September began with a trip to Ballymena to see Linfield get their season back on track with a 4-0 win at Ballymena.

Football then took a break for a bit, but I was back on the road, and visiting a new ground as Linfield travelled to Moyola Park in the League Cup.

More travelling followed, not as far, three days later as Linfield faced Crusaders at Seaview.

Having a football free Saturday, I got up early for a long overdue trip to Giant’s Ring to get some photos as the sun was coming up.

Two days later, was an unexpected Public Holiday, so I headed on the North Down Coastal Path, starting at Helen’s Bay for a change, making my way to Bangor West. I think.

On the following Saturday morning, I made a long overdue return to Belvoir Park Forest before heading to Windsor Park at teatime to see Northern Ireland face Kosovo.

My final adventure of the month was a first concert since June, to The Odyssey to see George Ezra.

Ballymena United v Linfield

Moyola Park v Linfield

Crusaders v Linfield

Giant’s Ring/Terrace Hill Gardens/Minnowburn

Giant’s Ring/Terrace Hill Gardens/Minnowburn Photo Album

North Down Coastal Path

North Down Coastal Path Photo Album

Belvoir Park Forest

Belvoir Park Forest Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Kosovo

Northern Ireland v Kosovo Photo Album

George Ezra live at The Odyssey

George Ezra live at The Odyssey Photo Album


May began with a trip to North Street to take in the Hit The North Street Art Festival, getting photos of the pieces of artwork as they were created, and then the finished artwork.

The following weekend, I treated myself to a trip to Scotland, spending most my time in Edinburgh, getting photos of Street Art (of course) and walking up Arthur’s Seat and going for a stroll in Colinton.

It would have been rude not to go to a football match, Livingston v St Johnstone being my match of choice before a day trip to Glasgow saw me get more Street Art photos and visit Cathkin Park, an abandoned football stadium.

Towards the end of the month, it was all about Friday nights, first of all winning a ticket to see Ulster v Sharks.

Then, the last Friday of the month, I went to see Queen (well, half of Queen, but it was still so good) at The Odyssey.

Hit The North

Hit The North Photo Album

Hit The North Aftermath

Edinburgh Street Art

Edinburgh Street Art Photo Album

Livingston v St Johnstone

Livingston v St Johnstone Photo Album

Glasgow Street Art

Glasgow Street Art Photo Album

Cathkin Park

Cathkin Park Photo Album

Arthur’s Seat

Arthur’s Seat Photo Album


Colinton Photo Album

Ulster v Sharks

Ulster v Sharks Photo Album

Queen + Adam Lambert live at The Odyssey

Queen + Adam Lambert live at The Odyssey Photo Album


First concert in three months ahead of a flurry over the final weeks of 2022. It is my sad duty to report that The Odyssey is still a shambles. George Ezra was ok though.

Where do you start? I suppose, trying to get into the place.

I left around 7.10pm/7.15pm, standard leaving time for a concert.

Unfortunately, it took me one hour to get from Queen’s Bridge into The Odyssey due to a traffic jam. I even had to put up with some cheeky bastards trying to budge in front of me.

No bother, i’ll sit in a traffic jam just so you can jump in front of me. Fuck off.

I haven’t been radicalised by the reaction to Phil and Holly, i’ve always been this way.

Eventually, when I reached the Car Park, it was full, something i’ve never experienced, meaning I had to go and park at the Car Park beside BIFHE.

I really don’t want to sound demanding, but if you’re going to make money out of a Car Park, might I suggest having even ground and maybe some painted parking bays? Just a suggestion.

Eventually, I did get parked somewhere. Not even sure if it was a parking space, just a bit of spare land.

There was so little space to move, people had no way to turn back once they realised there wasn’t a space available.

In order to pay, I had to type my registration number into a machine. It’s a good job mine is memorable. I can only imagine some people would have had to go back to find out what there’s is. More time wasted.

Isn’t technology supposed to make things more convenient?

£4.50 for the privilege of all this.

Getting the train would be convenient for me if it wasn’t for the fact that the last train to get me home would be 10.51pm, I would have absolutely no chance of getting, once you get through the bottleneck getting out of The Odyssey, then walking to the Train Station, then making your way to the platform on the other side for trains bound for Portadown.

I know you can say that I should have left earlier, but it was a Wednesday. Some of us have jobs to go to.

Surely Translink and The Odyssey could work together and have shuttle buses from Belfast City Centre.

Even better, have Park and Rides to Connswater and/or Holywood Exchange.

That would eliminate traffic coming from North Down.

