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

THE FRIDAY FIVE- 3.3.2017

1. John Hassell and the April Rainers – Intercity 125
2. Pale Waves – There’s A Honey
3. Ryan Adams – Streets Of Philidelphia
4. Blossoms – In Da Club/Carelss Whisper
5. Ray Davies – Rock N Roll Cowboys

In gig news this week, it’s all about people not coming to Belfast. The Kooks are already on a Greatest Hits tour which bypasses Belfast, but now they’ve announced a European tour with Blossoms as support. It would be brilliant if that line-up came to Belfast. That said, i’m going to see Blossoms on Wednesday night as a headliner, having already seen them support Paul Weller. Regular readers will know I think Blossoms are brilliant.

Erasure have announced a new album and tour for May which has no Belfast gig. I’m staring expectantly towards the organisers of Belfast Pride. Outdoor show, Custom House Square. You know it makes sense. Go on go on go on go on. That’s just me hoping and wishing rather than any inside info by the way.

Shed Seven are back with their first album since 2001 and are touring in December. It gets better, they have Cast as support. Guess what? No Belfast gig. Seeing as Cast have been to Belfast the last two years, i’m hoping John Power has a word in Rick Witter’s ear and rectifies this.

Ryan Adams is coming to Belfast in September. Unfortunately, it had sold out by the lunchtime of the day it went on sale. So, if you know anybody selling a spare standing ticket, get in touch.

On Monday lunchtime, I chanced my arm by going to the Venue Box Office during my final ten minutes of lunch. I was third in line, and manage to spend all ten minutes queuing. The person at the front couldn’t make their mind about about what seats they wanted for whatever show they were booking for, then proceeded to pay with a credit card that wouldn’t work.

The next person had a complaint about tickets they had recently purchased and were referred to Ticketmaster but then proceeded to argue that the problem had to be dealt with by the Venue Box Office Staff.

Seriously, how the fuck do people get out of the house and be so fucking stupid?

Also announced in the past week was the line-up for Party At The Palace in August at Linlithgow Palace. If you’re wondering where that is, it’s near Edinburgh.

Regular readers will know I go to Edinburgh every August. Very tempted to make this the weekend I head over.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS APPEARING AT PARTY AT THE PALACE

1. Lightning Seeds – All I Want
2. Razorlight – America
3. Ash – Oh Yeah
4. Amy MacDonald – This Is The Life
5. Kaiser Chiefs – Oh My God

Finally, I spotted an article wondering whatever happened to the mythical and mystical place in music history called 3 Alveston Place. 90s kids will know what i’m talking about. You can read the article here.

This Wednesday, is International Richard Herring Being A Sneering Dick On Twitter Day. Or, if you prefer, International Women’s Day.

If it’s just another day to you, or if you’re doing something to commemorate it, enjoy yourself. Except if you’re planning on sitting in front of the computer screaming “IT’S NOVEMBER 19TH!!!!” all day. You’re a bit of a weirdo and you need help.

This blog will be commemorating it in the only way it knows, by having a series of charts of songs by and about women

FIVE SONGS BY WOMEN

1. Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
2. Kylie Minogue – I Believe In You
3. Madonna – Rain
4. Taylor Swift – Ours
5. Laura Branigan – Self Control

FIVE SONGS BY GIRL GROUPS

1. Girls Aloud – Biology
2. Eternal – I Wanna Be The Only One
3. Bananarama – Cruel Summer
4. The Saturdays – Up
5. All Saints – Pure Shores

FIVE SONGS BY BANDS WITH FEMALE SINGERS

1. Chvrches – Lies
2. Paramore – That’s What You Get
3. Blondie – Heart Of Glass
4. Echosmith – Cool Kids
5. The Pretenders – I’ll Stand By You

FIVE SONGS WITH FEMALE NAMES IN THE TITLE

1. The Beatles – Dear Prudence
2. Bastille – Laura Palmer
3. Cosmic Rough Riders – Melanie
4. Glasvegas – Geraldine
5. Britney Spears – If You Seek Amy

FIVE SONGS WITH FEMALE PRONOUNS IN THE TITLE

1. Oasis – She Is Love
2. James – She’s A Star
3. U2 – Hallelujah Here She Comes
4. The Kooks – She Moves In Her Own Way
5. Shed Seven – She Left Me On Friday

FIVE SONGS WITH GIRL/WOMAN IN THE TITLE

1. Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl
2. Kate Bush – Rubberband Girl
3. Ash – Girl From Mars
4. Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire
5. Simple Minds – Chelsea Girl

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 24.2.2017

1. Kings Of Leon – Reverend
2. Conor Oberst – A Little Uncanny
3. Rag n Bone Man – Skin
4. Cast – Paper Chains
5. Ryan Adams – To Be Without You

Next Wednesday, is St David’s Day. So get ready for some Welsh tunes for you.

