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

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THE FRIDAY FIVE – 7.9.2018

1. Kyle Falconer – Kelly
2. The Kooks – Four Leaf Clover
3. Snow Patrol – Heal Me
4. Portugal. The Man – Live In The Moment
5. KT Tunstall – The River

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 23.3.2018

1. Frank Turner – Blackout
2. Manic Street Preachers – Distant Colours
3. Kylie Minogue – Stop Me From Falling
4. George Ezra – Paradise
5. The Killers – Wonderwall

Firstly, an apology for there being no Friday Five. I was either busy or lazy, depending on how you look at it, and didn’t get a chance to do one.

That meant I didn’t get to do a St Patrick’s Day chart for you. So, either 1 week late or 51 weeks early, here’s some St Patrick’s Day charts for you.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM NORTHERN IRELAND

1. The Adventures – Broken Land
2. Brianna Corrigan – Hold Me Now
3. Baltimora – Tarzan Boy
4. Relish – Rainbow Zephyr
5. Snow Patrol – How To Be Dead

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

1. Phil Lynott – Yellow Pearl
2. U2 – The Fly
3. The Strypes – Get Into It
4. Sinead Lohan – Whatever It Takes
5. Kodaline – I’m Ready

HILL STREET WALL OF FAME

If you’ve been in the Cathedral Quarter over the past month, chances are you’ve seen Glen Molloy hard at work on a new mural beside The Harp Bar, covering building work taking place at what is/was (sorry for not being up to date with Civil Service locations) NIEA offices in Hill Street.

It began for me with a social media post that there was a new mural of David Holmes in Hill Street. So, armed with my camera, I went to investigate.

I was busy doing other stuff and actually forgot to check out the main thing I was in Belfast City Centre for.

So, I came back later, saw a mural of David Holmes, and other works which were works in progress. Naturally, I got snapping.

There was a clear theme of music legends developing, so I went back every lunchtime and evening to snap the work that was in progress.

There was a brief stop in the work here as Glen Molloy was working elsewhere on a mural at Filthy McNasty. You can see a write-up of that here

Gradually, the wall was getting filled. Frustratingly, I missed photographing a key day in the painting of Van Morrison and Bap Kennedy due to biblical rain.

It wan’t the first mural of Morrison to appear in Belfast. There was one near the away entrance to The Oval in 2007, but that soon disappeared due to housing being build on that site.

The faces appearing on the mural are : David Holmes, Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly, Una Healy, Van Morrison, Bap Kennedy, Brian Kennedy, Fatboy Slim.

Photo Album

THE FIRIDAY FIVE – 17.3.2017

1. Erasure – Love You To The Sky
2. John Hassall and the April Rainers – Intercity 125
3. Amy MacDonald – Automatic
4. Sister Sledge – Frankie
5. Sheppard – Keep Me Crazy

You may have noticed that today is St Patrick’s Day. So, i’m doing a couple of themed charts. One for Northern Ireland, one for Republic Of Ireland, and one for the musical Patricks (and Paddys and Pats) out there.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM NORTHERN IRELAND

1. Wonder Villains – TV
2. Baltimora – Tarzan Boy
3. Silhouette – Can’t Keep Up
4. Snow Patrol – Signal Fire
5. Two Door Cinema Club – What You Know

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

1. U2 – The Fly
2. Phil Lynott – Yellow Pearl
3. Heathers – Remember When
4. Sinead Lohan – Whatever It Takes
5. Kodaline – High Hopes

FIVE SONGS BY BANDS WITH SOMEONE CALLED PAT, PATRICK OR PADDY

1. Prefab Sprout – King Of Rock n Roll
2. Train – Drops Of Jupiter
3. Foo Fighters – Saint Cecilia
4. Hue and Cry – Labour Of Love
5. Fall Out Boy – Sugar, We’re Going Down

ASH – LIVE AT THE EMPIRE 20.12.2015

For my last gig of 2015, it was back to the first band I ever saw in concert, Ash, back in 1998, and also in 1999. It was a New Year’s Eve gig you see.

I’ve also seen them do instore gigs at HMV since, but this my first time seeing them live properly since that night for the Ash Christmas Party, or as singer Time Wheeler put it, The Ash Christmas Bash

Ash returned this year with Kablammo!, their first album since 2007 – the highlights of which are the singles Cocoon and Machinery, which were both played.

Naturally, as it was a Christmas Party, the set was heavy on hits, all the big ones were performed – A Life Less Ordinary, Goldfinger, Oh Yeah, Shining Light, Burn Baby Burn and Girl From Mars.

