The last time I was at The Odyssey, it was to see U2 in 2018. If you told me it would be two and a half years before I came back, and it would be to see The Vaccines supported by Doctor and the Medics, i’d be asking a lot of questions about the charts in 2019 and 2020.

I’ve actually seen The Vaccines live, not too far away at Titanic Slipways, supporting Noel Gallagher in 2016.

You should know by now that when something is announced that I want to go to, i’m usually straight on the ball to get it organised.

I can’t say I particularly wanted a jab, but needs must.

Bill Gates needs to update his microchips, i’ve had voices in my head telling me to kill Steve Jobs.

I booked myself an early morning appointment, thinking i’d avoid crowds but it was still busy. Thankfully, I could just walk right into the venue instead of having to queue outside, as I had witnessed on my teatime cycles to Airport Road.

It was very simple and efficient, walk in, register, brief pre-chat with a Doctor and then in I go.

I had a Scottish guy doing mine. I love Scottish accents, but it’s not the most reassuring then you’re about to get an injection. “Which arm ye want it in pal?” just sounds so menacing, even though it is not meant to be.

I remarked that he looked like a pop star from the 1950s, to which he replied “I’m no teenage icon, i’m no Frankie Avalon”.

Okay, that didn’t happen, but it would have been rude not to do a Vaccines joke.

Just as I was getting ready for it, it was done, and all I had to do was sit in the Seating Area, everybody maxing the use out of the free wifi on offer.

Whenever I booked my jab, I got two for the price of one, getting my date for the second jab.

Even though there is nothing on, it is still inconvenient. I’ll explain why later on.

They did say as I was leaving “If you wanna come back, it’s alright, it’s alright”.

Sorry for doing another Vaccines joke.

Thank goodness we have a vaccine, and it is being rolled out, because this country has been absolutely useless from Day 1.

This time last year, we were all “Community spirit, we’re all in this together, let’s look out for one another”. That has now been replaced with “Old people and people with medical conditions can fuck off, I want to go to the pub” because people realised this wasn’t going to be a two week holiday where you can fix things around the house.

If you want to do a job right, you have to do it the whole way through, and our society couldn’t be bothered.

Right from the start, we had people giving it Billy Big Balls, acting is if they’re the most inconvenienced person in the world.

Listening to some people, you’d think they left the house at 8am and don’t come home until 2am, because they’re so busy doing lots of outdoor things because they have such busy and interesting lives that will impress people.

In most cases, they go to work, slouch in front of the TV, and once a month their wife allows them to go to The Pub, as long as they’re home by 9pm.

We’ve all been inconvenienced, it’s not a competition.

I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, this country is absolutely paralysed by it’s obsession with Pubs and World War II.

Ever since Day 1, all we’ve ever heard is “When are the pubs going to reopen?” instead of “When are we getting the R Number down?”. Maybe i’m just seeing things from a different angle because I used to work in the industry? Spoiler Alert, it’s a horrible industry to work in.

“Why should I not be allowed to go to the pub because of old people?”. Well, if it’s intergenerational warfare people want, i’m taking the side of old people. I’ve never been to a concert and seen a bunch of old people that need a slap because they can’t behave themselves.

It’s not young people that are propping up this economy, it’s Ethel and Mabel buying Cliff Richard CDs, Princess Diana Dinner Plates and creating an audience for This Morning and Countdown to sell advertising revenue that is keeping this country going.

I really don’t want to be that guy, but there are too many Grifters “White Knighting” on behalf of pubs, usually with their own agendas and commercial interests. You’d think Pubs were the only industry having a tough time, but they believe they should be at the front of the queue just because.

“Reopening pubs is good for people’s health” usually means that reopening pubs will be good for my bank balance. Just come out with it, don’t hijack something else for your own agenda.

You know what is good for people’s mental health? People leaving room for others on the footpath. People not climbing each other in Supermarkets and people not ramming up each other’s arses in Supermarkets.

People already have enough to worry about without worrying if someone else’s reckless behaviour has given them Covid. Let’s maybe address that first.

