In June 1997 the Pet Shop Boys unveiled “Somewhere”, a three week residency at the Savoy Theatre. So of course I went along to see them!
Exactly 21 years ago today, I went to my very first gig at the Manchester Arena. It was a truly monumental night, with my two favourite bands in the world on the same bill: Manic Street Preachers and Mansun.
Having just seen Placebo at the Brixton Academy the night before, I arrived in Manchester on a sunny Friday morning in May ’97 to find they had followed me there. So what else could I do but go again? However, I got a lot more than I expected that night.
In May 1997, I had epic plans for the Spring Bank Holiday Weekend: travelling up to Manchester for the mega Manics/Mansun gig at the Nynex Arena on the 24th of May. I decided to make an even longer weekend of it, travelling up on Friday the 23rd, returning to London on the Tuesday. And then, I decided nothing could be better than to start it all off on the Thursday night by seeing this new intriguing band Placebo.
Election Day 1997. A new dawn for Britain was approaching. And I celebrated the best way I knew how: by going to a gig.
My first ever Mansun gig. If I were pressed to name one gig and one gig only as the greatest of my life, it would be this one.
“So here I sit in the middle of The Day. The reason I’m still here and not swirling aimlessly around Perth again.”
What an introduction to the world of Suede live: a fan club only, B-sides only gig.
My first gig as a Proper Londoner, living and working in the city I’d dreamed of for years, was to see the flamboyantly orchestral My Life Story. But it was the support band I really wanted to see that might, a band I thought, for a few glorious weeks, were going to become my New Fave Band Ever: Orlando.
The triumphant, emotional finale to my trilogy of Manics gigs in London in December 1996.