NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS – LIVE AT TITANIC BELFAST (BELSONIC) 23.8.2016

Nearly eighteen months after it began, Noel Gallagher’s tour to promote his second solo album, Chasing Yesterday, returned to Belfast, the city where it all began in March 2015, as the tour reaches it’s final stages.

It was Gallagher’s fourth solo gig in Belfast, following a nice symmetry of Odyssey, Belsonic, Odyssey, Belsonic, though it was a change of venue from 2012, at Titanic Belfast rather than Custom House Square.

Support came from Catfish and the Bottlemen, which sounds like the spellcheck version of Echo and the Bunnymen, but don’t let that put you off.

They are rather good, one of those bands who you know more songs than you realise, performing their catchy hits such as Pacifier, 7 and Cocoon, to a lot of dancing.

Some people even left when they finished their set. Their loss.

This gig came on the day that the current issue of Q hit the shelves, with it’s cover star being Liam Gallagher, saying he has new music recorded. He’s even been laying down the gauntlet on Twitter, before announcing that he will release a solo album in 2017.

Noel was here to let his music do the talking, appearing on stage and bursting straight into solo hits such as Everybody’s on the Run, Lock All the Doors, In the Heat of the Moment and Riverman before giving the crowd a bit of Oasis with Fade Away, performing in the style of the version that appeared on the War Child album.

With a back catalogue like his, it was always going to be a difficult balancing act between his solo career and Oasis hits.

The Oasis songs that were played were largely different from the recorded versions. Not just vocally, but musically. It was Oasis being reimagined, which is what Noel has done recently, remixing Be He Now for a 20th anniversary re-release, even though it will be ten and a half months before the actual anniversary.

There were no songs from Be Here Now, the album in Oasis back catalogue that was raided most was The Masterplan, with fans being treated to a forgotten Oasis classics, D’Yer Wanna Be A Spaceman? and Listen Up.

Amongst the Oasis classics performed by him was Live Forever. I say he performed it, he sang “Maybe ……” and the crowd did the rest, the song being performed acoustically.

Back to his own solo hits, performing the likes of The Death of You and Me, You Know We Can’t Go Back, Ballad of the Mighty I, The Mexican and If I Had a Gun.

The only downside about Noel Gallagher gigs in Belfast, is that they seem to attract some Weapons Grade Fuckwits.

You ever see the Kevin and Perry sketch where Perry thinks he’s Liam Gallagher, starts talking in a Manchester accent and draws a beard with marker?

That was basically a lot of people in the audience.

Some guy near me managed to piss himself just after his mate got chucked out for trying to storm the the stage.

What next for Noel Gallagher? Who knows. It could be a while before Belfast sees him in the flesh, but we will get to see him in cinematic form with the release of an Oasis documentary film Supersonic in October.

This gig was my fourth Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds gig, compared to five Oasis gigs, meaning that the next time I see Noel Gallagher in action will equal that.

Or maybe, it will be a sixth Oasis gig? That’ll be unlikely considering that Liam will be busy throughout 2017.

I’m not going to get my hopes up. We all know what happens when you put your life in the hands of a rock n roll band.

Photo Album

Catfish and the Bottlemen Photo Album

See Also

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

MADNESS – LIVE AT TITANIC BELFAST (BELSONIC) 20.8.2016

It’s fair to say that 2016 has been a Summer of Madness in Northern Ireland. Normally when you hear such a description, you’re expecting non stop riots. This is a good Madness, and Northern Ireland Madheads had three opportunities to indulge in their favourite band this summer.

In July, the musical Our House had a run at Grand Opera House, while Belsonic offered fans the chance to experience the real thing.

It was the second time that Madness had headlined Belsonic, having appeared at Custom House Square in 2012. Like in 2016, a few days later they were followed by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

There is a tenuous link between Madness and Noel Gallagher, as it was an inebriated Madness (who had just come off stage after performing) who replaced Oasis at short notice in 2009 at the French music festival where a backstage spat resulted in Oasis split.

Madness are always a popular booking at festivals, having done the afternoon legends slot at Glastonbury. Quite impressive for a band in their 50s, as most who get that slot are at an advanced age people watching on TV had thought they were dead.

Madness aren’t dead, but they are down a member, with Chas Smash leaving in 2014.

That loss is evident in the opening song, as he would traditionally kick off a Madness gig with his intro to One Step Beyond, their signature tune. One of many, you could say.

It was Madness first gig in Belfast since December 2014. They have been touring a lot since then. A tour in the summer of 2015 of small to medium sized stadiums missed Belfast, making the delays of the Windsor Park redevelopment even worse. There was Ravenhill as well they could have used.

Madness have been gigging in Belfast since 1979, playing in what Suggs described as “What was left of” The Europa Hotel.

