THE KILLERS – LIVE AT THE ODYSSEY 17.11.2017

Somebody told me that The Killers were in Belfast for a concert at The Odyssey. Well sort of, only half of them were there, singer Brandon Flowers and drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr, due with bassist Mark Stoermer and guitarist Dave Keuning deciding to sit out this tour.

They might only been at half strength, but they were at full power, though Flowers commented during the set “Look at how we’ve grown”, referring to the number of Support Musicians and Backing Singers on stage.

Talking of Ronnie Vannucci Jr, is it me, or does he look like Earl Hickey? Once you see it, it cannot be unseen.

Flowers also commented that it had been a while since The Killers were last in Belfast. It was only three years ago, not that long, relatively speaking. That night, at Tennent’s Vital, they were flogging a Greatest Hits album

It is the gap between Killers albums that has contributed to their absences from Belfast. Their current release, Wonderful Wonderful is their first album since 2012 and only their second since 2008.

During that time, Brandon Flowers has juggled Killers commitments inbetween releasing and touring (but he never played Belfast) two solo albums, like a modern day Phil Collins, but more listenable and with better hair.

Their last indoor concert in Belfast was at The Odyssey in 2013.

Flowers was the last person the enter the stage, having built up the tension, as the band went straight into the title track from their current album Wonderful Wonderful.

That was then followed by the lead single from that album, The Man, as a synth/keyboard in the shape of the male logo and pink confetti shot out into the crowd.

The Man is a dancing bouncing tune full of swagger, albeit sounding like Reflektor by Arcade Fire. The funky guitars on the live version sounded like a cross between Fame by David Bowie and Big Time by Peter Gabriel. Whatever it sounded like, it sounded fantastic.

This was then followed by their breakthrough hit Somebody Told Me, before the standout track from Wonderful Wonderful, Run For Cover, which was originally written for the Day and Age album, and does sound a lot like Spaceman, which was incidentally also on the setlist.

Other classic hits included Smile Like You Mean It and For Reasons Unknown.

Belfast got a treat in the shape of a cover of Teenage Kicks (previously done in Belfast), local to Northern Ireland but not to Belfast obviously. The crowd loved it. They might have just screamed out of control if Brandon had sang “I’m Norman Whiteside” on Mr Brightside. Sadly, he didn’t.

Current single Rut got an airing, The Killers were in anything but a rut.

There were more classic hits to follow in the shape of Human, Runaways, Read My Mind and All These Things I’ve Done, with a cover of Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits sandwiched inbetween.

For the encore, Flowers strutted onto the stage in a gold suit, more channeling Mr MacPhisto (Bono’s alter ego from the Zoo TV Tour) than Martin Fry from ABC.

The encore included classic hits When You Were Young and Mr Brightside.

To quote their biggest hit from their current album, The Killers still have plenty of gas in the tank. Belfast was in agreement that they were Wonderful Wonderful.

Photo Album

The Killers live at Boucher Road Playing Fields 2014

The Killers live at The Odyssey 2013

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LIAM GALLAGHER – LIVE AT THE ODYSSEY 30.10.2017

You could say that the date and venue was apt. The Odyssey, 30th October. It was on that date in 2008 that Oasis played their last concert in Belfast. Nine years to the day, Liam Gallagher was back at The Odyssey.

He has been in Belfast in the time inbetween, playing there twice with Beady Eye in 2011, at Ulster Hall in April of that year and then at Custom House Square for Belsonic later that year.

Having already been announced for a festival on the Sunday night in Dublin (It’s a Bank Holiday Weekend in the Republic Of Ireland, in case you’re wondering) there was the hope that he might pop by in Belfast, especially as we missed out on his mini tour in June.

Our prayers were answered, with a Belfast gig to kick off his Winter Tour being announced.

It was originally in the venue where Beady Eye played their only indoor show in Belfast, Ulster Hall, but such was the demand, that was instantly upgraded to The Odyssey.

Before he was The King Of Twitter, Liam Gallagher was a Rock N Roll Star. On the evidence of Monday night at The Odyssey, that is still very much the case.

As he entered the stage with the classic Oasis walk-on of Fuckin In the Bushes blasting out, those were the words he uttered.

