THE FRIDAY FIVE – 8.2.2019

1. Foals – Exits
2. Richard Ashcroft – That’s When I Feel It
3. Lovelytheband – Broken
4. Blossoms – How Long Will This Last?
5. Ten Tonnes – Better Than Me

THE SOUND OF 2018

Better late than never, I decided to wait until the first day of 2019 to post my favourite songs of 2018.

It would have been a shame not to continue the tradition of this award* (*Disclaimer, no actual trophy) that goes all the way back to 2006.

I cobbled this up after browsing through my Friday Fives from 2018 with absolutely no scientific methodology whatsoever. So, here it is, the Top 50 Songs Of 2018.

1. Loveleytheband – Broken
2. Alice Merton – No Roots
3. Kyle Falconer – Family Tree
4. Rasmussen – Higher Ground
5. AJR ft Rivers Cuomo – Sober Up
6. Mumford and Sons – Guiding Light
7. Pale Waves – Eighteen
8. Jade Bird – Uh Huh
9. Kyle Falconer – Poor Me
10. Richard Ashcroft – That’s When I Feel It
11. George Ezra – Shotgun
12. Kylie Minogue – Dancing
13. Tom Grennan- Sober
14. Chvrches – Graffiti
15. Kyle Falconer – Kelly
16. Rudimental – These Days
17. Manic Street Preachers – Hold Me Like A Heaven
18. The Coral – Reaching Out For A Friend
19. Portugal, The Man – Feel It Still
20. Snow Patrol – Don’t Give In
21. Sam Fender – That Sound
22. Madame Monsieur – Mercy
23. James – Coming Home (Part II)
24. Manic Street Preachers – Distant Colours
25. Blossoms – I Can’t Stand It
26. Christine and the Queens – Girlfriend
27. Kylie Minogue – Stop Me From Falling
28. Snow Patrol – Empress
29. Dennis Lloyd – Nevermind
30. The Kooks – Four Leaf Clover
31. Blossoms – There’s A Reason Why
32. APRE – All Yours
33. Ash – Annabel
34. Pound Shop Boys – Fireman Sam
35. Editors – Cold
36. Vampire Weekend ft Danielle Haim – Sone Of A Preacher Man
37. Weezer – Africa
38. Natalie Prass – Short Court Style
39. Hozier – Nina Cried Power
40. Sleeper – Look AtYou Now
41. Turin Brakes – Lifeforms
42. Arctic Monkeys – Four Out Of Five
43. Yonaka – Creature
44. Florence and the Machine – Hunger
45. Courtney Barrett – Nameless Faceless
46. Weezer – Roseanna
47. Ten Tonnes – G.I.V.E
48. Razorlight – Carry Yourself
49. Ash – Confessions In ThePool
50. Aurora – Queendom

So, congratulations to Loveleytheband on winning this year’s poll.

If you haven’t heard it, the video is below.

They join an illustrious list of former winners, listed below.

2017 Liam Gallagher – For What It’s Worth
2016 The Strumbellas – Spirits
2015 Blossoms – Charlemagne
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

2018 IN PICTURES – JUNE

Not a lot happened in June 2018. All I did was go to see Richard Ashcroft and Liam Gallagher at Belsonic, and getting some Street Art photos out and about in Belfast.

Richard Ashcroft live at Ormeau Park

Richard Ashcroft live at Ormeau Park Photo Album

Liam Gallagher live at Ormeau Park

Liam Gallagher live at Ormeau Park

York Street Art

York Street Art Photo Album

Landmarks

Landmarks Photo Album

RICHARD ASHCROFT- LIVE AT ORMEAU PARK (BELSONIC) 16.6.2018

This year marks ten years since the first Belsonic. In those ten years, it has expanded, moved venue, changed month and then changed venue again.

When it started, it was mid August in Custom House Square. Now it is mid June in Ormeau Park.

Walking towards the venue, there were boardings put up to cut off the venue for the concert from the rest of the park. It looked rather drab. I couldn’t help but think that a mural featuring those acts who have performed at Belsonic over the past decade would have brightened up the venue.

Due to the wide nature of acts peforming, it is impossible for someone to be a fan of every act. Just the one Belsonic concert for me this year, as Richard Ashcroft would be to support Liam Gallagher, just as he did the previous night at Malahide Castle in Dublin.

The two of them will already be used to each other, having toured North America together in May.

For Richard Ashcroft, it would be a long awaited return to Belfast. The most recent gig as a solo artist (The Verve did play The Odyssey) that I am aware of is him supporting Coldplay at The Odyssey in 2005.

Upon arrival in Belfast, Ashcroft went exploring the city. I was hoping he might re-enact the Bittersweet Symphony video in the City Centre, just to send out a message to the slow walkers and footpath blockers.

