Stereophonics have been around for a bit, thanking their Belfast fans for 20 years of support, during a concert that was two days after the 19th anniversary of their first Number One album, Performance and Cocktails.

Regular visitors to Belfast, this was their first indoor concert in Belfast since November 2013, but they have played Belsonic twice since then.

What you get now is a Greatest Hits set. It’s been that way for at least ten years. Let’s face it, who goes to a concert to watch a band perform obscure B-Sides?

They began with more recent classics such as Cest La Vie, I Wanna Get Lost With You and Caught By The Wind.

Caught By The Wind being the standout single released from most recent album Scream Above The Sounds, alongside All In One Night.

Both singles giving off an atmospheric 80s Den Henley vibe.

Don’t be mocking Don Henley, he’s the acceptable face of singing drummers. If they were sounding like Phil Collins, that would be a different matter.

Four songs in, they returned to their debut album, which Jones noted had been released 20 years ago, playing More Life In A Tramp’s Vest.

While the song played, the large screen behind them a compilation of home videos from the band’s early days, with both Kelly and Richard Jones (no relation) both sporting long hairdos. The much missed Stuart Cable sported the same style throughout his time with the band.

During those days, they were known as Tragic Love Company. They had enough video editing skills in them days to write a caption on the screen. Thankfully, they changed their name, as there is only space for one band called TLC.

They then moved onto a song they wrote in San Francisco called Have A Nice Day, though it sounds like Kelly Jones sings “Have an ass day”. It can’t be unheard.

That was then followed by my favourite Stereophonics song, Superman, performed with all the groove and swagger you heard on record.

It was a different stage from previous Stereophonics concerts. Rather than your traditional rock n roll stage design, this stage extended in the middle across the floor, to where the halfway line on the Ice Hockey pitch would be.

You can tell i’m not an expert in stage design. If you went to see U2 in 2015 or Muse in 2016 at The Odyssey.

I was stood at the end of the stage, meaning I had a decent view when they were there, and a decent view when they were in the more traditional rock n roll stage position.

Stagehands snuck some decorations onto that area as the band moved up there. It was dressed as a lounge, similar to that in the video for Handbags and Gladrags, one of the songs that was performed during this section.

Oh yes, there were plenty of lava lamps.

As the band walked over to their new home, we were treated to an instrumental cover of Sweet Home Alabama.

One of the highlights of this section was an acoustic version of Pick A Part That’s New.

That was one of many songs from the first two albums that were played in succession such as Just Looking, Traffic, A Thousand Trees, The Bartender And The Thief

By now, we were at the encore, which included Local Boy In The Photograph.

It looked like they were going to go through a concert without playing Dakota, as Kelly began playing some wandering notes on his guitar, before slowly singing the words “Made me feel like the one, made me feel like the one”.

Everybody in the venue sang it back at him.

They then burst into the version we all know and love. A fantastic tune, their only Number One. It was a good way to sign off.

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Stereophonics live at Titanic Belfast June 2016

Stereophonics live at Custom House Square August 2015

Stereophonics live at The Odyssey November 2013

Stereophonics live at Waterfront Hall March 2013

Stereophonics live at Custom House Square August 2010


THE FRIDAY FIVE – 9.3.2018

1. Peace – Power
2. Blossoms – I Can’t Stand It
3. George Ezra – Pretty Shiny People
4. Manic Street Preachers – Distant Colours
5. Portugal. The Man – Fell It Still

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 2.3.2018

1. Portugal. The Man – Fell It Still
2. Rews – Shake Shake
3. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – God Help Us All
4. Muse – Contagion
5. Kylie Minogue – Dancing

Toploader are supporting Reef in Holywood in June, which is brilliantly random. It’s easy to take the piss, but it’s good to see concerts in outdoor venues in Northern Ireland outside of Belfast.

Uncool admission, I like Toploader, though I will admit that Dancing In The Moonlight is a load of wank.

Next Thursday, is International Women’s Day, and as ever, this blog will be using it as an excuse to post some woman themed charts.

If you’re celebrating it, that’s cool. If you’re not that fussed about it, that’s cool. Just don’t be a dick about it.

That is especially if you’re Richard Herring, you uses it to flog a joke that died so long ago, it is now eligible for a Sainthood.

And men, don’t spend the day being self hating dicks. It won’t get you any brownie points.

So, here’s some charts for you if you want some songs to listen to on the day.


1. The Kooks – She Moves In Her Own Way
2. Oasis – She Is Love
3. U2 – Hallelujah Here She Comes
4. Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy
5. Neil Finn – She Will Have Her Way


1. Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl
2. Kate Bush – Rubberband Girl
3. Garbage – Stupid Girl
4. Ash – Girl From Mars
5. White Town – Your Woman


1. Lisa Loeb – I Do
2. Rose Elinor Dougall – Closer
3. Jane Wiedlin – Rush Hour
4. Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
5. Maria Vidal – Bodyrock


1. Paramore – Hard Times
2. The Pretenders – Brass In Pocket
3. Texas – Black Eyed Boy
4. Elastica – Commection
5. Sleeper – Sale Of The Century


1. Sugababes – Denial
2. Girls Aloud – The Promise
3. Strawberry Switchblade – Since Yesterday
4. Bananarama – Love In The First Degree
5. Bellefire – Perfect Bliss


1. The Killers – Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine
2. Glasvegas – Geraldine
3. Scissor Sisters – Laura
4. George Ezra – Cassy O
5. Suggs – Cecilia

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 23.2.2018

1. Muse – Contagion
2. Hookworms – Static Resistance
3. Paramore – Rose Coloured Boy
4. Kylie Minogue – Dancing
5. Tom Grennan – Sober

A lot of gig news this week. Where to start?

