THE FRIDAY FIVE – 16.11.2018

1. Jade Bird – Love Has All Been Done Before
2. Johnny Marr – Spiral Cities
3. Editors – Cold
4. Razorlight – America
5. The Strypes – Get Into It

This Monday, sees International Men’s Day. So, as is tradition, here’s a series of musical charts. If you’re celebrating, that’s cool. If it’s just another day for you, that’s cool. Just don’t be a self-hating dick fishing for likes on Social Media about it.

FIVE SONGS BY MALE SOLO ARTISTS

1. Prince – Gold
2. David Bowie – Let’s Dance
3. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA … What A Life
4. Falco – Rock Me Amadeus
5. Kyle Falconer – Family Tree

FIVE SONGS WITH BOY OR MAN IN THE TITLE

1. The Killers – The Man
2. T-Rex – 20th Century Boy
3. Aneka – Japanese Boy
4. Andrew Gold – Lonely Boy
5. Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy

FIVE SONGS BY ALL MALE GROUPS

1. Europe – The Final Countdown
2. Duran Duran – Ordinary World
3. A-Ha – Take On Me
4. U2 – The Fly
5. Queen – I Want It All

FIVE SONGS WITH MALE NAMES IN THE TITLE

1. Bat For Lashes – Daniel
2. Toni Basil – Mickey
3. Oasis – Little James
4. Sister Sledge – Frankie
5. Fine Young Cannibals – Johnny Come Home

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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

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SMASH HITS – 2.11.1988

The only way is up for Yazz, as she is this week’s Smash Hits cover star, having been victorious in the Reader’s Poll.

As you open the magazine, there is a feature on Wet Wet Wet, who won Best LP.

Joey Tempest of Europe gives his life advice, revealing that he is obsessed with women.

Beside that, there is a feature on Milli Vanilli. Wether they mimed when being interviewed is not known.

There is a double paged feature on acts who used to be popular but aren’t any more. The featured hasbeens include Bucks Fizz, Human League, Nik Kershaw, Five Star and Hue and Cry.

Another Poll Winner gets a double page profile, Salt N Pepa.

Tanita Tikaram is the subject of a Q and A, revealing that her specialist subject on Mastermind would be Virginia Woolf.

Yazz won Most Exciting New Pop Star, revealing that her real name is Yasmin Evans, but has never been to Wales despite having a Welsh surname.

There is a double page feature on a new trend called Acid House, profiling stars of the scene such as Jungle Brothers, Baby Ford and Carl Fysh.

Bros get a triple page feature (well yes, because there are three of them) after winning a lot of awards, some for their looks and some for their music.

Brother Beyond review the singles, and there is a split in the camp – Nathan and David vote for Habit as Best Single, while Carl and Steve go for Scritti Politti.

Deacon Blue get a lyrics poster accompanied with an interview, where they state they would like to be Dundee’s answer to Bruce Springsteen.

The magazine ends with a poster of U2.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 23.3.2018

1. Frank Turner – Blackout
2. Manic Street Preachers – Distant Colours
3. Kylie Minogue – Stop Me From Falling
4. George Ezra – Paradise
5. The Killers – Wonderwall

Firstly, an apology for there being no Friday Five. I was either busy or lazy, depending on how you look at it, and didn’t get a chance to do one.

That meant I didn’t get to do a St Patrick’s Day chart for you. So, either 1 week late or 51 weeks early, here’s some St Patrick’s Day charts for you.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM NORTHERN IRELAND

1. The Adventures – Broken Land
2. Brianna Corrigan – Hold Me Now
3. Baltimora – Tarzan Boy
4. Relish – Rainbow Zephyr
5. Snow Patrol – How To Be Dead

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

1. Phil Lynott – Yellow Pearl
2. U2 – The Fly
3. The Strypes – Get Into It
4. Sinead Lohan – Whatever It Takes
5. Kodaline – I’m Ready

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 2.2.2018

1. Turin Brakes – Lifeforms
2. George Ezra – Paradise
3. Chvrches – Get Out
4. The Vaccines – Nightclub
5. The Wombats – Cheetah Tongue

So, what an interesting week of concert announcements. Where to start?

