THE FRIDAY FIVE – 21.4.2017

1. Paramore – Hard Times
2. Kasabian – Bless This Acid House
3. Prince – Deliverance
4. Camens – Boys Will Stray
5. Spoon – Hot Thoughts

Today is Robert Smiths’s birthday, and it’s his favourite day of the week. It’s the first time it’s fallen on a Friday since 2006, and won’t happen again until 2023, so he had better enjoy it.

To celebrate, here’s a The Cure Top Five

FIVE SONGS BY THE CURE

1. Friday I’m In Love
2. Lullaby
3. Hot Hot Hot
4. Close To Me
5. In Between Days

This Sunday, is St George’s Day, so time to lie back and think of England with some themed playlists for you

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

1. Wham! – Freedom
2. One Night Only – Say You Don’t Want It
3. George Baker Selection – Little Green Bag
4. George Ezra – Blame It On Me
5. The Beatles – While My Guitar Gently Weeps

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM ENGLAND

1. Pulp – A Little Soul
2. Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence
3. Cast – Finetime
4. The Beautiful South – Ole Red Eyes Is Back
5. Duran Duran – Ordinary World

Gig news, Paramore are coming to Belfast. The downside is, i’m already going to see The 1975 that night. If their marketing team had any brains, they could get them to do a gig at the bar of a South Belfast hotel and call it “PARAMORE AT THE PARADOR”

No doubt you all saw May’s big announcement on Tuesday morning. Brian that is, not Theresa. “Queen” are coming to The Odyssey in November. I’m not a big fan of him as a solo artist (apart from What Do You Want From Me?) but Adam Lambert is a capable vocalist and Queen + Adam Lambert looked decent at their BBC New Year’s Eve concert in 2014/2015. However, £74? For £74, i’m expecting Freddie Mercury and John Deacon on stage, and David Bowie to make a guest appearance on Under Pressure.

Ever since BBC Four had a night of programming dedicated to Depeche Mode, i’m been rediscovering how brilliant they are. There’ll be a Belfast gig this year, date to be announced, so I might pop along to see them.

Ryan Adams update. Still looking for a ticket for his Ulster Hall gig.

COS YOU GOTTA HAVE PAINT

When you hear that there is mural in Belfast of a guy called George, you immediately think it will be of George Best. However, this one is of George Kyriacos Panayiotou, better known to you and me as George Michael, who died on Christmas Day last year.

Like David Bowie and Prince before him, his death has been commemorated in Belfast with a mural.

This one is in Botanic, in India Street. Does that address sound familiar? That’s because, last month, I posted that a mural of Prince appeared there. This mural of George Michael is right beside Prince. The mural of Prince has since had a purple background added to it since I blogged about it.

The image is of the cover of his 1996 album Older.

The painting is by an artist called Glen Molloy. You probably guessed that from the fact is name is beside the George Michael.

Dubbed “The Belfast Banksy”, he recently outed himself as the artist responsible for the “Wall Of Legends” near Royal Mail offices, which was documented on this blog late last year.

He has his own Facebook page. You can like it here.

Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 25.11.2016

1. The Afghan Whigs – Regret
2. Rory Lavelle – All These Horrors
3. Madness – Can’t Stop Us Now
4. Bear’s Den – Dew On The Vine
5. Blink 182 – Home Is Such A Lonely Place

Next Wednesday is St Andrew’s Day. As this blog loves any excuse for a theme chart, here’s two. One for Scottish acts, and one for musical Andrews. Though there will be no Andys, which is bad news if you want pre 1987 Duran Duran or post 1999 Oasis.

FIVE SONGS BY SCOTTISH ACTS

1. Twin Atlantic – Heart and Soul
2. The View – Blondie
3. Nina Nesbitt – He’s The One I’m Bringing Back
4. Aztec Camara – Somewhere In My Heart
5. Del Amitri – Roll To Me

FIVE SONGS BY SINGERS CALLED ANDREW OR BANDS WITH A MEMBER CALLED ANDREW

1. Wax – Bridge To Your Heart
2. INXS – Baby Don’t Cry
3. Wham! – Freedom
4. Hozier – Take Me To Church
5. Roachford – Cuddly Toy

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 22.4.2016

1. Blossoms – Getaway
2. Aurora – Conquerer
3. The Lumineers – Ophelia
4. Tegan and Sara – U-Turn
5. Space – Avenging Angels

As I type (Thursday night), news has just emerged that Prince has died. It doesn’t feel real.