George Ezra for CHSQ. Not that surprising after he left Belfast out of his upcoming tour. Might pop along to that.

Reef will be playing their one song at Holywood Rugby Club. Genuinely.

Noel Gallagher is playing Edinburgh Castle in the Summer, but not during the Festival in August, so I won’t be going to that.

Next Thursday, is St David’s Day. So, for all my Welsh readers, here’s a chart for you to celebrate. Stay tuned in three weeks when i’ll be going to see Stereophonics, and then in May when I go to see Manic Street Preachers.


1. Stereophonics – Dakota
2. Donna Lewis – I Love You Always Forever
3. Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness
4. Jem – It’s Amazing
5. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart


Earlier in the day, Paul Weller’s Social Media channels pointed out that it was exactly 41 years to the day since he signed his first record deal, as a member of The Jam.

Four decades and one year later, he is still strutting his stuff, and did so in Belfast, the city getting it’s turn after he had spent the previous three evenings performing in Dublin.

Support came from a band called Tights. No wait, it’s Touts. It’s just the accent. These Derry boys were so loud, they’d probably be banned by Sister Michael, though I doubt they’ll be getting booked to perform at any of Jennie Joyce’s house parties.

It seems as though Touts are the support band at every concert in Belfast, having supported Blossoms, Kasabian (Well, or so they thought until Kasabian pulled out at the last minute) and ASIWYFA in the past year.

If you like The Jam, The Strypes and/or The Undertones, this is the band for you.

A lot of support bands bore the life out of you, but not these guys. They were acting as if it was their own headline show.

The setlist was described by Weller as “Some old, and some new” a few songs in, as he introduced From The Floorboards Up, describing it as an old song, though considering it was released in 2005, it’s not as old as some of the other songs that made an appearance in this setlist.

Weller wasn’t slow in exploring all areas of his back catalogue, having a short section dedicated to The Style Council, playing Have You Ever had It Blue? and My Ever Changing Moods back to back. The latter brought about a very serious outbreak of Dad Dancing in the crowd.

We were treated to Weller showcasing his piano skills by playing his classic hit You Do Something To Me and Wo Se Mama, the standout track from his current album A Kind Revolution.

Naturally, he delved into The Jam’s hits, dedicating Eton Rifles to “Theresa May and her fucking mob” to loud cheers. For clarity, if it was needed, I don’t think it was a tribute.

The bigger solo hits also got an outing, songs such as Friday Street and Peacock Suit. I would have loved to have heard The Changingman, as it was the song that got me into Weller.

Back to The Jam, he played Start, where he was joined on stage by a young fan, who jammed with Steve Craddock, before Weller left the stage.

I know, he has a song called Start and plays it at the end.

Except, it wasn’t. After what seemed like an eternity, Weller returned to the stage to do an acoustic set.

It didn’t really work. It was a Thursday night and we were all in the mood for the weekend. If he was going to go acoustic, we wanted hits to sing along to.

We eventually got that in the shape of That’s Entertainment and Wild Wood.

He left the stage again and returned for a second encore, signing off with Town Called Malice.

I’d previously seen him at Waterfront Hall in November 2015, when he was a bit iffy and off form.

This was not the case at Ulster Hall.

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Paul Weller live at Waterfront Hall November 2015

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 9.2.2018

1. Kylie Minogue – Dancing
2. Ash – Buzzkill
3. Desperate Journalist – It Gets Better
4. Shed Seven – The Heroes
5. Cast – Flying

Didn’t get tickets for U2 last week, so going to try again this morning. Wish me luck.

Forgot to mention, Madness are playing Galway International Arts Festival. Always been looking for an excuse to visit Galway.

Some new additions to the Biggest Weekend line-up this week. Going to try and get tickets for both days.


1. The Breeders – Cannonball
2. Beck – Blue Moon
3. Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness
4. Ash – Oh Yeah
5. Franz Ferdinand – Do You Want To?

Next Wednesday is Valentine’s Day, so if you’re feeling all loved up, here’s a chart for you.


1. Bananarama – Love In The First Degree
2. Erasure – I Love To Hate You
3. Oasis – She Is Love
4. The Feeling – Love It When You Call
5. Lulu – Love Loves to Love


Well this was an unexpected bonus.

Shed Seven headed out on tour in late 2017 but sadly, Belfast was left off the list. However, a bout of illness was to work in Belfast’s favour.

