2022 IN PICTURES – JUNE

Two football matches, two concerts and a trip to Newcastle. That was June.

It was Windsor Park-Limelight on a rotating basis, with Del Amitri and Feeder being sandwiched inbetween Northern Ireland’s matches against Greece and Cyprus.

At the end of the month, I went to North-East England (and a bit of Yorkshire), although the only photo adventure was a trip to Jesmond Dene in Newcastle,

Northern Ireland v Greece

Northern Ireland v Greece Photo Album

Del Amitri live at The Limelight

Del Amitri live at The Limelight Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Cyprus

Northern Ireland v Cyprus Photo Album

Feeder live at The Limelight

Feeder live at The Limelight Photo Album

Jesmond Dene

Jesmond Dene Photo Album

FEEDER – LIVE AT THE LIMELIGHT 24.6.2022 (AND A LITTLE BIT OF LIAM GALLAGHER LIVE AT ORMEAU PARK 24.6.2022)

This was a case of two concerts for the price of one, going to see Feeder at The Limelight, and then getting to listen to Liam Gallagher on my walk home, and then opening my window so I could listen to him belt out his hits from the comfort of my Living Room.

It was Liam Gallagher who had his gig in the diary first, rearranged from last year on medical advice after he fell out of a helicopter.

One normal day of Liam Gallagher, that is all I ask for.

Feeder acknowledged the competition and said they were glad to have people come out to see them. They would have loved to have supported him, but having supported Noel recently, he may not be keen on the idea as they will have been deemed to have taken sides.

Grant did state that Ash, who did support him, were brilliant.

If you’re wondering why I went to Feeder instead despite Liam being announced first, here’s why.

I’m finished with outdoor concerts in Belfast. Too many scumbags on the fags and vapes throughout. No matter where I move (and I shouldn’t have to) I find myself struggling to breathe. It’s just not worth the hassle.

I shouldn’t be letting them win but I have no choice, I have to look after myself.

It will be to my own detriment, as i’ll be missing out on Simple Minds, Madness and Stereophonics.

That will be around £120 that the Live Music Industry will be missing out on through their inability to tackle the problem. Something to bear in mind the next time they are on the news crying about how hard things are.

Don’t tell me they can’t do anything. They can confiscate chocolate bars when people are going into Belsonic and they can confiscate mobile phones at a Kevin Hart show.

You can do anything you want when you put your mind to it.

Not that The Limelight is much better, as people routinely vape right in front of Security Staff.

What is the fucking point of them being there if they’re not going to do their job?

We really do live in a society that has a culture of tolerance and appeasement towards it’s absolute worst.

Unsurprisingly, this was a show packed with hits, beginning with the most recent once, The Healing, lead single from their most recent album Torpedo.

If you haven’t heard it, it’s an epic footstomper that is best described as “Classic Feeder” and can stand up to any of their big hits.

Big hits, such as Feeling A Moment, Lost And Found, Just The Way I’m Feeling, Come Back Around, Just A Day and Insomnia.

One of the big hits that nearly didn’t make it was Buck Rodgers. I know, that is almost sacriligious.

Grant Nicholas was toying with the idea of not playing the song on this tour.

Toyed with it, but he was never going to get away with it. He acknowledged himself how many doors it opened for the band, and then they played it.

It went down a storm, the whole venue singing along.

As fans left the venue, The Limelight was now getting ready for it’s club night, with the DJ playing Mr Blue Sky by ELO.

An appropriate choice, considering how warm it had been all day.

The problem was, it was now pissing down.

At least I didn’t have far to walk home.

As I was walking home, I could hear the sound of live music.

I assumed that it was another band playing elsewhere in The Limelight.

As I got further away from The Limelight, it became obvious that it was the sound of Liam Gallagher.

I could still hear him as I arrived at my front door.

It would have been rude not to open my window and listen to him from the comfort of my Living Room.

He sounded great, especially as I had arrived perfectly at the point where he was belting out the big hits.

Hopefully, next time, will be at The Odyssey.