Looking at you especially Joggers. There’s a group who are the absolute definition of entitlement. See people coming a mile off and still don’t leave room for people on the footpath.

All that room left for them, and they still run up against people puffing and panting, and then start screaming and shouting when challenged, or pre-emptively asked to move.

War, Famine and Racism going on, but just you get worked up and angry about being asked to show a bit of consideration towards others. Grow up Nigel.

It’s the same profile every time, usually some middle-aged gammon male with a distinct stench of “Pity about Piers Morgan, tells it as it is. Legend”.

Quite where they get the front to behave like they do, I have no idea.

You’re not in training for the Olympics, just grow up Trevor. Even if you are in training for the Olympics, just grow up Trevor.

I should point out in the interest of balance that Women Joggers are every bit as useless. They just run up beside you and carry on as if nothing happened, instead of mouthing off.

Sometimes, you have to endure the same behaviour from people out walking. See you a mile off, spread across the entire footpath and still won’t move aside for a few seconds.

Even better, why not just stand in the middle of the footpath staring at your phone? Feel free to block people from getting where they want to go.

A society where it is safer to walk on the road than on the footpath is a society that has failed.

This walk on the road, literally or metaphorically – you decide, feels like a lonely one. Am I the only person making an effort here?

Talking of Supermarkets, they have been especially useless, getting rid of one way systems because people were too stupid to understand how they work.

And as a nice bonus, Tesco have now decided to make their self service tills card only.

Has the person who made that decision ever been to Tesco?

The vast majority of people use cash, why is there not self service tills for cash?

As a result, people are having to queue for longer when they could be in and out straight away if a self service cash till was available.

Although it seems to be that some people don’t want to be in and out quickly, treating Tesco like a family day out.

Surely if you’re walking into a shop, you should know what you need to buy?

For crying out loud, don’t stand in the middle of the aisle staring at a shelf, stopping people from getting past.

I’ve even seen people standing in the middle of the aisle blocking people because they’re reading a magazine.

I saw a great post on Twitter about Anti-Maskers. It simply said “Do they think people enjoy being in Lockdown?”

That’s exactly it. I don’t enjoy Lockdown, I don’t enjoy having to keep my distance from people, but if that’s what it takes to help drive the R Number down to get “Back to normal”, that’s what i’ll do.

The main issue has been the mixed messages from Government. You can meet if this, but only if, if there are. These muddled rules are going to make people just make up their own rules, ie – just do what you want. We should either be in Lockdown or not in Lockdown. None of this phased or tiers nonsense that was only going to bring about a free for all that would take us back to Square One.

Possibly the worst example of poor message was telling people to stay at home. That was never going to work.

What should have been done was to remind people of their responsibilities when outside. Get your groceries, visit Nature Parks and Beauty Spots, but use your brain when doing so.

Not once have I ever seen a Politician use a Covid Briefing to remind people to walk on the left. It’s literally that simple and effective. That message is the one that should have been rammed home from the start. That, and maybe making an effort for once to tackle smoking, which is at epidemic levels in Belfast.

The most at risk group of getting and spreading Covid and what do we do? Scratch our collective arses and do nothing while they congregate around each other infecting themselves and others.

If Cyclists got the accommodation Smokers get, and Smokers get the vitriol Cyclists get, Belfast might be a liveable city.

Politicians like to talk about “Inclusivity” and making Belfast more “Inclusive”. A polite reminder that inclusivity is about more than flags and murals, it’s about having a city that people can fully enjoy without having to take preventative measures to enjoy outdoor living.

When Society 2.0 gets up and running, this should be high on the list of issues that need addressed.

Of course, when you see bad examples at the highest level regarding behaviour, it’s only natural that standards will slip elsewhere.

You know what i’m referring to.

The thing is, Bobby Storey’s Funeral didn’t descend Northern Ireland’s Lockdown into anarchy. By this point, we’d already verbally agreed to just to do whatever we want and not care about others. This just formally signed the paperwork.

What it meant was, that if you ever challenged anyone over their behaviour, they could instantly quote that, and you can’t say anything in response.