A throat infection saw a couple of concerts scheduled for November have to be postponed. One of those concerts was Dublin. When new dates for these concerts were announced, an extra Belfast gig was slotted in alongside the Dublin one, to the delight of Northern Ireland fans.

Curiously, Erasure had to cancel a couple of Dublin concerts this week. Their tour also left out Belfast, so hopefully they’ll be following Shed Seven’s lead.

Appropriately, they entered the stage to the theme tune to The Return Of The Magnificent Seven. Shed Seven are now the only band who can use that now that Madness are now a six piece.

They were backed by a brass section, one of whom was wearing a Shed Zeppelin t-shirt from the concert at Royal Albert Hall on November 31st last year where they formed a supergroup with the surviving members of Led Zeppelin and performed each others hits.

Oh wait, that was an April Fool’s joke.

They went straight into Room In My House, from their most recent album Instant Pleasures. It was instantly pleasurable, and there wasn’t a lot of room in this house.

Instant Pleasures was their first new album in sixteen years, with Rick Witter stating that the album only actually took three years, they were just lazy bastards for the thirteen years prior to that.

I got into Shed Seven after seeing the video for She Left Me On Friday on The Chart Show in 1998. I’d heard nothing like it. I also loved other singles from that album Let It Ride such as The Heroes, Devil in Your Shoes and Chasing Rainbows.

The following year, they released a Singles Compilation/Greatest Hits album titled Going For Gold, named after one of their earlier hits, promoted with the footstomping single Disco Down.

It was just wall to wall tunes. I listened to that album a lot, on repeat.

I remember purchasing their next proper album Truth Be Told, and that was it, they disappeared and never released an album until 2017.

One song in, Rick Witter addressed what he described as “The elephant in the room”, namely the cut above his left eye.

He said there was ten of them and one of him, but he floored them all, before admitting what happened was the slightly heroic and less rock n roll truth that he fell over at 10am one morning.

Witter interacted with the crowd like a Gameshow Host, with one person coming from Kendal for this gig, and another coming from Leeds (he was booed when he revealed he was from Leeds. Tough crowd), prompting Witter to ask if there was anyone in the venue actually from Belfast. A big roar went up.

All the hits were there, songs such as Disco Down, Going For Gold, She Left Me On Friday, On Standby, Dolphin, High Hopes and Devil In Your Shoes.

Meanwhile, for Chasing Rainbows, the lighting flashed all the colours of the rainbow.

Overall, the night was a pot of gold. Well, that’s what Shed Seven were going for.

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Arriving on stage ten minutes late sipping a cup of tea, John Power told the crowd at The Limelight that he was “Caught unaware”, as he was joined by bandmate Jay Lewis, as half of Cast supported Shed Seven.

Back at the end of last year, Shed Seven were on tour, named Shedvember or Shedcember depending on the month, with Cast as the support act.

That tour didn’t include a Belfast gig. This was a bonus gig added when their Dublin gig was postponed, and half of Cast were able to make it to Belfast to support The Sheds as they finished off the tour a bit later than anticipated.

The cup of tea that Power was sipping from featured the artwork to Screamadelica, and Power stated that it belonged to Bobby Gillespie, that he left it there. He didn’t say if it had been in The Limelight since 2013 or 2016.

Power asked the crowd if they wanted hits, they replied yes, so he gave them hits.

Finetime lost a bit through the absence of drums, but still sounded brilliant. What we had was a condensed acoustic singsong through Cast’s back catalogue – Sandstorm, Live The Dream, Guiding Star and Free Me.

Flying was cut short to accommodate other songs, as a voice from the side was telling Power that the set was almost over, to which he replied “Eight minutes? Let’s make it ten”

Power and Lewis left the stage and didn’t return. The last time Cast played The Limelight, they played no encore, which caused a bit of unrest. Thankfully, there was no unrest this time. We were all perfectly warmed up for Shed Seven.

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Cast live at The Limelight 2016

Cast live at The Limelight 2015


I’ve never been to Italy before and I’ve love to see Juventus in the flesh. I could even make do with going to a Torino match. Oh wait, it said Turin Brakes for free, not Turin Breaks for free.

This wouldn’t be a runner-up prize, I loved Turin Brakes back in 2001, and when it was announced that they would be doing an instore gig at Fopp in Covent Garden on the weekend I was in London, I knew I would be taking advantage of it.

What is Fopp? It is the most amazing shop in the world. CDs, DVDs, everything from film and music and ridiculously cheap prices. I love it. I make a point of visiting it whenever I visit England or Scotland.

Sadly, they don’t have any Northern Ireland stores, so we’ll just have to do without. Come on Fopp, if Greggs can come over here ………

Turin Brakes started off as a duo but have bow expanded to a four piece. They were playing a free gig in Fopp as they had just released their new album that day (Friday 26th January 2018) titled Invisible Storm.

Before starting their set, they apologised in advance if they “Fucked it up” as they are still learning the songs.

They played three songs from their new album, the highlight of which was Life Forms, before finishing on their biggest hits Underdog (Save Me) and Painkiller.

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