album.

Suede were in Iceland to perform at a festival, a trip described as “farcical”.

There are four pages dedicated to Eminem and Limp Bizkit, with Melody Maker giving it to Limp Bizkit, slightly, for the best act.

Ten years after their first release, Alex and Graham from Blur look back at the band’s ten finest moments.

In reviews, Melody Maker visits Muse, The Bluetones, Coldplay and Idlewild in concert.