THE SOUND OF 2019

So 2019 is now over and we are almost in 2020.

Seeing as everybody is doing End Of Year Reviews, I thought i’d join the party, albeit a bit belatedly.

So here is my Top 50 Songs Of 2019. There’s no scientific formula to this list. I just went through 2019s Friday Fives and decided to spend an hour and rank the songs in order of favouriteness.

In a change from previous years, it’s only a Top 50 as it would probably take me until 2021 to do a Top 100.

1. Vampire Weekend – Harmony Hill
2. Sigrid – Mine Right Now
3. Taylor Swift ft Brendon Urie – Me
4. Dermot Kennedy – Outnumbered
5. Catfish and the Bottlemen – Longshot
6. Liam Gallagher – Shockwave
7. Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missiles
8. Two Door Cinema Club – Talk
9. Freya Ridings – Castles
10. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Wandering Star
11. Tom Walker – Just You and I
12. Billie Eilish – Bury A Friend
13. Pet Shop Boys ft Olly Alexander – Dreamland
14. Of Monsters And Men – Alligator
15. Chvrches and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra – Miracle
16. Kygo ft Whitney Houston – Higher Love
17. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Black Star Dancing
18. Bastille – Joy
19. Coldplay – Orphans
20. Liam Gallagher – Now That I’ve Found You
21. Sam Fender – Will We Talk
22. Gang Of Youths – What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?
23. Editors – Black Gold
24. Bastille – Can’t Fight This Feeling
25. Bloxx – Go Out With You
26. Katy Perry – Never Really Over
27. Blossoms – Your Girlfriend
28. Muse – Hungry Like The Wolf
29. The Courteeners – Heavy Jacket
30. Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
31. Chemical Brothers – MAH
32. Jade Bird – Lottery
33. Haim – Now I’m In It
34. Crystal – Just Can’t Get Enough
35. Rick Astley – Every One Of Us
36. Chvrches – Death Stranding
37. OMD – Don’t Go
38. The Divine Comedy – Infernal Machines
39. Vic and Bob – Bono’s Cooking Some Pork
40. Miles Kane – That’s Life
41. Liam Gallagher – The River
42. The Divine Comedy – Queuejumper
43. Weezer ft Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
44. The Vaccines – All My Friends Are Falling In Love
45. Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now
46. Shakespear’s Sister – All The Queen’s Horses
47. Lizzo – Juice
48. Rose Elinor Dougall – First Sign
49. Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart
50. Dea Matrona – Let’s Go Crazy

Congratulations to Vampire Weekend. There’s no physical prize, but they can just boast about it everywhere they go. Ideally, they’d be doing so in Belfast before a concert. Hint hint.

If you care, here’s the list of previous winners (NOTE: The 2006-2008 Countdowns were on Bebo, and have now been wiped from internet history)

2018 Lovelytheband – Broken
2017 Liam Gallagher – For What It’s Worth
2016 The Strumbellas – Spirits
2015 Blossoms – Charlemagne
2014 Jamie T – Zombie
2013 Haim – The Wire
2012 Taylor Swift – We Are Never Getting Back Together
2011 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA …… What A Life
2010 Marina and the Diamons – Shampain
2009 Little Boots – New In Town
2008 Sons and Daughters – Darling
2007 Feist – 1, 2, 3, 4
2006 Kasabian – Empire

2019 IN PICTURES – OCTOBER

October 2019 began with a trip to Seaview to see Linfield take on Crusaders.

A busy month of concerts began a few days later with a trip to Ulster Hall to see The Divine Comedy.

There was even some Street Art spotted during the month, heading to Stephen Street to see a mural of The Joker and Catwoman

The next day, I was on the road to Dungannon to see Linfield beat Dungannon Swifts 4-1.

From there, it was another concert, a first visit to The Telegraph Building, to see Two Door Cinema Club.

The flipping between football and concerts continued as I headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Ballymena United. The following midweek saw a football/concert double header, seeing Linfield take on Warrenpoint Town, before seeing OMD at Ulster Hall.

October’s photo adventures ended with a trip to see Linfield take on Coleraine, the month beginning and ending for me with a 1-0 defeat.

Crusaders v Linfield

The Divine Comedy live at Ulster Hall

The Divine Comedy live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

Joker and Catwoman Mural

Joker and Catwoman Mural Photo Album

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Two Door Cinema Club live at The Telegraph Building

Two Door Cinema Club live at The Telegraph Building Photo Album

Linfield v Ballymena United

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

OMD live at Ulster Hall

OMD live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB – LIVE AT THE TELEGRAPH BUILDING 16.10.2019

“It’s nice to see you Belfast” said Alex Trimble at the end of the first song, but didn’t add “To see you, nice!!!”. That would have been too cheesy, even for a man dressed as a 60s Crooner.

Sipping wine, on a Wednesday night, while wearing a turtleneck jumper and a purple suit, Trimble was very Bangor. Ballyholme behaviour.

