THE FRIDAY FIVE – 7.4.2017

1. The Charlatans – Plastic Machinery
2. Kasabian – You’re In Love With A Psycho
3. James – Sit Down (Game Of Thrones 2017 version)
4. Shed Zeppelin – Good Times, Bad Times, Disco Down
5. The Sundowners – Great Beauty

So, concert news this week. Kasabian, supported by Blossoms playing CHSQ in August. Yes please!!!! Already happy with Kasabian, but Blossoms as support is the icing on the cake. I predicted that Blossoms would be coming back for a festival appearance this summer when I reviewed their recent Limelight gig. I wonder will Orla who got dumped be there. It was a you had to be there moment.

Also, George Ezra will playing The Limelight at the end of next month, previewing songs from his second album. Hopefully, as good as his last Belfast gig. Already got my ticket in the presale. You can read about his last visit here.

Meanwhile, Pet Shop Boys have announced a second Dublin gig in September due to demand. How about a Belfast gig due to demand? I bet they do one on the night Northern Ireland play Czech Republic so I can’t go. What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this?

Meanwhile, Bangor Court House might be turned into a concert venue. Interesting, very interesting.

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

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.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SELECT – DECEMBER 1991

Lenny Kravitz is the cover star of Select, as 1991 comes to an end.

A trend at that time was sampling. Just as trendy, was suing over sampling, so Select made a handy chart of ongoing sampling related court cases that were currently live.

In news, Pet Shop Boys raised £20,000 after doing a benefit gig at Heaven in London for St Mary’s Hospital HIV Unit. In the crowd was Sandie Shaw, Carter USM and James and Ian from EMF.

At time of press, Izzy Stradlin was still a member of Guns n Roses, amid rumours of his departure.

Prizes on offer in competitions include am REM video and posters, and a Cocteau Twins boxset.

Reviews included The Cranberries at The Parkway in Limerick, written by Graham Linehan, who went on to create Father Ted.

The Black Crowes get a three page feature, with singer Chris Robinson taking exception to Rod Stewart comparisons, and stereotypes because he comes from the Deep South.

Also getting three pages, is cover star Lenny Kravitz.

In reviews, INXS have a live album out, which gets 4 stars (out of 5) with the reviewer labelling them “The acceptable face of Stadium Rock”

John Peel, due to celebrate 25 years at Radio 1 in 1992, gets four pages about his career, as he prepares to release a series of Peel Sessions compilations.

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : OCT 3 – OCT 9

This week’s first birthday, is Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac officially becoming an OAP. In 1988, he sold his house, Buckingham Palace, to the British Royal Family for £20m and a signed copy of Rumours.

Unfortunately, there’s not much Mac in the archives, so here’s The Corrs.

It was Gwen Stefani’s birthday this week, of which there is No Doubt.

As yet, Danny from The Script isn’t in the TOTP Hall OF Fame.

Also blowing out candles this week is Chris Lowe, writer of Ian Wright’s 1992 classic Do The Wright Thing , 55 this week.

Remember when Tatu scandalised the nation (well, Richard and Judy) back in 2003?

Bob Geldof, caught in a Rat Trap.

Who wants to see Madness cover The Kinks?

Nicola from Girls Aloud edged another year closer to 30 this week.

And from Girls Aloud, we go to Radiohead ……

Two sadly missed Johns now, to end this week’s round-up.

John Lennon would have been 74 this week.

And a Legs and Co tribute. It’s what he would have wanted.

John Entwhistle would have been 70 this week.

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : JUL 4 – JUL 10

The week after Independence Day, let’s start all American with a video that’s too good not to Cher, sorry, share, about the time Cher went for a walkabout.

Apologies for the poor sound quality (and not because it’s Cher)

And now, the sound of 1999, Roisin Murphy, who turned 41 this week.

Meanwhile, Ringo Starr, narrator of Thomas The Tank Engine, turned 74 his week. Not many people know he had a music career before that. His band was so good, Wet Wet Wet covered one of their songs.

Remember the theme to Ally McBeal? It was rather good.

Marc Almond turned 57 this week. It’s easy to forget he had a brilliant solo number 1. This is from the Christmas 1989 edition, broadcast the day Nicolae Ceaușescu was executed. It’s unknown if he had the chance to watch this before meeting his fate.

