Blink 182 Belfast Review

8 08 2012

Here’s a reprint of my review of the Blink 182 Belfast gig that ran in Hot Press.

Piccy by Ramsey Cardy (

Blink 182 at the Odyssey, Belfast

After surviving plane crashes, in-band bust ups and the decade that is now, somewhat baffling, referred to as “the noughties,” pop punks Blink 182 finally make their way to Belfast tonight for their first ever show. One of the heavy hitters in the so-called second wave of punk rock, the trio have succeeded in turning their recent frowns upside down thanks to their successful reunion in ’09 and these days they are once again embraced by stadiums across the globe with the same sort of passion that Jim from American Pie reserves for baked goods.

Opening with the frenetic ‘Feeling This,’ the near capacity crowd go ape-shit for the opening salvo of ‘Up All Night’ and ‘The Rock Show’ and while this writer usually prefers a lot more snot in his punk rock (trust me, it’s not as disgusting as it sounds), it’s hard not to break out my invisible pogo stick when they kick into ‘What’s My Age Again?’ Speaking of “pogo sticks,” the boys, as expected, deliver all the required puerile jokes you’d imagine and even the notorious sourpuss that is guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge happily offers scripted jokes and gentlemans’ Johnsons and it seems to push all the right buttons for the faithful.

Hits old and new are all aired tonight and sonically, the trio are as tight as they come. ‘I Miss You’ and ‘First Date’ are particular highlights and the Laurel and Hardy like double act of bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus and Delonge certainly induce the odd grin or three with the former acting like the best mate Belfast never had, while the latter gamely charms the gaggle of girls down the front who are all looking for a tickle on his love truncheon (see-they’ve got me making these types of references now too…).

Ill-advised drum solos and silly willy jokes aside, Blink 182 have matured (if ever so slightly) into a bona fide stadium straddling rock group and this evening NI’s capital got to witness a slick and polished show by a band back to their best and if you can’t enjoy the genius that is ‘Dammit’ then frankly that’s your loss.


News From The North Weeks 61 and 62

7 09 2010


Words: Edwin McFee

Belfast-based riff behemoths LaFaro continue to steamroll their way to the top of the NI band food chain this fortnight with the announcement that they’re set to play at this year’s Reading and Leeds festivals. The four-piece will appear at the BBC Introducing stage and perform at Leeds on August 28 and Reading the following day. Also playing on those days are Blink 182 and Weezer, but since both those bands disappeared up their own bum holes years ago you’ve no excuse not to check out Johnny Black and Co. In other LaFaro news, the boys have been chosen to support seminal post hardcore heroes Helmet on their first European tour in yonks. Taking place over the months of November and December, the boys play Belgium, Holland and more and we can’t think of a better support act for Page Hamilton’s crew.

Turning our attentions to festivals at home, the always entertaining Joe Echo (plus full band) are slated to appear at this year’s Electric Picnic. After wowing the crowds at Oxegen, Mr Echo is all set to repeat that success with a performance on September 3, which also just so happens to be the release date of his new single ‘Tilly’s Cowboy’ and mighty fine it is too.

 If the recent gig by Iron Maiden and upcoming Irish dates by Guns ‘N’ Roses have whetted your appetites for destruction (see what we did there?) then check out the brand spanking new rock night called Hanger 18 which launches in the Pavilion bar in Belfast on August 20. Promising a slightly heavier music policy (think Pantera rather than Poison) the night begins at 9.30pm and rumours of a reduced cover charge being offered for anyone turning up in a patch-laden denim and leather outfit aren’t confirmed at the time of going to press (we joke because we care). The organisers are also planning another rock night called Redeemer (which is sponsored by Scuzz TV and Metal Hammer magazine) in the same venue and that kicks off on August 28 too.


Words: Edwin McFee

Sludge loving post punks Comply or Die have re-entered the studio this fortnight to begin work on the follow up to their epic self-titled debut album. Early reports indicate the band are experimenting with longer song structures-albeit delivered in their own unique louder than everyone else fashion-and bassist Ian Pearce tells us that some of the new material is being ear-marked for an up-coming split cassette (remember them? No? Just me then…) with the Slomatics. Comply or Die are also gearing up to play a secret gig in a half finished bungalow which boasts an adjoining medieval graveyard in early September too. At the moment the trio are keeping the exact details to themselves, though we do know that it’s near Ballymoney and if you bribe their singer Michael with enough Icarus Line singles, then he’ll sing like a canary.

The mighty Trucker Diablo have just released their new record The Devil Rhythm and you’ll be pushed to hear a better classic rock album all year. Already a hit with their faithful followers, the album can be bought from the band directly at In other TD news, the boys have featured in a recent Facebook campaign to get them to support Thin Lizzy when they play in Belfast next February. Click on if you’d like to see the riff monsters share the stage with Ricky Warwick and Co.

This September, the North Coast’s Under Stars & Gutters aim to beat those back to school blues by re-releasing their whole catalogue for free via American label Death To False Hope Records. While there are no official dates available at the time of going to press, keep checking for punky goodness.

Speaking of new releases, the Beat Poets have penciled in October 4 for the launch date of their new single ‘Gravity.’ While we haven’t heard the recorded version of the tune yet, we’re sure it’ll repeat the success of their mainstream breakthrough track ‘One By One.’ The Poets’ VM Records labelmates Silhouette are also celebrating the news that their superb single ‘Volume Destroyed’ has just been added to Cool FM’s daytime radio playlist. Shauna Tohill and Co. will be joining the likes of Lady Gaga, Kings of Leon and the Killers on the airwaves and we can’t think of a better act to show the mainstream pop/rock world just how it’s done. For more news on Silhouette and the Beat Poets check out VM Records’ website at