November began with a day trip to Dublin. Naturally, while I was there, I took the opportunity to check out Street Art. Might as well, seeing as it was my first time there in two years.
Later that week, I did something else I hadn’t done for a long time. Not as long, just over eighteen months. I am of course referring to going to a concert, in this case, Lightning Seeds at The Limelight.
That was then followed by two road trips for Linfield away games, to Portadown and Crusaders.
Sandwiched inbetween that was another road trip, this time to Ards to get some Street Art photos, with a recent event having taken place.
It was a month of doing things I hadn’t done for a while. This time, going on a flight.
The destination was Gatwick, but not to go to London, but Brighton instead.
So many photo adventures, where to start?
Street Art in Brighton, of course. Also, a walk along Beachy Head, OMD in concert, and some sunsets while I was in Brighton.
Back home, a return to Windsor Park to see Linfield beat Cliftonville.
Two days later, I headed to The Limelight to see The Charlatans in concert.
The month ended with Linfield matches against Glenavon and Carrick Rangers.
So, it’s Tuesday night in Brighton, i’m at a loose end. What luck that one of my favourite bands are doing a concert at a venue a five minute walk from my hotel. What luck I tell thee.
The trip wasn’t specifically to see OMD, I didn’t get a ticket until one hour before they went on stage for crying out loud.
Of course, as detailed in previous blog posts, I should have been going to London for five days in July (Beck and Duran Duran were scheduled to perform there that weekend) but I changed it to three days in Brighton.
I must admit, I did have a cheeky look out for concert listings, but I did expect this one to bite the dust and be moved to another date, so I held off buying a ticket.
It was a nice option to have for my Tuesday night, it would have been rude not to take it up, especially as this tour doesn’t have a Belfast date.
I arrived at the Ticket Office and purchased an actual ticket. A ticket, in my hand. I didn’t have to download a PDF to my phone.
It did make me feel sad knowing that this could be one of the last paper tickets for a concert I have.
As I entered the venue, I was asked for proof of vaccination status. I know, I was shocked to see a venue actually giving a shit and making an effort.
I showed the card with my vaccination details on it, which was accepted without question, meaning I didn’t have to channel Ian Paisley and start screaming “HOW DARE YOU!!! HOW DARE YOU NOT ACCEPT MY ULSTER BRITISH COVID VACCINATION!!!! CAN I SPEAK TO THE MANAGER??”
Brighton Centre is a curious set-up. For a start, if you have a Standing Ticket, which mine was, you have to exchange it for a wristband to get into the Standing Area.
Naturally, I forgot to get my ticket stub back as I left at the end of the concert. Thankfully, I called in the following morning and they still had some lying about so I was able to get a souvenir, no pun intended,
At every music venue I have been to, the Performance Area has always been on the Ground Floor. Not here. I had to go upstage to where they were performing.
Even stranger, every music venue i’ve been to, when you walk through the doors, you are facing the stage. No here, the doors were at the side of the stage.
The floor wasn’t that large and there was nothing to separate Standing Area and Sitting Area. Theoretically, you could buy a seated ticket and juts walk into the Standing Area.
Thankfully, the venue wasn’t sold out, meaning that the Standing Area wasn’t crammed.
Support for this gig came from Scritti Politti, with me arriving halfway through their set. Thankfully, I didn’t miss the two songs of their I know (and love).
Yes, you’ve probably guessed which ones – Absolute and Wood Beez.
This tour, called Architecture and Morality, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the album of the same name, that anniversary happening the week before this concert.
The band appeared on stage, all atmospheric and ambient, Andy McCluskey limbering like an Athlete getting ready before bursting into song and dance.
Dancing very badly, as per usual, I should say. He even acknowledged that he was glad that his son wasn’t on this tour to laugh at his dancing.
Architecture and Morality was performed in full, when completed, McCluskey remarked “You can all go home now”, because that’s what we were all here for.
