Sharon Van Etten – The Albert Hall, Manchester – 22/3/19

When Sharon Van Etten is touring, and she’s not coming to your town, well, you just have to make the effort to go and see her elsewhere don’t you……I got these tickets as a Christmas present for Lee…..and now she’s put on a gig in Leeds later this year…..ah well…..we haven’t been out in our hometown for a while and never been to The Albert Hall before so….

I’d got to town earlier and managed to see the ‘Frank Sidebottom’ exhibition in the central library (first time I’d been in there since studying for my finals in 1986). It was lovely to see people laughing at all the Frank stuff – can’t wait to see the new movie – I helped crowd fund it so go see it.

Popped into the Manchester Art Gallery and there was a free guided tour going around which was highly entertaining. It ended with an exhibition of Martin Parr’s photos of Manchester and Salford from different years – one being 1986 (that year again) which was the year I left Salford for London. It was funny to see how unsophisticated everything was back then….

Lee arrived by train at 5ish and we met up with Mr Beers Manchester in the Peveril of the Peak before trying out a few more bars including The Brink and The Old Nags Head where my Uncle Al and Aunty Jenny had their post wedding do…..

The gig was (as you’d expect) marvellous. SVE and her band were tight and all in black, apart from her white top and white lining to her black jacket which made her stand out – very snazzy. Her voice is so pure and strong that it just carries you away with her on whatever journey shehappens to be taking. Her new album has moved into synth heavy territory but it didn’t dominate tonights set, loads of old stuff, something for everyone. She told us it was her sons 2nd birthday and she was crying earlier during a video call in a cafe around the corner, til a fan ‘Gail’ spotted her and cheered her up…..nice one Gail.

Quite enjoyed the venue but not great if you’re small and not at the front – so if you’re Lee-size……..get there early!

Bob the Chiropodist

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