I remember being in London in February 2014 when he was announcing random gigs at small venues, and hoping that he would announce one the weekend I was there and that I would get a ticket. It was not to be.

Soon after, he announced a series of UK gigs. I kept hoping he would announce a Belfast one. It was not to be.

Here’s fove Prince songs for you

FIVE SONGS BY PRINCE

1. Gold
2. Cream
3. Batdance
4. Raspberry Beret
5. Kiss

Tomorrow, is St George’s Day, so here’s a couple of charts for our English readers

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM ENGLAND

1. Then Jerico – Big Area
2. Lightning Seeds – All I Want
3. Charli XCX – Boom Clap
4. The Cure – Friday I’m In Love
5. Stephanie Kirkham – Inappropriate

FIVE SONGS BY MUSICIANS CALLED GEORGE

1. Wham – Freedom
2. One Night Only – Say You Don’t Want It
3. George Harrison – Got My Mind Set On You
4. Culture Club – Karma Chameleon
5. George Ezra – Budapest

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 27.11.2015

1. David Bowie – Blackstar
2. James – To My Surprise
3. Foo Fighters – Saint Cecilia
4. Chvrches – Empty Threat
5. Olly Murs – Kiss Me

This coming Monday, is St Andrew’s Day. It would be rude not to have a musical celebration of all things Scottish, and all things Andrew.

FIVE SONGS BY SCOTTISH ACTS

1. Chvrches – Lies
2. Nina Nesbitt – He’s The One I’m Bringing Back
3. Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me
4. Biffy Clyro – The Captain
5. Prides – Messiah

FIVE SONGS BY SINGERS CALLED ANDREW OR BANDS FEATURING SOMEONE CALLED ANDREW

1. Wham! – Freedom
2. Hozier – Take Me To Church
3. Roachford – Cuddly Toy
4. Andrew Gold – Never Let Her Slip Away
5. Andrew WK – Party Hard

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 24.4.2015

1. Natalie Imbruglia – Instant Crush
2. FFS – Johnny Delusonal
3. Grant Nicholas – Everyday Society
4. The Charlatans – Let The Good Times Be Never Ending
5. Slaves – Cheer Up London

Yesterday, was St George’s Day. So, in honour of it, here’s a chart of songs by English acts. Sadly, there won’t be a chart of songs with cities in the title, because there aren’t many of them, unless they’re London, or boroughs in London. Well, apart from Long Haired Lover From Liverpool, obviously.

FIVE SONGS BY ENGLISH ACTS

1. James – She’s A Star
2. Lightning Seeds – Pure
3. The Kooks – She Moves In Her Own Way
4. The Beautiful South – Old Red Eyes Is Back
5. Roxy Music – More Than This

And finally, a chart featuring singers called George, or bands with someone called George in it.

FIVE SONGS BY SINGERS CALLED GEORGE

1. Wham – Freedom
2. One Night Only – Say You Don’t Want It
3. Culture Club – Karma Chameleon
4. George Ezra – Blame It On Me
5. George Harrison – Got My Mind Set On You

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 28.11.2014

1. McBusted – Air Guitar
2. Becky Hill – Losing
3. Alexa Goddard – So There
4. Erasure – Always
5. Ting Tings – Shut Up And Let Me Go

This Sunday, is St Andrew’s Day. Do, how about a chart? How about two charts? One for all things Andrew, and one for all things Scottish.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS WITH A MEMBER CALLED ANDREW

1. Wham! – Freedom
2. Wax – Bridge To Your Heart
3. Roachford – Cuddly Toy
4. Andrew WK – Party Hard
5. Andrew Cole – Outstandin

FIVE SONGS BY SCOTTISH ACTS

1. Biffy Clyro – The Captain
2. Chvrches – Recover
3. Prides – Messiah
4. Strawberry Switchblade – Since Yesterday
5. Bay City Rollers – I Only Wanna Be With You

Last week, was International Men’s Day. Being the big sexist that I am, I forgot about it. So here, is a chart to commemorate it.