This country has given up on Law and Order and replaced with the rules of the Atherstone Ball Game.

As hard as it is to hear, never let your standards drop because others can get away with dropping theirs. Be better.

Trust me, it’s infuriating, but be better.

I’ll park around the corner to go to a shop because there’s no parking space available. By the time I walk there, there’ll be someone parked on a double yellow line right outside it, blocking traffic, and not getting a ticket for it, with me wondering why I bothered.

For the avoidance of doubt, if you gather in a large group and breach Social Distancing because of a Political Protest, you’re an idiot, not matter how valid your cause.

If you gather in a large group and breach Social Distancing in reaction to a football result, you’re an idiot.

The list is not exhaustive. If you gather in a large group and breach Social Distancing, you’re an idiot.

If Belfast City Council or the Northern Ireland Assembly decide to award some sort of “Symbolic honour” to the “People of Belfast”, it will be politely rejected by me as I refuse to share an award with people who didn’t make an effort.

It should be a condition if this much rumoured voucher scheme in Northern Ireland becomes a reality, that anybody convicted of a Covid Breach should not be eligible. If you’re going to have a Reward Culture, actually reward those that did things properly.

If it results in somebody having to have an awkward conversation about why their household is not getting a voucher, that is not my problem.

Talking of empty gestures, it’s already started with the National Day Of Reflection. National Day Of Deflection more like.

Standing for a minute silence before engaging in the behaviour that spreads Covid and then kills people is an empty gesture. If it was a proper National Day Of Reflection, people would be looking in the mirror and asking themselves if they have done enough to protect themselves and others.

This Friday, pubs in Northern Ireland will reopen. Choosing a Friday going into a Bank Holiday Weekend is the dumbest thing i’ve heard.

Over the past few months, Journalists and News Outlets have been pushing a narrative that “We’re all going to go mad and let ourselves go when pubs reopen”. That attitude needs knocked on the head immedaitely.

That is going to be a green light for the biggest scumbags in our society to believe that they can behave however they want. Just watch over the next few years how many court cases will include a line from the Defence QC “My Client was feeling frustrated due to the effects of Lockdown”. Don’t be that guy.

Instead of “Going mad” and “Letting yourself go”, just pick up where you left off and enjoy yourself without being a dick.

That leads me neatly into concerts. I really hope that the next concert I go to isn’t in the first batch of the return of concerts for the above mentioned reasons.

Next on my schedule is Beabadoobee (September), followed by Paul Weller (November), Ash (December), Paul Heaton/Jacqui Abbott (January) and Doves (February) with Lightning Seeds still to be rearranged.

I’m hoping to add The Charlatans in November to that list. Have to be on the ball when they go on sale on Friday.

OMD might also be on the list. I have flights to Gatwick booked for July. I’m leaving it to June to make a decision on them, but it’s a very high chance i’ll move them to November and exchange a weekend in London for a few days in Brighton, sneaking in an OMD concert while i’m there.

I also have a few days in Bray booked for late June. It was supposed to be my base to try and turn up at Lansdowne Road and blag a ticket for the Euro 2021 Last 16 game there.

As you now know, Dublin has lost it’s Hosting Rights for Euro 2021, but i’ll leave it to mid June before cancelling my hotel. If there’s a possibility of a trip, especially one where no flights are needed, I might as well hold on to it as long as possible.

To add to the confusion, my second jab has been scheduled for when I should be there. I’ll be getting that date changed.

There’s another reason to get the R Number down, Man United might be playing at Windsor Park in August.

They’re going to win the UEFA Cup, but Northern Ireland will go into another Lockdown and we’ll lose the Hosting Rights. I’m already bracing myself for the disappointment. That’s what happens when you get used to this useless country letting you down time and time again.

Jonathan Van-Tam, whose stylisation of his surname I autocorrect in my head as Jonathan TV-AM, loves his football analogies to explain the situation.

When he does, I can usually give an example of a team not winning from the position he has just mentioned.

