THE FRIDAY FIVE – 28.7.2017

1. Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott – Here I Go Again
2. Starsailor – All This Life
3. Chainsmokers – Young
4. Paul Weller – Woo Se Mama
5. The Cribs- Rainbow Ridge

This Tuesday, is International Yorkshire Day. So, to celebreate, here’s a chart of songs by Yorkshire acts. Ay up.

FIVE SONGS BY YORKSHIRE ACTS

1. Embrace – You’re Not Alone
2. Pulp – A Little Soul
3. Heaven 17 – Temptation
4. Shed Seven – Disco Down
5. Kaiser Chiefs – Modern Way

PS : Still looking for a Standing ticket for Ryan Adams at Ulster Hall in September. Face Value only. Do get in touch.

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THE FRIDAY FIVE – 16.6.2017

1. The Killers – The Man
2. George Ezra – Don’t Matter Now
3. Adam West – Minding My Business
4. Lindsay Buckingham and Christine McVie – Red Sun
5. Nerina Pallot – Stay Lucky

It was announced that Paul Weller is coming to Belfast in February next year. It’s the day after my birthday too. Wish me luck in getting a ticket for this, even though he was a grumpy arse the last time he was in Belfast.

So, to celebrate, here’s a Paul Weller chart

FIVE SONGS BY PAUL WELLER

1. Paul Weller – Changingman
2. The Jam – Beat Surrender
3. Paul Weller – Sunflower
4. Paul Weller – Mermaids
5. The Jam – Start

Apparently, there’s a thing called Manchester Day. It’s this Sunday. That sounds like an excuse for a Manchester themed chart.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM MANCHESTER

1. Oasis – Don’t Go Away
2. Puressence – It Doesn’t Matter Anymore
3. The Courteeners – Van Der Graaff
4. New Order – True Faith
5. The Smiths – Panic

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 5.5.2017

1. The Divine Comedy – Blue Monday
2. Paramore – Told You So
3. Haim – Want You Back
4. Paul Weller – One Tear
5. Marillion – Kayleigh

I hate it when bands I like play Tennent’s Vital. I’d love to go and see Muse but I can’t be bothered to pay money to stand miles away from the stage surrounded by shitebags and smelly tramps while mates of sponsors just waltz in after me and get a better view.

Think i’ll just wait until their next Odyssey gig.

Ryan Adams update. Still looking for a standing ticket for his Ulster Hall gig in September. Face Value.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 31.3.2017

1. The Kooks – Be Who You Are
2. Paul Weller – Long Long Road
3. Brian Pern – Poundland Polly
4. The Foundations – Baby Now That I Found You
5. Gorillaz – We Got The Power

Apologies for forgetting last week, but Reginald Dwight turned 70 last week. You probably know him better by his alter ego Elton Hercules John.

So, to belatedly celebrate, here’s five Elton John songs for you

FIVE SONGS BY ELTON JOHN

1. I’m Still Standing
2. Made In England
3. Passengers
4. Can You Fee The Love Tonight?
5. I Want Love

Switzerland Squared has announced a new headliner, Walking On Cars. They’re ok. If you love The Coronas or Kodaline, this will be your thing. I hoped to see them when they supported Ellie Goulding at Belsonic last year but they were on too early. Hopefully, there’ll be more CHSQ headliners announced.

The latest in acts I like announcing tours but not doing Belfast – Pet Shop Boys and Paul Weller.

The timetable of Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival was launched yesterday. I haven’t had a chance to properly look through the programme yet. You can do so here.

I’m already going to The Divine Comedy and Rich Hall.

Staying with the Cathedral Quarter, it’s under threat. You can read more about it here or like the Facebook page here.

Ryan Adams update. Still looking for a ticket for Ulster Hall in September. Standing, Fave Value. Ta very much.

And finally, RIP Brian Pern. Singer. Actor. Entertainer. Father. Husband. Snail Welfare Campaigner.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 23.12.2016 (AND SOME MUSICAL THOUGHTS FOR 2017)

1. Robert Goulet – Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
2. The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping
3. Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas
4. Fountains of Wayne – Alien For Christmas
5. John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

You didn’t think I wouldn’t have any Christmas songs this week? I’m not that much of a Scrooge.

Somebody started a rumour that i’ve cleared my diary to watch Christmas With Daniel O’Donnell on RTE 1 at 9.30pm tomorrow. It might be true, or it might not be true.

This week, saw the first headliners for Belsonic 2017 announced, a lot earlier than usual (recent years have been announced between February and April)

Just the two announced, and they were, well, underwhelming.

If you don’t know, it’s Jess Glynne and Axwell Ingrosso (who sounds like a Swiss footballer)

I know i’m guilty of complaining about bands I don’t like/have never heard of being on the bill when Belsonic headliners are announced, because I should know by now that not every Belsonic concert will appeal to me due to the line-up being so vast and varied.