Photo Album

Feeder Live At Holywood Rugby Club 2019

Feeder Live At The Limelight 2018

Feeder Live At The Limelight 2016

DEL AMITRI – LIVE AT THE LIMELIGHT 6.6.2022

Always wanted to see Big Derek Amitri live in concert.

Ok, it’s not a man called Derek, but a band, fronted by a man called Justin.

I’ve loved Del Amitri for a long time, going back to the 1990s when they seemed to release a certified banger every two years, such as Nothing Ever Happens, Always The Last To Know and Not Where It’s At.

Radio Hits rather than Chart Hits though. Seriously, what is wrong with this country?

And of course, the much maligned Don’t Come Home Too Soon. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not a decent song.

Our paths did cross once, in 2014, when they played Hammersmith Apollo when I was in London for a weekend.

Ticket prices made me decide against it.

If you live in Belfast and want to see Del Amitri, you will have had to travel.

“What’s 30 fucking years?” said Justin Currie. He did say “fucking” quite a lot when speaking to the crowd.

Well, he is from Glasgow.

Not quite 30 years, according to their official website, which says they did a Belfast concert in 1994, but no date or venue.

Currie did remember playing, in his words, “A pub in Belfast”, prompting the audience to shout out answers as if we were at a Quiz Show.

Somebody shouted out Mandela Hall, which this 2021 Twitter post suggests they did play in 1990.

A curious aspect of this concert was the amount of people in t-shirts of other bands ranging from fellow Scots and Glaswegians Simple Minds, partially Scottish and Glaswegian AC/DC to the totally not Scottish U2 and Thin Lizzy.

Support came from Aqualung, who you may remember having a hit with Strange And Beautiful from a commercial twenty years ago.

We were glad just to have them in Belfast, and not to do with the fact we haven’t hosted them since the 1990s, but due to the fact that the Dublin concert scheduled for the previous night was cancelled (at a few weeks notice) due to “Unavoidable scheduling conflicts”.

A moment where you panicked before rereading and then rereading the story again.

The setlist, was made up mostly of Greatest Hits and songs from their new album Fatal Mistakes.

Hits played included Nothing Ever Happens, Always The Last To Know, Kiss This Thing Goodbye and Not Where It;s At.

I’ve been to plenty of concerts where there has been a Guitar solo. I’ve been to plenty of concerts where there has been a Drum solo.

This was the first concert where there was an Accordion solo, which is what we got while the crowd were singing along to Nothing Ever Happens.

We were even treated to stand-up comedy as Justin Currie asked what the difference is between an Accordion and and Onion.

He was overshouted by his bandmate before when trying to deliver the punchline.

Nobody cries when you cut open an Accordion, if you care.

Nothing Ever Happens is a song that took on a new meaning when people read the lyrics after seeing it on a Top Of The Pops repeat on BBC Four in 2020.

“Janitors padlock the gates for Security Guards to patrol …….Gentlemen time please, you know we can’t serve any more …………..By 5 o’clock everything’s dead, and every third car is a cab …….and ignorant people sleep in their beds”.

This basically summer up life in Lockdown during 2020 ……… thirty years ahead of it’s time.

There was probably an angry person in Manchester complaining about seeing Top Of The Pops repeats on BBC Four.

Although, i’m sure Del Amitri are expecting a few angry letters for not playing Roll To Me.

They didn’t play Don’t Come Home Too Soon, although they might not have been in the mood for it after Scotland had been pumped by Ukraine five days earlier.

Despite that, it was an enjoyable show.

There was a bit of a novelty leaving at 10pm that there was still (a small bit of) daylight, a bit of a culture shock considering how you are used to leaving indoor concerts in the dark..

Justin Currie wrote a blog about his experiences in Belfast. You can read about it here.

Photo Album

2021 IN PICTURES – DECEMBER (SO FAR ….)

December began with a trip to Coleraine, to see Linfield get a vital win.

That was followed by a trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield draw with Warrenpoint Town.

Time for one last concert in 2021, to see Ash at The Limelight.