FIVE SONGS BY WELSH ACTS

1. Stereophonics – Dakota
2. Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness
3. Charlotte Church – Moodswings
4. Donna Lewis – I Love You Always Forever
5. Feeder – Save Us

And as a bonus, here’s a celebration of all musical Davids.

FIVE SONGS BY SINGERS CALLED DAVID OR BANDS WITH SOMEONE CALLED DAVID

1. McAlmont and Butler – Falling
2. Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime
3. U2 – The Fly
4. David Bowie – Sound and Vision
5. Dollar – Hand Held In Black And White

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 18.11.2016

1. Bastille – Send Them Off
2. Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
3. Tove Lo – True Disaster
4. Bruno Mars – 24k Magic
5. Catfish and the Bottlemen – Outside

Tomorrow, is International Men’s Day. Just another day for me, but if you’re commemorating it, enjoy yourself.

Some people even choose to celebrate it by being a self-hating dick on Twitter.

But most importantly, it’s an opportunity to do some theme charts. And yes, I do the same on International Women’s Day. It’s on March 8th if you don’t know. You may be shocked to realise you can point out the date of something and not be a sneering dick like Richard Herring.

SONGS WITH MAN/MEN/BOY IN THE TITLE

1. Duran Duran – Wildboys
2. Michael Jackson – Man In the Mirror
3. The Verve – Lucky Man
4. The Charlatans – North Country Boy
5. Andrew Gold – Lonely Boy

SONGS BY MEN

1. Simple Minds – She’s A River
2. U2 – The Fly
3. Bruce Springsteen – Badlands
4. Enrique Iglesias – Do You Know?
5. 10CC – The Things We Do For Love

SONGS WITH MEN’S NAME IN THE TITLE

1. Elliott Smith – Son Of Sam
2. Bat For Lashes – Daniel
3. Joshua Kaddison – Jesse
4. Oasis – Little James
5. Rednex – Cotton Eye Joe

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 30.9.2016

1. Simple Minds ft KT Tunstall – Promised You A Miracle
2. Bloc Party – Stunt Queen
3. Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes – Lullaby
4. Cast – Do That
5. Barry Gibb In And Out

This week, saw the 40th anniversary of U2 being formed. So here is a U2 Top 40. Only joking, it’s The Friday Five, not The Friday Forty.

FIVE SONGS BY U2

1. The Fly
2. Hallelujah Here She Comes
3. Discotheque
4. Angel Of Harlem
5. Wild Honey

Oh, i’m going to see Supersonic on Sunday. Can’t wait.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 18.3.2016

1. The 1975 – The Sound
2. Jake Bugg – Gimme The Love
3. James – Nothing But Love
4. The Last Shadow Puppets – Aviation
5. Gwen Stefani – Misery

First of all, apologies for not doing a St Paddy’s Day chart for you last week. I forgot. Too busy doing a Red Hot Chilli Peppers one.

Still, here’s some songs for you to get through your hangover today.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM NORTHERN IRELAND

1. Wonder Villains – TV
2. Ash – A Life Less Ordinary
3. The Adventures – Broken Land
4. The Divine Comedy – The Pop Singer’s Fear Of The Pollen Count
5. Baltimora – Tarzan Boy

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

1. U2 – The Fly
2. Heathers – Remember When
3. Phil Lynott – Yellow Pearl
4. The Cranberries – Dream
5. Kodaline – High Hopes

Meanwhile, this week saw the latest Belsonic headliner announced – Chemical Brothers. I love Chemical Brothers, but live dance music doesn’t do it for me. Anyway, i’ll be in France when they are in Belfast.

I saw them live at T In The Park once, so if you are going, you’ll probably have a good night.

Now, if Belsonic could hurry up and get Noel Gallagher, The 1975, Chvrches and Madness to do headline gigs, that would be nice. I’m not asking for much.

