Sunday, June 04, 2017

One Love Manchester

I don't have much interest in today's pop music. Most of it is sterile and dull compared with what I grew up with. I found myself watching the One Love Manchester concert tonight partly because I used to live in Manchester and worked at the Co-op HQ across the road from where the suicide bomber blew himself up and therefore felt a connection, But also because it was a chance to see quite a few of today's pop stars live all at once, as it were.
To be honest, I had never heard of Ariana Grande before the terrible incident two weeks ago. Most of the others, such as Miley Cyrus, Marcus Mumford, Pharrell Williams, Little Mix, Usher and Katy Perry I have heard of but know little about, although some of their records are well known. And, of course I am only too familiar with the likes of Coldplay, Robbie Williams and Justin Bieber. All of them did just one or two numbers and were received ecstatically by the crowd. The many video contributions from artists as famous as Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul, and many others who are way off my radar, all of them 'standing with Manchester' added to the excitement for the 50,000 people at Old Trafford cricket ground, who showed that, far from being cowed by the atrocity, it had brought them together like never before. I've always liked Don't Look Back In Anger, and Chris Martin did it well. I was wondering where Manchester's most famous band Oasis were, but fortunately Liam Gallagher turned up, even if the rumoured reunion didn't take place.
Following last night's atrocity in London the concert had an extra edge for many people, including me. I also worked just to the north of London Bridge in Lombard Street for many years and know Borough Market well.
Whether events like this have any impact on the maniacs who cause such destruction is doubtful. But I think it is important that life goes on as normal regardless of these evil individuals. We cannot let them impact on our way of life. So congratulations to Ariana and all the other artists who appeared at very short notice. And to the people of Manchester of course.


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