Of course, we were here for hits, of which we got plenty starting with Messages.
As McCluskey screamed “Yes Yes Yes”, somebody missed their cue to the female “No No No” to indicate the start of Tesla Girls, although McCluskey was too busy dancing, he forgot to sing the opening verse to one song. McCluskey even announced before one song that the rest of the band have bets on how many bum notes he will play during each concert.
I thought that bra throwing was a Belfast thing, but it seems to be an OMD thing. This was my third OMD concert, and the third time that a member of the band has been hit by a bra.
This time it was Andy McCluskey rather than Paul Humphreys on the receiving end, with McCluskey telling off the drummer for wearing the aforemention bra on his head before performing Enola Gay. It’s a very serious song.
Other hits included Forever Live And Die, So In Love, Locomotion, Pandora’s Box and Sailing On The Seven Seas.
McCluskey then gave a shout out to “The Bexhill Crowd”, a group of fans who had made the trip to Brighton from nearby Bexhill, with OMD not playing De La Warr Pavillion in the town, a performance venue that has The Charlatans, Echo and the Bunnymen, Feeder, Ed Byrne and Sophie Ellis-Bextor on their listings for the next twelve months. Covid permitting, of course.
Talking of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, she should have been in Belfast while I was in Brighton, supporting Steps at The Odyssey, but she pulled a skive to do a Danceathon for Children In Need.
Belfast is so shit, people will do anything to get out of going there.
I was hoping that she would have her own Belfast show embargoed until the scheduled Steps appearance, but as yet, nothing has been announced.
Back to OMD, and McCluskey was giving more shout-outs, dedicating “If You Leave” from Pretty In Pink to all the girls who wanted to be Molly Ringwold and all the boys who wanted to be Duckie, before the band signed off with Electricity.
October 2019 began with a trip to Seaview to see Linfield take on Crusaders.
A busy month of concerts began a few days later with a trip to Ulster Hall to see The Divine Comedy.
There was even some Street Art spotted during the month, heading to Stephen Street to see a mural of The Joker and Catwoman
The next day, I was on the road to Dungannon to see Linfield beat Dungannon Swifts 4-1.
From there, it was another concert, a first visit to The Telegraph Building, to see Two Door Cinema Club.
The flipping between football and concerts continued as I headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Ballymena United. The following midweek saw a football/concert double header, seeing Linfield take on Warrenpoint Town, before seeing OMD at Ulster Hall.
October’s photo adventures ended with a trip to see Linfield take on Coleraine, the month beginning and ending for me with a 1-0 defeat.
“This first song was from 1980, and this last song was from 2017” said Andy McCluskey two songs in, before adding “And the rest will be from inbetween”, stating the obvious, considering that it was a 40th Anniversary Greatest Hits Tour.
1991, then 2009 (supporting Simple Minds), then 2017, and now 2019. Thankfully, the gap between their appearances in Belfast seem to be getting shorter. In fact it was one day short of two years since they were last in Belfast, at Mandela Hall.
It was back in 1996, when channel hopping and coming across the video for Walking On The Milky Way on VH1 (Because all the cool kids watch VH1), I always remembered how such a great song it was.
Then I knew Enola Gay. I liked two songs.
Then a few years later, I couldn’t sleep, and was watching some 80s videos on one of the music channels, and they played Souvenir.
So that was three songs I now knew and liked.
Later, when I joined the Music Library at Belfast Central Library, one of the first albums I took out was the 1998 compilation album The OMD Singles, and found I quite liked them.
It was a long wait for them to come to Belfast, though thankfully not long for them to return.
Pishing down with rain when I walked to the venue, I soon discovered there were no Cloakroom facilities at the venue, so I faced a choice.
The raincoat I was wearing came from Decathlon, and is more for sailing, Sailing On The Seven Seas, you could say. It is absolutely roasting and the venue was roasting. Do I continue to wear it and be roasted squared?
