THE SOUND OF 2016 : 1-25

And here we are, what you’ve been waiting for, to find out the best song of 2016. Not long to go until it is revealed. Are you ready? Are you ready?

Oh ok, I’ll shut up, here’s the Top 25.

1. The Strumbellas – Spirits
2. James – Nothing But Love
3. Iggy Pop – Gardenia
4. The Courteeners – No One Will Ever Replace Us
5. Christine and the Queens – Tilted
6. The Temper Trap – Fall Together
7. Chvrches ft Hayley Williams – Bury It
8. Clean Cut Kid – We Used To Be In Love
9. Sia – The Greatest
10. Oasis – D’You Know What I Mean? (NG’s 2016 Rethink)
11. Travis – Animals
12. Stone Roses – All For One
13. Bastille – Good Grief
14. Travis – Magnificent Time
15. Aurora – Conquerer
16. Biffy Clyro – Howl
17. Bastille – Send Them Off
18. The Lumineers – Ophelia
19. Grimes – California
20. Travis – 3 Miles High
21. Two Door Cinema Club – Are We Ready? (Wreck)
22. Blossoms – Getaway
23. KT Tunstall – Maybe It’s A Good Thing
24. Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
25. Clean Cut Kid – Make Believe

Thank you for your support over the past year and I’ll hope to bring you more Friday Fives and pointless themed charts throughout 2017.

Congratulations to The Strumbellas, who join Kasabian, Feist, Sons and Daughters, Little Boots, Marina and the Diamonds, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Taylor Swift, Haim, Jamie T and Blossoms in the Hall Of Fame.

Hopefully, over the past four weeks, i’ve helped you discover some songs you’ve never heard before.

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

Want to get excited for music in 2017? Here’s four words for you – Liam. Gallagher. Solo. Album.

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

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 – 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 – 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

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – MARCH 2011

Liam Gallagher is the cover star of Q as he prepares to launch the debut album of Beady Eye, a band comprising of the non Noel Gallagher members of Oasis.

If you look closely, in Liam’s shades, you can see the other members of Beady Eye in his reflection.

In “Q Mail”, Simon Hunt e-mails to respond to previous correspondence complaining about Take That appearing in Q, while cheekily asking when Justin Bieber will be appearing on Cash For Questions.

Jonathan Paul from Leicester contacts Q to complain about their ignoring of Ian Matthews and Chris Edwards in Kasabian articles, in comparison to Serge Pizzorno and Tom Meighan.

Q50 is a feature of the 50 songs you should download this month. Top of the pile was The Beat Goes On by cover stars Beady Eye.

Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol gets a guest submission, choosing Coal by The Mariner’s Children.

In news, Alex Turner records solo songs for a movie soundtrack, Green Day release a live album, The Kills are reforming and Beth Ditto is going on a solo career.

Featuring forthcoming albums, Glasvegas get a double page spread for their as yet titled new album.

Also working hard in the studio were Hard-Fi, with a propsed release date given as “Summer 2011”

Q dedicates a full page to a phone interview with Plan B, where he reveals that Forrest Gump is the one movie that makes him cry.

Tipped for greatness this month are The Joy Formidable, Miles Kane and MNDR.

Shaun Ryder is the subject of this month’s Cash For Questions, answering questions about Tony Wilson, UFOs and Reality TV.

In ads, Paul McCartney stars in an advert for PETA.

There are nine pages dedicated to cover stars Beady Eye, with Liam Gallagher claiming that “People will be calling their kids Beady Eye by the end of the year”

It’s not all about Liam, as Gem, Andy and Chris get profiled, looking at their musical CVs pre Oasis.

Junior Gallagher had gotten the first blow in to release post Oasis music, but Senior Gallagher (Noel) was at work on his debut solo album, with 17 tracks believed to have been recorded, one of which has Miles Kane on guitar, and was set for release in late summer.

Noel’s (using the name of Noel Galagher’s High Flying Birds) self titled debut album was eventually released in October 2011.

