THE FRIDAY FIVE – 5.1.2018

1. Anteros – Bonnie
2. Manic Street Preachers – International Blue
3. Vic and Bob – Trousers
4. Simple Minds – Magic
5. U2 – What’s Going On?

It’s cold, it’s wet, people are moaning about FA Cup ties not being shown on TV and grief junkieing over David Bowie. That can only mean one thing ……… it’s January.

At this time of year, there is one question we all ask, and this year, the answer is once again yes. If you haven’t worked it out yet, BBC Four’s Top Of The Pops repeats will continue into 1985.

You will be glad to know that The Story Of 1985 will be on BBC Four at 9pm. It’ll be a lot more entertaining that Liverpool 0-0 Everton on BBC 1.

To commemorate this, here’s a 1985 chart for you


1. A-Ha – Take On Me
2. Simple Minds – Don’t You (Forget About Me)
3. Stephen Duffy – Kiss Me
4. Kate Bush – Cloudbusting
5. Baltimora – Tarzan Boy


THE FRIDAY FIVE – 1.12.2017

1. Tom Grennan – Found What I’ve Been Looking For
2. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – If Love Is The Law
3. Sia – Santa’s Coming For Us
4. Embrace – Wake Up Call
5. The Divine Comedy – Something For The Weekend

First of all, an apology. To the entire nation of Scotland. Yes.

Yesterday was St Andrew’s Day and I forgot to do a themed chart last week. So, belatedly, here is a St Andrew’s Day chart, celebrating two of the best things on earth – Scotland and people called Andrew.


1. Pilot – Magic
2. Simple Minds – She’s A River
3. The View – Blondie
4. Aztec Camara – Somewhere In My Heart
5. Strawberry Switchblade – Since Yesterday


1. Wax – Bridge To Your Heart
2. Wham – Freedom
3. Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down Again
4. INXS – Afterglow
5. Primal Scream – Jailbird

Sorry to Oasis, Duran Duran and OMD, but this chart is for Andrews only, no Andys.

It was announced that Blossoms will be supporting Noel Gallagher on his European tour next year. Fingers crossed they’ll be supporting him on his UK dates as well. The fact they’ll be touring in 2018 means we can hopefully expect new music from them as well. They’re brilliant by the way. If you haven’t already, you should check them out.

If there are any readers in the South-East of England, Victorious looks like it has a decent line-up on the Friday night : Lightning Seeds, Shed Seven and Kaiser Chiefs all playing on the Friday. Admittedly, Libertines headlining is underwhelming. Still, you can just use the time to get a bite to eat/go to the bar/go home early. Not going to lie, i’m jealous of that line-up.

….. and talking of Shed Seven, they’ve announced a Belfast gig to go with their rearranged concerts that were recently cancelled. Now that’s what I call a stroke of luck. I’ll be trying to get a ticket later this morning.

Finally, it’s the World Cup draw today. I’ll be doing a themed chart for each group with songs by artists from the countries when it comes along in June. I’d rather be including Baltimora than Yello to be honest. I’m over it, i’m over it. Ok, i’m still not over it. If Switzerland end up in a group with Panama, Russia and Iran, I might just cry.


It’s a double sided issue of Smash Hits this week, with Arcadia on the cover on one side, and The Cult on the other.

Simon and Nick from Arcadia are interviewed. You may remember them more as Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran.

Simon reveals he can fix a puncture on a bicycle, while Nick dyed his hair black to avoid attention.

Iron Maiden are interviewed, where they reveal they cry at lassie films, and quite like Wham!

Keith Chegwin is the subject of a Q and A, where he reveals that he borrow’s Sarah Green’s make-up.

As you turn the magazine around, there is an interview with Echo and the Bunnymen, back after a year off, and all four members tell Smash Hits what they were up to.

Cover stars The Cult get a double page interview.

Paul King, lead singer of King and future VH1 presenter reviews the singles, giving his vote for Best Single to The Fall.

In album reviews, Blancmange get 8 out 10, while Simple Minds only managed 7 out of 10.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 3.2.2017

1. Cast – Faith
2. Rose Elinor Dougall – Hell and Back
3. London Grammar – Big Picture
4. Blondie – Fun
5. The 1975 – Chocolate

Been an interesting week for gig announcements. The 1975 will be playing Belsonic. That’ll do nicely. I know they’ll be at the tail end of a tour they’ve been doing for eighteen months, nut it’s a tour that hasn’t taken in Belfast or Northern Ireland so far, so it’ll be great to belatedly have them here.

Simple Minds announced KT Tunstall as support for their Waterfront Hall gig. Not that surprising, she is supporting them in Europe. The down side is that it’ll lessen the chances of KT Tunstall doing her own gig in Belfast this year.