Or even better, have a train service that allows people to see the show.

If i’ve paid for a ticket, i’m not leaving early, meaning i’m not going to make the 10.51pm train from Bridgend.

Why does going out in Belfast feel like such a chore? I shouldn’t be entering a concert in a shitty mood.

Eventually, I arrived in the venue around 8.25pm, missing the support act and missing out on getting a decent view of George.

If this was the Queen concert in May, I would have missed the first few songs.

And then, to add to it all, there were scumbags vaping around me.

I had to take matters into my own hands and have a word with them and let them know I won’t be tolerating it.

I’ve already binned outdoor concerts due to this to my own detriment, I won’t be doing the same with indoor concerts.

That is why I gave his Belsonic show in 2019 a miss.

I should not have to resort to vigilante behaviour just to get some basic courtesy.

Seriously Belfast, raise your game and stop being such a backward shithole.

Although, actually getting on the floor was a drama as well.

I went to go to the floor after being scanned at the front door, and got told I wouldn’t be allowed in without a wristband.

Then, I headed to the front door to get a wristband and was told I didn’t need one,

So, I headed back and was told I needed one and was referred to Security, who made me prove my ID.

It seems that a Tesco Clubcard can be used as a legitimate form of identification.

Just in case I nicked some guy’s phone and realised he had a George Ezra ticket so I decided to pop along.

For George, this was his first time at The Odyssey, he’s at that level now.

The first time, I saw him was at The Limelight in 2014.

Curiously, that night in 2014 saw Northern Ireland play away to Greece.

This came the night after Northern Ireland played away to Greece. Perhaps he should have brought this forward by a day as it might have been an omen for a good result for Northern Ireland

Back in 2014, he had literally just scored his first Number 1 album. Literally, that week.

This was just a few months after being an unknown singer performing in Derry for a recording of Other Voices.

Now on his third Number 1 album, he was ready to take on The Odyssey, his first concert at the venue.

If you’ve ever been to a George Ezra show, you’ll know that he loves to talk. A lot. Most songs usually come with a story. Sometimes to do with the song, sometimes not.

He also loves to produce big anthemic tunes you can sing along to. The crowd, filled with 40 year old Karens. were happy to dance and sing along.

We were too be thankful that he was here at all, having spoken about how he wanted to quit the limelight (as in, being in the public eye, not the music venue) and may do it again when this tour ends.

Might as well make the most of it.

That is what he did, strolling onto the stage in double denim, turning around to reveal it had Gold Rush Kid (the name of his newest album) printed on the back.

Always important to get the branding right.

After starting with Anyone For You, the hits came one after each other.

Cassy O, Pretty Shining People, Barcelona, Budapest, Shotgun, Blame It On Me and Green Green Grass.

Green Green Grass came with a story. Turns out the song was inspired by him accidentally stumbling onto a wake whilst on his travels. The live version had an 80s feel, with jangly guitars similar to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Remember, good girls go to Heaven and bad girls go to Budapest.

A few weeks after this concert, George Ezra announced a Belsonic gig for 2023. I’ll be giving this as miss as I can’t be bothered with outdoor concerts for reasons already stated.

This kickstarted a run of concerts through the second half of 2022.

One of those might have been Ian Brown.

I was tempted when his tour was announced in 2020 with an Ulster Hall gig.

Nothing was purchased, but as it turned out, it was cancelled due to you know what.

The thing he calls a psyop.

Had a bit of a lucky escape when I saw the photos doing the rounds of his show at Leeds on Social Media.

Elsewhere, I got a ticket to see John Power at Mandela Hall in November for the sum of £0.00.

I only found out about this because Facebook’s algorithm advertised something useful to me, instead of advertising tickets for Glentoran matches.

This will be my first concert (unless something dramatic happens between now and then) at the newly rebuilt Mandela Hall, so looking forward to this.

I have already had a sneaky look at the facility, having been walking past this on my way home from another event.

The reason for it being free, is that is a charity concert and there is an unwritten rule that you donate non perishable food instead of paying a ticket fee.

You get to listen to Cast classics and do your bit to help others.

You can find out more information here.

Photo Album

George Ezra live at The Limelight 2014

George Ezra live at The Limelight 2017

George Ezra live at Custom House Square 2018


The Odyssey looked a bit different from the last time I was there, last June to get my Bill Gates Mind Control Jab.

No more emergency beds, no registration desks, no cubicles. no Doctors.

Well, there was one Doctor. Doctor Brian May. More on him later.

Just a reminder, that just because normality has resumed, Covid hasn’t gone away. It’s just that your Government has stopped pretending to give a shit. Try not to be thick as shit when going about your everyday business.

