June is setting itself up to be a busy month for gigs. Perhaps it has something to do with last year's rainy Isle Of Wight festival, but this year we have decided to attend individual gigs that just happened to be all in the same month!
Last weekend's cracker was to see Bon Jovi at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. Liam has been a fan since he can remember whilst I've only been introduced in the last few years. Still, I can never pass up an opportunity for decent live music and so we decided to make a wonderful weekend of it in Manchester.
The train to Manchester from London is just over 2 hours. I know, I sound like an advert for Network Rail but I was truly impressed at just how easy it was to get from the middle of Sussex to the big bad northern city in just a few hours. We stayed at a Novotel on Dickinson street, about ten minutes walk from Picadilly station and a few minutes walk from St Peter's Square tram stop. We obviously have a bit of a thing for the Novotel chain- we've stayed in the Times Square in New York as well as the Docklands in London, but they never fail to impress. Lovely rooms, superb breakfast in bed, well situated and even letting us take a sneaky McDonalds back at 12.30am- Novotel, we love you.
The ride to the Etihad was an easy one, although a little packed. Apparently the busiest weekend we could have rocked up to Manchester, as well as the Bon Jovi gig there was a Rod Stewart concert at the MEN and Parklife festival in Heaton Park. This explains not only the crowds, but also the extreme amount of double denim and bum cheeks poking out of hot pants that we witnessed.
Bon Jovi were fantastic, also. I wouldn't have described myself as a Bon Jovi fan prior to the gig, but seeing them live has left me with a new-found respect for them. Anyone over the age of thirty five who can still sing like is worthy of my praise. They completed a set that ran just under three hours, pausing momentarily just so Jon could change his jacket and wipe the sweat off his face. The best songs of the night in my opinion was 80's classic Bad Medicine as well as the wonderful rendition of Robbie Williams Let Me Entertain You- a brave choice, but a good one.
Actually, I forgot just how much I love Manchester. Somehow, I think we'll be purchasing more train tickets to the North in the future. Watch out, Novotel, we're coming to get you.