Fans were also treated to a cover of Teenage Kicks, as well as some Christmas songs.

Just another gig you may think, but there were still a lot of moments that you had to be there for.

One such moment was treating the crowd to their version of Cantina Theme from Star Wars, with Tim Wheeler, almost apologetically, telling the crowd that if they didn’t know what the song was, it meant that they weren’t a nerd, before revealing that Mark Hamilton had already watched the new movie three times.

To clarify, I had to look up on Google what the song was. Genuinely.

Both Tim and Mark also had spells in the crowd. Tim jumped in and crowdsurfed so far, it looked like he was going to finish the song in the lobby of Crescent Townhouse Hotel across the road.

Mark’s spell in the crowd came later, though he didn’t venture as far and didn’t crowdsurf, just played his bass.

It wasn’t the first time he went walkabout, briefly disappearing at the start of the encore, with Tim Wheeler commenting that they were going to be like The White Stripes.

There was a great irony of people in the front being blinded by the spotlights just as Shining Light was about to start.

It had been a hectic year for Ash in terms of touring (supporting Foo Fighters at Slane being a notable highlight), with Tim Wheeler commenting that they had been travelling all over the world since their last Belfast gig, at The Limelight in May. It was actually June. I suppose if you’re touring that much, it’s easy to lose track of dates.

There was a guest appearance during the encore, Nathan Connolly of Snow Patrol joined them, with Tim Wheeler quizzing him about possible new Snow Patrol material in 2016 before sheepishly grinning. Though it is an open secret that there will be new Snow Patrol material next year.

As for Ash, Wheeler revealed that their plans for 2016 hope to include a Belfast gig.

Photo Album

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : NME YEARBOOK 2005

Rather misleading title this week, as NME brings out a yearbook to look back at 2005, than forward. The cover stars, are a series of stars from the year, such as Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay, and Green Day.

The review of the year, unsurprisingly, begins in January, with the year starting off with a feud between The Killers and The Bravery.

The Killers get four pages looking back on their year, and the ten things that made it such a successful year, including the obvious one, “Have more than one good song”

February’s story of the month was the NME Awards. Curiously, with their lead story each month, NME include a selection of choice quotes from various music bloggers.

Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs gets four pages talking about the big news stories of 2005, including the return of Doctor Who, which he approved of, but not the choice of doctor.

“I would have went for someone a bit more leftfield, like Harry Hill. Or Eddie Izzard”

In March, the Feud Of The Month was within Snow Patrol, as Bassist Mark McClelland was sacked.

Meanwhile, Bono declared himself a fan of The Futureheads.

By May, Make Poverty History wristbands were the Fashion Item Of The Month, while the feud between The Killers and The Bravery escalated to be Feud Of The Month for May.

But the big news, was that The Darkness lost “Their only cool member” with the departure of Frankie Poullain.

Piers Morgan gets four pages, where he reviews the stories that filled the biggest amount of column inches in the tabloids.

A series of stars get Q and A’d about their year. The best thing someone said to Richard Archer from Hard-Fi was when somebody informed him that Brentford had went top of the league.

Coldplay get six pages, most of it photos, as they present their favourite photos from their year, which saw them release their third album.

Oasis gig at City Of Manchester Stadium, their first at the venue since it opened in 2003 was Gig Of The Month for July, but it was another gig, Live 8, which was the Story Of The Month.

Kasabian get a two page feature where they list their Top Ten gigs they attended in 2005, with The Prodigy at V Festival being the best.

Across the page, they list their Top Five gigs played, with Glastonbury coming out on top.

Four pages get dedicated to lyrics, as acts such as Kaiser Chiefs, Hard-Fi and Razorlight discuss the lyrical content of some of their big hits from the year.

Where in 2005 could you find the coolest bands on the planet? Yorkshire.

Yorkshire was so cool in 2005, that NME did a full page on how cool it was.

Like Coldplay, Bloc Party get a four page photo diary, looking back at their year.

By October, The Killers had moved on from The Bravery, and were now feuding with Fall Out Boy.

2005. The year of The Killers having feuds.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 9.8.2013

1. Haim – The Wire
2. The Vaccines – Melody Calling
3. Manic Street Preachers – Show Me The Wonder
4. Aviici – Wake Me Up
5. The Charlatans – Love Is The Key

So this week, is the start of Tennent’s Vital, so to commemorate this, there will be a chart for you. Next week, I’ll do the same for Belsonic

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS APPEARING AT TENNENT’S VITAL

1. Kings Of Leon – Fans
2. Snow Patrol – How To Be Dead
3. Jason Mraz – The Remedy
4. The vaccines – If You Wanna
5. Kodaline – High Hopes

MUSICAL TASTES OF THE LINFIELD STARS

Have you ever wondered what music your favourite footballer listens to?