These concerts will be at Ormeau Park, the third venue in the last three years. It’s slightly concerning that it’s starting to have a nomadic existence like what Tennent’s Vital used to have.

I thought Titanic worked as a venue in my own observations. Spatious, easy to get to and out of. I didn’t experience any real problems, even though Ormeau Park will be very convenient for me.

I really hope they don’t go down the Tennent’s Vital route of having pits. I find the idea that someone could just turn up ten minutes before showtime and get a better view than me, simply because they’re mates of a mate of a mate of a mate of someone who works for a sponsor.

I love Belsonic because it’s not Tennent’s Vital. I really hope it doesn’t go down a road of trying to be Tennent’s Vital.

I would imagine there will be more concerts announced in the new year.

One of the fun things I like to do when announcements are announced is to try and predict who will be performing.

As you can see from the link, my predictions were well off.

Belsonic isn’t the only festival in Belfast/Greater Belfast. There’s also Catherdal Quarter Arts Festival, Feile and Open House Festival (Bangor) which will be staging concerts.

So, i’m going to post my musical hopes for people coming to Belfast. The only 2017 concert I have in my diary is Blossoms. They’re brilliant. You may remember them winning The Sound Of 2015 on this blog. If you want to see how good they are, they’ll be on Top Of The Pops on New Year’s Eve.

You may remember me getting excited about Simple Minds coming to Waterfront Hall in June next year. Well, it’s an all seated gig and I can’t be arsed with that.

So, i’m going to post my hopes for those who I would love to come to Belfast in 2017.

Cast and Embrace will have albums out in 2017, so hopefully they’ll fit in a Belfast gig.

Kaiser Chiefs, Paul Weller, The Kooks, Amy MacDonald, KT Tunstall and Two Door Cinema Club all have 2017 tours announced but no Belfast gig. Hopefully some of them well be adding Belfast to their schedule.

Rose Elinor Dougall is a singer I absolutely adore, a former member of The Pipettes (Remember them? They were brilliant too) who is releasing her first album in six years, so i’m hoping she stops off in Belfast.

This week, Red Hot Chili Peppers were supposed to be doing two concerts in Dublin, but due to Anthony Kiedis being unwell, they have been postponed until September 2017.

Wouldn’t it be great if they snuck in a couple of Odyssey gigs around that.

If you were to sum up 2017 in four words, it would be ………… LIAM. GALLAGHER. SOLO. ALBUM. Which i’m hoping is as entertaining as his Twitter.

It may be brilliant, it may be bad, it won’t be boring. Cannot wait for it. Potato.

Meanwhile, the race for Christmas Number 1 (Usually dominated by X-Factor in the same way Celtic have dominated the SPL over the last few years) is between Rangers and Little Mix, which gives me an excuse to post my favourite Youtube videos, from the time Celtic and Rangers players formed a band with a man in a tiger costume to record a charity single to promote Glasgow as a tourist destination.

Think of it as my seasonal gift to you.

Merry Christmas.

THE SOUND OF 2015 : 1-25

So here we go, what you’ve been waiting for …….. The Top 25 songs of 2015. Enjoy.

1. Blossoms – Charlemagne
2. The Strypes – Get Into It
3. Chvrches – Leave A Trace
4. Muse – Revolt
5. Chemical Brothers – Go
6. Muse – Mercy
7. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Ballad Of The Mighty I
8. Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
9. Florence and the Machine – Queen Of Peace
10. Everything Everything – Spring/Sun/Winter/Dread
11. Calvin Harris ft Haim – Pray To God
12. Mumford and Sons – The Wolf
13. The 1975 – Love Me
14. Little Mix – Black Magic
15. Taylor Swift – Style
16. Mini Mansions – Death Is A Girl
17. Florence and the Machine – Ship To Wreck
18. Muse – Dead Inside
19. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats – SOB
20. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – You Know We Can’t Go Back
21. FFS – Piss Off
22. John Newman – Come And Get It
23. Everything Everything – Regret
24. Soak – Sea Creatures
25. Paul Weller – Saturn’s Pattern

So, congratulations to Blossoms. I bet they didn’t think that supporting Paul Weller and The Charlatans on tour could be topped, but it has.

If you haven’t heard the song before, here you go …..

They join an illustrious list of winners. Sadly, Bebo has wiped their archive, so I can’t link you 2006-2008.

THE SOUND OF …… PAST WINNERS

2014 Jamie T – Zombie
2013 Haim – The Wire
2012 Taylor Swift – We Are Never 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

2015 IN PICTURES – NOVEMBER

November took a while to get going, my first adventure being on the 7th, to see Linfield take on Crusaders. I would be spending a lot of time at Windsor Park in the opening fortnight of the month.