U2 at The Odyssey. Yes please, will be trying to get tickets for that.

Biggest Weekend, Manic Street Preachers and Beck playing Titanic Slipways in May. Yes plese, will be trying to get tickets for that.

Erasure in Dublin was cancelled this week, rearranged for March. Hoping they do a Shed Seven and sneak in a Belfast gig as well with their rearranged Dublin gig.

Not a concert, but I got a ticket for An Evening With Eric Cantona at Waterfront Hall in October.

Paloma Faith has announced an outdoor gig for Edinburgh in August. I might make that my week to go the Edinburgh Festival. I’m giving her Belfast concert in March a miss as it’s all seater, so hoping a Belsonic or CHSQ announcement is being embargoed until after that.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 19.1.2017

1. Squeeze – Rough Ride
2. Post Precious – Sign Of The Times
3. The Cranberries – Dreams
4. George Ezra – Paradise
5. Turin Brakes – Underdog (Save Me)

This week, U2 teased that they will be doing a concert in Belfast later in the year. If it does happen, i’ll definitely be trying to go to this, having seen them at The Odyssey in 2015.

Sounds like a good excuse for a U2 Top Five.

FIVE SONGS BY U2

1. The Fly
2. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
3. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
4. Wild Honey
5. Angel Of Harlem

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 5.1.2018

1. Anteros – Bonnie
2. Manic Street Preachers – International Blue
3. Vic and Bob – Trousers
4. Simple Minds – Magic
5. U2 – What’s Going On?

It’s cold, it’s wet, people are moaning about FA Cup ties not being shown on TV and grief junkieing over David Bowie. That can only mean one thing ……… it’s January.

At this time of year, there is one question we all ask, and this year, the answer is once again yes. If you haven’t worked it out yet, BBC Four’s Top Of The Pops repeats will continue into 1985.

You will be glad to know that The Story Of 1985 will be on BBC Four at 9pm. It’ll be a lot more entertaining that Liverpool 0-0 Everton on BBC 1.

To commemorate this, here’s a 1985 chart for you

FIVE SONGS FROM 1985

1. A-Ha – Take On Me
2. Simple Minds – Don’t You (Forget About Me)
3. Stephen Duffy – Kiss Me
4. Kate Bush – Cloudbusting
5. Baltimora – Tarzan Boy

THE SOUND OF 2017 : 1-25

So, here it is, the Top 25 Songs Of 2017

1. Liam Gallagher – For What It’s Worth
2. Rose Elinor Dougall – Closer
3. The Killers – Run For Cover
4. Paramore – Hard Times
5. Liam Gallagher – Bold
6. U2 – Get Out Of Your Own Way
7. Liam Gallagher – Wall Of Glass
8. The Killers – The Man
9. Rose Elinor Dougall – All At Once
10. Haim – Little Of Your Love
11. Arcade Fire – Everything Now
12. Liam Gallagher – Come Back To Me
13. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – She Taught Me to Fly
14. U2 – You’re The Best Thing About Me
15. Royal Blood – Lights Out
16. Biffy Clyro – Friends and Enemies
17. Tears For Fears – I Love You But I’m Lost
18. Kasabian – You’re In Love With A Psycho
19. Lorde – Green Light
20. Arcade Fire – Creature Comfort
21. Kasabian – Bless This Acid House
22. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – If Love Is The Law
23. Bastille – Basketcase
24. Paloma Faith – Crybaby
25. John Hassell and the April Rainers – Intercity 125

Congratulations to Liam Gallagher, emulating his brother in winning this prize in 2011. Get in touch and I’ll arrange some sort of presentation when you’re in Belfast for Belsonic.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this rundown and discovered some new songs you had never heard before.

If you haven’t heard the winning song yet, here it is.

We’ll end, with the list of previous winners.

2016
The Strumbelles – Spirits
2015 Blossoms – Charlemagne
2014 Jamie T – Zombie
2013 Haim – The Wire
2012 Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
2011 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA …. What a Life
2010 Marina and the Diamonds – Shampain
2009 Little Boots – New In Town
2008 Sons and Daughters – Darling
2007 Feist – 1,2,3,4
2006 Kasabian – Empire