The following night, I headed to Inver Park to see Linfield take on Larne.

Another match in a football dominated month, this time back to Windsor Park to see Linfield beat Ballymena United.

Of course, this entry is titled “December (So Far) as there is another week of the month left to go.

I was hoping to use my time off for hillwalks and obviously getting some photos but the weather hasn’t been kind. Hopefully, i’ll be able to get out before I return to work.

Let’s not forget, off to Windsor Park on Monday for Linfield v Glentoran. Undecided as yet about the Steel and Sons Cup Final.

Hope you enjoyed my photographic look through 2021.

Let’s hope I have something to photograph in 2022. Let’s not be stupid and get everything close again.

Coleraine v Linfield

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

Ash live at The Limelight

Ash live at The Limelight Photo Album

Larne v Linfield

Linfield v Ballymena United

2021 IN PICTURES – NOVEMBER

November began with a day trip to Dublin. Naturally, while I was there, I took the opportunity to check out Street Art. Might as well, seeing as it was my first time there in two years.

Later that week, I did something else I hadn’t done for a long time. Not as long, just over eighteen months. I am of course referring to going to a concert, in this case, Lightning Seeds at The Limelight.

That was then followed by two road trips for Linfield away games, to Portadown and Crusaders.

Sandwiched inbetween that was another road trip, this time to Ards to get some Street Art photos, with a recent event having taken place.

It was a month of doing things I hadn’t done for a while. This time, going on a flight.

The destination was Gatwick, but not to go to London, but Brighton instead.

So many photo adventures, where to start?

Street Art in Brighton, of course. Also, a walk along Beachy Head, OMD in concert, and some sunsets while I was in Brighton.

Back home, a return to Windsor Park to see Linfield beat Cliftonville.

Two days later, I headed to The Limelight to see The Charlatans in concert.

The month ended with Linfield matches against Glenavon and Carrick Rangers.

Dublin Street Art

Dublin Street Art Photo Album

Lightning Seeds live at The Limelight

Lightning Seeds live at The Limelight Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

Ards Street Art

Ards Street Art Photo Album

Crusaders v Linfield

Brighton Street Art

Brighton Street Art Photo Album

Beachy Head

Beachy Head Photo Album

OMD live at Brighton Centre

OMD live at Brighton Centre Photo Album

Brighton Sunset

Brighton Sunset Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

The Charlatans live at The Limelight

The Charlatans live at The Limelight Photo Album

Glenavon v Linfield

Linfield v Carrick Rangers

ASH – LIVE AT THE LIMELIGHT 16.12.2021

This concert should have taken place at the end of May 2020, to kickstart the Summer of 2020. A lot of things didn’t happen in the Summer of 2020. Instead, the rearrangements to October 2020, May 2021 and then December 2021 meant that this became the now triennial Ash Christmas Bash.

In 2015 and 2018 (later in the month, coincidentally both on 20th December) they held concerts in the run-up to Christmas, dubbed The Ash Christmas Bash, which descended into anarchy and farce. The good sort.

Even though this concert didn’t have the same billing, it was. We all knew it was.

The reason for this tour, was to promote a compilation album called Teenage Wildlife, released to celebrate 25 years of Ash as a recording act, except it is now 26 years. Almost 27, as we are two months short of it being two years since it was released, braving a very wet Belfast City Centre to see Tim Wheeler perform a solo acoustic set in HMV to promote it.

To be honest, as with the other concerts I have attended, I was a bit unsure about going to this because of you know what, especially when The Charlatans and Supergrass became the first of many band over the next few days to immediately postpone their tours.

Eventually, I decided to go, wearing two masks and having a hand held fan with me to be extra sure. I’d got my Booster Jab the night before.

For this concert, The Limelight were making something vaguely resembling an effort for once, checking Covid Passes as people went in. They even had signage up requesting people wear masks. Obviously, they didn’t enforce it, that would be too much of an effort.

You may be shocked to discover that Maskexemptionitis is still rife. If only somebody could find a cure for it.

Oh sorry, I forgot, Magnum Carter.