How would you describe Northern Ireland with it’s high rate of vaccine rollout? Four goals up with twenty-minutes to go?

Surely there isn’t an example of a team not winning from that position?

Turns out there is, Hibs drawing 6-6 with Motherwell in 2010. Oh for crying out loud.


I had to wait until the 8th of the month for a photo adventure, heading to The Oval to see Linfield take on Glentoran.

That was then followed up by a trip to Windsor Park the following Saturday to see Linfield take on Newry City.

Another weekend, another football match, as I then headed to the Seaside to see Linfield take on Ards.

The following weekend, began with Rugby, as I headed to Ravenhill to see Ulster take on Dragons.

It was back to football the following day as I headed to Stangmore Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

The month ended with a trip to The Odyssey to see U2 in concert.

Glentoran v Linfield

Linfield v Newry City

Ards v Linfield

Ulster v Dragons

Ulster v Dragons Photo Album

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

U2 live at The Odyssey

U2 live at The Odyssey Photo Album


May 2018 began for me by chasing Street Art, getting photos of Murals at Bankmore Square and Bank Square.

That was then followed by a trip to The Odyssey to see Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

The following weekend, I headed to Manchester to see United take on Watford, as well as getting some Street Art photos, both in the City Centre (mostly, Northern Quarter) and then Pomona Wharf.

On the Bank Holiday Weekend at the end of the month, I headed to Titanic Slipways for BBC’s Biggest Weekend where I saw Manic Street Preachers, Beck, Ash and Franz Ferdinand.

The end of the month was dominated by Street Art, going to check out Street Art on Bruce Street, and attending Wardrobe Jam.

Bankmore Square Street Art

Bankmore Square Street Art Photo Album

Bank Square Street Art

Bank Square Street Art Photo Album

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at The Odyssey

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at The Odyssey

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art

Salford Quays Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v Watford

Manchester United v Watford Photo Album

Manic Street Preachers live at Titanic Slipways

Manic Street Preachers live at Titanic Slipways Photo Album

Beck live at Titanic Slipways

Beck live at Titanic Slipways Photo Album

Ash live at Titanic Slipways

Ash live at Titanic Slipways Photo Album

Franz Ferdinand live at Titanic Slipways

Franz Ferdinand live at Titanic Slipways Photo Album

Bruce Street Art

Bruce Street Art Photo Album

Wardrobe Jam

Wardrobe Jam Photo Album


March 2018 began for me photographing snow. Yes, you read that right, the snow came down in the early days of March 2018.

That snow caused the postponement of Linfield’s Irish Cup tie against Cliftonville, so I had to wait a week for my first football match of the month, as Linfield took on Carrick Rangers.

That was then followed up the following midweek by Linfield’s Irish Cup tie against Cliftonville.

Two days later, I headed to The Odyssey to see Stereophonics in concert.

St Patrick’s Day was spent watching Linfield draw 1-1 at home to Glentoran.

The following Thursday, I headed to The Limelight to see Feeder in concert.

Off work the next day due to needing to use up excess Annual Leave, I made the long journey to Ballinamallard to see Linfield drop two points in the last minute.

That weekend, and the month, ended with me heading to East Belfast to get photos of some new murals that had appeared during the month.

Belfast Snow March 2018

Belfast Snow March 2018 Photo Album – Thursday 1st March

Belfast Snow March 2018 Photo Album – Saturday 3rd March

Linfield v Carrick Rangers

Linfield v Cliftonville

Stereophonics live at The Odyssey

Stereophonics live at The Odyssey Photo Album

Linfield v Glentoran

Feeder live at The Limelight

Feeder live at The Limelight Photo Album

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Northern Ireland v South Korea

Northern Ireland v South Korea Photo Album

East Belfast Street Art

East Belfast Street Art Photo Album

U2 – LIVE AT THE ODYSSEY 28.10.2018

We had the innocence, now for the experience, as U2 returned to Belfast three years after their last visit, an improvement on the eighteen year wait fans had between Botanic Gardens in 1997 and The Odyssey in 2015.