He didn’t venture too far from Ormeau Park, heading to 16 Burren Way in Cregagh. If you don’t know, that’s the childhood home of George Best, and boasted to the crowd that he did a few keepy-uppies outside it.

As he entered the stage, he dedicated his performance to George Best, even having a mannequin with the Northern Ireland shirt as a stage prop, the shirt printing of ASHCROFT 11 being clear for all to see.

I’ve been a fan of Richard Ashcroft for a long time, especially loving Urban Hymns by The Verve and his debut solo album Alone With Everybody.

Disappointingly, none of the big singles from his debut solo album were played, such as Song For The Lovers, I Get My Beat, Money To Burn and C’mon People.

Ashcroft was delayed getting on stage by about fifteen minutes. Thankfully, due to the delays in getting in.

Security searches getting in were segregated by gender. The breakdown of the crowd was overwhelmingly male. It was obvious this would be the case.

However, staffing did not reflect this. While men were made to wait in slow moving queues, women were able to get in quicker.

If you were a woman or part of a group of women attending with a man or group of men, you were having to loiter about and wait for your friend(s) to get through.

Surely, getting info from sales from Ticketmaster could have helped them prepare better.

The same complaint would apply if it was an act appearing who would attract a majority female audience at their concerts.

Going through security, I had a bar of chocolate confiscated. Yes, really.

Cigarettes and vapes are fine, but a bar of chocolate is not allowed. What sort of fucked-up society are we living in?

There were times when you could barely breathe due to the fumes, but apparently someone having a bar of chocolate is more of a health and safety concern?

The Eventsec goon who confiscated my chocolate didn’t look when chucking it in a bag, and it hit the top of the bag and didn’t go in. I took back what was mine when he was searching people after me. Up yours Eventsec.

As hinted, this was another outdoor event in Belfast infested with fucking tramps that can’t go a few hours without a smoke. Literally surrounded by them.

Am I the only person who sees this?

As a society, we seem to just scratch our arses when it comes to the matter.

I know I keep mentioning it, but i’m going to keep mentioning it until it gets tackled and addressed.

Belfast City Council could take the lead on the matter and make smoke free venues a clause when granting licences for events.

If the Organisers can instruct Eventsec to confiscate chocolate from people, they can get Eventsec to confiscate cigarettes and vapes. Put it on the posters and tickets so everybody knows.

If somebody complains, fuck em, They can fuck off and go elsewhere. Society is moving on, and we don’t need tramps like that infesting outdoor events.

The important thing is, nobody was able to bring any chocolate into the venue.

Back to Ashcroft, and unsurprisingly, we was belting out a lot of The Verve’s hits – Sonnet (shamefully low chart position) and Lucky Man, which he dedicated to Kate, who I presume is Kate Radley from Spiritualized, his wife.

The Drugs Don’t Work, The Verve’s only Number 1, is a bloody awful song. He performed it, but solo acoustically, and it wasn’t that bad, to be fair.

Ashcroft, then went into a Yer Da type rant about how music was better in the old days, while revealing that he doesn’t do “Banter” with the crowd because he can’t hear them due to an earpiece.

He was pumped up, throwing his microphone down during one song, and by the end of the show, having half of his shirt unbuttoned, and pulling a muscleman pose similar to Mario Balotelli when he scored against Germany in Euro 2012.

We also got some solo hits, such as the fantastic Break The Night With Colour, before he ended on Bittersweet Symphony, before announcing that he will be returning to Belfast before the end of the year, but left us all in suspense by not saying where or when.

Looking forward to it.

Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 22.6.2018

1. Richard Ashcroft – Break The Night With Colour
2. Liam Gallagher – I’ve All I Need
3. Miles Kane – Loaded
4. The Kooks – No Pressure
5. Florence and the Machine – Hunger

Exciting news, 1986 episodes of Top Of The Pops will be starting next month. Can’t wait.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MELODY MAKER – 12.4.2000

Bloodhound Gang are this week’s cover stars, billed as “America’s most outrageous band” after their massive hit The Bad Touch.

In news, Richard Ashcroft has just launched a solo career, but has promised to play some of The Verve’s songs at V2000.

In other news, Black Box Recorder hit out at their record label for sending out booklets on safe sex alongside promotional copies of their new single to radio stations.

Sara Cox has just taken over Radio 1’s Breakfast Show, and Melody Maker does a three way comparison against Virgin Radio (Chris Evans) and XFM (Ian Camfield)

Cover stars Bloodhound Gang are inteviewed, proudly declaring that they would love to be at the forefont of the dumbing down of America.

Danny and Richard McNamara of Embrace are the subject of a Q and A, and have differing opinions about the subject of watching an execution on TV. Danny wouldn’t but Richard would.

In reviews, Daphne and Celeste are reviewing singles, giving the Single Of The Week award to Thong Song by Sisqo.