He could have been describing himself, but he was introducing the first song, Rock N Roll Star, track 1 on Definitely Maybe, a call to arms and statement of intent.

This was then followed by Morning Glory, the title track from Oasis second album. If you thought this was going to be a chronological look at Gallagher’s career, you would be wrong, we would be returning to Definitely Maybe throughout the night.

The first two songs were reminding us of who Liam Gallagher was, the next few songs were now looking at who he is now, dipping into his debut solo album, As You Were, named after his Twitter catchphrase.

The album stands up on it’s own merits. It’s decent. There are some A* songs on it and a few As. I reviewed it on Twitter. You can find it here.

And yes, i’ll be doing the same when Who Stole The Moon? comes through my letterbox later this month.

Gallagher was playing to a crowd that was well warmed up by the support acts.

First up, was Kyle Falconer, formerly of The View, now solo. His material sounded a lot like The View. If you like The View, as I do, then you’ll like it.

After him, was The Strypes. I’d previously seem them supporting Blur in 2013. I know, crossing the divide. If you love The Jam, you’ll love these guys. They are very good.

If you watch The Championship on Channel Five, you will recognise Get Into It, voted by this blog as the 2nd Best Song Of 2015. There’s no higher honour than that.

I was amused to see the singer in a smart suit and the rest of the band in jeans and trainers, it reminded me of a recent Top Of The Pops repeat on BBC Four where Bryan Ferry was wearing a tuxedo and the rest of Roxy Music were dressed like The Smiths.

I’m sure there were quite a lot of people in the crowd checking, double checking and triple checking their ticket to make sure they brought the right one.

There was bound to be someone who tried to get in with a ticket to Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds for May 2018.

Both Gallaghers will be on tour throughout 2018, so if you’re dreaming of you know what, it will have to wait until 2019, 25 years on from Definitely Maybe and 10 years on from their split. Got to love nice round numbers.

The set was then to be dominated by songs from As You Were, with Greedy Soul, a bit of a grower, being up first, followed by debut solo single Wall Of Glass.

Up next was For What It’s Worth, a Beatlesesque ballad that stands up to any Oasis classic, sounding even better live than it does on record.

This was followed by Bold, a song debuted at festivals this summer, it sounded fantastic and was worth the wait to hear it on record, venturing into 80s Power Ballard territory as Liam sings “Lay it on me” over and over accompanied only by a pounding drumbeat.

Oasis fans love to psychoanalyse, and the line “There’s no love worth chasing yesterday” will have raised a few eyebrows considering that Noel Gallagher’s second album is called Chasing Yesterday.

Chinatown is one of my favourite songs from As You Were but it wasn’t played. Not that surprising as it is hard to see where it would fit in a live set. Fantastic song though.

We then returned to Oasis classics, with Some Might Say, led by a thunderous drum beat.

This might not be the place to mention “The N Word”, but as good as Liam sounded, it did miss Noel’s backing vocals. They are part of the reason why the song is so good.

As well as vocals, Liam was banging his tambourine He even threw on into the crowd. I narrowly missed out on it. If he had just a slight bit more power, it would have landed right into my hands.

Considering the scrum that followed, it was probably a good thing I didn’t catch it.

It wouldn’t be the first time Liam Gallagher caused a bit of bother by throwing something across a room at a concert.

I had a decent view. Then a fight broke out in front of me. While that was being broken up, I snuck into the space that opened up like a deep lying goalscoring midfielder. You snooze, you lose.

Then a moshpit started to my right, so more space opened up in front of me top move forward. Result.

More Oasis classics followed in the shape of Slide Away (Should have been a single) and I’m Outta Time (A forgotten classic) before returning to As You Were with the absolutely superb Come Back To Me.

Eternal crowd favourite Cigarettes and Alcohol was played. That’s what the venue was full of as well, fucking smelly tramps puffing and vaping away.

I really don’t want to add indoor concerts to outdoor concerts, football matches, going for a walk, eating outside on a nice day, going to a beer garden and queuing for a bus to the list of things you can’t do in Belfast without having cigarette smoke blown into your face.

Vapes are supposedly to get people off smoking. Bollocks. Every lunchtime I see the same old sour faces puffing away.