At that Odyssey concert in 2015, Bono entered the stage through the main floor. I got into a good position close to the stage and where he would walk past me, but he didn’t, fooling a lot of us by entering via the inside of the LED screen.

As the background music played, my ears became curious as People Have The Power by Patti Smith started blasting out, as this was the song Bono walked out to in 2015.

It was the next song that introduced the band as the lights dimmed, It’s A Beautiful World by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

Was this a clue as to what lay ahead?

Noel Gallagher guested with U2 on stage in 2015, while he supported the band on their Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary Tour in 2017. He is also a regular visitor to Belfast due to his work with David Holmes.

Nope. I got my hopes up prematurely. His Odyssey concert in May would be his only Belfast appearance this year. I would have to make do with Paul, Dave, Adam and Larry.

Opening with new songs The Blackout and Lights Of Home, Bono then tells the crowd “We’re a band from the North side of Dublin called The U2, and this is our new single I Will Follow”.

Well, that would have been the case if it was 1980, the setlist spanning all parts of the band’s 42 year career, with Bono saying he had spent the morning of this concert watching a TV programme by BBC Northern Ireland called Rock Goes To College filmed at McMordie Hall, the first TV concert footage of the band, even though Bono says none of the band went to college, and then commenting on the difference in fashion of the band between 1980 and 2018.

With North Dublin side Bohemian launching a new kit with Bob Marley on it, U2 must be feeling left out. Shelbourne haven’t brought out their new kit for next season, so watch this space perhaps.

Or maybe on the new St Patrick’s Athletic kit? Not a North Dublin team, but U2 once did a cover of The Saints Are Coming.

More recent classics such as All Because Of You and Beautiful Day then appeared, with the latter bringing back memories of Des Lynam introducing Premier League highlights on ITV.

Bono then moved to the inside of the big screen for The Fly, standing back to back with The Edge as they performed a duet for the chorus.

Of the five big hits from Achtung Baby, Mysterious Ways was the only one not played.

Nothing from The Joshua Tree was played due to the band touring that album in 2017. I love I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and Where The Streets Have No Name.

Curiously, I don’t really like With Or Without You, but it sounds a lot better live.

The four big Achtung Baby hits – The Fly, One, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses? were spaced out this time around rather than bunched together as they were in 2015.

The Fly is one of my favourite U2 songs, and did us all a favour by knocking Bryan Adams off Number 1 in 1991.

Just imagine being in the Record Company Officer when Bono says “Here’s our first new song in four years” and then presses play.

Other 90s classics featured such as Stay (Faraway So Close) and Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me – The latter sounding very dark and Depeche Modey, accompanied by comic book animation on the LED screen similar to the video for the song.

If you get annoyed at Spanish being spoken incorrectly, you would have been advised to leave the room for cinco minutes, as the band played Vertigo, with Bono allowing the crowd to sing “Uno, Dos, Tres, Catorce”, which anyone with a basic grasp of Spanish will tell you is “One, Two, Three, Fourteen”.

I was the lone voice shouting “Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro”.

The band made up for the poor Spanish by treating us to snippets of It’s Only Rock n Roll and Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones.

They then performed Pride, one of their best songs. On the recording, everybody was on top form, and they were still on top form when performing it on stage 34 years later, though Bono changed the lyrics of “Early morning, April four” to “Fifty years ago, April 4” as it has been pointed out that Martin Luther King was shot a lot later in the day.

We can’t have factual inaccuracies in U2 songs.

Maybe Bono doesn’t want to go where the streets have no name? He would get lost very easily. Maybe he actually has found what he’s looking for?

Now in the present day, we were treated to the two stand-out tracks from Songs Of Experience – Get Out Of Your Own Way and You’re The Best Thing About Me, before performing New Year’s Day.

Bono wasn’t slow in giving opinions on world events, decrying Brexit, which let’s face it is a dumber idea than having a giant lemon on stage, singing Ode To Joy and having a megaphone with the European flag on stage, .