FIVE SONGS ABOUT MEN

1. Mansun – Electric Man
2. Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror
3. REM – Man On the Moon
4. David Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World
5. The Verve – Lucky Man

FIVE SONGS WITH MEN’S NAMES IN THE TITLE

1. Oasis – Little James
2. Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al
3. Bat For Lashes – Daniel
4. Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Geno
5. Fine Young Cannibals – Johnny Come Home

Last week, on X-Factor, was Elton John v Whitney Houston, that well known rivalry. They’re not even trying any more.

FIVE SONGS BY ELTON JOHN

1. I’m Still Standing
2. Made In England
3. I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues
4. Step Into Christmas
5. Kiss The Bride

FIVE SONGS BY WHITNEY HOUSTON

1. Your Love Is My Love
2. I Wanna Dance With Somebody
3. How Will I Know?
4. I’m Your Baby Tonight
5. If I Told You That (ft George Michael)

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : JUN 20 – JUN 26

Busy week this week. We start with a Duran birthday …….. John Taylor.

From a band with three Taylors, to a band with two Davies. This blog post is brought to you in association with Cherry Cola. C-O-L-A Cola.

And now, a band who, like Dave Davies, had to live under the shadow of a famous brother.

If you learn one thing this week, it’s that Scritti Politti means “Political writing” in Italian.

And now, this week’s birthdays throw up a Glasgow double bill.

Mick Fleetwood blew out birthday candles this week. I don’t think he got a card from Reynolds Girls. Scary thought, Reynolds Girls are almost as old now as Fleetwood Mac/Rolling Stones were in 1989.

A song protesting about the music industry being dominiated by middle aged grey haired men, produced by the permanently middle aged and grey haired Pete Waterman.

Curt Smith from Tears For Fears turned 53 this week.

(I know Curt had left by this point, but this song is just brilliant)

Bonehead, the guitar legend from Oasis nudges closer to 50 this week. I think this was the moment when the whole Oasis thing got a bit silly. (WARNING : Gary Glitter, I don’t know why, presented this episode)

George Michael turned 51 this week. He had a party at Club Tropicana. Mainly because the drinks are free.

It’s now five years since Michael Jackson died. Here he is giving a Christmas Message in 1995.

Mick Jones turned 59 this week. The Clash were too cool for TOTP, but Big Audio Dynamite weren’t.

(No doubt you’ll have loved the link from Michael Jackson to a band known as BAD. No?)

Chris Issak, meanwhile, turned 58 this week.

And finally, Harriet Wheeler, formerly of The Saturdays, left to form The Sundays. Her new band, The Mondays, are expected to release an album this year.

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : JAN 24- JAN 30

Hello and welcome to this week’s round-up from Top Of The Pops history, which features a tribute to a country.

Neil Diamond turned 73 this week. One of his most famous songs might surprise you ……. or maybe not, as Red Red Wine, made famous by UB40 was a cover of a Neil Diamond song.

Sharing a birthday, is TV’s Jools Holland, who believe it or not, was once a popstar as well, playing keyboards in Squeeze.

On the theme of Neil Diamond covers, here’s another one, by a man who shares a birthday with him (1959) ……… Mr Victor Reeves, performing with EMF in 1995.

Of course, it would be rude to mention Vic Reeves, and not include his collaboration with The Wonder Stuff.

58 this week, Andy Cox was a two time (or three time, if you include Two Men and a Drum Machine) pop star in the 1980s, with The Beat and Fine Young Cannibals.

So, in the interest of fair play, here’s one of each.

Another famous Andrew in pop, is Mr Andrew Ridgeley off of Wham! This song, is just superb.

Seeing as birthdays of New Order members will be commemorated with side projects such as Electronic or Monaco, how about an actual New Order song for Gillian Gilbert.

They probably should have just mimed.

Meanwhile it’s Mark Owen’s birthday this week, so here he his performing Never Forget, in an episode seemingly presented by Howard Donald’s future other half Catherine Tate.

Frank Skinner celebrates a birthday this week. I imagine you’ve guessed what video is coming up next. Sadly, it’s the awful 1998 version rather than the excellent 1996 one.

Matthew Wilder also celebrates a birthday this week. Here he is being enthusiastically introduced by John Peel. He ended up helping No Doubt become massive in the late 90s.

And finally, this week sees Australia Day, so here’s a couple of tunes from Down Under for you.

And finally, the song that soundtracked Australia’s Royal Wedding. I still get emotional thinking about it. Scott and Charlene. What a lovely couple.