My day got off to a cracking start when I arrived in the Departure Lounge of Manchester airport and met Kasim, Prairie and Rachel. Kasim happily pose for a photo and I had a chat with Kasim, Prairie and Rachel who were more than polite and generous with their time! Unfortunately Todd had taken the train!!
Got to the pre-arranged meeting point before six hoping to meet some of he posters on these forums but didn't see anyone and the rest of my party joined me around seven for a quick pint before we made our way to the gig. Prairie had arrived at the Shakespeare pub and was enjoying a pint of John Smiths as I left.
The Picture House is a pretty good venue apparently holding around 1500. It wasn't too packed when we arrived and I was able to get down right to the front pretty much standing right in front of Todd. The support act Eugene Francis Junior appeared wearing a red Indian head-dress and a Captain America shield and launched in to a brief but enjoyable set during which he played his version of "A Dream Goes On Forever". (Full marks for effort Eugene but a little more practice will no doubt make it perfect!).
Todd and the band took the stage a short time later, Todd greeting us saying "I missed you guys", before launching into the now familiar set list. Too many highlights for me. The band were tight except for one discordant moment from Kas which we all laughed off and which may well have been missed by most present! The close harmonies are exceptional and the difference that Prairie's drumming makes to the Arena songs is wonderful, especially 'Manup'!
The encores are the icing on the cake, a wonderfully energetic, high kicking 'Couldn't I Just Tell You' followed by a gloriously up-lifting 'JOV'.
If there's a heaven on earth I got pretty close to it on Friday night.
Greetings to Bondgirl who I met stageside. See you all in London!