OMD – LIVE AT ULSTER HALL 23.10.2019

“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”.

You could read that as a quick return to Belfast to meet up with A-Ha next week, who they toured with in 2018.

Or maybe not, though that would be nice. Whenever it is, i’m sure it will be worth the wait.

Photo Album

OMD live at Mandela Hall 2017

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 21.7.2017

1. OMD – The Punishment Of Luxury
2. The XX – I Dare You
3. Pvris – What’s Wrong
4. Amy MacDonald – Down By The Water
5. Linkin Park – In The End

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 7.8.2015

1. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Lock All The Doors
2. OMD – Enola Gay
3. Delta Goodrem – Wings
4. Dennis Waterman – I Could Be So Good For You
5. Florence and the Machine – Queen Of Peace

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 6.3.2015

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

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : NO 1 – 13.9.1986

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.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 18.4.2014

1. Echo and the Bunnymen – Lovers On The Run
2. U2 – Invisible
3. Coldplay – Magic
4. Luke Sital-Singh – Greatest Lovers
5. Neil Finn – Dizzy Heights

Special treat now for English readers …….. it’s your National Day next week. So, as is tradition, i’ll give you a chart

FIVE TRACKS BY ENGLISH ARTISTS

1. Oasis – She Is Love
2. Cast – Finetime
3. Tears For Fears – Break It Down Again
4. OMD – Enola Gay
5. Embrace – You’re Not Alone

THE HALF-TERM HALF CENTURY

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

THE SOUND OF (THREE-QUARTERS OF) 2010

As regular readers of this blog in it’s various incarnations will know, I like my music.

Since I started up a blog (On Bebo, in 2006) I used to list the five songs I was enjoying most that week, and then, in July, post my Top 50 of the year, and then a Top 100 in December (Usually drip fed, 20 or 25 songs at a time)

Since moving my regular blogging activity to WordPress, I have continued by having a Top 50 in July (I don’t actually do a Top 5 each week anymore) and will have a Top 100 in time for Christmas (I haven’t decided wether to dripfeed in 20 or 25 at a time)

As with tradition, they will be posted on Thursday nights. I don’t know how Thursday night became my blogging night, it just did.

So, just thought i’d share some songs i’m loving at the moment.

I know for a fact that when I had my blog on Bebo, people read it and sourced out the songs as usually within a few days of posting, they would have the video as their flashbox.

So, you can thank me in advance for introducing you to some new songs.

Ellie Goulding – The Writer

Amazing song by an amazing singer. The only one of her singles this year which comes close to matching the brilliance of her (criminally low charting) debut, ‘Under The Sheets

One Night Only – Say You Don’t Want It

Ignore the fact that Emma Watson is guesting in the video, THIS, is an amazing tune, by a band I loved back in 2008 when they released their debut single ‘Just For Tonight

A fastpaced footstomper you could just listen to on a constant loop, it makes me wish I could pick up a guitar, and write a song this good.

OMD – If You Want It

I’ve already blogged about how much I love OMD, and when you wait 14 years to release new material, it had better be worth the wait. This is, despite the fact, or perhaps because of, it sounds like ‘Wake Up‘ by Arcade Fire.

Not quite forgiven, but Andy McCusky is slightly redeemed for being the brains behind Atomic Kitten.

The Klaxons – Echoes

The Klaxons are fucking amazing. Nothing else to add really. Unlike OMD, only a 3 year wait. Worth it.

Ting Tings – Hands

You know what you get with the Ting Tings, usually songs you can dance, jog or do whatever you want to.

Silhouette – Volume Destroyed

Big shout out for a local singer with an amazing song that sounds brilliant on 1st, 2nd or 1,000th listen.

Marina and the Diamonds – Shampain

Words cannot express how much I love Marina after hearing her debut single ‘Hollywood

Saw her live at Mandela Hall this year, and she was amazing.

She’s doing a concert at the Nerve Centre next month. If you’re in the area, I suggest you go and see for yourself.

I’m in Manchester that weekend, but if I wasn’t i’d be making arrangements to be a ‘Derry Diamond’ for the night.

This song, with nods towards ‘Magic‘ by Ladyhawke and ‘Love Is A Stranger‘ by Eurythmics is the best of her releases this year.