Or do I tie it around my waist and look like a dick?
If you care, I went for the looking like a dick option.
The heat was referenced by McCluskey during the set, asking who had been at Mandela Hall in 2017, and commenting that it was just as hot.
Pointless fact about Andy McCluskey. His real name is George but he prefers to be called Andrew. That must have been really awkward if he was ever hanging out with Wham.
I’m not really a fan of Ulster Hall, but I saw Chvrches there earlier this year and it was fantastic, so it might not be dreadful for this genre of music.
As in 2017, McCluskey was taking Dad Dancing to a new level, and I’ve seen Tim Booth and James Dean Bradfield dance. The key, he said, was to dance like nobody is watching.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he holds Dancercise classes at Birkenhead Community Centre on a Tueaday night. He was working up such a sweat, that his black shirt was an even darker shade of black.
He even managed to display a sense of humour, telling people not to nip off to the toilet during a new song as it was actually quite good. When introducing a song he described it as a new song, before adding “From 1991”.
Just as people were expecting Sailing On The Seven Seas, opening up a Pandora’s Box by playing, um, Pandora’s Box.
Most of the big hits played usually resulted in hand clapping and fist pumping from the audience.
Hits such as Tesla Girls, getting a Yes Yes Yes from the audience as soon as the synthesised “No No No” intro was heard.
Other hits included Enola Gay, Sailing On The Seven Seas, Electricity, Messages, Joan Of Arc, Maid Of Orleans, Locomotion and So In Love.
Paul Humphries was even allowed out to sing Forever Live And Die, thankfully not being hit in the face by a bra thrown from the crowd as he was in 2017. Andy said he was jealous of the applause he got from the crowd, allowing him to sing another song, Souvenir.
The only downside was that my three favourite OMD songs, Walking On The Milky Way and If You Leave weren’t played, but I can live with that, considering how many of their big hits.
As they left the stage, Paul Humphries said “See you soon”.
1. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – You Know We Can’t Go Back
2. Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You
3. Taylor Swift – Style
4. The Kooks – She Moves In Her Own Way
5. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – The Ballad Of The Mighty I
This Sunday, is International Women’s Day. So, to get you in the mood, here’s some female inspired playlists to get you in the mood.
FIVE SONGS BY FEMALE SINGERS
1. St Vincent – Digital Witness
2. Charli XCX – Boom Clap
3. Rae Morris – Under The Shadows
4. Annie Lennox – No More I Love Yous
5. Nina Nesbitt – Peroxide
FIVE SONGS BY ALL FEMALE BANDS
1. Tegan and Sara – Closer
2. Strawberry Switchblade – Since Yesterday
3. The Ronettes – Be My Baby
4. Girls Aloud The Promise
5. Appleton – Fantasy
FIVE SONGS WITH FEMALE NAMES IN THE TITLE
1. Steve Winwood – Valerie
2. Siouxsie and the Banshees – Dear Prudence
3. Eddy Grant – Give Me Hope Johanna
4. The Strypes – Blue Collar Jane
5. Jamie T – Shiela
FIVE SONGS WITH GIRL IN THE TITLE
1. OMD – Tesla Girls
2. Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl
3. Kate Bush – Rubberbabnd Girl
4. Stone Temple Pilots – Sour Girl
5. Katy Perry – California Gurls
Owen Paul, remember him? No? Had a hit in 1986, his brother was in Simple Minds. No? This cover seemed a good idea at the time I guess.
On the inside cover is a picture of Michael Hutchence, lead singer of INXS,who they predict for big things, having supported Queen on tour at the personal request of Roger Taylor.
They were so popular in their native Australia according to No 1, that Michael Hutchence beat Mel Gibson in a poll for Most Popular Male.
Cover star Owen Paul gets a double page spread about his career, while Cutting Crew get a full page profile as a band to watch, clarifying “We’re not a black Hip-Hop group” in case you were confused because they had “Crew” in their name.