Anyway, here’s a Chemical Brothers chart for you.

FIVE SONGS BY CHEMICAL BROTHERS

1. Go
2. Galvanize
3. Do It Again
4. The Test
5. Out Of Control

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : NUMBER ONE – 2.8.1989

It’s the summer of 1989, and a jumping Lenny Henry is the cover star of Number One.

In chart news, the “What’s Up” column has Sybil, River Detectives, Lil Louis, Doobie Brothers and Martika as their featured singles.

There is a double pages feature on Stock Aitken Waterman, and their views of the current hit parade.

They started their own label as nobody else would give them a job, despite providing CBS with a Number 1 for Dear Or Alive in 1985.

Waterman is on the warpath describing The Smiths, U2 and Clannad as “The Perry Como and Al Martino of the 1980s”, adding “U2 and The Smiths are boring and old fashioned. Kids today see it as their brother’s music”

Bono gets even more ire, with Waterman describing him as “Bono’s old. He’s got long hair. He’s scruffy”

It’s not just Bono, Waterman also has it in for Acid House, describing it as “The acid house thing …. it’s just a trendy thing, not working class Britain. It’s middle class university students who’ve got £15 to go to the acid house gig and £30 to buy the ecstacy”

Waterman then compares S/A/W to Elvis and Little Richard, and says they are the Liverpool FC of pop, as they work to a winning forumla.

In news, Lenny Henry is about to launch a pop career, albeit in the guise of one of his characters, Theophilius P Wilderbeest. Deacon Blue have announced a tour for December 1989, which begins at King’s Hall in Belfast.

On TV that week, Kylie was on Wogan, Channel 4 had a documentary on Yazz, and BBC 1 has a concert for Stevie Wonder’s birthday.

The Primitives get a full page interview, mostly focusing on what annoys them.

In adverts, tickets for Bros at Wembley were advertised, with support coming from Debbie Gibson and Salt N Pepa, with DJ sets from Simon Mayo and Pat Sharp.

Tony James from Transvision Vamp, Trev and Simon, Roland Gift from Fine Young Cannibals and Paula Abdul take part in Genius Of Pop, Number One’s quiz, with Trev and Simion winning with 6 out of 10.

In the centre pages, yout could get a lyrics poster of Kylie Minogue’s new single, Wouldn’t Change A Thing.

Milli Vanilli get a double page Q and A with Number One. I couldn’t possibly comment if it was Frank Farian answering the questions for them.

Cover star Lenny Henry gets a double page interview, in the guise of his characters Theophilus Wildebeest and Delbert Wilkins.

There is a full page review of the recent Prince’s Trust Concert. Beside it, is Bruno Brooks Radio 1 Roadshow Diary.

A few pages later, there is a half page interview with Eartha Kitt, who is releasing a single recorded with Bronski Beat.

Singles are reviewed by Shirley Manson, future Garbage singer, then fronting Goodbye Mr Mackenzie. Her favourite single that week was Stand by REM.

2015 IN PICTURES – NOVEMBER

November took a while to get going, my first adventure being on the 7th, to see Linfield take on Crusaders. I would be spending a lot of time at Windsor Park in the opening fortnight of the month.

Windsor Park is where I would be based in the opening two weekends of the month, taking in Northern Ireland’s friendly against Latvia, then Linfield’s match against Cliftonville the next day.

The following midweek was all about music, as Paul Weller and U2 came to Belfast.

The busy month continued when I took in my annual Ulster European game, a defeat to Saracens.

The final two Saturdays of the month saw me on the road, to see Linfield lose in Mid-Ulster against Glenavon and Portadown.

Sandwiched inbetween that, was a trip to Manchester to see United take on PSV Eindhoven, where I also took the opportunity to get some Street Art photos.

Linfield v Crusaders

Northern Ireland v Latvia

Northern Ireland v Latvia Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

Paul Weller live at Waterfront Hall

Paul Weller live at Waterfront Hall Photo Album

U2 live at The Odyssey

U2 live at The Odyssey Photo Album

Ulster v Saracens

Ulster v Saracens Photo Album

Glenavon v Linfield

Manchester Street Art November 2015

Manchester Street Art November 2015 Photo Album

Manchester United v PSV Eindhoven

Manchester United v PSV Eindhoven Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

U2 – LIVE AT THE ODYSSEY 18.11.2015

U2, Harp Lager Band Of 1978, made a long awaited return to Belfast last week with two gigs at The Odyssey. It had been a while since their last gig in Belfast. So long in fact, that The Odyssey didn’t even exist. 1997 to be precise.

