So first on our recommended list for the next few weeks was the Brit Project night at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. How was it? Read on ....
The big draw for us - apart from the fact that we like live music and trying new stuff - was the chance to see Black Grape. We've both always been big fans of Happy Mondays and then Black Grape. Back in the days of the Madchester scene we had two little kids so concerts were impossible but it didn't stop us listening and loving their music.
I had sent the pre sale link to hubby when I first got it a few months ago just to show him, whilst I took my Mum round the supermarket - couldn't believe it when the next two pings on my phone were a confirmation email for tickets followed by a hotel booking!
So Saturday loomed and once again I was very nervous of the evening ahead. Black Grape were due on stage at 11pm followed by Primal Scream at 12.30am - both well past our bed time!
We checked into the AC Hotel Marriot, a very convenient 5 minutes walk from Victoria Warehouse, to find it full of mostly foreign happy United fans who had watched their team win earlier in the day. The hotel was great. The lovely Karolina on reception checked us in and made us laugh. We had a room on the 7th floor with a fab view towards the city. Lovely fittings - modern and comfy - we were really pleased. We then settled down to watch Strictly followed by the National Lottery show (neither of which we would have done at home!) and left for the gig at 9.30pm.
The Victoria Warehouse is an amazing building full of character and a great space for live music. We were very impressed with the organisation of the event and the music was amazing. There were two stages set up one for the more well known bands and a smaller one for some up and comings. We managed to see Badly Drawn Boy and were both amazed that he doesn't pass out in the heat with his woolly hat and coat on! We followed this with a band called Cupid on stage 2 who we loved although I am quite sure we are not their target audience!
The audience was a very mixed bunch from young people, who probably went out after the gig, to those of our age who were shocked to find themselves staying up till 2.30am! We bumped into Tony Walsh aka Longfella the poet and his lovely wife - who were also wondering how they had come to something with such a late finish! It is quite apparent that we all think we're 18 but are reminded frequently that we are not!
Black Grape came on 1 minute past 11 and were as wonderful as we expected them to be from the chemistry between Kermit and Shaun Ryder to the great guitarists and of course the music. We then nipped across to watch Alias Kid, who were also being watched by Oasis' legendary manager Alan McGee who posed for a few pics (not us though we were too shy!). Once again great music from the group who we hadn't heard of before Saturday - though once again we are definitely not their target audience either! We finished the night with Primal Scream who were introduced as having been together for 29 years - bit of a shocker for us such a frighteningly long time ago. Their set was amazing and the big finish of Loaded, Country Girl and Get Your Rocks off blew us away.
Overall the organisers of the first Brit Project pulled off a fantastic night which had great bands in a stunning venue. The toilets alone are worth the visit and there's plenty of them! The bars were plentiful (although the drinks were pricey but probably in line with every other city centre venue). we were particularly impressed with the pace of the evening and the way they kept each band to their time. Nothing worse than standing for hours waiting for the headliner! Acoustics were great and the warehouse really lends itself to such an event.
Lets hope for many more - we'd definitely go again although it may take us all week to recover from the late night!
A bit of this .... and a bit of that. We do like doing fun stuff and maybe some things that people of a certain "ahem" age shouldn't - but what the hell. Concerts, music, theatres and anything else that's a bit different.