For me, it would be my first trip to The Odyssey in three and a half years, since I went to see U2 in October 2018.

Might as well put it out there, I love Queen. I really really really love Queen.

How could you not?

I first got into Queen under tragic circumstances. When I was in Primary School, Freddie Mercury died. The story was all over the news for a long time, and I was exposed to the music of Queen through news reports.

My Uncle copied me a cassette of Greatest Hits I, and I think I listened to my brother’s copy of Greatest Hits II and I was mesmerised by the sound of this band.

You listen to Greatest Hits I, and then you realise there is another album of bangers to cover the decade after that.

Then you listen to Greatest Hits II, and you realise there is an album of bangers that preceded it.

Most bands would take just one Greatest Hits album of that quality, never mind two.

Greatest Hits III, a mop-up album featuring solo hits, singles from Made In Heaven, the album Freddie was working on at the time of his death, songs left off Greatest Hits I and Greatest Hits II, solo hits and a couple of remixes, even has some great moments such as Let Me Live, Las Palabras De Amor and Princes Of The Universe.

I consider myself to be a fully qualified Queenologist. Obviously, there are more qualified than me, but I can hold my own in this field.

Put it this way, I have watched a lot of documentaries (of which there has been a lot) and concert films (again, of which i’ve seen a lot)

I have tried to watch Bohemian Rhapsody but only end up pointing out the factual and chronological inaccuracies, of which there are a lot.

I listened to Queen when was 17, drinking beer I bought with a fake ID under the name of Brian McGee.

Actually, that was Homer Simpson.

The most tenuous link I have to Queen is that I once walked past Brian May’s wife’s TV Husband.

Brian May was in Edinburgh at the same time as me in August 2018 when he appeared at Edinburgh Book Festival while I was at Edinburgh Fringe.

I was tempted to see his show, but it wasn’t actually about Queen, it was about Stereoscopic Photography.

Appearing alongside him was Roger Taylor. Not that one though, this one is a Historian.

I could have stalked him for an autograph if I wanted, but I decided i’d rather go and experience Edinburgh Fringe.

This would be my first time seeing Queen in any shape or form.

Obviously, I was far too young to go when Freddie Mercury was strutting his stuff in stage.

Even if I was old enough to go and see them, they never came to Belfast anyway.

It was 2005 before they did, with Paul Rodgers on vocals. It didn’t really interest me.

By 2017, Adam Lambert was now vocals and I was tempted to go, but tickets costing £74 put me off.

For that money, i’d be expecting Freddie Mercury and John Deacon on stage, and then David Bowie to join them for Under Pressure.

I’m not sure what has happened in the five years since, but that price has now risen to £91 (£84 plus £7 Booking Fee)

Far too much.

I’m not even sure how The Odyssey can justify that Booking Fee. I recently bought tickets for The Limelight with a £3 Booking Fee (pre Covid figure as well) and a Campaign Card for Northern Ireland matches has a £5 Booking Fee, but that is for nine matches.

All three venues use Ticketmaster, so why is The Odyssey so expensive?

Luckily for me, I had a Ticketmaster voucher, so this was going to be subsidised. I wouldn’t have went if it wasn’t.

For Queen and Adam Lambert, this would be a return to where it all began, as it was here at the MTV EMAs in 2011 that they first performed together.

The start time was 8pm, meaning a bit of a dash from work to home to get fed and ready before heading back out.

As it turned out, I could have left a little later.

8pm came and they weren’t on stage.

The crowd started to get restless but found ways to occupy themselves.

First with a Mexican Wave and then by stomping their feet and chanting “WE WANT QUEEN!!!!” to the tune of We Will Rock You.

Eventually, around 8.15pm, a gothic orchestral version of Innuendo (with a Kashmir by Led Zeppelin vibe) was played over the stereo, signifying that there were about the come on stage.

We were all hoping it would be worth the wait. For some of us, we’d been waiting all our lives for this, another fifteen minutes wouldn’t hurt.

Adam Lambert has some balls taking on this gig. You can fail spectacularly when you replace a legend. Just ask David Moyes.

Curiously, Adam Lambert is now older (40) than Freddie Mercury was (39) the last time he performed with Queen.

He isn’t as good as Freddie Mercury, who is, but he is very good. That’s all you really ask for and hope for, that he can stand up on his own right as a singer.

You know you’re not going to get Freddie Mercury, but you will get the songs given a new lease of life.

I’m not even sure Queen need a singer. Just let Brian and Roger play and the crowd will just sign along.