Eventually, Ash appeared onstage, jumping straight into Goldfinger, one of many of their big hits played early on.

Might as well give the people what they want.

That was followed by Shining Light, A Life Less Ordinary and Oh Yeah, as well as Darkest Hour Of The Night, the single to promote the compilation released nearly two years ago that they are only getting around to promote.

I was expecting some changes to the lyrics in Buzzkill to reference you know what, but that would be letting you know what win.

Throughout the concert, Mark Hamilton was adopted Peter Hook-esque poses with his Bass, holding it in every position possible. You could have just stood watching him all night and be entertained.

It wasn’t just their own hits, as they included a cover of Another Girl Another Planet and one of Rocking Around The Christmas Tree, as tradition dictated they have to, in their words, massacre at least one Christmas classic.

Before leaving the stage, Tim Wheeler declared “See you next year” that Ash would be going on tour in 2022 to celebrate 30 years since they started performing as a live act.

All being well, that is, because of you know what. I admire his optimism.

I only have one concert in my diary for 2020, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at Ulster Hall.

At least I did, returning home to an e-mail from Ulster Hall to say that concert has been postponed until a (as yet unannounced) new date.

Although, it was on my dad’s birthday, which saved me from an awkward double booking. Phew.

I was hoping to see The Cure at The Odyssey in December (It’s on Robert Smith’s favourite day of the week) but not with a £7 Booking Fee. I will probably relent nearer the time.

Just remember that if someone from The Odyssey is ever on the news complaining that they are struggling financially because of you know what.

As a footnote to this concert, Ash appeared on a TV show called Live At The Waterfront. Funnily enough, it was filmed at Waterfront Hall. It was broadcast on Sky Arts so if you have Sky Q, you should be able to download it.

So, 2024, the next Ash Christmas Bash. Let’s try and have Covid consigned to history by then. Is that too much to ask for?

Photo Album

Ash live at HMV Belfast 2020

Ash live at The Limelight 2018

Ash live at Titanic Slipways 2018

Ash live at The Empire 2015

THE CHARLATANS – LIVE AT THE LIMELIGHT 22.11.2021

31 years is a curious anniversary to celebrate, but that’s what The Charlatans were doing when they rolled into Belfast to perform at The Limelight.

This concert, wasn’t actually put back, it was on the actual date it was announced to be on, calling it The 31st Anniversary Tour was very much tongue in cheek to the current situation.

Getting in, it was a ticket on my phone. Ugh. I was asked to scan a QR Code for Track and Trace but they let me in anyway when it wouldn’t work on my phone. No request to show proof of vaccination or mask enforcement.

During the support act, Aoife Nessa Francis, Tim Burgess was stood in front of me on the floor, watching her. Wearing a mask as well, setting a good example. You’d think if the singer of the band you’re going to see can wear a mask you could do so too. I forgot, Maskexemptionitis is on the rampage. Let’s hope they find a cure for it.

As Tim dedicated a song to Steve Strange, a Belfast based Promoter, not the Welsh Pop Star from the 80s, someone asked if it was My Beautiful Friend, only to be told it was not, but they should have done that song for him. They ended up not performing it. Pity, it’s a decent tune.

Sadly, Tim responding only encouraged the Banter Bores in the crowd. You know the sort, think they’re mates with the band and that they’re so funny. We’re not here to see you.

This was a Greatest Hits Tour, we were treated to, um, hits and lots of them – Forever, Weirdo, You’re So Pretty We’re So Pretty, North Country Boy, One To Another, Tellin Stories and The Only One I Know.

As Tim Burgess was introducing the rest of the band, Pete Salisbury, formerly of The Verve but now very much a Charlatan declined to do a drum solo despite being egged on by the crowd.

Pleasingly, they played two of my favourite songs, Love Is The Key and Blackened Blue Eyes.

A Greatest Hits Tour that did what it said on the tin.