This was a rare Belfast concert for the band, which they acknowledged during chatter between songs. In fact, you’ve had to go elsewhere in Northern Ireland to see them.

In 2017, you would have had to go to Portstewart to see them perform at the Irish Open. Their only concert in Northern Ireland that year, and it was for a bunch of Golf Dicks.

Earlier this year, they were part of the line-up for Ward Park 3 in their native Bangor.

In terms of Belfast, their previous appearance was in 2016 at The Limelight, in a concert billed as Tudor Cinema Club, a tribute to Two Door Cinema Club. They fooled nobody.

I wasn’t at it, not because I was fooled, but because I was already booked for Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at Ulster Hall.

Before that, you have to go back to Belsonic in 2012, back when it was held at Custom House Square. That completed a quick rise for the band. A few years earlier, they were playing at Belsonic in late afternoon/teatime and being in small case on the concert poster, now they were headlining it.

For some reason, this concert appeared in the listings in the programme for the Belfast International Arts Festival. Nothing in the promo beforehand suggested it was part of the event, but rather, part of the band’s tour for their current album, False Alarm.

This concert took place in The Telegraph Building, a new venue for me, and a relatively new venue for Belfast.

As the name suggests, it is the building where the Belfast Telegraph was based before they moved to Clarendon.

The room where this concert was where the printing press was, the room where reports of Linfield trophy wins were printed.

This was my first time here. I’d hoped to park near to it but couldn’t find a space. After working my way around one way streets and a tour of Belfast City Centre, I settled on parking at Castle Court and walking the rest. I think I might just walk it for any concerts there in future.

On the day of the concert, I received an e-mail from Ticketmaster advising me to wrap up warm as it was a venue with no temperature. How wrong it was, it was roasting.

Described in that e-mail as “A pop up warehouse venue”, it had a screen where you could watch the gig from the bar if you were that way inclined.

As said earlier, this was my first concert at The Telegraph Building, but it might be my only one as plans are in place to turn it into an office building, but no actual date for that is known.

The reason why this gig was taking place in Royal Avenue was that The Limelight was unavailable due to Hot Chip already being booked to appear there.

The band walked on to the stage to the sound of Talk, the lead single from their current album, the drum based intro setting the scene perfectly for Trimble to strut onto the stage.

They ran through their hits, songs such as Talk, Undercover Martyn, Are We Ready?, Bad Decisions, Changing Of The Seasons and What You Know.

While performing Bad Decisions, Trimble channelled his Inner Prince. Well, he was wearing a purple suit.

The band expressed their excitement at playing at another new venue in Belfast, having played, in their words “Every pub, club and house party” in the city in their early days.

The band left the stage, and that was at. There was no encore. Or as we should say given the location, no late edition.

There was some mixed news in terms of concert announcements.

Kaiser Chiefs announced that their tour, with Razorlight as support act, will now hit Dublin but not have a Belfast date, while Blossoms announced they will be coming to Belfast in March.

I’ve already got a ticket for Blossoms, making it my first confirmed concert of 2020. How very exciting.

But back to 2019, and the second of three concerts in a busy October have been ticked off. Up next, OMD.

Photo Album

Two Door Cinema Club live at Custom House Square 2012

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 22.3.2019

1. Circa Waves – Times Won’t Change Me
2. Vampire Weekend – Harmony Hall
3. Two Door Cinema Club – Talk
4. Catfish and the Bottlemen – Longshot
5. Marshmallow ft Chvrches – Here With Me

Apologies for there being no Friday Five last week, I was dosed and ill, which meant you missed out on a St Patrick’s Day chart. You’ll have to wait next year for that now.

THE FIRIDAY FIVE – 17.3.2017

1. Erasure – Love You To The Sky
2. John Hassall and the April Rainers – Intercity 125
3. Amy MacDonald – Automatic
4. Sister Sledge – Frankie
5. Sheppard – Keep Me Crazy

You may have noticed that today is St Patrick’s Day. So, i’m doing a couple of themed charts. One for Northern Ireland, one for Republic Of Ireland, and one for the musical Patricks (and Paddys and Pats) out there.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM NORTHERN IRELAND

1. Wonder Villains – TV
2. Baltimora – Tarzan Boy
3. Silhouette – Can’t Keep Up
4. Snow Patrol – Signal Fire
5. Two Door Cinema Club – What You Know

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

1. U2 – The Fly
2. Phil Lynott – Yellow Pearl
3. Heathers – Remember When
4. Sinead Lohan – Whatever It Takes
5. Kodaline – High Hopes

FIVE SONGS BY BANDS WITH SOMEONE CALLED PAT, PATRICK OR PADDY

1. Prefab Sprout – King Of Rock n Roll
2. Train – Drops Of Jupiter
3. Foo Fighters – Saint Cecilia
4. Hue and Cry – Labour Of Love
5. Fall Out Boy – Sugar, We’re Going Down