I was planning on going to that but decided I couldn’t be bothered once it turned out to be an all seated gig. Anyway, i’ll be otherwise engaged, as i’m going to see Limmy at Mandela Hall that night.

Rose Elinor Dougall has announced a tour for April but there’s no Belfast gig. Got her album this week but haven’t got round to listening to it in full yet.

If you’re planning on going to Scotland this summer, TRNSMT line-up looks decent, especially the Saturday.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 6.1.2017

1. Amy MacDonald – Dream On
2. The Killers ft Paul McCartney – Helter Skelter
3. Rag n Bone Man – Reach Out I’ll Be There
4. Bastille – Blame
5. Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular

Listen up Pop Pickers, I bring you the news you’ve all been craving, that the Top Of The Pops repeats on BBC Four will continue into 1983.

Tonight on BBC Four is Top Of The Pops : The Story Of 1983 at 9pm, followed by a clip show, and then the first 1983 episode will be on next week.

To celebrate this, here’s some tunes from 1983 for you.


1. Siouxsie and the Banshees – Dear Prudence
2. Culture Club – Karma Chameleon
3. Simple Minds – Waterfont
4. David Bowie – Let’s Dance
5. Men At Work – Down Under

As a bonus, Saturday night on BBC Two (9pm) is the documentary David Bowie : The Last Five Years. The subject is self explanatory.

Meanwhile, over the Christmas period, BBC Four broadcast Pop Quiz – The Comeback. A show which is self explanatory, it’s a music quiz. I’ve only seen the first one (I have the second one recorded to watch this weekend) but I feel both proud and ashamed of the fact that I got 99% of the questions right.

I’m hoping to get 100% right when I get round to watching the second episode.


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 FRIDAY FIVE – 9.12.2016

1. Blossoms – Blown Rose
2. Marble Gods – I Remember Xmas
3. The Courteeners – The 17th
4. Elbow – Magnificent (She Says)
5. Dua Lipa – Be The One

Oh, and two words for you – SIMPLE MINDS!!!! Coming to Belfast next June to do an Acoustic gig. Their Acoustic gig for Radio 2 a few weeks back was rather good, as are the snippets of their Acoustic album. If you’re stuck to get me a Christmas present, there’s a hint for you.

Now, to make sure I get a ticket in order to spend the next six months counting down.

THE SOUND OF 2016 : 51-76

51. White Spaces ft Jim Kerr – The Man Who Sold The World
52. Stone Roses – It’s A Beautiful Thing
53. We Are Scientists – Too Late
54. Biffy Clyro – Wolves Of Winter
55. Oasis – Stand By Me (Mustique Demo)
56. Laether Strip – Waterfront
57. Bruce Springsteen – Purple Rain
58. Birdy – Keeping You Head Up
59. Madness – Mr Apples
60. The 1975 – Somebody Else
61. Ellie Goulding – Army
62. Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz – Midnight Gold
63. Simple Minds ft KT Tunstall – Promised You A Miracle
64. Chvrches – Warning Call
65. Tom Odell – Magnetised
66. Nina Nesbitt – Chewing Gum
67. Halsey – New Americana
68. Lorde – Life On Mars?
69. All Saints – One Strike
70. Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
71. The 1975 – A Change Of Heart
72. Paul Simon – Wristband
73. Blink 182 – Home Is Such A Lonely Place
74. Laura Mvula – Overcome
75. Graham Nash – This Path Tonight

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 18.11.2016

1. Bastille – Send Them Off
2. Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
3. Tove Lo – True Disaster
4. Bruno Mars – 24k Magic
5. Catfish and the Bottlemen – Outside

Tomorrow, is International Men’s Day. Just another day for me, but if you’re commemorating it, enjoy yourself.

Some people even choose to celebrate it by being a self-hating dick on Twitter.

But most importantly, it’s an opportunity to do some theme charts. And yes, I do the same on International Women’s Day. It’s on March 8th if you don’t know. You may be shocked to realise you can point out the date of something and not be a sneering dick like Richard Herring.


1. Duran Duran – Wildboys
2. Michael Jackson – Man In the Mirror
3. The Verve – Lucky Man
4. The Charlatans – North Country Boy
5. Andrew Gold – Lonely Boy


1. Simple Minds – She’s A River
2. U2 – The Fly
3. Bruce Springsteen – Badlands
4. Enrique Iglesias – Do You Know?
5. 10CC – The Things We Do For Love


1. Elliott Smith – Son Of Sam
2. Bat For Lashes – Daniel
3. Joshua Kaddison – Jesse
4. Oasis – Little James
5. Rednex – Cotton Eye Joe