They entered the stage to House Of Fun, before Suggs apologised to those in the audience who were expecting to see Westlife’s comeback tour, before advising those in the audience on medication or of a nervous disposition to look away as Lee Thompson did a saxophone solo during their debut single The Prince, a song which Suggs introduce by pretending he was presenting Top Of The Pops, describing them as “A bunch of hermits from North London”.

Something threw a bra at Lee Thompson. Not the first time that’s happened in Belfast either.

Naturally, there was a lot of dad dancing. Most of it in the crowd. If you can’t be silly at a Madness gig, when can you be silly?

My Girl was performed as a slow ballad, with Suggs over dramatically pretending to cry, before the song was performed as the way we all know and love it.

As is now tradition, we were treated to a Chris Foreman, billed as the best guitarist in Madness, karaoke set. He said he had taken requests from people, and had to disappoint them, that he would continue his karaoke.

Foreman recalled a walk around Belfast earlier that day when he asked what the name of the boat parked at the docks was. When told it was Bryan, he replied “like Bryan Ferry?”

The boat parked could be seen from the stage. It was a night boat to Scotland, rather than going to Cairo.

Fans were treated to Foreman singing his own version of Living On A Prayer by Bon Jovi.

When performing The Sun and the Rain, the weather obliged. Sort of. We got rain, but no sun.

It was a hit filled show, One Step Beyond was snuck in mid show, alongside Embarrassment, Wings Of A Dove, Shut Up, Our House and It Must Be Love, while Madness and Night Boat To Cairo were performed in the encore.

It typical Madness fashion, it was utterly unpredictable.

Suggs will be in Northern Ireland next Saturday, heading to Bangor to talk about his career as part of Open House Festival.

If their live shows follow the current pattern (Madness last three Belfast gigs have been 2012, 2014 and now 2016) we can expect to see them back in 2018.

Can’t wait.

Photo Album

See Also

Madness live at The Odyssey 2014

Madness live at The Odyssey 2014 Photo Album

Madness live at Custom House Square 2012

Madness live at Custom House Square 2012 Photo Album

STLFTEM UPDATE

As the third month of 2012 is almost over, it was a bit of a close run thing in terms of getting a STLFTEM.

I’d originally planned, to go to Linfield’s Irish Cup Semi-Final at The Oval on March 31st, but that has bitten the dust. Instead, I shall be East Belfast bound on Saturday, but for Titanic Lockdown.

Should be a good day, looking forward to it.

To recap, my January STLFTEM was to go and see Roy Walker at Black Box. Was a very enjoyable show, a sort of Greatest Hits set, and a slideshow, looking back at his life and career to date.

The only downside was when he spoke about Frank Carson, alluding to the fact that he may not have long left to live. Sadly, it came to be in late February.

My STLFTEM for February was a double whammy, with trips to Amsterdam and Manchester taking that honour.

April hasn’t been confirmed, but i’m hoping Linfield will be able to play their Irish Cup Semi-Final, so I could make it that.

I’v got an application for a ticket to the Titanic Commemoration concert at Waterfront Hall featuring Bryan Ferry (quite apt) and Joss Stone pending, so I hope to get lucky with that.

For May, I am getting tickets for the Man United v Irish League XI game (haven’t actually seen them, but I am assured they are getting bought for me)

June’s STLFTEM will see visit Amsterdam (Again!) for the international between Holland and Northern Ireland. It will be my first “proper” Northern Ireland away game.

I won flights with an airline two weeks ago, and chose Amsterdam. The flights had to be taken by June, and having looked at the destinations, I plumped for Amsterdam for this game.

As tempting as catching a flight for a game in Malaga or Alicante was, I was a bit stuck for dates through not wanting to miss any Linfield games in the run-in.

Birmingham was an option, and if United were playing at Villa Park anytime soon, I would have taken it up.

Meanwhile, I got tickets today to see Michael Winslow at the Grand Opera House in June (and worth missing Germany v Portugal for)

I saw him in Edinburgh last year, and he was fantastic.

Meanwhile, I got tickets for Madness and Two Door Cinema Club at Belsonic, so very much looking forward to that. On Friday, I shall be trying to get Noel Gallagher tickets as well.

It will be my first time seeing Madness, a band i’ve always wanted to see live. I bough Heavy Heavy Hits with my first ever pay packet in 1999.

Of course, August will also see me (not yet booked) make my annual trip to Edinburgh.

Noah and the Whale are supporting Two Door Cinema Club. An excellent band worth checking out.

So that is my STLFTEM for the next couple of months. It’s hard work keeping it all up, but very worth it.

Scotland v Northern Ireland 2008

Belsonic 2008 Review

Belsonic 2008 Pictures

Belsonic 2010 Review

Belsonic 2010 Pictures

Edinburgh 2009

Edinburgh 2010

Edinburgh 2011

Noah and the Whale Review

Noah and the Whale Pictures

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Review

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Pictures