Photo Album

The Charlatans live at Falls Park 2013

The Charlatans live at Custom House Square 2015

The Charlatans live at The Limelight 2017

LIGHTNING SEEDS – LIVE AT THE LIMELIGHT 4.11.2021

As I walked down Ormeau Avenue after leaving Blossoms in March 2020, I knew it wouldn’t be long until I returned to The Limelight to see Lightning Seeds the following weekend.

Lightning Seeds at The Limelight would turn out to be my next concert, I just didn’t anticipate that it would be twenty months away.

The original date was Saturday 14th March 2020. Yes, the week that everything all “Kicked off” if you will. It was a late postponement, but I was expected, having already seen Linfield v Larne postponed a few days earlier. Both my plans for that Saturday were postponed. It would turn out that my plans for a lot of Saturdays after that would bite the dust.

It was rescheduled for Wednesday 27th May 2020, because Covid was going to be all sorted by then. Such naive optimism. It probably would have been sorted by then if this country wasn’t so thick as shit.

Further postponements came, to September 2020, then Friday 21st May 2021.

Thankfully, that one in May was postponed as it would have clashed with the Irish Cup Final. Sorry guys, but priorities.

September 2021, try again. Nope, another postponement, this time to November 2021.

As my ticket for this was purchased in January 2020, this will be one of the last concerts for which I will have a physical ticket stub to go into my Ticket Tin, an empty box of Quality Street which holds all my ticket stubs from concerts and football matches. Stupid online ticketing.

In anticipation of the obvious question, yes, it’s the band that did that song, and yes, they’ve done other songs.

One of those bands that you probably know more songs of theirs than you realise.

Of course, with this year having an international football tournament, they’ve had a spell at Number 1 this year. With the 2022 World Cup being in Winter, they might even get next year’s Christmas Number 1 if England win it.

This wasn’t their first time at The Limelight, but it was the first in a while, 22 years in fact, in 1999.

As part of my Magazine Archive series, I have a copy of Melody Maker which has a discount coupon for a ticket. Now to build a Time Machine.

Regarding the Magazine Archive, you may have noticed no new articles. I’ve ran out of pre-written articles. I have a lot of magazines to review but no time to do it. I was too important to go on Furlough and i’m too young to retire. Some day i’ll get around to uploading new articles.

For some reason, I have tweeted my disappointment about a concert at The Limelight in 2010 being cancelled. I literally have no recollection of this.

I was a bit reticent at first about going to this, it would have been very reassuring if masks were a bit more frequent amongst the crowd.

Mask exemptions are the new bad back. Everybody has one when it suits in order to try and get out of doing something. Let’s be honest, the vast majority of them are spoofers. I don’t care how much of a Tory that makes me sound. Maskexemptionitis is so contagious, I fully expect it to be declared a Pandemic by the end of the month.

This gig brought out the stars. Well, sort of. I spotted Chris Page from Newsline.

Eagle eyed crowd member may have noticed Abi Harding, formerly of The Zutons, playing Keyboards.

The band were advertised as going on stage at 7.30pm, but didn’t arrive until around 7.48pm.

I know we’ve been waiting over eighteen months, it’s not that bad in comparison, but still.

This tour was to support the 25th anniversary of the release of Jollificiation, which was released in September 1994. Do the maths, this tour has been delayed so long, it’s still going on one week short of the 25th anniversary of the follow-up album Dizzy Heights.

You know the drill, they perform the album in full, and then move on to the hits.

Ian Broudie was rather excitedly telling the audience that “We almost there” eight songs in, almost moving on the the hits that people want to hear.

Those hits came after a short break, such as Sense, Pure, All I Want, What If, You Showed Me and Life Of Riley.

Of course, you can’t hear Life Of Riley without planning to vote for Ian Wright or Eric Cantona for Goal Of The Month in the hope of winning tickets to a team of your choice and £200 in Premium Bonds.

That song was written about his son, Riley Broudie. No longer a baby, now a fully grown adult who is now a member of Lightning Seeds, just to make you all feel old.

It was a bit disappointing that there was no piano solo in All I Want, it’s the best bit of the song.