Talking of U2’s 90s excesses, Mr MacPhisto made a comeback, sort of, Bono’s alter ego, or Paul Hewson’s alter ego’s alter ego, stating that he (MacPhisto) is having his work done for him in America, Brazil and Phillipines.

Before the encore, Bono gave a shout out to Soak, the band performing One.

This concert was part of a busy social period for me.

On the Thursday before, I had hoped to see Nerina Pallot at Black box, but I wasn’t quick enough, which was a pity. I did see her in 2010 though, so I haven’t missed out on her.

I had hoped to see Simon Day on the Friday before, but that got cancelled with no reason, so I went to the Rugger instead.

The day after this concert, I headed to the Waterfront Hall for An Evening With Eric Cantona, which was a bit disappointing.

It was great to see him in the flesh again, and I had a decent view, but there were so many complaints.

He was on stage for less than an hour. Not good enough for the price of the tickets. Especially when signage in the venue had the show starting at 8pm, only for that segment to be a comedian (funny in bits, emphasis on bits, I won’t be checking him out for future shows) and an auction.

The host of the show was the owner of the promotion company. It showed. It would have been so much better if it had a professional broadcaster hosting it and asking questions, and most importantly, taking charge of proceedings.

Far too many times, you could barely hear Eric Cantona due to the number of Banter Bores in the crowd, answering questions on his behalf, chipping in and hoping that Eric will laugh at something they say, so that they can dine out on it.

Eric Cantona did not laugh at one thing they said.

You know the sort, the type of person who tells a joke three times, getting louder each time so that everybody in the pub gets to hear how funny they are.

Jeans and sheux and pints of Harp, the absolute worst of “Ladz ladz bantz bantz”.

Like I say, it was great seeing Eric Cantona, but it could have been so much better if it had basic organisation. I’ve been to similar events with Suggs and Ron Atkinson (not together) and a decent interviewer who tolerates no shit from the crowd make these things work.

Once it wasn’t nipped in the bud early on, there was no way back.

I’ve paid money to listen to Eric Cantona, not Sammy from Lisburn. Is it any fucking wonder Sammy, that she has turned the weans against you.

If the second half of the double header was disappointing, the first half of it, U2, certainly wasn’t.

Photo Album

U2 Live at The Odyssey 2015


After spending most of 2018 touring to promote his third solo album Who Built The Moon?, Noel Gallagher headed into Belfast, a city that he has a lot of history with.

Of course, he was at The Limelight (with 250,000 others) on the night Definitely Maybe went to number one, he has also been here on the weeks of previous album releases both solo and as a member of Oasis.

This album had an even bigger link to Belfast, with part of it being recorded here.

Noel Gallagher spending time in Belfast and I didn’t see him once, yet somehow I always manage to walk past Uncle Andy from Give My Head Peace at least once a week.

Support came from Baxter Dury, who sings a lot like his dad. If that’s your scene, you will enjoy him.

I would have preferred it if Blossoms were supporting him, as they did when he toured Mainland Europe last month, having previously seen them supporting Paul Weller in 2015 and Kasabian (well, supposed to) in 2017, as well as a headline gig at The Limelight in early 2017.

No pressure on Noel, but I was missing Linfield v Glentoran for this. As Noel entered the stage, Linfield had just gone 2-0 up. Noel was well on the way to being my favourite Gallagher as I missed a County Antrim Shield defeat to Ards to see Liam in concert last November.

I had a quick check again two songs in and it was 2-2 en route to a 3-4 defeat. It was now Noel’s job to cheer me up rather than entertain me.

Unsurprisingly, he entered to the sound of Fort Knox, a great introductory song with an epic build up with a 1990 vibe. You could just imagine it being in the background as you hug Tony Wilson or Peter Hook in The Hacienda.

Noel was on vocals for the “Hey hey hey” bits which didn’t really work as well live as it did on the record.

This then led in to Holy Mountain, the lead single from Who Built The Moon?, a song that took a while to grow, best described as Roxy Music with flutes. Amazingly, it works.

Everybody in the venue was punching the air as Noel sang “She fell, she fell, right under my spell”, as is tradition when you reach the chorus of a Glam Rock stomper.

