This was the second time I’d been to Manchester since I started my challenge. When I last came I purposely held off on finding a stranger because I knew I was going to be back here the next month. I liked Manchester but only as much as a man from the better side of the pennines can.
I’d come to Manchester with John my housemate as we were going to watch Idlewild on the night. I’d been a fan since hearing “Actually its Darkness” in 2000 but for some reason managed to never see them live in the following 10 years. We arrived and parked up heading to Oxford road which the venue is on. We were early and thought we could have a bit of time in Manchester and get some food. We hailed a cab and headed to the Arndale centre with my camera in my bag. After the standard play in the apple shop and an unsuccessful shop all round with nothing bought we put our faith in the iPhone sat nav to locate us a pizza hut, fortunately Lady Luck was on our side and we found one without. Large supreme cheesy bites of course. Following that a venti hot chocolate then a walk to find someone.
We were going to find someone then get a taxi back up to the venue. We walked and walked and walked, there is a vibe you get and I wasn’t getting it from no one. It was cold and people seemed busy. We ended up walking past the venue and to the car. There was no one, NO ONE! I wasn’t about to drop for someone I didn’t think would appreciate it so we went into the Academy just missing the support band unfortunately.
Idlewild took the stage to play the entire ‘100 Broken Windows’ album for its 10th Anniversary. I felt myself wondering whether the flame had gone out as with many bands years down the line. It hadn’t. The band sounded great and the crowd loved it. Playing for longer than I expected too. After the show we filed out in lines like sheep to the bar.
“Shall I go get my camera.” I told john
“Yeah you should get someone here.” We walked out saw a girl with her boobs out, NICE! Got my camera and went back in to check the merch out. Colin (drummer from Idlewild) was manning the merch as me and john got a shirt each.
“Could I get a picture?” which must have seemed like a crazed fan to be honest. It was an affirmative as I told Colin the real reason I was asking.
“I’ll even put on some gloves.” He said, struggling to put on a pair of gloves still paired together in the middle.
“You should come on tour, that will get you a few cities.” I would love nothing more than this if I didn’t think it was a passing comment. Colin was a very nice chap indeed and he signed my photo with what has to be the nicest signature I’ve ever seen, I thanked him and we set off home excited that with holding on I had got my stranger and it was a goody.
City Ten Complete.