We were treated to a cover of Be My Baby by The Ronettes.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, it felt like there were some sound problems with the speakers, while Ian Broudie deviated during one song to complain about feedback before making a series of shrugging gestures with his hands.

We weren’t treated to Three Lions though. I guess somebody would have complained. It’s Belfast, we have to find something to get offended about. Pity, you’d expect to hear Ossie’s Dream if you went to see Chas and Dave.

The week following this, I should have been going to see Paul Weller at Ulster Hall, but that got cancelled due to being unable to find a new date. That was the same for Beabadoobee at Oh Yeah Centre in September.

Doves at The Limelight on my birthday next year has also been cancelled, but that was due to Jimi Goodwin’s personal issues which he will hopefully overcome.

Up next is The Charlatans at The Limelight towards the end of November, although I may be tempted by OMD when I am in Brighton later in the month. We shall see.

2022 will see Queen, Erasure and Kings Of Leon visit Belfast.

I’d love to go, but I can’t justify the outlay.

£84 for Queen WITHOUT Freddie Mercury, while Erasure and Kings Of Leon have Booking Fees of £6 to £7 for tickets I have to print at home myself.

Taking the piss. Too many business seem to think that a bit of crying on the news, people will feel morally bound to give them money. That’s not how it works. If you’re going to rip people off, you’re not getting my custom. I may relent nearer the time due to my love of those bands, but i’m planning on holding out.

Yes, you’ve lost money, but you will get back to where you were, it’ll just take a while. If the last eighteen months have taught us anything, it’s important to do things right rather than quick. I’ll be amazed if any of these concerts sell out, then Concert Promoters will be on the news crying about people not buying concert tickets.

Booking Fees have doubled since the pandemic, without any justification.

Even the Northern Ireland football team are at it, where tickets for the match against Lithuania will cost more than it cost me to fly to Lithuania in 2019.

I’ve just had a quick look on Wizz Air. You can fly from Northern Ireland to Lithuania and back in mid January for 2p cheaper than a match ticket to Northern Ireland v Lithuania.

I was always going to give these World Cup games a miss and start again for Euro 2024, but this made my mind up. I’m expecting a lot of competitions on Social Media this week.

The amount of economic gaslighting through the media by Politicians is making me very uncomfortable.

“You must return to the office and spend at lunchtime”. Not if it’s not safe enough yet.

“You must go to the pub. It’s your duty”. No, it is not.

“You must spend your High Street Voucher in Belfast City Centre”. Give me a reason to go into Belfast City Centre. It’s a rancid shithole where you can’t go five seconds without having cigarette smoke blown into your face, where you can’t move due to the amount of building work and you are constantly having to avoid broken glass. Do better, and you’ll get my custom.

Especially so, when prices of other things are going up.

It’s a collaborative effort. If business want to rip people off, then people won’t and shouldn’t support them. Money is their oxygen. If they don’t play fair, starve them. It’s the only way they’ll listen.

I do want to actually attend some concerts in 2022.

It was nice to get back into the concert, can’t say I enjoyed having my feet stood on by women either side of me dancing too much. Literally every concert I go to. Even the annoying things i’ve missed. Ouch.

Photo Album

2020 IN PICTURES – MARCH/APRIL

March 2020, that was an, um, interesting month.

As I turned over the calendar on the first day of the month, I had three football matches and three concerts planned, with hopefully another football match on the last day of the month where Northern Ireland would qualify for Euro 2020.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

As we all know, most of the month was spent indoors. However, I still managed some photo adventures in the first week of the month before Lockdown started.

The first day of the month saw me check out a mural of Andrew Weatherall in Belfast, before heading to The Limelight to see Blossoms in concert a few days later.

I then headed to Taylor’s Avenue on the first Saturday of the month to see Linfield take on Carrick Rangers, securing a fifth successive win, looking forward to the following weekend’s match at home to Larne.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

Unsurprisingly, there was not one single photo adventure in April 2020. Not even a single photo taken.