Well, if you support Linfield, today is your lucky day, unless of course, your favourite player didn’t get a profile feature in (Self-proclaimed) Ireland’s Biggest Soccer Magazine.

This season, Look At Linfield included a common feature of football programmes, a player profile asking players what their favourite thing of various subject matters are.

In the 1980s, all footballers listened to Phil Collins and watched Coronation Street, except when they went on a night out to the cinema to watch a movie starring Robert De Niro.

But football has moved on. Players no longer fight over controlling the Ghetto Blaster, the power struggles in dressing rooms at all levels are about who can plug their ipod into the Portable Speaker System.

So here, is a run down of the musical favourites of Linfield players and staff for your reference and/or pleasure :

COACHING/TECHNICAL STAFF

On the weekend of his 50th birthday in October, David Jeffrey was featured, stating that his favourite singer was Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen. Yep, The Boss is a fan of The Boss.

Given his past career, it’s a surprise that David Jeffrey didn’t list ‘The Model’ by Kraftwerk as his favourite song.

His favourite song, is ‘Born To Run’ by Bruce Springsteen. I’m not old enough to remember his playing career, so I can’t verify if he was.

Bryan McLaughlin’s favourite singer is George Michael. There have been times this season when you have needed to have Faith. McLaughlin is seen by many as a Father Figure to many young players.

He is also trusted by David Jeffrey and can be relied upon to share a secret as he will never have a Carelss Whisper.

Alfie Wylie stated that Roy Orbison is his favourite singer. When David Jeffrey issues and instruction to him, he can usually be heard to say “You Got It”

Terry Hayes has Lady Antebellum and David Bowie as his joint favourite acts. After a victory, Terry Hayes can usually be found Dancing In The Street, especially during Linfield’s Golden Years.

He does sun the limelight though, and doesn’t want Fame.

Even though he is responsible for the well being of Linfield’s players, he doesn’t feel Under Pressure.

PLAYERS

Ryan Henderson says his favourite band is Coldplay. Having spent a period on the treatment table, the rumours that he asked Terry Hayes to play ‘Fix You’ during treatment are unfounded, as he tried to get fit in order to make runs into the opposition penalty area at the Speed Of Sound.

Matthew Tipton’s favourite band is Stone Roses. After a disappointing 2012-2013 season, hopefully the 2013-2014 season will the his Second Coming as an Irish League goalscoring force.

After stating that his favourite band is The Wanted, i’d like to think Brian McCaul is kept well away from the stereo. He does say that his favourite song is ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’ by Aerosmith, which appears to be his motto when taking penalties.

Of the three teenagers featured, one of them sticks out for having a different taste.

Niall Quinn (Drake) and Ross Clarke (Sasha and Digweed) show me up for being and old fart by liking acts I have vaguely heard of but I guess are quite big wiv da kidz, while Ross Glendenning lists Snow Patrol as his favourite band.

When offered a new contract earlier in the season, Glendenning was advised to Just Say Yes.

Johnny Black’s favourite band is Matchbox Twenty and his favourite song ‘3AM’, although ‘Mad Season’ would have been more apt.

Stephen Douglas is a player who divides opinion within Linfield’s support. Some Might Say his legend will Live Forever, All Around The World. His favourite band, is Oasis and his favourite song is Wonderwall.

Ironically, at training, they were working on a routine where he received the ball from a throw-in, and he would build an attack.

David Jeffrey could be heard to shout “Today is gonna be the day that they’re gonna throw it back to you. By now you should have somehow, realised what you’ve got to do”

If you’re wondering why there are so few entries, it’s because the series ended in January. At least it lasted longer than Linfield’s title challenge.

MUSICAL FAVOURITES IN FULL

Johnny Black – Matchbox Twenty
Ross Clarke – Sasha and Digweed
Steven Douglas – Oasis
Ross Glendenning – Snow Patrol
Terry Hayes – Lady Antebellum/David Bowie
Ryan Henderson – Coldplay
David Jeffrey – Bruce Springsteen
Brian McCaul – The Wanted
Brian McLaughlin – George Michael
Niall Quinn – Drake
Matthew Tipton – Stone Roses
Alfie Wylie – Roy Orbison