Now that he is here, he started off with Now I’m Here, a deviation from beginning with We Will Rock You as they did in the 1980s.

Naturally, you would be expecting to hear hits, and Queen had a lot of hits.

That is what we got, as well as some album tracks that have become live favourites.

Time was of the essence, there was quite a lot to fit in.

Now I’m Here was followed by Tear It Up (from The Works, should have been a single), Keep Yourself Alive, Hammer To Fall, Somebody To Love and then Don’t Stop Me Now.

In order to facilitate Adam’s various costume changes, Brian and Roger sang a few songs as well.

The first of those was the much maligned (it was even a punchline in the Bohemian Rhapsody film) Roger sung I’m In Love With My Car.

That was the set-up for a succession of vehicular themed songs as Adam Lambert reappeared on a motorbike with the reg plate QAL (of course) to sing Bicycle Race (I know, he should have been on a bicycle)

I’m quite glad I didn’t go past Brian, Roger and Adam when out for a cycle on Saturday or Sunday because I definitely would have embarrassed myself by singing it at them.

Then of course, Fat Bottomed Girls, because fat bottomed girls will be riding their bikes.

I was expecting Crazy Little Thing Called Love to follow, because Ready Freddie like to take a long ride on his motorbike.

Nope, up next was Another One Bites The Dust and I Want It All before we eventually got Crazy Little Thing Called Love.

He couldn’t be there in person, for obvious reasons, but thanks to the magic of technology, Freddie Mercury made an appearance.

During a performance of Love Of My Life with Brian on vocals, it became a duet when Freddie joined him for the last verse via video screen, to rapturous applause.

It was then Roger’s turn for some vocals, stepping out from behind his drumkit to sing These Are The Days Of Our Lives.

Roger was again on vocal duties to take on the David Bowie role on Under Pressure, which was dedicated to Taylor Hawkins.

More hits followed such as A Kind Of Magic, I Want To Break Free and Who Wants To Live Forever?

During the performance of I Want To Break Free, Adam Lambert began laughing and forgot his lines after climbing onto Spike Edney’s piano to serenade him.

Unfortunately, Edney was too professional and focused to even notice, ignoring Lambert and prompting a fit of laughter from him.

And more hits followed, The Show Must Go On, Radio Ga Ga and Bohemian Rhapsody.

Naturally, there was mass headbanging, but between you and me, the best bit in that song is the “So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye, so you think you can love me and leave me to die” bit just after the headbangy bit.

Freddie Mercury once again made an appearance on the screens, serenading the crowd with his “Ay-oh” vocal routine.

Time for the encore, and more hits to follow, saving We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions for the end.

They said they would rock us, and they most definitely did.

It might seem petty to complain about songs not played, but with so many hits to choose from, that was always going to happen.

Overall, they were fantastic. It might not have been Proper Queen, but it’s as good as i’m going to get.

Whenever you watch a concert film on Sky Arts, it makes me wish I had seen them with Freddie Mercury, especially the 1975 Christmas Special.

It wasn’t all perfect.

It took me an hour to get out of the car park. What an absolute fucking shambles.

I took the car as the last train home in my direction was 10.57pm. I had no chance of making it.

Every other time I had been to The Odyssey, you give £3 to someone at the barrier and go.

That is not the case any more. It was a good job I asked before getting in my car.

Apparently, it is now cashless as this is more convenient. Not sure where the convenience is.

I had to pay at the machine which charged me an hourly rate instead of a flat fee.

Then, when I got in my car, it just sat there. Not moving for long periods.

Eventually, when I reached the barrier, I handed it to the Attendant who scanned my ticket, which was rejected and he had to phone a colleague to get the barrier lifted.

The same thing happened to the car in front of me. I doubt we were the only ones to experience this fate.

What a fucking shambles, I would have been quicker walking home.

Genuinely surprised I wasn’t charged for the hour I spent trying to get out of the place.

You can’t say it was due to the volume of cars. The Odyssey has been open for 21 and a half years. They should know how to manage traffic at events by now.

Curiously, two days later, I was at a Car Boot Sale and someone had a box of Queen VHS tapes for sale, some of which I had never seen. If only I had the space in my house.

In other news, i’ve got a ticket to see Paul Weller in October, meaning it will be the third of three successive Wednesday night concerts after George Ezra and Beabadoobee.

And finally, a shout out to Andrew Fletcher from Depeche Mode who died the night before this concert. They had some smashing tunes.

Really sad that I never got to see them at The Odyssey in 2013.

Photo Album


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