KT Tunstall gets a full page interview, where she denounces her stepdad, who was a BNP candidate.

Riding high on the success of Rolling In The Deep, Adele gets a four page profile.

Cee Lo Green is gets interviewed by Q, where he discusses his favourite albums.

Another band riding high in the charts, were Noah and the Whale, who got a three page feature.

2011 was the year that saw the 20th anniversary of the death of Freddie Mercury, and Q interviews Roger Taylor and Brian May, ahead of a feature about unseen Queen photographs being made public for the first time.

In reviews, Beady Eye’s debut album Different Gear, Still Speeding gets four stars.

Also getting four stars was Clare Maguire’s debut album Light After Dark and Hotel Shampoo by Gruff Rhys.

If Bruce Springsteen is your thing, Q has a handy guide for those wishing to explore his vast discography.

Concert Reviews sees Paul McCartney get a five star review for a concert at 100 Club in London just before Cristmas 2010.

Also getting five stars were The View for their pre Christmas gigs in Sheffield and Stoke.

2015 IN PICTURES – MARCH

March began on a musical theme with concerts taking up two of the first three evenings of the month, The Kooks at Mandela Hall and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at The Odyssey.

The following Saturday, it was back to football, as Linfield took on Warrenpoint Town at Windsor Park.

The Saturday after that was a road trip to see Linfield take on Institute at Drumahoe.

Some new Street Art appeared in Belfast during the month, a tribute to the recently deceased Leonard Nimoy and a reappearance of the Teenage Kicks mural

There was more Street Art later in the month, when I headed to Glasgow to see Northern Ireland take on Scotland in a friendly, and took advantage of a clear day and some art on show.

From Glasgow, to Glenavon (well, Lurgan) for another football trip the Saturday after. The same result, a 1-0 defeat, but a more damaging than the one in Glasgow.

The day after, more football, as Northern Ireland took on Finland in a European Championship Qualifier. Managed to get some photos of the redevelopment of Windsor Park, which seemed to be going so well at that point.

Little did I know then, It would be my last time in The Kop before it got demolished.

The Kooks Live At Mandela Hall

The Kooks Live At Mandela Hall Photo Album

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Live At The Odyssey

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Live At The Odyssey Photo Album 1

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Live At The Odyssey Photo Album 2

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

Institute v Linfield

Spock’s Teenage Dreams

Glasgow Street Art

Glasgow Street Art Photos

Scotland v Northern Ireland

Scotland v Northern Ireland Photo Album

Glenavon v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Finland

Northern Ireland v Finland Photo Album

NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS – LIVE AT THE ODYSSEY 3.3.2015

The day after the release of his second solo album. Noel Gallagher was in Belfast to kick-off a mammoth year of touring with a gig at The Odyssey.

Noel Gallagher has a bit of history when it comes to Belfast and album releases. In 2002, Oasis performed at The Odyssey on the night before Heathen Chemistry was released. That Odyssey gig, and this Odyssey gig’s attendance doesn’t even come close to the 75,214 (at last count) who claim to have been at The Limelight for an Oasis gig on the night Definitely Maybe went to Number 1.

Now onto his second album, Gallagher now has more than enough solo material without the need to dip into the Oasis back catalogue.

Music journalists have been quick to declare 2015 as the year of Oasis comeback. Noel Gallagher’s touring schedule this year would make it certain that’s not happening. We got confirmation during the gig after a bunch of “Concert Craicsters” (Every big gig in Belfast has these insufferable idiots) who seem to think it’s their own personal gig and that they can engage in “Banter” with the band, started singing “LIAM!!! LIAM!!!” and were prompty met with a one finger salute.

So that’s that put to bed, for the time being.

After a two and a half (and a bit) wait after his last gig, at Belsonic in 2012, Noel Gallagher was back in Belfast, backed by a choir this time, starting with some songs from his solo debut, before playing an Oasis song, Fade Away, the slower version that appears on 1995’s War Child album, before playing In The Heat Of The Moment, Lock All The Doors and Riverman, from his new album Chasing Yesterday.