I’m going to raising this until this is addressed as a society and as a city.

Why should I have my enjoyment of events held to ransom by inconsiderate arseholes?

Belfast really is a city full of crayon eaters.

Thankfully, I was surrounded by women doused in weapons grade perfume which drowned out the smell.

To give an indication of where vapes stand in society, i’d rather breathe in eggy farts.

European Capital Of Culture my arse. European Capital Of Smelly Tramps more like.

For the encore, we were treated to Supersonic and an acoustic version Live Forever, Liam letting the crowd sing the bits sung by Noel.

As he finished his set, Liam described Belfast as “The bollocks”, telling the crowd that they knew that anyway.

The front page of Tuesday’s edition of Irish News had a photo of him, and a caption that said he sang Wonderwall. He didn’t.

I’m guessing someone wrote a review without being there. You could have guessed he would wheel out big Oasis hits, but Liam Gallagher is anything but predictable.

The only rendition of Wonderwall came in the Car Park as someone blasted it out on their car stereo. It was the only way to kill time in what felt like a never ending queue. It felt like that by the time we were going to get out, we’d be having to about turn to get a parking space for Noel’s concert in May 2018.

Liam tweeted that there are many things he would like to say to Belfast but he didn’t know how.

He could say he is coming back.

Oh wait, he is.

On the Friday before, it was already announced that he would be returning to Belfast in June 2018 to play at Ormeau Park at Belsonic.

Liam Gallagher. Belsonic. Saturday night. It’s a potent combination. There’s going to be a lot of whoppers at it. It’s something we have to put up with unfortunately.

Just imagine if Northern Ireland qualify for the World Cup and are playing their opening group match that day. That will be fun.

Live Forever was the last song, the lights came on and Sid Vicious version of My Way.

Hopefully, the end is near and Liam Gallagher’s career isn’t heading to the final curtain.

It certainly was an apt way to end, Liam Gallagher does it his way.

Photo Album

Oasis live at The Odyssey October 2008 Photo Album

2016 IN PICTURES – NOVEMBER

November 2016 began with an eventful trip to Lurgan to see Linfield recover from being both two goals and two men down against Glenavon to secure an unlikely draw.

It was followed by a busy week. I was out on the road again to see Linfield take on Ballymena, before heading to The Odyssey to see Bastille in concert.

Two days later, I was at Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Azerbaijan, before heading back on the road to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

I then headed to near the Royal Mail’s office to photograph a new mural of various popculture icons such as David Bowie, Christopher Walken, Kes and Adam Ant.

The following midweek, I was back at Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Croatia in a friendly, before heading back to Windsor Park the following Saturday to see Linfield take on Cliftonville.

November ended with a weekend in Manchester, going to see United take on Feyenoord and West Ham, see Bury take on Millwall via Broadhurst Park, as well as capturing Street Art in Manchester and Salford Quays, and some stickers left by Feyenoord fans around the city.

Those trips to Old Trafford were my first since Jose Mourinho became United manager.

Glenavon v Linfield

Ballymena United v Linfield

Bastille live at The Odyssey

Bastille live at The Odyssey Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan Photo Album

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Down By The Royal Mail II

Down By The Royal Mail II Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Croatia

Northern Ireland v Croatia Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v Feyenoord

Manchester United v Feyenoord Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art

Salford Quays Street Art Photo Album

Feyenoord Stickers

Feyenoord Stickers Photo Album

Bury v Millwall

Bury v Millwall Photo Album

Broadhurst Park

Manchester United v West Ham United

Manchester United v West Ham United Photo Album

2016 IN PICTURES – APRIL

April 2016 began for me at The Odyssey to see Muse in concert.

The following Saturday, I headed for Seaview to see Linfield lose to Crusaders, a match that killed off their title hopes.

Another concert soon followed, this time it was to see Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at Ulster Hall.

Back to football, and a double whammy of convincing Linfield wins, over Coleraine and Glentoran.

The match against Coleraine allowed me to check out the facilities in the South Stand for the first time since it was officially opened.

Towards the end of the month, Prince died, and Belfast wasn’t slow in paying tribute, a mural appearing within a day of his death.

I then headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Cliftonville.

