THE FRIDAY FIVE – 4.1.2019

1. Lovelytheband – Broken
2. Marc Almond and Jools Holland – Tainted Love
3. Rudimental – These Days
4. Brian May – New Horizons
5. The 1975 – It’s Not Living

Tonight, sees The Story Of 1987 on BBC Four, marking the start of the 1987 repeats of Top Of The Pops on the channel.

As is tradition, when the Top Of The Pops repeats reach a new year, I do a chart. So here, is a chart from 1987.

FIVE SONGS FROM 1987

1. Bee Gees – You Win Again
2. Starship – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
3. Madonna – Who’s That Girl?
4. Climie Fisher – Love Changes Everything
5. Curiousity Killed The Cat – Misfit

I’m not suggesting that 1987 was the undisputed year of the banger, but look at some of the songs that weren’t included.

INXS – Need You Tonight
Depeche Mode – Strangelove
Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down Again
REM – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It
Belinda Carlisle – Heaven Is A Place On Earth
MARRS – Pump Up The Volume
Spagna – Call Me
Bananarama – Love In The First Degree
Madonna – La Isla Bonita
Fleetwood Mac – Little Lies
Glenn and Chris – Diamond Lights
U2 – Where The Streets Have No Name
U2 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Fleetwood Mac – Everywhere
Squeeze – Hourglass

2017 IN PICTURES – JUNE

June 2017 began for me chasing after murals, starting with one of Northern Ireland legends outside Filthy McNasty in Botanic.

From there, it was across South Belfast to get a photo on Lower Ormeau Road of a mural by Emic.

There was more Street Art photos as I followed the progress of a mural of music legends in Hill Street.

In the middle of the month, I headed to Ormeau Park for Belsonic, to see The 1975 in concert.

That weekend, I headed to Manchester in the 1950s. Sort of. The Oval was dressed up to look like Maine Road for a film, so I went and got some photos of it.

The month ended with some football, heading to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on La Fiorita in the European Cup.

Filthy McMural

Filthy McMural Photo Album

Emic Mural

Emic Mural Photo Album

Hill Street Wall Of Fame

Hill Street Wall Of Fame Photo Album

The 1975 live at Ormeau Park

The 1975 live at Ormeau Park Photo Album

Maine Oval

Mine Oval Photo Album

Linfield v La Fiorita

THE 1975 – LIVE AT ORMEAU PARK 16.6.2017 (BELSONIC)

The last time The 1975 played in Belfast, singer Matt Healy declared that they were getting so big they were running out of venues to play in Belfast. So it appears the solution was to give them a park.

Ormeau Park is the new venue for Belsonic, hosting it’s second gig of this year’s event, with Arcade Fire playing on the Tuesday before.

I’m not really that into Arcade Fire but I did consider going, but mainly for The Kooks, who were supporting. However, a cost of £45 a ticket just to see the support band was a bit offputting.

The Kooks announced a Dublin gig for January 2018 on Monday. I suspect it was embargoed as Belsonic were hoping Republic of Ireland based Kooks fans would travel to this, under the impression they wouldn’t be coming to Dublin.

It’s not uncommon for bands to announce Belfast gigs soon after playing Belsonic (KT Tunstall did last year), so i’m crossing my fingers for a Kooks headline gig in Belfast in early 2018.

Anyway, back to The 1975. The band were regular visitors to Northern Ireland during the period of their self-titled first album.

However, Northern Ireland had been a noticable absence from their touring to promote their not in any way creepily titled second album I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unware Of It, so this gig was to be welcomed by their Northern Ireland fans.

Matt Healy welcomed this support, speaking about how so many people from “To be fair, such a small place” had come out to see the band.

As if there wasn’t enough pressure on the band to perform, there was added pressure in the fact that I was missing out on Paramore at Waterfront Hall to see this, that gig being announced for the same night, and I already had my ticket for this.

This was my first Belsonic at Ormeau Park, the only entrance being closer to the Ravenhill Road, which felt like a never ending walk on a warm evening, a rare occasion when the weather in Belfast behaved itself.