Windsor Park is where I would be based in the opening two weekends of the month, taking in Northern Ireland’s friendly against Latvia, then Linfield’s match against Cliftonville the next day.

The following midweek was all about music, as Paul Weller and U2 came to Belfast.

The busy month continued when I took in my annual Ulster European game, a defeat to Saracens.

The final two Saturdays of the month saw me on the road, to see Linfield lose in Mid-Ulster against Glenavon and Portadown.

Sandwiched inbetween that, was a trip to Manchester to see United take on PSV Eindhoven, where I also took the opportunity to get some Street Art photos.

Linfield v Crusaders

Northern Ireland v Latvia

Northern Ireland v Latvia Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

Paul Weller live at Waterfront Hall

Paul Weller live at Waterfront Hall Photo Album

U2 live at The Odyssey

U2 live at The Odyssey Photo Album

Ulster v Saracens

Ulster v Saracens Photo Album

Glenavon v Linfield

Manchester Street Art November 2015

Manchester Street Art November 2015 Photo Album

Manchester United v PSV Eindhoven

Manchester United v PSV Eindhoven Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

PAUL WELLER – LIVE AT WATERFRONT HALL 16.11.2015

Paul Weller rolled into Belfast on Monday night as he kicked off his Winter 2015 Tour at Waterfront Hall. This was my first time seeing him, despite him being a relatively regular visitor to Belfast.

Last year, I had toyed with the idea of making his concert at Kilmainham Hospital in Dublin my first Weller gig, especially as the support was Tom Odell, but it being a midweek gig and needing to save my Annual Leave, I decided against it.

More tours followed, including a tour in early 2015 of lesser toured towns in the UK, before a full UK tour for Winter, with no Belfast. I was tempted by Manchester (Saturday 27th November) but the football fixtures didn’t go in my favour.

Eventually, I was rewarded when he announced a gig at Waterfront Hall. This year marks 40 years since Weller’s first gig, as a member of The Jam.

I first became a fan of Weller in 1995, when he released The Changingman, discovering his solo work, and then his back catalogue with The Jam and Style Council.

Weller was supported by Blossoms, from Stockport, who are supporting The Charlatans on tour next month, and have had their February gig in Belfast upgraded from Voodoo to The Limelight.

I was already in love with their single Charlemagne, but the rest of their set wasn’t bad.

Weller is a man of few words, not muttering much between songs, apart from the usual rock star pleasantries. In fact, it was Steve Cradock, taking time out from his day job with Ocean Colour Scene, to tour with Weller (he has played on all of Weller’s solo albums, and usually fits Weller duties around OCS duties), who said more between songs, introducing a section of Style Council hits.

The best of those, was Long Hot Summer. Already a brilliant song, the drums and bass get enhanced live at make it sound better.

A new album out this year, Weller performed the two lead singles from Saturn’s Pattern, the title track and Going My Way, both excellent and warmly received.

There were also some of his earlier solo hits such as Into Tomorrow, Friday Street and Peacock Suit, before he finished, rather confusingly, with Start, one of his biggest hits with The Jam.

It takes a strange sense of humour to play a song called Start at the end of a gig.

Technical problems meant there was a delay in his encore, before he did come out. Fans had expected to be hearing the likes of The Changingman, Out Of The Sinking, Mermaids, Sunflower, Wild Wood or You Do Something To Me.

They didn’t get to hear any of them. They didn’t even get A Town Called Malice.

Weller left the crowd wanting more, but not in a good way.

Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 13.11.2015

1. X-Ambassadors – Renegades
2. Cee-Lo – Music To My Soul
3. Fleur East – Sax
4. Bear’s Den – Agape
5. Coldplay – Adventure Of A Lifetime

It’s a good week for gig goers in Belfast. Today, tickets go on sale for Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott (tickets shall be purchased for that) and Busted (Just a Public Service Announcement, i’m not purchasing one for that) while Paul Weller and U2 are due in town in the next seven days. Ever so slightly looking forward to those two.

Meanwhile, next Thursday is International Men’s Day. In celebration of all that manliness (grrr) here’s a man based music chart.

FIVE SONGS BY MEN

1. Ryan Adams – Bad Blood
2. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA …… What A Life
3. Paul Weller – The Changingman
4. John Parr – St Elmo’s Fire
5. Elton John – I’m Still Standing

FIVE SONGS WITH BOY, MAN OR MEN IN THE TITLE

1. Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror
2. Texas – Black Eyed Boy
3. Andrew Gold – Lonely Boy
4. David Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World
5. REM – Man On The Moon

FIVE SONGS WITH MALE NAMES IN THE TITLE

1. Rick Springfield – Jesse’s Girl
2. Elliott Smith – Son Of Sam
3. Wonder Villains – Oh Peter
4. Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros – Johnny Appleseed
5. Kasabian – Stevie