The opening songs were dominated by songs from Who Built The Moon? It has it’s moments, but it’s weird enough to scare off teenage parka wearing fuckwits who previously turned up at his concerts acting like shitebags, meaning that this was a more civilised affair.

One of those songs was It’s A Beautiful World, which was the opposite of Fort Knox, which sounds a lot better live than it does on record.

This block of solo hits also included stuff from previous albums such as In The Heat Of The Moment, Riverman, Ballad Of The Mighty I, IF I Had A Gun and Dream On.

Three albums in, he can fill out a set with solo material, Oasis classics are now the minority. The his now Noel properly solo, or Noelo, if you prepare.

Noel then spoke to the crowd asking “What about ye?” in a very authentic Belfast accent, asking what had happened since he was last here, answering himself with “Fuck all”, as someone threw a baseball hat at him, he took a look at it and kicked it away in disgust, before asking “Who the fuck walks around Belfast wearing a Los Angeles baseball hat?” before making another fashion based observation that judging by the way people were dressed, there were a lot of Oasis fans in the building.

That got a cheer, it was a nice link to a couple of Oasis classics, Little By Little (sounding far better than on record) and The Importance Of Being Idle before Love Is The Law, and underrated classic from Who Built The Moon?

Another stand out track from Who Built The Moon?, She Taught Me To Fly was next. Just before that song, he introduced his backing band, The High Flying Birds. The loudest cheer was for Charlotte Scissor Queen, as this was the song she plays scissors on. There were also familiar (Familiar to millions, you could say) faces in the form of former Oasai Gem Archer, Chris Sharrock and Mike Rowe.

It was then back to Oasis for some singalong classics, Half The World Away and Wonderwall, before signing off on AKA …. What a Life.

Onto the encore, and an Oasis classic not usually performed by Noel, as it was sung by Liam, Go Let It Out, with a slightly more Primal Scream-ey vibe and no Noel shouting “PICK UP THE BASS” between verses.

That was then followed by a stripped back Don’t Look Back In Anger, Noel as per usual just letting the audience do the singing.

The show ended with a cover of All You Need Is Love. Oasis did covers of I Am The Walrus and Helter Skelter as B-Sides and frequently talked about their love of The Beatles.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get the balloon drop that has happened at other concerts on the tour when he performs this song.

Want to feel old? Definitely Maybe is the mid point between now and The Beatles splitting up.

As he left the stage, he told the crowd “I’ll see you down the road”

Whatever could be mean?

Ormeau Park? Custom House Square? Titanic Slipways? Holywood Rugby Club?

Photo Album

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at Titanic Belfast 2016

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at The Odyssey 2015

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at Custom House Square 2012

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at The Odyssey 2012


Stereophonics have been around for a bit, thanking their Belfast fans for 20 years of support, during a concert that was two days after the 19th anniversary of their first Number One album, Performance and Cocktails.

Regular visitors to Belfast, this was their first indoor concert in Belfast since November 2013, but they have played Belsonic twice since then.

What you get now is a Greatest Hits set. It’s been that way for at least ten years. Let’s face it, who goes to a concert to watch a band perform obscure B-Sides?

They began with more recent classics such as Cest La Vie, I Wanna Get Lost With You and Caught By The Wind.

Caught By The Wind being the standout single released from most recent album Scream Above The Sounds, alongside All In One Night.

Both singles giving off an atmospheric 80s Den Henley vibe.

Don’t be mocking Don Henley, he’s the acceptable face of singing drummers. If they were sounding like Phil Collins, that would be a different matter.

Four songs in, they returned to their debut album, which Jones noted had been released 20 years ago, playing More Life In A Tramp’s Vest.

While the song played, the large screen behind them a compilation of home videos from the band’s early days, with both Kelly and Richard Jones (no relation) both sporting long hairdos. The much missed Stuart Cable sported the same style throughout his time with the band.

During those days, they were known as Tragic Love Company. They had enough video editing skills in them days to write a caption on the screen. Thankfully, they changed their name, as there is only space for one band called TLC.