Andrew Weatherall Mural

Andrew Weatherall Mural Photo Album

Blossoms live at The Limelight

Blossoms live at The Limelight Photo Album

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

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BLOSSOMS – LIVE AT THE LIMELIGHT 3.3.2020

Death, Taxes and Blossoms at The Limelight.

Even before the release of their debut album, Blossoms usually pop by Ormeau Avenue once a year. Well, apart from 2019. They were determined to make up for this.

However, their first trip to Belfast, and my first time seeing them, was at the more swankier surroundings of Waterfront Hall, supporting Paul Weller in 2015.

I was excited by this, as i’d already heard of them, knowing them as the band that do the song Charlemagne that I love, which ended up being voted The Song Of 2015.

They’ve done a lot of support slots in their career – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Charlatans and The Kooks have all had them as guests, sadly not at any concerts I’ve seen them that.

Surprising perhaps, for a band who have seen two of their three albums hit Number 1. The middle one “only” reached Number 4.

This would be a hits set, except their singles don’t really chart that high. They have radio hits, you know more songs of theirs than you realise, as noted during a recent interview with the BBC.

Despite their album success and radio hits, Blossoms are regulars at The Limelight. You’d expect them to be playing bigger venues.

There first visit here was in 2016, six months before the release of their debut album. I wasn’t at that. A concert that saw the venue upgraded from Voodoo to The Limelight, but a night looked back on with tragedy, as their support band that night, Viola Beach, died in a motor accident on tour the following weekend.

I was there in 2017 at The Limelight, just over six months after the release of that debut album.

They returned a few months later, as support to Kasabian, and I was there. There for Kasabian, but Blossoms was a nice bonus.

When I say supporting Kasabian, that was the plan. However, having warmed the crowd up, they would then be left cold as a bout of sickness saw Kasabian cancel their performance.

2018 saw another return to The Limelight. However, I would not be there, as I was in Manchester, watching United labour to a 1-0 win over Young Boys Berne.

So, 2020, a brief Irish tour announced, with The Limelight once again on the list

There was a surreal moment for me making my way to the venue. Walking along, minding my own business, somebody stops me to ask me to take a photo of them.

It was a group of fellas posing in the middle of the road, nothing usual there, but the Steve McManaman lookalike in the middle looked familiar. It was none other than Tom Ogden, lead singer of Blossoms.

I took the photos, and we all just walked to the venue.

Support came from The Lathums, who were decent.

Tom Ogden commented on how glad he was to be in “Beautiful Belfast”. I’m not sure where in Belfast he has visited.

Previous concerts have seen them dedicate a song to a member of the audience who had recently been dumped. That didn’t happen this time.

Three albums in, and they have a lot of hits behind them, all of which got played, songs like Your Girlfriend, There’s A Reason Why, I Can’t Stand It, Blown Rose, Honey Sweet and At Most A Kiss, as well as sneaking in covers of You’re Gorgeous and Half A World Away.

When doing an instrumental break after At Most A Kiss, the person in front of me turned around and shouted “CHARLEMAGNE!!” at me.

Of course, that was coming up next, the band signing off with their debut single, sending the fans home happy.

Talking of Paul Weller, who introduced them to Belfast, he’ll be coming back to Belfast in October for a concert at Ulster Hall. I’ve already got a ticket for that.

Having seen them (Well, one third of them) in HMV, Ash have announced a concert for The Limelight for a concert in May. Yep, already got a ticket for that.

Ian Brown is heading to Waterfront Hall in May. No ticket yet, undecided. I do enjoy some of his solo stuff.

Also coming to Belfast in Genesis. Love a lot of their big hits but waiting to decide wether to go. I saw the announcement video on Radio 2’s social media feeds and Phil Collins sounds as though his voice is fucked.

Also announced, is KT Tunstall for North Berwick for Fringe By The Sea in August. I might make this my weekend to go to Edinburgh. It would make up on missing out on her when she played North Berwick when I was in Edinburgh in 2017.

A lot to look forward to.

Photo Album

Blossoms live at Custom House Square 2017

Blossoms live at The Limelight 2017