Around that time, I purchased a new camera as my camera was broken beyond repair. I was still getting used to it, so that’s why some photos towards the end of the month are a bit different.

Muse live at The Odyssey

Muse live at The Odyssey Photo Album

Crusaders v Linfield

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott live at Ulster Hall

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

Linfield v Coleraine

Glentoran v Linfield

Purple Rain

Purple Rain Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

MUSE – LIVE AT THE ODYSSEY 6.4.2016

I’ve always loved Muse, going back to their debut album and the single Muscle Museum, which managed to rhyme “Toilet” and “Spoil It” and have enjoyed how big they’ve become over the following 16 years. Finally, I got to see them in concert.

I had hoped it would be last year, when Matt Bellamy teased a surprise concert on Twitter, before an Ulster Hall concert was announced at four days notice. Sadly, it sold out before I was able to get a ticket.

Ulster Hall is a bit of a downgrade for Muse, they’ve been Odyssey sized for a while, playing there in 2006 but not since.

As well as being the city that kicked off the Drones tour in March 2015, Belfast holds a special place for Matt Bellamy as his mum was born there.

Eventually, they appeared on stage, jumping straight into Psycho.

Like with most Muse songs it had thunderous drums and piercing guitars.

Naturally, there was guitar solos and over the top ridiculousness aplenty. Muse have never shied away from that or taken themselves too seriously to care how they look.

Such is the ridiculousness, you could make band names from song and album titles such as Supermassive Black Hole, Knights Of Cydonia, Neutron Star collision, or Origin Of Symmetry.

You can’t have Madness as they pre-dated the Muse song by 33 years.

The stage was mostly in the round, with multiple mic stands for Matt Bellamy to use as he pleased, as well as a catwalk at both ends for him to walk along.

Bellamy was either right beside you or at the other end of the arena. There was enough of him to go about, as he regularly changed ends between songs.

The bit of the stage that was in the round even spun around when the band were performing on it.

Chris Wolstenholme wasn’t afraid to join in the ridiculousness, having a glow in the dark Bass and changing them between songs, having one in White, Blue, Red and Green.

Muse are at the stage where they could wheel out a Greatest Hits set, bashing them out one after each other. Those who were there for hits weren’t to be disappointed with Uprising, Resistance, Plug In Baby, Dead Inside, Madness, Starlight, Supermassive Black Hole and Undisclosed Desires all on the setlist, with Mercy and Knights of Cydonia performed during the encore.

The biggest reaction came during Starlight with fans clapping along to the drumbeat and singing the piano bit during the intro.

Fans were treated to large balloons filled with confetti being dropped from the sky, as well as ticker tape covering the arena later in the show,

I would have loved to have seen two of my personal favourites, Panic Station and Neutron Star Collision performed, but it was still a strong setlist.

During the show, Matt Bellamy said “We haven’t played this building for ten years, it won’t be so long until the next time”

As the band left the stage, the concert ending with a guitar solo v drum solo shoot-out between Matt Bellamy and Dom Howard, drummer Dom Howard said they won’t leave it ten years before their next Belfast show.

Belfast folk will be holding Muse to that promise between now and 2026, just as we’re constantly reminding Foo Fighters and Bon Jovi of those Belfast gigs they’ve promised.

Photo Album

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

2015 IN PICTURES – SEPTEMBER

September began for me on the road to Fermanagh, to see Linfield take on Ballinamallard, and get a 1-0 win on a lovely sunny day.

From the road to Fermanagh to the road to France. My next football match came two days later when I saw Northern Ireland take on Hungary in a Euro 2016 Qualifier, knowing that a win sound them to France.

They didn’t get the win they wanted, but a late draw kept them on course to qualify.

Inbetween those two football matches was some graffiti spotting around Belfast.

Two days after that, I was at The Odyssey, now renamed The SSE Arena, to see Florence and the Machine perform the first concert at the newly renovated venue.

Back to Irish League action the following Saturday, a trip to Seaview to see Linfield take on Crusaders, the less said about, the better.

The following Friday, was the highlight of the year in Belfast, Culture Night, and I was out with my camera snapping the action.

I recovered from Culture Night in time the following day to head to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Warrenpoint.