They then moved onto a song they wrote in San Francisco called Have A Nice Day, though it sounds like Kelly Jones sings “Have an ass day”. It can’t be unheard.

That was then followed by my favourite Stereophonics song, Superman, performed with all the groove and swagger you heard on record.

It was a different stage from previous Stereophonics concerts. Rather than your traditional rock n roll stage design, this stage extended in the middle across the floor, to where the halfway line on the Ice Hockey pitch would be.

You can tell i’m not an expert in stage design. If you went to see U2 in 2015 or Muse in 2016 at The Odyssey.

I was stood at the end of the stage, meaning I had a decent view when they were there, and a decent view when they were in the more traditional rock n roll stage position.

Stagehands snuck some decorations onto that area as the band moved up there. It was dressed as a lounge, similar to that in the video for Handbags and Gladrags, one of the songs that was performed during this section.

Oh yes, there were plenty of lava lamps.

As the band walked over to their new home, we were treated to an instrumental cover of Sweet Home Alabama.

One of the highlights of this section was an acoustic version of Pick A Part That’s New.

That was one of many songs from the first two albums that were played in succession such as Just Looking, Traffic, A Thousand Trees, The Bartender And The Thief

By now, we were at the encore, which included Local Boy In The Photograph.

It looked like they were going to go through a concert without playing Dakota, as Kelly began playing some wandering notes on his guitar, before slowly singing the words “Made me feel like the one, made me feel like the one”.

Everybody in the venue sang it back at him.

They then burst into the version we all know and love. A fantastic tune, their only Number One. It was a good way to sign off.

Photo Album

Stereophonics live at Titanic Belfast June 2016

Stereophonics live at Custom House Square August 2015

Stereophonics live at The Odyssey November 2013

Stereophonics live at Waterfront Hall March 2013

Stereophonics live at Custom House Square August 2010


November began with a long trip to Fermanagh to see Linfield take on Ballinamallard. It was raining goals and raining rain as Linfield won 6-0.

From going West, it was going East that was next on my agenda, as Northern Ireland took on Switzerland with the aim of going to Russia. They lost 1-0.

The following day, it was a trip to Ballymena, to see Linfield lose 2-1.

The following Friday, the entertainment was of a musical variety, as The Killers came to The Odyssey.

The photos continued on a musical theme, getting photos of a Run DMC mural in Belfast, as well as some Street Art beside Apache.

It was back to football, seeing Linfield beat Coleraine and Glenavon.

The last day of the month saw me cycle to Lisburn to get some Street art photos, including a mural of Top Cat.

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Switzerland

Northern Ireland v Switzerland Photo Album

Ballymena United v Linfield

The Killers live at The Odyssey

The Killers live at The Odyssey Photo Album

Run DMC/Apache Mural

Run DMC Mural Photo Album

Apache Mural Photo Album

Linfield v Coleraine

Glenavon v Linfield

Lisburn Street Art

Lisburn Street Art Photo Album


In the first week of October 2017, I headed to Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Germany in a World Cup Qualifier.

That was sandwiched inbetween me going out around Belfast to check out Street Art which was painted as part of Hit The North, these pieces were still works in progress when I went to photograph them in September

The following day, I went to my one Rugby match a year, as Ulster beat Wasps in the European Cup.

It was back to football the following day, seeing Linfield take on Coleraine.

There was a glut of concerts towards the end of the month, going to see Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, OMD and Liam Gallagher, with Linfield’s matches against Ards and Crusaders sandwiched inbetween.

Northern Ireland v Germany

Northern Ireland v Germany Photo Album

Hit The North Mop-Up

Hit The North Mop-Up Photo Album

Ulster v Wasps

Ulster v Wasps Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott live at The Limelight

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott live at The Limelight Photo Album

Linfield v Crusaders

OMD live at Mandela Hall

OMD live at Mandela Hall Photo Album

Linfield v Ards

Liam Gallagher live at The Odyssey

Liam Gallagher live at The Odyssey Photo Album


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