The band came on an burst into Love Me, the lead single from ILIWYS,FYASBYSUOI. Already a dancey song you can boogie to, partly due to it’s close resemblance to Fame by David Bowie, the thumping bass when played live made it sound so much better and dancier.

Unfortunately, as with any outdoor event in Belfast, Ormeau Park was riddled with smelly tramps, puffing and vaping away with no consideration for others.

They’ll probably gurn about their human rights being breached (ignoring my human right of some clean air when out enjoying myself), but seriously, just dig a fucking hole at the back and stick them in there and let the rest of us enjoy ourselves in peace.

As a city we need to have a serious conversation about this. It’s a sad state of affairs when you have to hold your nose and cover your mouth when walking in the City Centre and when at outdoor concerts.

I am absolutely no civic pride in Belfast. It’s a smelly shithole. No amount of Game Of Thrones related advertising can change that.

Although, one highlight was seeing a fat millbeg drop her feg, bend down to pick it up and then fall over. Not going to lie, it put a massive smile on my face.

As well as fagbreaths, crowd members were treated to a recent phenomenon of backpacks at concerts. Seriously, why the fuck do you need to bring a backpack to a one day concert?

There appears to be a correlation that the vast majority of fuckwits who aimlessly walk about from side to side (literally, every concert) appear to be wearing backpacks.

Hopefully, Belsonic will start banning people wearing backpacks like other events, or at least ask them to use their brains and make them put them down by their side.

I know these rules have been brought in as part of the fight against international terrorism, but stopping fuckwits banging into people is a happy spin-off

After a dancey start, the concert then had a few iffy moments, most notably an avant garde instrumental solo. The 1975 do music to dance to, people want to dance. Do the maths.

If I wanted to watch four men arse about on keyboards, I would have went to see Kraftwerk at the Waterfront Hall a few weeks ago.

Eventually, we got back on track, but then took a detour as Matt Healy started to talk about politics. I didn’t actually hear what he said, as a man behind me shouted “Oh for fuck sake, stop talking about about politics”

A very sound observation.

The main complaint was that there were too many slow songs. People wanted to dance, and made the most of it when the opportunity came.

Healy then introduced Chocolate, describing it as “self explanatory”.

In a weird way, I was tempted to eat a bar of chocolate I had in my coat pocket in a way of life imitating music, like that time I listened to Rotterdam by The Beautiful South on my ipod whenever I was in Rotterdam.

Before finishing their set, Healy spoke about their first gig in Belfast, in front of 25 people at The Oh Yeah Centre.

When he reminisced about it at their last Belfast gig, Ulster Hall in 2014, he said there were 15 people in attendance.

It’s like Oasis at The Limelight, the crowd gets bigger each year.

The next time The 1975 play in Belfast, he’ll be reminiscing about the time they played in front of 35 people at The Oh Yeah Centre.

Photo Album

The 1975 Live At Ulster Hall February 2014

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 SOUND OF 2016 : 26-51

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

THE 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

2016 : THE HALF-TERM HALF CENTURY

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

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

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 29.4.2016

1. Bruce Springsteen – Purple Rain
2. Iggy Pop – Gardenia
3. Band Of Skulls – So Good
4. The 1975 – A Change Of Heart
5. Garbage – Empty

This week saw the latest batch of headliners for Belsonic announced.

After moving away from their traditional August slot to June, they’ve now added new August gigs to compliment the June ones.

The first one announced was The Corrs, rather underwhelming. Thankfully, it got better after that.

I know I shouldn’t really complain about the line-up, I should know by now that it’s so diverse i’m not actually going to like every headlining act.

The ones that appeal the most to me are Madness and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. It’ll be just like 2012.

I remember blogging about the big risks Belsonic was taking when it increased from two nights, now look at it.

Fair play to Belsonic, they’ve never been shy in taking risks or being ambitious.

Undecided about the new venue, but i’m more than willing to give it a chance. Looking forward to Belsonic 2025, a 120 night event running from May to September.

Oh, here’s a chart based on the August acts.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS APPEARING AT BELSONIC IN AUGUST

1. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA What A Life
2. Madness – Lovestruck
3. Catfish and the Bottlemen – Kathleen
4. Fatboy Slim – Right Here Right Now
5. The Corrs – So Young