Despite having only been release the previous day, the crowd had already known all the words.

As well as a choir backing him, Gallagher had the Belfast crowd for support when performing Champagne Supernove, adding that he might just ask the crowd to sing it for him at all his future gigs.

There were some Oasis songs, but not a lot. Thankfully, the three best songs from Chasing Yesterday – In The Heat Of The Moment, The Ballad Of The Mighty I and You Know We Can’t Go Back – were all played.

He left the stage, and came back for an encore, unlike at his last Belfast gig.

The encore included and acoustic version of Don’t Look Back In Anger, with vocal backing from the crowd, AKA …. What A Life and The Masterplan.

Photo Album 1

Photo Album 2

See Also

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Live At Custom House Square August 2012

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Live At Custom House Square August 2012 Photo Album

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Live At The Odyssey February 2012

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Live At The Odyssey February 2012 Photo Album

2012 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

August was a busy month from start to finish, camera in hand, I went snap happy.

The month began with a trip to Tillysburn Park (my first visit there) to see Linfield’s last pre-season game, against Harland and Wolff Welders.

Nice wee ground, and got some nice shots, which was handy as the game wasn’t up to much (Welders won 1-0 since you ask)

The following week, I made my annual trip to Edinburgh for the festival. While there, I got some Street Art photos and got photos of the two football matches I went to.

The first match was Hibs v Hearts at Easter Road, my first visit to Easter Road since 2009. Nice wee ground and had a good shooting position. It was a beautiful sunny day which gave me lots of natural light to work with as well.

Three days later, I was back for the international between Scotland and Australia. Was in a different stand but got some ok shots, mainly due to it being darker than usual for that time of year.

Upon my return, I was straight into Belsonic, being in the front row for Madness, a band I have loved for ages and finally got to see.

Also got some good photos of Noel Gallagher a few days later.

Was at Two Door Cinema Club as well and didn’t get as good pictures as I wanted.

In amongst that, managed to get photos of Linfield matches against Coleraine and Donegal Celtic. Standard Windsor Park phototaking arrangements, but it was great to be back.

Harland and Wolff Welders v Linfield

Edinburgh Street Art

Hibs v Hearts

Hibs v Hearts Photo Album

Scotland v Australia

Scotland v Australia Photo Album

Madness Live At Belsonic

Madness Live At Belsonic Photo Album

Linfield v Coleraine

Belfast Street Art

The Enemy Live At Belsonic

The Enemy Live At Belsonic Photo Album

Noel Gallagher Live At Belsonic

Noel Gallagher Live At Belsonic Photo Album

Noah and the Whale Live At Belsonic

Noah and the Whale Live At Belsonic Photo Album

Two Door Cinema Club Live At Belsonic

Two Door Cinema Club Live At Belsonic Photo Album

Linfield v Donegal Celtic

THE SOUND OF 2012 : 51-75

51. Gym Class Heroes ft Ryan Tedder – The Fighter
52. Paloma Faith – Picking up The Pieces
53. Big Kids – Heart Sing
54. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Fallen Angel
55. Cher Lloyd – Want U Back
56. Dappy – Good Intentions
57. Matt Cardle – It’s Only Love
58. Rebecca Ferguson – Backtrack
59. Taylor Swift – Ours
60. Muse – Madness
61. The Maccabees – Pelican
62. Example – Close Enemies
63. Bloc Party – Kettling
64. Two Door Cinema Club – Sun
65. Horrible Histories – Flame
66. Marina and the Diamonds – Power and Control
67. Alex Clare – Too Close
68. Dappy ft Brian May – Rockstar
69. Eugene McGuinness – Lion
70. Rihanna – Diamonds
71. Florence and the Machine ft Calvin Harris – Spectrum
72. Black Keys – On The Ceiling
73. Owl City ft Carly Rae Jepsen – Good Time
74. Leona Lewis – Trouble
75. The Big Pink – Stay Gold