The following day, I undertook a post Culture Night tradition by checking out the newly painted Street Art on North Street and the surrounding areas.

The final weekend of the month saw me head to Windsor Park to see Linfield edge past Glenavon 4-3.

Like the previous weekend, I headed to North Street to get a look at the Street Art painted for Culture Night, as some pieces were still being worked on when I went down the previous week.

I also headed to City Quays Walk for the first time, to see some Street Art that had been painted there.

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Belfast Street Art

Northern Ireland v Hungary

Northern Ireland v Hungary Photo Album

Florence and the Machine Live At The Odyssey

Florence and the Machine Live At The Odyssey Photo Album

Crusaders v Linfield

Culture Night

Culture Night Photo Album

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

North Street Art

North Street Art Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

North Street Art Part 2

North Street Art Photo Album Volume 2

City Quays Walk Street Art

U2 – LIVE AT THE ODYSSEY 18.11.2015

U2, Harp Lager Band Of 1978, made a long awaited return to Belfast last week with two gigs at The Odyssey. It had been a while since their last gig in Belfast. So long in fact, that The Odyssey didn’t even exist. 1997 to be precise.

For their last indoor gig in Belfast, you have to go back a further ten years, to 1987 at King’s Hall. Before that, they used to be regulars in Belfast during their early days.

On their current tour, they have downsized, having to make do with large arenas rather than large stadiums. This gave hope to an Odyssey gig, with gigs at similar venues in London (The O2) and Glasgow (The Hydro) being announced earlier this year.

Hopes were raised in early September when The Edge hinted at a Belfast gig. Within days, two Belfast gigs were announced, with a further four in Dublin.

My older brother loves U2, and I caught the bug, to the extent that I was prepared to get up at 7am on a Sunday morning to record a whole day of programming on MTV dedicated to U2. There was no Sky+ in them days. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t know how to set the Video Plus, so I had to get up and do it myself.

I even won a copy of The Best Of 1980-1990 in a newspaper competition by correctly answering what Bono’s real name is. It’s Paul Hewson, since you ask.

There have been two occasions when I have been close to U2. When they played Botanic Gardens in 1997, I was close enough to hear them. In 2002, I was invited to a TV recording at Blackstaff Studios. I was tipped off that a famous Irish band would be peforming. I was told it was U2. It was Westlife.

As I counted down the days to this Odyssey gig, I still had a dark fear that Westlife would be turning up on stage instead.

When arriving at the venue, there were little subtle U2 references. When trying to find a parking space, I was trying to fight the temptation to mutter to myself that I still hadn’t found what i’m looking for. Inside the venue, there were billboards for Clayton Hotel. It’s unknown if Adam was staying there during their time in Belfast.

Getting into the venue was a bit of a farce, with admission by credit card rather than paper ticket holding up people getting in, as well as seperate queues not being signposted.

Now in the venue, I took up position near the very end of the stage, on the line that marked off the area of the floor where Bono would be entering. Fans observed the security staff, on the theory that the busier they got, the closer it was to stage time.

At around half eight, the area was sealed off and surrounded by security. Bono casually walked across the floor onto the stage, and kicked into The Miracle Of Joey Ramone, the velvet rope was now removed, and a pile on to get the best position at the stage took place.

The best view of the venue was at the side of the stage. Unfortunately, those spaces were long taken by the time I arrived just after seven.

Adam Clayton paid his own homage to Belfast by wearing a Stiff Little Fingers t-shirt.

They began by playing songs from their early years, with Bono remarking “You have to visit the past if you don’t want to be stuck there”

The crowd sang along with more recent hit Vertigo, even when Bono sang in erroneous Spanish (The intro goes Uno, Does, Tres, Catorce – or 1, 2, 3, 14) that he refuses to change.

The band then performed Sunday Bloody Sunday and Raised By Wolves. The riot that Jim Rodgers had feared never materialised.

Larry Mullan would soon be inundated with offers to join Orange Bands by looking at home walking along while banging a Fife Drum.

Bono even managed to give a brief rendition of Moondance by Van Morrison while also recalling about how he wrote a song to impress a girl called Alison Stewart, and how he hasn’t quite managed it. For those who don’t know, she’s his wife.

