Sunday, 20 December 2015

Here I Go Again...

Last week saw me heading back to old MEN..., sorry, Phones4..., sorry, Manchester Arena (I think they've finally given up trying to find a name that sticks) to see some more old rockers hit the boards there on their latest tour.

I slid into my leather-look leggings and high-heeled boots and braved the Winter evening to head off for the Arena.  Sounds simple, but this is Manchester, just before Christmas, and as usual the roads were jammed.  Nevertheless, I was nicely in my seat for the opening act - Black Star Riders.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort -Manchester Arena
The band are made up of the old remnants of the legendary Thin Lizzy, and still boast Lizzy's old (but not original - see, I know that!) guitarist, Scott Gorham.  The band ripped through their set, barely taking a breath between songs, and mixing the old Thin Lizzy classics like "Are You Ready To Rock?" and "Whisky In The Jar" with the newer material like "Bound For Glory" and "The Killer Instinct".

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Black Star Riders
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Black Star Riders
They got a great reception, despite the Arena being only a third full - thanks to them hitting the stage before 7.00pm. when most fans were probably still trying to find their way through the Christmas traffic.  A fabulous set anyway, and the chaps received a huge wave of applause as they finished.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Black Star Riders
The Arena was pretty much full for the next band up - David Coverdale and the everlasting Whitesnake.  Now a youthful 37 years old, Whitesnake are still busy in the studio and touring.  I last saw them back in May 2013, and I'm happy to report they are still doing a fine job of rumbling through their new songs and back-catalogue. 

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Whitesnake
They opened with a storming version of the old Deep Purple classic "Burn", and for the next hour and a half thundered through old Whitesnake and Deep Purple tracks, and introduced their later material to the cheering crowd.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Whitesnake
Mr Coverdale still has a great rapport with the fans, and I was pleased to see that he still had the reactions to catch a few pairs of frilly panties that were lobbed his way.  I was, however, disappointed to see that they certainly weren't Agent Provocateur, though - I'd guess at Marks & Spencer's cheapest or Primark's finest.  I'd have sniffed them, at least, but he, like a seasoned panty-purloiner, simply tucked them in his belt and continued with the set.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Whitesnake
There was space, too, for a drum solo, which the drummer finished without sticks and using just his hands, which, as drum solo's go, was pretty good and entertaining.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Whitesnake
Not the best photo, I know, but it was taken from some way back in the arena.  Whitesnake finished to more huge applause - may they keep rolling for another 37 years... they might just be rolling in wheelchairs by then.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Whitesnake

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Whitesnake
Lastly, for their first tour in years, it was the turn of some Sheffield metal in the name of Def Leppard.  I'll admit to being a big Def Leppard fan since the early 1990s, but this was the first that I'd had the opportunity to see them live.  They didn't disappoint.  From the opener - new single "Let's Go" - they had the crowd firmly in their highly-polished fist.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Def Leppard
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Def Leppard
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Def Leppard
All of their hits were there, as sharp and everlasting as, well, Sheffield steel (once the finest in the world, of course, before the UK government destroyed it), and they kept coming.  "Animal", "Rocket", "Pour Some Sugar On Me", "Hysteria", "Love Bites", "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad", "Let's Get Rocked", "When Love And Hate Collide" and "Animal".

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Def Leppard
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Def Leppard
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Def Leppard
They even managed a superb version of the old David Essex hit 'Rock On'.  They were quite brilliant, right through to their encore of "Rock Of Ages", a perfect summing up of the night's collective entertainment.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Def Leppard
It was nearly midnight before I got out of the Arena, but those classic Def Leppard songs kept me company all the way home.

And of course, in the spirit of the season, may I take this opportunity to wish all the readers of my Blog a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  My little Christmas card this year is, as usual, this week's Picture Of The Week.  May you have the Christmas you desire.



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