Jim Kerr from Simple Minds is still alive and kicking, turned 55 this week.

(Apologies for the sound quality on some of this video)

By 1995, TV Centre in Shepherd’s Bush wasn’t glamourous enough for Simple Minds any more.

Now, people think of Sky Sports when you think of Simple Minds being used in advertising. As a bonus, here’s from when Simple Minds had a brief period as computer salesmen.

And, as a further bonus, here’s Jim Kerr’s ex wife (Behave you lot, no jokes about the number of pop star husbands she’s had)

Meanwhile, Courtney Love hit the big 50 this week.

Jack White turned 39 this week.

And finally, Neil Tennent hits the big 60 this week. You may not know it, but he’s already appeared on this week’s round-up ……… having produced I’m Not Scared by Eighth Wonder.

However, it would be rude not to post videos of his day job.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : RECORD MIRROR – 19.12.1987

A week short of his 30th birthday, and with ‘Fairytale Of New York’ riding high in the charts, Shane Magowan is the cover star of Record Mirror, as Christmas 1987 approaches.

In news, Sinitta is getting ready to release an album, Sheffield is “emerging as the unlikely centre of British Dance Music” and Tiffany is about to launch herself in the UK.

Ever wondered how Tiffany relaxes? “I like to talk on the phone, watch cartoons and go to the mall and eat pizza with my friends” she says.

Queen have released a documentary video, and Heart have announced Birmingham and London gigs for March 1988.

Also announcing gigs were INXS, in Glasgow, Bradford, Cardiff and Leicester – extra dates added due to demand.

There isn’t much in the way of articles, but there is a double page spread with The Alarm, and a photographic history of the Bee Gees.

Stock, Aitken and Waterman are interviewed, speaking about suing M/A/R/R/S, working with Judas Priest singer Rob Halford.

What was SAW’s ambition for 1988?

“For just one week, I want every record in the Top Ten to be produced by us” according to Matt Aitken.

Cover star Shane Magowan gets a double page interview. The interview is with Stuart Baillie, now of Radio Ulster and Oh Yeah Centre.

Back page poster is Pet Shop Boys, quite apt given the cover star, as it was Pet Shop Boys v The Pogues in the battle for Christmas Number 1 in 1987.

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : JAN 3 – JAN 9

Thanks for coming back after last week’s debut for this week’s trawl through the TOTP archive.

Mark Hollis of Talk Talk is 59 this week. He got bored of pop and decided to set up a broadband provider

Exactly a year younger, Bernard Summer has made many TOTP appearances with Joy Division and New Order, but i’m going to throw a curveball and include this from Electronic, who would have been a Manc Supergroup if it wasn’t for the presence of Newcastle’s Neil Tennent.

It’s easy forget how good Electronic were. They did other songs than Getting Away With It, you know.

54 this week, Michael Stipe once had hair. Here’s proof of it.

There aren’t many REM TOTP appearances on the net, but this one, is great.

Also born on 4th January (in this case, 1977) was Tim Wheeler of Ash, for some reason, had their stage cordoned off when performing A Life Less Ordinary in 1997.

While all those were celebrating their birthday in 1986, Phil Lynott died. He once did the TOTP theme but didn’t appear to promote the single, so they got a load of dancers to do it. Check out Peter Powell’s dad dancing.

Exactly 25 years later, Gerry Rafferty died. You should probably stop playing your imaginary Saxophone, i’m not playing that song.

Another death anniversary this week, is Jon Lee from Feeder on 7th January 2002. And yes, I am aware that this week’s round-up is taking a morbid direction.

Back to births, and Kit Kat Brand Ambassador Elvis Presley turns 79. Yep, i’m talking about Elvis in the present tense because well, Elvis lives.

He’s not dead. He’s just, taking a break.

I could show the Legs and Co tribute from the week he faked his death, but instead, i’ll show some 1980s tributes to him.

I only learnt recently that Jimmy Sommerville sang backing vocals on Suspicious Minds (The one by Fine Young Cannibals, in case you were wondering)

And sadly, we go back to death anniversaries, this time, Steve Clark of Def Leppard on 8th January 1991. Feel free to pour some sugar on yourself as a tribute.