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Posts Tagged ‘Academy’

A Manchester Day

Posted by shinymac on February 5, 2008

Wow, I’ve left it almost a week since I last wrote here, but forgive me; I have been a busy busy bee!
I now have the worst cold in the world, so it will take me longer to write today whilst I keep having to stop for sniffle and tissue breaks. Eww.
This last weekend was great! On Friday night, I had to struggle home in the snow after work, and walked into the house looking like a snowman. I also had no grips whatsoever on my boots, so skidded and slid all the way home, especially down the little hill from the tram stop. It was fun, but I kept looking around nervously for people waiting to ambush me with snowballs. Thankfully no-one did. Phew.
Saturday morning came and the kids got packed up to go to their grandma and grandad’s over in Hull, along with winter clothing and wellies. I got to work (in my leopard print wellies, which I changed upon arrival into some black ballet style flats) an hour and a half early due to having a preference of getting a lift rather than catching the bus! Oops.
Krista and John came back with Alex, and I met up with them outside Afflecks Palace where Alex had bought me a present, a ring with a Scrabble letter on it! Unfortunately though, he couldn’t get an S for my name, so ended up presenting me with an O. We came up with some suggestions as to what it could stand for, and the best I think was Krista’s “Oh so special” or something along those lines.

We followed the strict instructions of our bellies rumbling and went straight to the Printworks for some food, deciding on Old Orleans, where I had some kind of chicken meal, that was so not worth it’s price, but it filled a gap.

On from there, we went to Urbis


and had a good nosey around the Factory Records/Hacienda exhibition which is soon closing, and we so wanted to squeeze it in. It was brilliant, and I was happy to see that even Damon Gough (Badly Drawn Boy) got a few words in on some of the videos (especially as he’s a real favourite of mine).


Time wasn’t on our side by this point, so after Alex had prised me away from the Urbis shop where I had my head stuck in a book called “Manchester By Air” for a good half an hour, we had to head home to meet Rob and Gemma who were coming over for the NME Awards Tour gig that evening.

They were waiting outside the house in Rob’s car as we appeared around the corner, and I introduced myself to Gemma, who seemed nice and everyone came inside to get a drink and get ready for the night. I took longer than most (it’s my age!), and in the meantime, Alex took Rob and Gemma to get some food at the pub in Sale, whilst John and Krista waited for me. We went to meet them, and after a couple of beers, headed into Manchester on a perfectly timed tram journey.

Once at the Academy, we were shocked at the length of the queue (and the average age of the queue-er as it even made Krista feel old, and at 21 that’s no mean feat!), so we headed into The Oxford (formerly Hogshead) for a couple, where we spotted Mark Radcliffe (or is it Riley?) from Mark and Lard fame. Alex and I were just telling everyone how we’d seen him in there several years before, when he appeared! Alex wanted to go and have his picture taken with him, but I talked him out of it and told him to play things cool with “celebrities” as it’s just embarrassing.

We headed over to the Academy, but we’d missed the Ting Tings, and Alex and I were gutted. They were one of the bands we were most looking forward to seeing, but we trampled on in anyway to the sound of Does It Offend You, Yeah? who I thought were brilliant, in disagreement with the majority of the crowd who were shouting “Get Off” and were chucking shoes into the faces of the band. Extremely rude, but I shimmied and bopped to the electro-pop madness whilst those around me looked on slightly questioningly.

Next on were Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong, after quite a lengthy interval, and they were more than worth waiting for, even if to just eye up the cute indie mod-suited boys with funky hair and skinny legs which dwindled down into their pointy, shiny shoes. Lucio Starts Fires was amazing, and the crowd responded well to them, so it upped the anti, ready for The Cribs to come on and let rip!

After an even longer interval, The Cribs came on, and Ryan Jarman was on form acting like a loon and ripping off clothing. After dedicating a song to the “4th Jarman brother who died just over 2 weeks ago”, he revealed his torso and stage-dived, only to reappear several minutes later (all limbs intact – how do they do that?), and finish off the set.
Suddenly, I felt someone fall into the back of me legs, and I turned round to see it was a girl. It took me a few moments to realise, it wasn’t just any girl, but Gemma! She’d fainted, and Rob acted like a true hero and carted her outside whilst I went to get her some water from the bar. All at the same time Johnny Marr appeared on stage and he and The Cribs fired into The Smiths’s Panic, and I was so glad I’d volunteered to get the drink, meaning I managed to catch this moment!
John was ecstatic, Johnny Marr was one of his heroes, and he managed to catch it too, with a smile so big across his face!

I took the drink outside for Gemma, and something really strange happened. Earlier in the night, we’d been stood next to a guy who looked exactly like Darren, my ex-boyfriend. It wasn’t him, I heard him talk and his voice wasn’t deep enough, but in the first few moments of seeing him, I felt nstantly nervous.
Well, whilst walking towards the wall where Rob and Gemma sat huddled, Gemma in Robs jacket to keep warm, I walked past 2 faces I recognised from my past. One of them was drunk and shouting and looking like trouble, whilst the other one looked exasperated and stressed out, along with upset. The drunken bloke was an ex of mine, although not Darren, and the exhausted girl was his girlfriend who I had also known in the past.
I don’t particularly like smugness, but at that time, I felt a little smirk rise across my face as I turned and saw my beautiful Alex following me outside, not drunk, and not shouting, and not looking the least like trouble. How lucky I felt to be rid of connections with people like him, and to have my nice, normal people in my life who cause me little stress.


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