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THE SOUND OF 2016 : 26-51

26. Rory Lavelle – All These Horrors
27. Blink 182 – Bored To Death
28. Foxes – Feet Don’t Fail Me Now
29. Bloc Party – Virtue
30. Rag n Bone Man – Human
31. Manic Street Preachers – Feels Like Heaven
32. Blossoms – At Most A Kiss
33. ABC – The Flames Of Desire
34. The Afghan Whigs – Regret
35. KT Tunstall – Hard Girls
36. Tegan and Sara – Boyfriend
37. Two Door Cinema Club – Bad Decisions
38. The 1975 – The Sound
39. Bloc Party – Stunt Queen
40. Taylor Swift – Out Of The Woods
41. Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Come With Us
42. Jamie T – Power Over Men
43. Oasis – D’Ya Know What I Mean (Mustique Demo)
44. The Last Shadow Puppets – Bad Habits
45. Jake Bugg – Gimme The Love
46. The Coral – Miss Fortune
47. The Last Shadow Puppets – Aviation
48. Richard Ashcroft – These People
49. Oasis – Don’t Go Away (Mustique Demo)
50. Lukas Graham – 7 Years

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 2.12.2016

1. Rag n Bone Man – Human
2. Clean Cut Kid – Make Believe
3. Rory Lavelle – All These Horrors
4. Madness – Can’t Touch Us Now
5. Two Door Cinema Club – Outside

One of the best things about this time of year is that concerts for the following summer get announced. One such concert, is Green Day at Ormeau Park in Belfast.

Undecided about going to this, as it’s going to be a Shitebagfest. That’s not a slight on Green Day fans, it’s just the nature of big outdoor concerts in Belfast sadly.

I’ve seen Green Day before, at T In The Park in 2002. They did a cover of Shout by Lulu and were backed by a brass band in fancy dress.

Anyway, here’s a Green Day Top Five

FIVE SONGS BY GREEN DAY

1. 21 Guns
2. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
3. The Saints Are Coming (with U2)
4. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)
5. Warning

Meanwhile, Sounds Of The City in Manchester announced their line-up. It’s an outdoor event at Castlefield Bowl. It usually has a brilliant line-up, and this year is no exception. James and Blossoms would be a great weekend if you plan on heading over.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS PERFORMING AT SOUNDS OF THE CITY

1. James – She’s A Star
2. Blossoms – Charlemagne
3. Richard Ashcroft – C’mon People (We’re Making It Now)
4. The Levellers – One Way Of Live
5. The Waterboys – The Whole Of The Moon

2016 : THE HALF-TERM HALF CENTURY

It’s that time of year again, where we have reached the halfway point. So, as is tradition, it’s time to look back at the 50 best songs of the year so far.

1. The Strumbellas – Spirits
2. James – Nothing But Love
3. Iggy Pop – Gardenia
4. Blossoms – Getaway
5. Aurora – Conquerer
6. Travis – Magnificent Time
7. Blossoms – At Most A Kiss
8. Grimes – California
9. The Lumineers – Ophelia
10. James – Dear John
11. Christine and the Queens – Tilted
12. Stone Roses – All For One
13. Bloc Party – Virtue
14. Manic Street Preachers – Feels Like Heaven
15. Taylor Swift – Out Of The Woods
16. Last Shadow Puppets – Bad Habits
17. The Temper Trap – Fall Together
18. The Coral – Miss Fortune
19. The Last Shadow Puppets – Aviation
20. Jake Bugg – Gimme The Love
21. Lukas Graham – 7 Years
22. White Spaces ft Jim Kerr – The Man Who Sold The World
23. Tom Odell – Magnetised
24. Foxes – Feet Don’t Fail Me Now
25. Tegan and Sara – Boyfriend
26. Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
27. Ellie Goulding – Army
28. Biffy Clyro – Wolves Of Winter
29. Halsey – New Americana
30. Richard Ashcroft – This Is How It Feels
31. Bruce Springsteen – Purple Rain
32. The 1975 – The Sound
33. DNCE – Cake By The Ocean
34. Lorde – Life On Mars?
35. The 1975 – A Change Of Heart
36. All Saints – One Strike
37. Laura Tesoro – What’s The Pressure?
38. Birdy – Keeping You Head Up
39. Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz – Midnight Gold
40. Tame Impala – The Less I Know The Better
41. Paul Simon – Wristband
42. Laura Mvula – Overcome
43. Manic Street Preachers – Together Stronger
44. Sergey Lazarev – You Are The Only One
45. Graham Nash – This Path Tonight
46. Tegan and Sara – U-Turn
47. Chvrches – Warning Call
48. Richard Ashcroft – Hold On
49. Nina Nesbitt – Chewing Gum
50. Travis – 3 Miles High