Arriving at the venue around 7.30 in order to catch the support (Low Hummer) I had some trepidation about my first indoor gig post covid. Would their be a reduction on the audience size? (no), would everyone be wearing masks? (no). I guess there’s a point where you just have to get on with it. At least the door staff were pretty rigorous checking that everyone had been double jabbed or proof of a negative test. Although, I’m not sure if they were as rigorous once the queue size grew more than the 20 people that were walking up at 7.30. Anyway in we go……
It’s not too long until Low Hummer take to the stage. I’m about £15 lighter after buying 2 small bottles of pretty bland red wine but hey let’s enjoy ourselves. Low Hummer did not disappoint. This is not their first rodeo with the Manics (see Manic Street Preachers, Sea Power & Low Hummer @ Piece Hall, Halifax ). They seemed to have improved, all band members seem a little star struck, maybe it’s all happened a little fast but they deserve it. Great band, great performance and their recently released debut album is a real joy.
Was trying to work out how many times I’d seen the Manics since first seeing them in 93 (same venue!) and surprisingly? it’s only 19. I somehow find myself in an unreal moment. I’m right at the front, well almost, I’m about 2 rows from the front. This is pretty cool, such a small venue for the band these days. I remember when I saw them in the same venue in 93, I’d got right on the barrier and had sore ribs for about 2 weeks afterwards.
There’s a certain sentimental nostalgia to proceedings tonight (well for me anyway). The new song “Still Snowing in Sapporo” is in the setlist and refers back to 93. James at one point asks the crowd “Leeds has changed a lot over the years. For the better right?”. He’s right. I’m stood in the same venue I first saw the Manics in 93 and again in 96` when they played Leeds Sound City the first time they played “Design For Life” to their fans which also features in the set tonight. The years, and the hits flying by.