For their last indoor gig in Belfast, you have to go back a further ten years, to 1987 at King’s Hall. Before that, they used to be regulars in Belfast during their early days.

On their current tour, they have downsized, having to make do with large arenas rather than large stadiums. This gave hope to an Odyssey gig, with gigs at similar venues in London (The O2) and Glasgow (The Hydro) being announced earlier this year.

Hopes were raised in early September when The Edge hinted at a Belfast gig. Within days, two Belfast gigs were announced, with a further four in Dublin.

My older brother loves U2, and I caught the bug, to the extent that I was prepared to get up at 7am on a Sunday morning to record a whole day of programming on MTV dedicated to U2. There was no Sky+ in them days. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t know how to set the Video Plus, so I had to get up and do it myself.

I even won a copy of The Best Of 1980-1990 in a newspaper competition by correctly answering what Bono’s real name is. It’s Paul Hewson, since you ask.

There have been two occasions when I have been close to U2. When they played Botanic Gardens in 1997, I was close enough to hear them. In 2002, I was invited to a TV recording at Blackstaff Studios. I was tipped off that a famous Irish band would be peforming. I was told it was U2. It was Westlife.

As I counted down the days to this Odyssey gig, I still had a dark fear that Westlife would be turning up on stage instead.

When arriving at the venue, there were little subtle U2 references. When trying to find a parking space, I was trying to fight the temptation to mutter to myself that I still hadn’t found what i’m looking for. Inside the venue, there were billboards for Clayton Hotel. It’s unknown if Adam was staying there during their time in Belfast.

Getting into the venue was a bit of a farce, with admission by credit card rather than paper ticket holding up people getting in, as well as seperate queues not being signposted.

Now in the venue, I took up position near the very end of the stage, on the line that marked off the area of the floor where Bono would be entering. Fans observed the security staff, on the theory that the busier they got, the closer it was to stage time.

At around half eight, the area was sealed off and surrounded by security. Bono casually walked across the floor onto the stage, and kicked into The Miracle Of Joey Ramone, the velvet rope was now removed, and a pile on to get the best position at the stage took place.

The best view of the venue was at the side of the stage. Unfortunately, those spaces were long taken by the time I arrived just after seven.

Adam Clayton paid his own homage to Belfast by wearing a Stiff Little Fingers t-shirt.

They began by playing songs from their early years, with Bono remarking “You have to visit the past if you don’t want to be stuck there”

The crowd sang along with more recent hit Vertigo, even when Bono sang in erroneous Spanish (The intro goes Uno, Does, Tres, Catorce – or 1, 2, 3, 14) that he refuses to change.

The band then performed Sunday Bloody Sunday and Raised By Wolves. The riot that Jim Rodgers had feared never materialised.

Larry Mullan would soon be inundated with offers to join Orange Bands by looking at home walking along while banging a Fife Drum.

Bono even managed to give a brief rendition of Moondance by Van Morrison while also recalling about how he wrote a song to impress a girl called Alison Stewart, and how he hasn’t quite managed it. For those who don’t know, she’s his wife.

They then performed some songs from the Achtung Baby era while inside a cage behind the LED screen. It didn’t work for me.

Bono then pulled a member of the audience, Teresa from Italy, to dance with him, like Bruce Springsteen in the Dancing In The Dark video.

As we entered the second half of the concert it was time for the big hits – With Or Without You, Where The Streets Have No Name, Elevation, City Of Blinding Lights, Beautiful Day, Pride (In The Name Of Love)

We were even treated to a guitar led version of The Sweetest Thing. The concert ended with One, that Bono dedicated to all those who have helped to make it close to being the first generation of babies born without AIDS. In 1992, when One was released as a single, the proceeds were donated to AIDS charities.

The only surprise was that they didn’t play Stay (Faraway So Close) purely for the cheer when Belfast mentioned in the lyrics. In truth, they didn’t need to engineer fake cheers.

After eighteen years away, there would only be one more day to wait until their next Belfast gig.

Hopefully, after that, it won’t be eighteen years until they return.

Photo Album