They then performed some songs from the Achtung Baby era while inside a cage behind the LED screen. It didn’t work for me.

Bono then pulled a member of the audience, Teresa from Italy, to dance with him, like Bruce Springsteen in the Dancing In The Dark video.

As we entered the second half of the concert it was time for the big hits – With Or Without You, Where The Streets Have No Name, Elevation, City Of Blinding Lights, Beautiful Day, Pride (In The Name Of Love)

We were even treated to a guitar led version of The Sweetest Thing. The concert ended with One, that Bono dedicated to all those who have helped to make it close to being the first generation of babies born without AIDS. In 1992, when One was released as a single, the proceeds were donated to AIDS charities.

The only surprise was that they didn’t play Stay (Faraway So Close) purely for the cheer when Belfast mentioned in the lyrics. In truth, they didn’t need to engineer fake cheers.

After eighteen years away, there would only be one more day to wait until their next Belfast gig.

Hopefully, after that, it won’t be eighteen years until they return.

Photo Album

FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE – LIVE AT THE ODYSSEY 9.9.2015

It was a night of new beginnings in Belfast, for both artist and venue, as Florence and the Machine kicked off her How Big How Blue How Beautiful Tour by becoming the first music act to perform at the newly revamped Odyssey Arena, or SSE Arena, as it’s now known.

There are now digital TV screens at the entrance and a VIP bar in the concourse. I was standing, so I didn’t get a chance to see what the new seats were like.

One major negative was having to queue for five minutes in order to get a wristband to walk the long way round to go to the toilet. Instead of having security hand out wristbands (not sure why they are needed in the first place), could they not just give them to people to put on themselves?

This gig was Florence’s first of the tour, though she has been performing at festivals throughout the summer, most notably, headlining Glastonbury as a late replacement for Foo Fighters, when Dave Grohl was incapacitated by a broken leg after jumping into the crowd.

It is an occupational hazard that Florence is well aware of, having been in plaster for the early part of this year after a similar mishap.

This gig was mishap free, well, until she accidentally knocked a speaker over a security guard during Dog Days. Thankfully, the security guard didn’t appear to be hurt.

Her band, one by one, walked on stage, but no Florence, she waited and built the tension. Big and dramatic is what she does. Throughout the night, you could the thunderous rhythm of the drums in each song, sounding more intense live than they do on record.

She later told the crowd that she had planned on having a choir on stage with her, but the stage wasn’t big enough.

She began by performing What The Water Gave Me and Ship To Wreck. Quite apt theme given The Odyssey’s close proximity to Belfast’s shipyards.

Florence is no stranger to Belfast, but was last here performing at Tennent’s Vital in 2012, as well as previous appearances at Belsonic in 2010 and an Ulster Hall gig in 2009.

She arrived in Belfast straight from Electric Picnic in Loais and had spent a few days in the city, and had spent the night before in a “Traditional Music Pub”, which turned out to be Kelly’s Cellars.

Florence is either everywhere or nowhere, she disappears for a while, and then just comes back. At the moment, she is everywhere.

As her current rate of albums is one every three years. She might not be in Belfast again until 2018. Florence, and the crowd, were determined to make the most of each other’s company.

She was everywhere on the stage, running about from side to side of the stage, and dancing. I say dancing, it was mainly jumping up and down and pirouetting.

Inbetween songs, Florence stated that she was on her own musical Odyssey, nicely linking to her adding that she is now playing The Odyssey.

It’s seven years since her first hit Kiss With A Fist (which wasn’t played), and she is now at the stage where she has had “a lot of hits”

All the biggies were there – Ship To Wreck, Shake It Up (my own personal favourite), Rabbit Heart, You Got The Love, Spectrum, Dog Days, Drumming Song, What Kind Of Man.

It was a night when everybody in The Odyssey was at some point singing, dancing or clapping along. At some point, doing all three.

There were a few objects thrown from the crowd. Nothing unsavoury, just a bra. Someone also made a flag for Florence, which she accepted and waved on stage. Must be a first for Belfast to see a flag universally cheered.

It’s fair to say, that Florence and her machine, were fully functional. Belfast looks forward to seeing her again in 2018. Or earlier, if she fancies.

Photo Album