The Lover Speaks get a full page feature, ahead of the release of their new single, “No More I Love Yous”, which took nine years to be a hit, and when it was, it was a cover by Annie Lennox.
In adverts, Dead Or Alive had a full page advert for their new single “Brand New Lover”
No, I don’t remember it either.
Lyrics in this edition included “You Give Love A Bad Name” by Bon Jovi, and “Rock & Roll Mercenaries” by Meatloaf with John Parr.
OMD get a double page spread, currently riding high in the US charts after supporting The Power Station and Thompson Twins on tour, and having “Of You Leave” featured in the film Pretty In Pink.
In Reviews, “True Colours” by Cyndi Lauper gets 3 stars out of 5, while “Superman”, the follow-up to “It’s Orrible Being In Love When You’re Eight And A Half” by 80s One-Hit Wonder Claire gets 1 star.
Rod Stewart’s latest single also gets 1 star, purely on the basis that he supports Rangers*
(* yes, i’m as confused as your are)
More lyric sheets, this time for “One Great Thing” by Big Country, and “Forever Live And Die” by OMD.
In TV news, Doctor Who is back, and it’s a debut for the latest Doctor, Colin Baker. This gets a full page with stats about the show, and an address for the Doctor Who Appreciation Society.
Talking of new, Bucks Fizz have a new member, Shelley Preston, and her new arrival gets a double page spread.
There is an advert for the following week’s edition, which has a massive A-Ha World Tour 1986/1987 poster.
On the back cover, there was a poster of Paul Young. Nice.
Six months gone, six months to go, we are officially at the halfway stage of 2013.
As per tradition on this blog, I shall do a Top 50 songs of the year so far, a nice wee preview of my Top 100 in December.
So, here we go …….. the Top 50 songs of 2013 so far.
1. Editors – A Ton Of Love
2. Olly Murs – Army Of Two
3. Phoenix – Entertainment
4. The 1975 – Chocolate
5. Daft Punk ft Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky
6. Suede – It Starts And Ends With You
7. Bastille – Pompei
8. Haim – Don’t Save Me
9. Stereophonics – Indian Summer
10. Gabrielle Aplin – Please Don’t Say You Love Me
11. Wonder Villains – Blonde
12. Foals – My Number
13. Emmelie De Forest – Only Teardrops
14. Nina Nesbitt – Way In The World
15. Frank Turner – The Way I Tend To Be
16. Beady Eye – Second Bite Of The Apple
17. Imagine Dragons – It’s Time
18. Muse – Panic Station
19. Robin Thicke ft Pharrell Williams – Blurred Lines
20. Selena Gomez – Come And Get It
21. Kodaline – High Hopes
22. Mark Owen – Stars
23. Icona Pop ft Charli XCX – I Love It
24. The Uncluded – Delicate Cycle
25. Aluna George – Attracting Flies
26. Frank Turner – Recovery
27. Miles Kane – Give Up
28. Hurts – Miracle
29. Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble
30. Silhouette – Toss It Up
31. Passenger – Let Her Go
32. Matthew Koma – One Night
33. Phoenix – Trying To Be Cool
34. Tom Odell – Hold Me
35. Suede – Hit Me
36. Pink ft Nate Reuss – Just Give Me A Reason
37. Vampire Weekend – Diane Young
38. The Lumineers – Hey Ho
39. Simple Minds – Broken Glass Park
40. Dizzee Rascal ft Robbie Williams – Goin Crazy
41. Paramore – Still Into You
42. Beady Eye – Flick Of The Finger
43. OMD – Dresden
44. The D.O.T – How We All Lie
45. Taylor Swift – 22
46. John Newman – Love Me Again
47. The Courteeners – Van Der Graaf
48. Justin Timberlake – Mirrors
49. Nina Nesbitt – Stay Out
50. The Strypes – Blue Collar Jane